Disaster Supply Kit

Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes.  One way to prepare is by assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit.  Once disaster hits, you won't have time to shop or search for supplies.  But if you've gathered supplies in advance, your family can endure an evacuation or home confinement.

For more information about disaster preparedness for your family and community, click on the following link: http://www.fema.gov

This information was adapted from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Community and Family Preparedness Programs

Disasters can happen anytime and anywhere.  When disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond.  A highway spill of hazardous material could mean instant evacuation.  A bioterrorist event might mean you would have to shelter your family in your home for several days.  An earthquake, flood, tornado or any other disaster could cut off basic services--gas, water, electricity and telephones--for days.

After a disaster, City of Emeryville officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it may take days.  Would your family be prepared to cope with the emergency until help arrives?

To prepare your kit, review the checklist in this document and gather the supplies that are listed.  You may need them if your family is confined at home.


There are six basics, plus any special items, you should stock in your home: 

First aid supplies
Clothing and bedding
Tools and hardware
Sanitation and hygiene supplies
Special items
Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container.  The suggested items are marked with an asterisk(*).  Possible containers include a large, covered trash container; a camping backpack; or a duffle bag.

Building a Disaster Supply Kit


Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles.  Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles.  A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day.  Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more.

  • Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation/sanitation)*
  • Keep at least a five-day supply of water for each person in your household.


Store at least a five-day supply of non-perishable food.  Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water.  If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno.  Select food items that are compact and lightweight.

*Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:    

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)
  • Staples--sugar, salt, pepper
  • High energy foods--peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
  • Vitamins
  • Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets
  • Comfort/stress foods--cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags


First Aid Kit 

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should include:

  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • Triangular bandages (3)
  • 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
  • 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Needle
  • Moistened towelettes
  • Antiseptic
  • Thermometer
  • Tongue blades (2)
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Assorted sizes of safety pins
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Latex gloves (2 pair)
  • Sunscreen

Non-prescription drugs

  • Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid (for stomach upset)
  • Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
  • Laxative
  • Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)

Contact your local American Red Cross chapter to obtain a basic first aid manual.

Clothing and Bedding

*Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

  • Sturdy shoes or work boots*
  • Hat and gloves
  • Rain gear*
  • Thermal underwear
  • Blankets or sleeping bags*
  • Sunglasses

Tools and Hardware

  • Mess kits, or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils*
  • Emergency preparedness manual*
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries*
  • Flashlight and extra batteries*
  • Cash or traveler's checks, change*
  • Nonelectric can opener, utility knife*
  • Fire extinguisher: small canister, ABC type
  • Tube tent
  • Pliers
  • Tape
  • Compass
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Signal flare
  • Paper, pencil
  • Needles, thread
  • Medicine dropper
  • Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
  • Whistle
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Map of the area (for locating shelters)

Sanitation and Hygiene Supplies  

  • Toilet paper, towelettes*
  • Soap, liquid detergent*
  • Feminine supplies*
  • Personal hygiene items*
  • Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Disinfectant
  • Household chlorine bleach

Essential Items to Keep in Mind

Remember family members with special needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.

      For Baby

      Powdered milk
      For Adults

      Heart and high blood pressure medication
      Prescription drugs
      Denture needs
      Contact lenses and supplies
      Extra eye glasses
      Important Family Documents (Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container)

      Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
      Passports, social security cards, immunization records
      Bank account numbers
      Credit card account numbers and companies
      Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
      Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)

Don't forget entertainment--games and books!


  • Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members.  Keep a smaller version of the Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk of your car and at work
  • Keep items in air-tight plastic bags.
  • Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.
  • Rotate your stored food every six months.
  • Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year.  Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
  • Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.

Emergency Contact Cards

Make sure your kids carry an emergency contact card with them at all times. FEMA at Ready.gov has a Family Emergency Plan Card that you can print out or fill in on your computer. The card contains information about your child, the school, parent/guardian or caregiver, neighborhood meeting place and out of area contacts. Cut it out, fold it and put it in your child’s backpack.