Start with this list, then add what you need.

As you read through, you’ll think of other items you want to include that will make a difference to you, your family members, and your pets. Print out the list and go over it with your children or other family members.  It’s a great way to get them involved in planning and being prepared to act in an emergency.

Each person in your family needs a kit — or two! Yes, these lists are a good start. But look at some of our other posts about the importance of custom Go-Bags, or even get our Custom Go-Bags Mini-Series booklet and go through its questions as a family project.

We’ve divided the checklist into three parts to make the work easier. You’ll find many of the items already in your home — they just need to be assembled so you can grab them in an emergency.

And don’t forget! Every kit needs a Family Contacts List. How many of us actually memorize phone numbers or even addresses any more?

Get more info from online and local resources.

You can find more information on nearly all these items, including reviews and recommendations for what to buy, here at  Use the “search” box at the top of the page to look up particular items.

We also recommend you contact your local city or county disaster planning centers for important details about your own community, its risks and resources.

Basic Emergency Supplies (3-day emergency)

* Mask for COVID protection

* First aid kit

* Fire extinguisher

* Emergency radio

* Flashlights or lanterns – with extra batteries

* Back-up battery power for phone (Power bank, solar charger, etc.)

* Water – one gallon of water per day per person (consider collapsible water bags as a backup)

* Personal water purification “straw” or purification tablets

* Food – extra supplies of your favorite canned foods or instant (no cook) meals and snacks (Don’t forget a can opener if you need one.)

* Food for pet

* Mylar space blanket or sleeping bag

* Hand warmers

* Whistle – signal for help or keep in touch

* Cash – small denominations

* Local maps – GPS or Google may be down

* Tools – crowbar, gas shut-off wrench, hammer, multi-purpose tool, duct tape

* Gloves, dust mask, goggles

* Camping supplies – mini-stove, matches in waterproof container

* Utensils – disposable or non-breakable plates, cups, tableware

* Clothing – socks, rain gear, towels

* Bedding – extra blankets, space blankets

* Sanitation supplies – toilet paper, heavy duty trash bags for human waste, disinfectant

* Personal care items – sanitary napkins, medicines, extra glasses (contact lens solution), toothbrush & tooth paste, soap/wet wipes, dedoderant, hearing aid batteries

* Paper, pens – for communicating with others

* Family Contacts List including info on Out-of-area Contact

* More _______

* More _______


Shelter-in-Place (10-day to 2-week emergency)

* Everything from above

* Four times as much water, long-term food, sanitation supplies

* Medicine – 14 day supply (Sometimes very hard to get. Work with your doctor.)

* Cooking items – camp stove, fuel, pots and pans, bowls; fire starter, matches in waterproof container

* Emergency shelter – tarp, tent, nylon cord

* Plastic sheets and duct tape — to seal spaces for comfort or protection

* Tools – hammer, nails, knife, saw (power tools if source of power)

* Emergency communications – handheld radios (walkie-talkies)

* Recharge capacity for radios, phones, lights

* Books, games for children

* Generator – needs fuel, too

* Pet hygiene materials

* More _______

* More _______



* Bag/backpack for storing your evacuation kit – a size/weight you can handle on your own

* Separate pet container with leash, pet food, medical history, photo, contact numbers

* Mask so you can enter an emergency shelter, hotel

* Keys – extras for cars, house, office

* Flashlight – extra batteries

* Emergency radio with extra batteries

* Food and water supplies for duration of trip

* Extra clothing, space blankets

* Personal care items from lists above

* A few books, games, favorite toy

* Other valuables – cellphone + charger, computer, photos

* Important papers – contact names and numbers (family, legal, business); copies of ID, social security number, credit cards, passport, insurance, home and car ownership papers, birth, marriage, death and divorce certificates, wills, deeds, loans; medical records; online account numbers and passwords

(NOTE: Originals of many or most of these documents can be stored in a safe deposit box at your bank. You can also scan and save copies on a flash drive. You are unlikely to be able to carry all these originals with you!)

* More _______

* More _______


Even if you are well-prepared, your chances of a safe survival are threatened if others around you are NOT prepared. Emergency Plan Guide helps organize teams in your neighborhood and workplace. Please share this checklist with friends, family and colleagues, and encourage them to subscribe for more reports like this one.

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