To fully prepare 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 capabilities to five days. Throughout the year, disaster kits should expand and evolve depending on your family's needs, the season, and the situation.
The main items to have in your kit include water, food, and first aid supplies. Be sure to include copies of important personal documents such as birth and marriage certificates, titles, and bill, mortgage, and insurance information. (These can be electronic copies on durable storage media such as a thumb drive which can be easily carried and updated.) You may also need to include additional supplies to meet the needs of any children, pets, or special-needs family members.
You may not be at home when disaster strikes, so make smaller emergency kits to keep at work and in your car. You also need a portable kit to take with you if you go to a shelter or evacuate.
The Emergency Kits fact sheet provides more tips and a list of items to include in your kits, as well as links to handy checklists you can download from the sites of national emergency planning and response agencies. Get your