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Emergency Survival Kit & Checklist for Home

Posted by JT Hats

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Below find our recommendations for a complete, long-term home emergency kit. After the list you'll find a link for printing out a more compact, checklist version.

A note about FEMA
Why didn't we just use the Federal Emergency Management Agency's list? You can read more about that here.


  • Bottled water — one gallon per person per day
  • Backpacker's water filter
  • Chlorine dioxide water treatment tablets
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Five gallon bucket with strong handle and tight-fitting lid for drinking water storage


  • Canned or other non-perishable food — meals ready to eat or easily heated
  • Manual can opener
  • Disposable eating utensils
  • Camper's mess kits

Personal Care

  • First-aid kit — including prescription medicines, antibiotic ointments and bandages
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Dust mask — several for every family member
  • Handwipes, toilet paper, and other hygienic supplies
  • Chamberpot
  • Infant formula and diapers for small children
  • Glasses or contact lenses with cleaning solution
  • Medicine dropper


  • Bicycles
  • Bike tire repair kit
  • Hard hats


  • Extra clothing — one set per person
  • Outerwear appropriate for the season
  • Walking shoes


  • Pillows and blankets or sleeping bags
  • Tent — with enough floor space for the entire family. Seams should be sealed ahead of time.


  • Pocket knife — One for every family member old enough to handle one
  • Flashlights — one per person. Look for waterproof, LED, hand-rechargeable lights
  • Crescent wrench and pipe wrench — for shutting off utility valves
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Tarps or heavy plastic sheeting
  • A roll of heavy-duty trash bags
  • Backpacking stove with fuel
  • Duct tape
  • Electrician's tape and stretch-activated plumber's epoxy tape (optional)
  • Compass
  • Longnosed electrician's pliers
  • Waterproof matches
  • Lighter
  • Candles
  • Lightsticks
  • Spark-generating permanent match (optional)
  • Signal flare
  • Emergency flashers or metal signal mirrors
  • Whistles
  • Carpenter's hammer
  • Full-sized demolition crowbar
  • Japanese-style pruning saw
  • Fireman's axe
  • Urban survival knife


  • Battery- or crank-powered radio, TV or NOAA weather radio
  • Cell phone or CB radio with crank generator for charging. An old cell phone without a current service contract will still have the ability to make emergency 9-1-1 calls.
  • Extra batteries for all items

Other Items

  • Cash — enough for gas, food and hotels for several days
  • Games, books and/or toys for everyone
  • A leash or carrying container for the family pet
  • Local map
  • Needles and thread
  • Lots of paper and pens/pencils
  • Unscented chlorine bleach
  • Documents — insurance policies, important phone numbers, banking information, and proof of occupancy including a utility bill, lease or mortgage. Store in waterproof container.

Printable Checklist

Getting Started

Any emergency kit list is going to be long and a bit overwhelming. But assembling any kind of kit, even a minimal one, can be essential for your family's survival in case of a disaster. Start small, gathering a short list of critical supplies in an easy-to-access area of the house. Then add to your kit over time. Once you've gotten started, you'll find that a putting together a complete kit is within reach and will help you sleep better at night.

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