Three Day Ready

Family Emergency Kit

It is important to keep enough supplies in your home to meet the needs of your family for at least three days. Assemble a family emergency kit with items you may need in an emergency or evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy to carry containers such as a plastic tub/tote, suitcase or duffle bag.


Include at a minimum:

  • Water, two gallons of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, remember a can opener
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes/wipes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • ABC fire extinguisher
  • Pocket knife
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with portable charger/battery pack
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Copies of important family documents such as insurance policies, identification and bank records in a waterproof container
  • Family emergency contact information
  • Cash, including change
  • As needed, pet food and extra water for your pet
  • As needed, period products, diapers, formula

Additional items to consider include:

  • Sleeping bag or warm blankets for each person
  • Complete change of clothing including sturdy shoes
  • Multipurpose tool
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Duct tape
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
  • Mess kit, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles, activities for children


  • Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles or plastic milk jugs. Avoid containers that could break, such as glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more.


  • Select foods that require no refrigeration, little preparation or cooking and little or no water. Compact and lightweight food items are ideal.
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Canned juices, milk, soup
  • Staples like sugar, salt, pepper
  • High energy foods like peanut butter, jelly crackers, granola bars, trail mix
  • Vitamins
  • Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets
  • Comfort/stress foods like cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee and tea bags

First Aid Kit

  • Assemble a first aid kit for your home and for each car. You may be able to get a basic first aid manual from your local American Red Cross. Include in each kit:
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • Sterile roller bandages
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Needle
  • Moistened towelettes
  • Antiseptic
  • Thermometer
  • Cleaning agents/soap
  • Latex gloves
  • Sunscreen
  • Acetaminophen, antacid, anti-diarrheal medications
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Instant cold packs

 Suggestions and Reminders

  • Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version in the trunk of your car
  • Keep items in air-tight plastic bags
  • Change your stored water supply every 6 months so it stays fresh
  • Rotate your stored food every six months
  • Re-evaluate your kit and family's needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes
  • Ask your physician about storing prescription medications