A portable, short-term emergency kit is an essential part of an emergency preparedness plan. These kits are meant to help you survive on your own during a disaster that requires you to evacuate the affected area. An emergency kit should contain at least enough supplies to last three days, and up to as much as you can carry on foot. This might include supplies in a backpack, duffle bag, and/or a rolling suitcase. Each member of your household should have at least one kit appropriate for his or her needs. These kits should be easily accessible near and exit in your home. This way you’ll be able to grab them during a home evacuation and carry them with you on your way to a safe place. You might also consider storing additional kits in vehicles, at work, or in a child’s school backpack as appropriate.
These kits are often called 72-hour kits, evacuation kits, bug-out bags, grab-and-go kits, disaster supply kits, or emergency kits. Whatever you call it, there are basic items that belong in an emergency kit. At the very least, a kit should have enough water and food for three days. Other items that contribute to safety and comfort might include:
- items that provide warmth or cooling
- light sources
- a first aid kit
- communication devices
- sanitation items
- extra clothing
- cash (small denominations)
- important papers
- stress relieving items (books, pen and paper, toys, games, etc.)
- special needs items (medications, glasses/contacts, etc.)
See our Emergency Kit Checklist and related Insight Articles for more information on emergency kits.