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Ohio Emergency Management Agency

National Preparedness Month

Build a Kit

Build a Kit

After a disaster, you may need to survive on your own for a few hours or a few days before emergency responders can get to you. This means having your own food water and basic supplies in sufficient quantity to last you and your household for a minimum of three days. An emergency preparedness kit is a collection of basic items that your household may need in the event of an emergency.

When building a kit, you don’t need to go to a department store and buy everything at once. You may already have a lot of items in your home. And if not, when you can afford to, purchase one or two additional items on your disaster kit checklist when you do your grocery shopping. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find.

To assemble your kit, you can store items in airtight plastic bags or place items in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic totes/bins or a duffel bag.

Recommended Items for a Basic Disaster Supply Kit
  • Water – 1 gallon of water per person, per day for at least 3 days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-operated or hand-crank radio or NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight, extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Additional Disaster Supply Items
  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids
  • Eye glasses, contacts and contact lens solution  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash, change or traveler’s checks
  • Important family documents, such as copies of insurance policies, ID and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Change of clothing, undergarments, shoes
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil/pen
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.

Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supply kits for your home, work and vehicles.

Home – Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept. Children can also have their personal to-go kit stored in a cinch-sac or backpack.

Work – Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines and comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab & go” case.

Vehicle – In case you’re stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.

Supply kit checklists for the home, vehicle, citizens with special needs, and pets, can be found at www.weathersafety.ohio.gov (see the dark green box, “Severe Weather Preparedness”).


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