To fully prepare your family for an emergency, create one or more emergency kits, well in advance of a crisis, that include enough supplies for at least three days. If you live in a disaster-prone area (hurricanes, floods, earthquakes), consider extending your capability to five days. Throughout the year, your kit should expand and evolve depending on your family’s needs, the season, and the situation.

Because emergencies can happen with little to no advance notice, you may need to evacuate quickly and may not have time to gather or shop for supplies. It is recommended that you not only have kits at home, but portable versions that you can maintain in your car or at work. These kits will enable you and your family to respond to an emergency quickly and will be useful whether you have to shelter in place or evacuate.

What to put in your basic home kit


Water—at least one gallon per person per day for at least three days

Food—nonperishable food to support everyone in the household for at least three days (Include canned goods with low salt and high liquid content.)

Manual can opener

First aid kit

Prescription medications—enough for at least three days

Dust masks or cotton t-shirts for every member of the household to help filter the air

Personal sanitation supplies—items such as moist towelettes (one container for every two people in the household), garbage bags, and plastic ties

Flashlight—one flashlight for every two people in the household

Battery-powered or hand-crank radio

All-hazards NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather radio

Extra batteries—sizes and quantities based on flashlights, radios, and other items in kit)

Money (at a minimum, $100 in local currency, small denomination bills)

Wrench or pliers for turning off utilities

Local maps and your family emergency plan

Your command muster information

Important personal and financial documents—printed copies or electronic copies on a durable storage media such as a thumb drive and stored in waterproof container


Infant formula—enough for at least three days

Diapers—enough for at least three days

Food and water for your pet—enough for at least three days

Items for individuals with special needs, such as wheelchair batteries or other medical equipment or supplies

Paper plates, paper cups, plastic utensils, paper towels


Matches in a waterproof container

Whistle to signal for help

Sturdy shoes

Hats and gloves

Sleeping bag or other weather-appropriate bedding for each person

A weather-appropriate change of clothes for each person

Coats, jackets, and rain gear

Fire extinguisher

Paper and pencil

Books, games, puzzles, toys, and other activities for children

Any items necessary for a specific type of disaster and to assist you during electricity, gas, water, and sewage outages. Additionally, you may want to consider having supplies for sheltering for up to two weeks.

Portable emergency kit

Take this kit with you when you are ordered to evacuate.

Place items in a designated area that will be easily accessible in the event of an emergency.

Make sure every member of your family knows where the kit is.

If you are required to shelter in place, keep this kit with you.

Workplace emergency kit

This kit should be portable enough to be maintained at your workplace; you may need to evacuate from work or shelter up to 24 hours.

Make sure you include comfortable walking shoes in case you have to walk long distances.

This kit should include, at minimum, food, water, and a first aid kit.

Make sure you include your family’s communications plan.

Vehicle emergency kit

In the event that you are stranded while driving, keep this kit in your vehicle at all times.

This kit should contain at a minimum: food, water, flashlights and extra batteries, first aid kit and necessary medications, signal flares, repair tools, portable AM/FM radio, seasonal items (coat, rain gear, engine fluids, shovel, ice scraper, warm clothes, gloves), comfortable/sturdy shoes, and blankets or sleeping bags. Also consider: cell phone and phone charger, reflective triangle, and baby formula and diapers if you have a small child.

Make sure you include your family’s communications plan.

Maintaining your kits

Make sure to constantly evaluate your kit and their relevance to the threats in your area.

Throw away and replace any expired or damaged medications, food, or water.

Where to find additional information

Department of Homeland Security ( & FEMA

Connecticut Media Group