Build a family emergency preparedness kit

Heavy oak tree damaging house roof

Basic kit supplies should include:

  • Water – one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Non-perishable food – at least a several-day supply
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio – with tone alert and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask – to help filter contaminated air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape – to form a temporary shelter
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties – for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers – to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for any canned food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

For a more complete kit, consider adding:

  • Masks, soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended people include these additional items to protect against the spread of coronavirus and other viruses
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, ID and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first-aid book
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children


From the Federal Emergency Management Agency and

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only. Horace Mann Insurance Company and its affiliates underwrite Horace Mann home insurance.