Build an Emergency Kit During Emergency Preparedness Month
Emergency Supplies Will Help Sustain You and Your Family During Disasters
FRAMINGHAM, MA – During Emergency Preparedness Month, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) encourages individuals and families to ensure that every home has an emergency kit.
“Having an emergency kit in your home is an essential component of personal and family preparedness,” said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “Emergency kits should include essentials items that will help sustain you and your family for up to three days in the event you are isolated in your home without power during a disaster.”
While it is important to customize your kit to meet the unique needs of you and your family, every emergency kit should include bottled water, food, a flashlight, a radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, sanitation items, and clothing. Depending on your family’s needs, emergency kits should also include medications, extra eyeglasses, medical equipment and supplies, children’s items such as diapers and formula, food and supplies for pets and service animals, and other items you or your family members might need during a disaster.
Key Items to Include in Your Emergency Kit
- Water: At least a three-day supply of bottled water (one gallon per person/per day) and water purification tablets
- Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods that do not need to be cooked or heated, such as ready-to-eat canned meats, juice, protein or granola bars, cereal, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, baby food, comfort foods
- Tools and Supplies: Manual can opener, radio (battery-powered or hand crank), flashlight or lantern, extra batteries, cell phone with charger, wrench, pliers, and other basic tools
- Personal Items: Prescription and over-the-counter medications (two-week supply), personal hygiene items, eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures, extra batteries and supplies for medical equipment, extra clothes, sturdy shoes
- Pets: Collar, leash, harness, crate, food, bowls, medication, current photo, license and medical information
- Documents: Insurance policies, bank account records, identification cards (IDs), medical information, contact information for family members and close friends, and copies of other important documents
- Money: Extra cash and traveler’s checks (banks may not be open and ATMs may not work during a power outage)
- Other Items: First-aid kit, emergency whistle, waterproof matches/lighter, local area maps, diapers, wipes, formula, and baby food and supplies (if needed)
Also consider adding:
- A watch or clock
- Household chlorine bleach, which can serve as an emergency disinfectant
- Camp stove or grill with fuel or canned heat, neither of which should be used indoors
- Disposable plates, cups, and utensils
- Duct tape, plastic sheeting or tarp
- Seasonal items to protect against the elements
- Books, games, puzzles, and other comfort items
- Sleeping bags or blankets.
A complete printer-friendly list of supplies for emergency kits is available at: Emergency Kit Checklist .
Check your kit at least annually for food, water, batteries, or other items that may need to be replaced or have expired. Also consider building a mobile “go-bag” that includes key items in your emergency kit to take with you in case you need to evacuate to a shelter or other location.
MEMA is the state agency charged with ensuring the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, including natural hazards, accidents, deliberate attacks, and technological and infrastructure failures. MEMA's staff of professional planners, communications specialists and operations and support personnel is committed to an all hazards approach to emergency management. By building and sustaining effective partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies, and with the private sector - individuals, families, non-profits and businesses - MEMA ensures the Commonwealth's ability to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating threats and hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response, and strengthening our capacity to rebuild and recover. For additional information about MEMA and Emergency Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema.
Massachusetts Alerts: to receive emergency information on your smartphone, including severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA, download the Massachusetts Alerts free app. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit: www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.