Build a Kit

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency.  This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity 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.  In addition, basic services may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer such as:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Sewage Treatment
  • Telephones
  • Water


1. BASIC EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT  for your family should include the following:

  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants, and sturdy shoes.  Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • 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.
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.  Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) - developed by Operation Hope, FEMA, and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.


  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charge
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Local maps
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Food for your pets


In any emergency, a family member or you yourself may be cut, burned or suffer other injuries. If you have these basic supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones when they are hurt. Remember, many injuries are not life-threatening and do not require immediate medical attention. Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. Consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.


  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection
  • Burn ointment to prevent infection
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic wipes to disinfect
  • Eyewash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine, and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
  • Thermometer
  • Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex)


  • Cell phone with charger
  • Scissors
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricants
  • Tweezers


  • Antacid (for upset stomach)
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Laxative


  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water.
  • Pack a manual can opener and eating utensils.
  • Avoid salty foods, as they will make you thirsty.
  • Choose foods your family will eat.


  • Canned Juices
  • Canned Meats, Fruits and Vegetables
  • Comfort/Stress Foods
  • Crackers
  • Dried Fruit
  • Dry Cereal or Granola
  • Food for Infants
  • High Energy Foods
  • Non-Perishable Pasteurized Milk
  • Nuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Protein or Fruit Bars
  • Vitamins


If you’re on the road when an emergency strikes or you have to evacuate, you’ll want to have these supplies on hand:

  • Bottled water and non-perishable food items
  • First-aid kit and manual
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Local maps
  • Seasonal supplies to combat weather condition like blankets, gloves, etc.
  • Tire repair kit, booster/jumper cables, pump and flares
  • White distress flag


  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days is the minimum, for drinking and sanitation. Because of the Texas heat, more water is better.
  • Children, nursing mothers, and sick people may need more water.
  • Store water tightly in clean plastic containers such as soft drink bottles.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person.