How many gallons of water are in your closet? Do you have a flashlight and batteries in the car or extra medication at the office?
You won’t know where you will be when disaster occurs, so prepare emergency kits for home, work and your car.
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. However, your disaster kit may include other essential items that your family may need in the event of a disaster such as prescription medicine, diapers or spare contact lenses.
Since you may need to survive on your own after a disaster, you’ll need food, water and other supplies to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days. Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer. Or, you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you.
Disaster may also strike when you are at work or traveling, so make sure each of your vehicles contains a “go bag” – a portable emergency kit for your car. Consider items necessary for immediate safety if you must evacuate quickly while in your car. Assemble these items in a backpack or other type of container that you can lift and carry quickly. Each member of your family should have a “go bag” with an identification tag.
In a disaster, you probably won’t be able to shop for the supplies you need, so advanced preparation is key to your survival. Use these checklists to create your emergency kits.
- Check out this Build a Kit Video to learn how to build a basic kit.
- Download a printable Kit Checklist for completing your own kit.
- Purchase a Kit online at The American Red Cross of Orange County, if you don’t have time to make your own.
- See a list of appropriate food for your emergency kit.
- Download a Weekly Disaster Supplies Checklist from the American Red Cross of Orange County.
- Basic Emergency Kit
- Expanded Emergency Kit
- Emergency Documents
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Maps for Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties
- Cell phone with chargers
If you have children:
- Infant formula and diapers
- Children's prescription medications
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
If you have pets:
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Extra leashes/collars
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
Additional Items for Everyone
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Cash or traveler's checks and change
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Emergency Contact List
- Family Emergency Plan
- Drivers Licenses
- Identification Cards
- Birth Certificates
- Social Security Cards
- Medical Records
- Immunization Records
- Insurance Cards
- Bank Statements
- Credit Cards
- Investment Summaries
- Insurance Policies
- Petty Cash & Travelers Checks
- Pet Medical History Records