Customize Your Kit
For older people, children, and people with disabilities, it’s more important than ever to be prepared for emergencies. Consider customizing your kit with the following items if you fall into one of these categories or if you’ll be caring for someone who does:
- Store your supplies in a bag or container that has wheels.
- Keep support items, such as wheelchairs and walkers, in a designated place so they can be found quickly.
- Label any equipment, such as wheelchairs, canes, or walkers, with your name, address, and phone numbers.
- Medical supplies (prescriptions, syringes, etc.)
- Keep hearing aids and other assistive devices (with extra batteries) in your By the Bed Kit.
- Learn more about preparedness for seniorshere: https://preparesocal.org/programs/seniors
- Baby food (bottles, formula, baby food)
- Diapers and wipes
- Games, activities, and favorite toys
- Favorite non-perishable snacks and treats
For People with Disabilities
- Information about the style and serial numbers of the assistive devices you use
- Medical alert tags or bracelets or written descriptions of your disability and support needs, in case you are unable to describe the situation in an emergency
- Medical insurance cards, Medicare/Medicaid cards, physician contact information
- List of your allergies and health history; if you have allergies or chemical sensitivities, be sure to include items that you are able to use for personal hygiene and cleanup
- List of local non-profit or community-based organizations that know you or assist people with access and functional needs similar to yours
- Backup supplies for any visual aids you use
- Extra hearing aids, if you have them, and extra batteries for hearing aids.
- Battery chargers for motorized wheelchairs or other battery-operated medical/assistive technology devices
- Supplies for your service animal.
- A laminated personal communication board, if you might need assistance with being understood or understanding others
- If you use a motorized wheelchair, have a light weight manual chair available for emergencies. Know the size and weight of your wheelchair, in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported.
- Medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof container) and a First Aid kit.
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can’t escape.
- Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.
- Food, drinkable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and manual can opener.
- Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
- Pet bed or toys if easily transportable.
- A list of “pet friendly” places, animal shelters, or boarding facilities, including phone numbers (pets are not permitted in Red Cross shelters).
- The ASPCA recommends using a rescue sticker alert to let people know that pets are inside your home.
- A deck of cards or other games (you might need to pass long hours without electricity).
- Non-perishable snacks and treats (dried fruit and nuts, candy, etc.).
- Comfort items and toys if you have children.
- Any other items that would make your family feel secure in an emergency.
Additional Supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area;
- N95 or surgical masks
- Rain gear
- Work gloves
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Household liquid bleach (For sanitizing water)
- Entertainment items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
Remember to check your kit twice a year to ensure that goods have not expired and that food is still safe to eat. (Tip: a good way to remember to check your kit every 6 months is to inspect it in spring and fall you change your clocks between standard and daylight time).