Preparing An Emergency Preparedness Kit

Often during an emergency, electricity, water, heat, air conditioning or telephone service may not work. All Nevadans should have some basic supplies on hand in order for a family to survive if an emergency occurs. The emergency supply kit should be robust and contain enough food, water, medications and other consumables to last up to seven to ten days. Following is a list of basic items (based on a family of four to survive for seven to ten days) that every emergency supply kit should include. Check your family emergency stockpiles, change batteries in radios and flashlights, replace or rotate food items in the kit, update any family information medications, address the special needs of the family, emergency contact information and identification cards for all members. 

An emergency preparedness kit is a first step to ensure families and businesses can sustain themselves in the event of illness outbreaks or natural disasters like severe winter storms, earthquakes, fires, and floods. Family emergency supplies can be contained in new, large trashcans, backpacks or suitcases and can be assembled over several months by adding just one or two items to a grocery list. Kits should include food, water, a first aid kit, tools, copies of important documents, clothing and bedding, medications, and pet supplies.

Basic Disaster Supply Kit

To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • 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
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit - First aid manual, assortment of sterile gauze pads and adhesive bandages, medical tape, ace bandage, CPR mask, Quik Clot, over-the-counter drugs (aspirin, antidiarrheal medications, and activated charcoal), antiseptic ointment, soap, nitrile gloves, SAM splint, oropharyngeal airways set, thermometer, tweezers and needles, and tongue depressors.
  •  Extra batteries 
  • 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
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
  • Download the Recommended Supplies List 

Health and Hygiene Supplies

  • Prescription medication - at least one week's supply.
  • Toilet paper and Paper towels.
  • Medical equipment
  • Pre-moistened hand wipes - pre-moistened baby wipes.
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toiletries - toothpaste, deodorant, soap.
  • Feminine hygiene supplies.
  • A list of family physicians, important medical information, and the style and serial number of medical devices such as pacemakers. 

Household Supplies and Equipment

  • One gallon liquid chlorine bleach.
  • Battery-powered radio or TV.
  • Flashlights - one for each room of the house.
  • Lantern LED
  • Glow sticks
  • Extra fresh batteries for radio, TV, lantern and flashlights.
  • Whistle
  • Gasoline (if you plan to use a generator outdoors).
  • Propane fuel (if you plan to use a grill or camp stove outdoors).
  • Charcoal (if you plan to use a barbecue grill outdoors).
  • Disposable tableware, including paper towels and napkins.
  • Manual can opener, utensils and sterno for heating.
  • Plastic bags - zip sealing, garbage.
  • Fire extinguisher (small canister A-B-C type).
  • Food thermometer - able to measure temperature from 0 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit

Tools

  •  Rope (for rescue, tow, tying down property)
  • Shovel
  • Hammer and nails
  • Multi-Tool with pliers
  • 4 in 1 Emergency Tool (with gas and water shut off)
  • Reflective Vests
  • Work gloves
  • Eye Goggles
  • Utility Tape; electrical tape
  • Clean-up supplies
  • Broom and Mop
  • Buckets (5 gal min, with lids)
  • N-95 particulate masks
  • Disinfecting spray
  • Paper towels, rags (to clean with)
  • Rubber gloves, scrub brush, sponges
  • Garbage bags with ties

Additional Emergency Supplies

  • A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes for each family member. Sleeping bags, bedding or blankets for each family member. 
  • An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses and solution (be sure to check expiration dates).
  • Pet's medication, leashes, collars, ID tags, blanket, bed, carrier, toys.
  • Document Holder with identification, credit cards/traveler's checks/cash, and photocopies of important family documents including home insurance information.
  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Glasses and contact lense solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Maintaining Your Kit

After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed. Set a calendar reminder every six months to a year:

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers
  • Replace expired items as needed
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

Supply Kit Storage Locations

Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.

  • Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
  • Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
  • Vehicle: Severe weather can move in quickly and strand motorists. The best preparation for severe winter weather including strong winds and heavy rain requires planning ahead. Almost everyone carries a cell phone – keep it charged up. And at a minimum keep a blanket, radio, flashlight, batteries, a first aid kit, and a three to seven day supply of food and water in your vehicles. Don’t forget to tell friends or relatives that you’re travelling, what route you’re taking, and when you expect to arrive. This information could save your life if you get stuck. In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car