Best Items to Include in Emergency Kits
What To IncludeFEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, provides a good list of what you might want to include in an emergency kit. You might have some of these items readily available in your home without any additional planning. For example, FEMA recommends having three days of nonperishable food available at any given time. You'll also want to keep a flashlight or two handy with extra batteries. After earthquakes or tornadoes, your local electric grid might be out for a few days or weeks, and flashlights can help you navigate after dark.
You'll also want to include water in your emergency kit. FEMA recommends storing at least one gallon per person per day for at least three days. You'll need this water for drinking and sanitation. If you have four people living under your roof, you'll want to have at least 12 gallons on hand. During natural disasters, water lines can break and cut off your water supply. Additionally, these disasters can lead to contaminated water. If you have no way to boil your water supply, you'll need bottled water.
You'll want to keep your cell phone and charger handy while also keeping usage down. A portable charger could keep your phone powered up in an emergency. Keeping a battery-powered radio in your emergency kit will help you stay informed regarding local recovery efforts and NOAA weather reports. Moist towelettes or baby wipes can help with sanitation, and you'll want to keep some plastic garbage bags on hand to deal with any sanitation needs during an emergency. Full emergency kits should also include a first aid kit that can deal with any injuries that your family might sustain during a major disaster. You'll also want to keep some cash and any medications you might need on hand to survive until relief arrives or the normal supply chain can resume.