If your home and belongings were damaged by a natural disaster, a basic emergency preparedness kit can help you get through the first few days until you can get on to recovery. Consider having at least two emergency supply kits. One full kit at home and smaller portable kits at work or in your vehicle can help. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends some of these basics and unique or additional items to think about including in your emergency supply kits:

Think about what you might need in at least the first three days after a natural disaster. Here are some suggestions for basic supplies to keep in this kit:

  • First aid kit
  • Bottled drinking water. A gallon per person, per day.
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery-powered or hand crank weather radio
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Blankets or Sleeping Bags
  • Whistle. To signal for help.
  • Dust masks. To help filter contaminated air.
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape. To create a makeshift shelter.
  • Sanitation and hygiene supplies. Disposable moist towels, garbage bags.
  • Wrench or pliers. To turn off utilities like gas and water.
  • Contact names and numbers. Cell phone. Chargers or backup batteries.

You and your family may have unique needs that need to be met in an emergency. Think about whether your kit should include any of the following:

  • Cash
  • Important documents. Copies of insurance policies, IDs and bank account records in a waterproof container.
  • Clothing. Include sturdy shoes.
  • Basics for hygiene
  • Medication
  • Infant formula
  • Diapers
  • Food, medication and water for pets
  • Spare prescription eyewear
  • Hearing aid batteries
  • Denture supplies
  • Feminine hygiene
  • Chlorine bleach (without scent or other additives) and a medicine dropper. To treat water in an emergency.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • A camping mess kit. Or a supply of disposable cups, plates, and plastic utensils
  • Paper, pencils, books, or activities for children

In the wake of a natural disaster, demand spikes for some tools and supplies, store shelves tend to be depleted quickly and it can be difficult for retailers to restock quickly if roads are blocked. Having any of the following items on-hand can help you recover more quickly if an emergency strikes.

For power loss:

  • Back-up generator and oil
  • Gasoline
  • Battery or solar powered lanterns

For water damage:

  • Mold, mildew cleaners
  • Mop
  • Dehumidifier
  • Wet/dry vacuum

For debris like downed branches:

  • Chain saw and protective mask
  • Axe
  • Hand saw and pruners
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Heavy-duty trash bags

For basic damage clean up and repair:

  • Cordless power tools. Reciprocating saw. Drill.
  • Hammer
  • Nails and screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Tarps
  • Rope, bungee cords, zip ties
  • Work boots or heavy shoes
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection