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Get A Starter Kit

Red Cross Store: Emergency Preparedness Kits

At minimum, the American Red Cross recommends that you have the following items in your emergency kit:
  • Water: One gallon per person, per day. A three-day supply is recommended for evacuation. A two-week supply is recommended if you stay in your home. Also, don't forget to provide for your pets.
  • Non-perishable Food: Easy to open and prepare food items are preferable. A three-day supply is recommended for evacuation. A two-week supply is recommended if you stay in your home. And, don't forget to provide for your pets.
  • First aid kit
  • Medications

Whether purchasing an official Red Cross preparedness kit or assembling your own, your kit should contain items that enable you to provide comfort for a wide range of events, from everyday scrapes to life-threatening emergencies. When creating a complete disaster kit, you should pack the following emergency supplies in an easy-to-carry container or backpack:

  • Water: One gallon per person, per day (A three-day supply is recommended for evacuation.  A two-week supply is recommended if you stay in your home.)
  • Food: Non-perishable, easy-to-open and prepare food items (A three-day supply is recommended for evacuation. A two-week supply is recommended if you stay in your home.)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications and medical items (Seven-day supply)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area

Go A Step Further

Consider the needs of all family members, including children and pets, and add supplies to your kit, accordingly. Additional suggested items include:
  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, syringes, cane)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games, activities and comfort items for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener
  • 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


Remember to check your kit throughout the year to ensure that goods have not expired and that food is still safe for consumption.

Mini Kit

If you aren't able to get a full disaster kit, at minimum, we recommend that you create a "mini kit," containing the most necessary evacuation items. In the aftermath of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, survivors revealed that the following items were most needed:

  • Sneakers: In the event that you have to evacuate your home suddenly, your feet should be protected to prevent injuries that could prevent you from escaping.
  • Flashlight: If the lights or power suddenly go out, you can use your flashlight to illuminate walkways and exits.
  • Spare Glasses (if needed): For those who wear prescription eyeglasses, it's important to keep an extra pair of glasses in your kit, so that you won't unnecessarily harm yourself during an emergency.

Copyright © 2012 The American Red Cross