Disaster Supplies

From “Disaster Supplies Kit.” developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross.

See also the BRING WITH YOU WHEN YOU EVACUATE section of Disaster Planning

There are six basics you should stock for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container–suggested items are marked with an asterisk(*). Possible containers include a covered trash container, a camping backpack, or a duffle bag.


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. Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.

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

(There’s more at: Store water for after an earthquake .


Store at least a three-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
Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
High energy foods
Food for infants
Comfort/stress foods

First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car.

Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes

Assorted sizes of safety pins

Cleansing agent/soap

Latex gloves (at least 2 pairs)


2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)

4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)

Triangular bandages (3)

2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)

3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)




Moistened towelettes



Tongue blades (2)

Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

Non-Prescription Drugs, such as

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)


Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)

Tools and Supplies

Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils*

Emergency preparedness manual*

Battery-operated radio and extra batteries*

Flashlight (electric torch) and extra batteries*

Cash or traveler’s checks, change*

Non-electric can opener, utility knife*

Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type

Tube tent




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


Plastic sheeting

Map of the area (for locating shelters)


Toilet paper, towelettes*

Soap, liquid detergent*

Feminine supplies*

Personal hygiene items*

Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)

Plastic bucket with tight lid


Household chlorine bleach

Clothing and Bedding

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

Sturdy shoes or work boots*

Rain gear*

Blankets or sleeping bags*

Hat and gloves

Expect aftershocks. There is a 20% chance of an equal or larger quake within a few hours.

Do not start a fire in the fireplace/woodstove to keep warm. Aftershocks could bring down your chimneys and even if you have running water right after the quake, you might not have any soon after. (To put out the fire, or just for drinking) Always keep enough full gallons of water to be able to put out the fire in a hurry, very near the fireplace. (Ours are hidden in the wood box.)

Instead of depending on a fire to keep warm, you need:

Thermal underwear

(see a description of what to use to be able to stay warm)


Special Items

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

For Baby*




Powdered milk


For Adults*

Heart and high blood pressure medication


Prescription drugs

KEEP THE PRESCRIPTIONS REFILLED. You might not be able to get refills for days after a earthquake or winter storm power outage or a coronavirus outbreak when people are asked to sequester at home.

Denture needs

Contact lenses and supplies

Extra eye glasses


Games and books

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)

emergency information form

Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the supplies kit in the trunk of your car.

Keep items in airtight plastic bags.

Replace 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.


A family (and babysitters, caregivers, overnight guests) disaster plan is at:

Disaster planning


As a part of preparing for the next earthquake, do a what if? survey of your home, crawl space, attic . .

earthquake home hazards survey


You can find detailed maps (with zoom in capability) of potential road closures, risk of liquefaction and flooding, such as this map of potential Bay Area road closures after a San Andreas fault 7.2 quake,

road closures san andreas fault 7.2 quake: map showing potential road closures in Santa Clara county after a san andreas fault 7.2 quake

at the ABAG link at: Earthquake information sources

Helping Children Cope With Disaster

Store water for after an earthquake

Babysitter Consent and Contact Form

Fast, easy, cheap earthquake preparedness

hazardous household chemical mixtures

Home Fire Safety Checklist

earthquake home hazards survey

Earthquake and pets advice (Consider having the vet ‘microchip’ your pets, and more…)

The author of this webpage, (written as a homework reading assignment for my students), does not give any warranty, expressed or implied, nor assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product, or process included in this website or at websites linked to or from it. Users of information from this website assume all liability arising from such use.