Tips from American Red Cross for assembling emergency preparedness kits |

Tips from American Red Cross for assembling emergency preparedness kits

Emergency preparedness kits can be helpful in case of evacuation due to natural disaster.
Erol Ahmed | Unsplash

Whether you have an emergency kit already or are putting together your first one, it’s 2020, and everyone should be prepared. An emergency kit has all of the essentials that you and your family (pets included) may need in case of an emergency causing evacuation or hunkering in.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing and responding to emergencies has become more complicated, but also important as the country heads into peak months of hurricane and wildfire seasons.

If you are updating your emergency kit or creating one from scratch, the process can be turned into a fun family activity. American Red Cross offers tips for how to prepare and what to include in emergency kits.

Recommendations include keeping your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

At a minimum

  1. Water: 1 gallon per person, per day (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
  2. Food: Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
  3. Flashlight
  4. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  5. Extra batteries
  6. Family first aid kit
  7. Medications (seven-day supply) and medical items
  8. Multi-purpose tool
  9. Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  10. Copies of personal documents
  11. Cell phone with chargers 
  12. Family and emergency contact information
  13. Extra cash
  14. Emergency blanket
  15. Map(s) of the area

Recommended to add

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener

Other supplies depending on your area

  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

For more information from the American Red Cross, visit

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