Be Ready for an Emergency!

Even with the best alert systems in place, there is often little to no warning when severe weather or natural disasters strike. The best time to prepare is now.  Plan ahead for wind, rain, ice, or snow in case you need to survive on your own for a few days.

Every household should have an emergency supply kit on hand. The kit should include basic items you and your family may need in the event of an emergency.  It should be made ahead of time, stored in a protected area, and easy to move.  A basic emergency supply kit should include the recommended items below.

  • Water – one gallon of water per person (and pet) per day, for at least 3 days.
  • Food – shelf-stable, for at least 3 days
    • Canned meats, fish, and beans
    • Canned fruits and vegetables
    • Peanut butter or other nut butters
    • Dried foods, jerky, trail mix or granola
  • Manual can opener
  • Waterproof matches
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight or reliable light source
  • Batteries in a variety of sizes
  • Toilet paper
  • Unscented bleach and measuring spoon
  • Disposable plates and utensils
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Plastic zip top bags

In addition to the recommended items above you may want to include a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and blankets. The foods to include will depend on your family’s taste and any special dietary needs. Including a few treats like hard candy, chocolate, or coffee will help keep spirits up. You may also want to include a few activities or toys like a deck of cards or books if you have kids.

Check your emergency kit every six months and replace the water. Check use by dates on the food and batteries as well. Replace and restock items as needed.  For more information on preparing for an emergency, visit

Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Source: Annhall Norris, Extension Specialist, Food Preservation and Safety