Emergency essentials: Putting together a survival kit

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Emergency essentials kits can help you respond to natural disasters or other serious situations. Prepare for the unexpected by putting together a survival kit that could be useful if you needed to evacuate your home. Pack enough supplies to last three days, and keep your emergency essentials handy. Make sure your family members know where to find the kit. Consider keeping basic emergency essentials in your car as well.

A basic emergency essentials kit includes:

Small, waterproof flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries

Waterproof matches

Water, 1 gallon a person for each day

Food that won’t spoil, including baby food if needed

Manual can opener for food

Pet food and supplies, such as a leash, if needed

Small notepad and waterproof writing instrument


Cellphone with solar charger

Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and a weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

Insect repellent


First-aid kit

Dust mask

Plastic sheeting and duct tape for improvised shelter

Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Medicine, a week’s supply

Extra medical supplies or equipment, as needed, including infant supplies and infant food

Soap, toothbrush, feminine supplies and other personal care items

Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

Emergency health information for you and your family

Phone numbers for professional emergency contacts, such as your family doctor and pediatrician

Phone numbers for a personal emergency contact, such as a friend or a family member you’ve asked to serve in this role

Copy of insurance cards

Cash or traveler’s checks and change

Paper maps of the area (as your phone might not be charged!)

An extra set of car keys and house keys


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