Pack a home disaster supply kit

After a major disaster, our local emergency services will be overwhelmed. Utilities and essential services, like grocery stores, may be unavailable.

Need to know

  • Be prepared to live for 2 weeks without utilities
  • Make sure everyone in your household knows where it is

Before you start

Your kit should include things your household needs to live for two weeks without utilities or going to the grocery store.

Download a home disaster kit checklist

A home disaster supply kit is different from a go-bag. A go-bag is a lightweight bag you can carry. It includes the items you need if you have to evacuate.


1. Build an emergency food and water supply.

An emergency food kit is crucial for ensuring your household’s safety and comfort.

  • Easy-to-prepare items: Include foods that don’t require cooking or added water, such as canned soups, beans, and chilis.
  • Non-perishable food: Ensure all items are shelf-stable.
  • Comfort foods: Add treats and comfort foods to your kit, involving your kids in selecting their favorites.
  • Pets: Don’t forget pet food and treats.
  • Preparation tools: Include essential tools like a can opener, dishes, and utensils.

Tip: Include your pick-me-ups 

Think of things you likely won’t want to be forced to give up in a stressful situation, like caffeine or nicotine.


Store 14 gallons of water per person.

  • Use BPA free plastic containers.
  • If you have 4 or more people in your household, consider getting a 55-gallon drum to store your water.

2. Collect essential medicine and toiletries.


  • First aid kit
  • Medications
  • Extra pairs of glasses or contact lenses
  • Toiletries and toilet paper

Work with your doctor to understand what medications can or can’t be stored long-term and have a plan to have access to prescription medications you depend on.

3. Include communication and lighting equipment.

Make sure to have:

  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Flashlights and headlamps
  • Extra batteries and power banks
  • Charging cables for phones and devices

4. Keep cash and copies of documents.

You may need to pay for things using cash. Make sure to have a supply of small bills like $1s and $5s.

Keep paper and electronic copies of important documents, such as:

  • Birth certificates and passports
  • Insurance policy and property deeds
  • Trusts and wills
  • Prescriptions and a list of medications
  • Household communication plan

5. Pack your supplies

Put your supplies into a durable container, such as a plastic bin that’s clearly labeled.

6. Store your kit

Put your kit in a place in your home that’s easy to get to, such as a hall closet, spare room, or garage. Make sure everyone in your household knows where it is.

What’s next

Review your kit and restock your food and water every year.

  • Check expiration dates: Go through your emergency food supply, checking for items nearing expiration within the next year.
  • Donate next-to-expire items: Take any such items and donate them to local food drives. This prevents waste and aids those in need.
  • Restock your kit: Replace donated items with fresh supplies, ensuring your emergency kit remains fully stocked.
  • Review important documents: Confirm information is still current.

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