Supply List for Disaster Preparation (2024)

The M+G+R Foundation

Supply List for Disaster Preparation

A Guest Document by Lee Penn


: This document is available, with exactly the same contents, in PDF (printable) format. Please remember that, in case of a major disaster, your computer or smart phone may not be available. It is better for you to print it now and keep it safe before any emergency.

Suply List for Disaster Preparation - Version in PDF Format

This list of preparedness suggestions was originally prepared for a neighborhood disaster planning group in northern California in 2004. It addresses physical preparation for natural and man-made disasters.

Spiritual preparation is even more important; a Christian perspective on this is may be found at

Highest-priority items for earthquakes, blackouts, storms, and similar events

• Water – 1 gallon per person per day for 3 days

• Non-perishable food – 3 days’ supply per person

• Prescription medications – 3 days’ supply per person

• First aid supplies

• Portable, battery-powered radio

• Flashlights and lanterns

• Supplies for babies and toddlers – 3 days’ supply per child

• Sanitation items – 3 days’ supply per person

How long to prepare for?

• Minimum: most sources call for being prepared to be self-sufficient for 3 days. The Los Angeles Fire Department recommends 7 days as a minimum for earthquake preparation.

• Maximum: FEMA says: “consider having additional supplies for sheltering or home confinement for up to two weeks.” Los Angeles recommends preparing for up to 3 weeks.

What’s on this list

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Rescue teams will need the same supplies as individuals and families, as well as the additional items specified for rescuers.

Food and water



Financial and legal


Health and first aid




Pet care

Baby and child care

In-office emergency/evacuation kit

In-home evacuation kit

Supplies for the disabled

Emergency preparation check lists used

Where to buy

Food and water

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• Water

• Minimum: 1 gallon per day per person, for 3 days.

• Double this amount for hot weather.

Children, nursing mothers, the ill, and those who are doing heavy physical work may need more than 1 gallon per day.

• Water quantity includes needs for drinking (2 quarts/day), food preparation, and sanitation.

• If stored food includes powdered and dehydrated food, additional water may be needed.

• Place acquisition date on containers. Rotate every 3-6 months.

• Even if water supplies are scant, give people as much water as they need to maintain health, as long as supplies hold. People can survive weeks of short food rations; short water rations can lead to dehydration, serious illness, and death within days.

• If traveling by auto, added water may be needed for the radiator.

• Food

• Store at least 3-7 days’ supply for the household

• Place acquisition date on containers. Rotate every 6 months. (Some food will keep longer than this period; check for leaks, rust, bulges in cans, mold, bad smells, etc. before consuming.)

• Food can be rationed, except for children and pregnant women.

Ideas about food to purchase for storage, and usable items from routine food supplies. Try to approximate what the family will eat in normal circ*mstances:

• Packaged food: hikers’ supplies; military-style “Meals Ready to Eat,” etc.

• Canned or dried meat, poultry, or fish

• Hard sausage (salami, etc.) that does not need refrigeration

• Canned or dried fruit

• Canned vegetables

• Fruit or vegetable juices - canned or boxed or powdered

• Milk (dairy or soy) - canned or boxed or dried

• Dried eggs

• Hard cheese (i.e., Parmesan) that does not need refrigeration

• Soup - canned or dried

• Nut butters – check labels, to ensure that opened jars do not need refrigeration. (Nuts can go rancid after long storage; taste a small amount to test.)

• Jellies, jams, and honey

• Crackers

• Granola bars, etc. (Items with nuts can go rancid after long storage.)

• Trail mix (Items with nuts can go rancid after long storage.)

• Nuts ((Nuts can go rancid after long storage; taste a small amount to test.)

• Vitamins - i.e., one-a-day multivitamins

• Cookies

• Hard candy (has a very long shelf life)

• Instant coffee, tea, or cocoa

• Dry or instant cereals

• Salt

• Pepper

• Sugar

• Sodas and/or sport drinks (i.e., Gatorade) Note that sodas can go flat, and may have a shelf life of less than 6 months. Ensure that soda has not fermented or acquired mold. As an alternative, consider using powdered drinks with water.

• Manual can opener

• Water purification

• Household chlorine bleach – unscented; no other active ingredients

• 1 gallon.

• Use to purify domestic water supply – 16 drops of bleach per gallon of cloudy water, and 8 drops per gallon of clear water.

• Medicine dropper, to measure bleach for water purification

• Water purification kit (as an alternative to bleach)

• Cheese cloth (to strain particles from water)

• Cooking devices, for use without electricity

• Camp stove or gas barbeque stove – propane is preferable, since its fuel is safer to store

• Fuel for stove

• Use emergency stove outdoors only

• A charcoal barbeque pit is an alternative; have coal, starter fluid, and matches on hand.

• Paper plates and cups

• Plastic utensils (forks, spoons, knives)

• Large plastic trash bags, to hold litter


Back to Index Previous Next Section

• Change of clothes/shoes – 1 or 2 per person

• Heavy clothes

• Heavy boots and/or shoes; break in before the emergency

• Socks for heavy shoes

• Heavy work gloves

• Sun glasses and hats

• Rain gear

• Rain hats

• Rain coats

• Protective pants

• Waterproof ponchos

• Clothing repair items

• Sewing needles

• Thread

• Cold weather clothes

• Hats

• Gloves

• Parkas

• Thermal underwear

• Additional items needed for rescue teams:

• Hard hat

• Helmets

• Latex gloves

• Goggles or other eye protection

• Dust mask

• Knee pads

• Identifying vests and other ID


Back to Index Previous Next Section

• Emergency preparedness manual

• Guidelines are also in pp. B-1 to B-6 of the local White Pages in many areas.

• Utility knife (i.e., Swiss Army knife; box cutter)

• Razor blades

• Lighting

• Automatic power failure lights

• These plug into wall sockets, and automatically turn on if the power fails; the LA fire department estimates their cost at $10-20 each.

• Flashlights; LED flashlights are preferable.

• Chemical light sticks; caution: they break easily, and need to be packed with care as a fragile item

• Battery-powered lanterns

• These are preferable to candles or to lanterns which use flammable fuel

• Matches, preferably in waterproof container

• Hand-held FRS radios for communications within your group, when cell phones are down (as they will be during a major disaster). These devices are similar to walkie-talkies, and will have a 2-4 mile communications radius.

• Portable, battery powered AM/FM radio

• Ideal: radio with short wave capability.

• Learn the location of short wave stations, and how to use the radio, before the emergency.

• Extra sets of batteries for battery powered devices (flashlights, radios, etc.)

• Be sure to rotate battery supplies!

• Fire extinguisher – ABC type (multi-purpose)

• Los Angeles recommends dry chemical fire extinguisher, with “minimum size rating of 2A-10BC.”

• Rope – ½” coil – 25-50 feet

• Los Angeles also recommends ¼” and ¾” rope coils

• Coil of wire

• Basic tools

• Screwdrivers - regular and Phillips

• Pliers

• Hammer and nails

• Adjustable shutoff wrenches for gas and water

• Know how to shut off gas, water, and electricity before the emergency. (Turn off gas only if building is significantly damaged, or if a leak is detected/suspected.)

• Hardware stores in quake-prone areas often sell wrenches specifically designed for utility shut-off; hang this by the back door.

• Duct tape and masking tape

• Garden hose

• Broom and dust pan

• Whistle

• Self-defense devices

• Additional items needed for rescue teams:

• Additional bulbs as needed for flashlights and lanterns

• Rescue tools for prying, cutting, and battering

• Axe or maul; 6 lb. minimum.

• Crow bar or claw tool – 36” or longer

• Saw

• Other carpentry tools

• Shovels – flat head and pointed

• Ladder

• Signal flare

Financial and legal

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• Cash – small bills and change.

• Travelers’ checks may not be usable during some emergencies

• Quarters - $10 roll, for use in pay phones

• Credit card/ATM card

• Not a substitute for cash, if the emergency causes widespread power failures or banking system difficulties

• Personal ID, for every family member

• Items that may be needed if evacuating:

• Watch

• Cell phone and adapter

• Paper, in zip-lock bag

• Pens

• Stamps

• Critical household and financial documents, if evacuating; keep in waterproof container:

• Wills, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds

• Passports, social security cards, immunization records

• Bank and brokerage account numbers; contact numbers

• Credit card and loan account numbers; contact numbers

• Inventory of household goods

• Essential phone numbers and addresses

• Birth certificates, marriage certificates, adoption records, custody papers, immigration records, and other family records and legal papers

• Contact list - friends and family

• List of doctors

Health insurance ID

• Laptop computer with all personal and business documents

• Backup CD or DVD of personal and business documents

• Religious/devotional items

• Entertainment items: books, games, cards, etc.

• Additional items that may be needed by rescue teams:

• Note pad, with pens and pencils, in zip-lock bag

• Marker pens in various colors

• Other supplies, as dictated by the management of the rescue teams


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• Toilet paper

• Feminine hygiene supplies

• Waste management

• Heavy duty aluminum foil

• Plastic wrap

• Zip-lock bags

• Heavy duty, large plastic garbage bags, with ties – i.e., 30 gallons or larger

• Small and medium-size plastic bags

• Large trash cans

• Plastic buckets with tight lids

• Chemical toilet (i.e., portable camp toilet)

• Paper towels

• Disinfectant solution (i.e., rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide)

• Spray disinfectant

• Cleaning

• Bar soap

• Liquid detergent

• Waterless hand wipes (i.e., Handi-Wipes, Wet-N-Drys)

• Grooming

• Safety razors and other shaving supplies

• Nail clipper and file

• Hair comb or brush

• Shampoo

• Deodorant

• Dental needs

• Toothpaste

• Toothbrush

• Dental floss

• Denture supplies

Health and first aid

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• First aid kit

• Medication for pain relief

• Bandages

• 2-4 sanitary napkins (for control of bleeding)

• Sterile eye pads

• Sterile adhesive bandages (i.e., Band-Aids) - assorted sizes

• Butterfly bandages

• 2-inch sterile gauze pads (2-4)

• 3 X 3-inch sterile gauze pads (2-4)

• 4 X 4-inch sterile gauze pads – (2-4)

• 5 X 9-inch sterile dressing (1)

• Hypoallergenic adhesive tape - 1 inch and 2 inch widths, 1 roll each

• Rotate every 6 months

• Triangular bandages (2)

• 2-inch, 3-inch and 4-inch sterile roller bandages (2-3 rolls) - Kerlex, Kling, etc.

• Use to wrap over dressings and to secure splints

• Ace bandage

• Packs for injuries

• Chemical ice packs – 2

• Instant hot packs

• Instruments

• Scissors

• Tweezers

• Sterile needles

• Thermometer - digital, preferably

• Tongue blades (2)

• Cleansing and disinfection

• Moistened towelettes

• Cotton swabs

• Antibiotic ointment

• Antiseptic solution (i.e., iodine)

• Waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer

• Antiseptic wipes

• Rubbing alcohol

• Soap

• Crazy glue (use after cleaning wound, to close wound as an emergency alternative to stitches)

• Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

• Safety pins - assorted sizes

• Latex gloves (2 pair) – medical grade

• Pen light or small flashlight

• Additional items for rescue team or for an apartment complex:

• Saline solution

• Splints

• Additional quantities of items listed above

• Surgical masks

• Pocket mask for CPR

• First aid manual (i.e., Red Cross)

• Prescription medicines and essential non-prescription medications for each family member

• Prescription medicines - ensure that they are current

• Insulin and other diabetic supplies

• Heart and high blood pressure medication

• List of all prescriptions for each family member

• Non-prescription medicines – examples:

• Aspirin

• Non-aspirin pain relievers

• Anti-diarrhea medicine

• Antacid/Pepto-Bismol

• Laxatives - or fiber packets

• Eye drops

• Ear and nose drops

• Antihistamine

• Medications for cold and cough

• Water in foil packets, for use with medicine

• Assistive devices, as applicable

• Eye glasses, preferably with hard case

• Extra pair of contact lenses

• Contact lens supplies (cleaner, disinfectant solution, etc.)

• Batteries for hearing aids and other assistive devices


Back to Index Previous Next Section

• Camp supplies, if evacuating, or if the house is uninhabitable

• Compass

• Sleeping bag

• Lantern

• Backpack; heavy duty

• Thermal blankets (i.e., aluminum space blanket), or other warm blankets

• Tarps (PVC or canvas, 8 ft. by 10 ft.)

• Durable/outdoor pillow

• Heavy duty cooking and eating utensils (i.e., mess kits)

• Extra pair of house keys

• Sun screen

• Insect repellent with DEET

• Insecticide spray

• Window replacement

• Plastic tape

• Heavy, clear plastic sheeting

• Staple gun, with spare staples


Back to Index Previous Next Section

• Surge suppressors

• Extra fuses

• Inverters to hook up to car batteries, to run small 120-volt devices


Back to Index Previous Next Section

• Automobile

• Keep gas tank at least half full

• Extra pair of car keys

• City and regional road map

• In-auto emergency kit

• Day pack or carrying bag

• Non-perishable food

• Manual can opener, if needed for items kept here

• Water (bottles or pouches)

• Transistor radio and batteries

• Flashlight and batteries

• First aid kit

• Work gloves

• Several days of essential medication

• Blanket, sleeping bag, or space blanket

• Sealable plastic bags

• Pre-moistened towelettes

• Matches and lighter

• Walking shoes and extra socks

• Change of clothes

• Jacket

• Cash – small bills and coins

• Flares

• Jumper cables

• Tool kit: screw drivers (regular and Phillips), pliers (needle, water pump, and regular), hammer, wrenches (crescent and open end/box end), etc.

• Spare parts, for emergency parts replacement

• Bicycle

• Bicycle repair kit, pumps, and other spare parts

Pet care

Back to Index Previous Next Section

• Food

• Water

• Restraint - leash or carrier

• Medication

Baby and child care

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• Formula

• Bottles

• Pacifier

• Soap and baby powder

• Baby wipes

• Diapers - disposable

• Clothing

• Blankets

• Food - canned or bottled; non-perishable

• Juices - canned or bottled; non-perishable

• Powdered milk

• Medications

In-office emergency/evacuation kit

Back to Index Previous Next Section

• Prepare to be stranded for up to 72 hours

• Consider purchase of a pre-packaged earthquake supply kit

• Container: duffle bag or day pack

• Dry food: candy bars, dried fruit, cookies, crackers, dried meat, etc.

• Drinks in bottles or pouches – water, fruit juice, etc.

• Walking shoes

• Essential prescription medications

• Routine over-the-counter medications

• Flashlight and batteries

• Chemical light sticks

• Matches

• Transistor radio with extra batteries

• Small and large plastic bags

• Personal hygiene items

In-home evacuation kit

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• Container: backpack, duffle bag, or covered, clean trash can

• Contents:

• 3 days of essential supplies for family members

• See list of items for auto emergency kit

Supplies for the disabled

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• Depends on the specific needs of each disabled person.

• Examples:

• Wheelchair batteries

• Oxygen tanks

• Catheters

• Supplies for guide dogs or hearing dogs

Emergency preparation check lists used

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• Pacific Gas & Electric preparedness list, 2003

• California Governor's Office of Emergency Services - "Emergency Supplies Checklist," at$file/Checklist.pdf

• ABC news story, 2/11/03 "Emergency planning - FEMA offers tips for creating a disaster plan"

• ABC news story, 2/12/03, “Are You Ready? – Tips on Preparing Your Home to Weather Terrorism Attack”

• FEMA/Red Cross pamphlet, "Your Family Disaster Plan"

• FEMA/Red Cross pamphlet, "Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit"

• Disaster preparedness and first aid information in the local White Pages

• American Red Cross, “Disaster Supplies Kit,” 2003

• Los Angeles Fire Department, “Emergency Preparedness,” August 2008 edition, on-line at, viewed 02/07/09.

• Neal Rawls and Sue Kovach, Be Alert, Be Aware, Have a Plan: The Complete Guide to Personal Security, Lyons Press, 2002, 1st ed. A good, comprehensive preparation and security book; available through Amazon.

• Working documents prepared in 2003 and 2004 from the Corwin St./Douglass St. Disaster Planning group, a San Francisco neighborhood disaster planning committee.

Where to buy

Back to Index Previous

Aside from buying the above items at local retailers, another option is on-line purchase of emergency kits (evacuation kits, at-office kits, first aid kits, food for long-term storage, and the like). These retailers tend to be expensive, but offer convenience.

• Examples:

• Emergency Preparedness Service, at

• Emergency Preparedness Information Center, at

Related Documents in The M+G+R Foundation domain

Legislative Update - Emergency Preparedness

Additional Emergency Suggestion - Part 1

What is the closest Natural Nuclear Bunker to your home?

Advising the householder on protection against Nuclear Attack

The danger from an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) - Lessons to be learned from Puerto Rico and North Korea

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The M+G+R Foundation

“But you watch. Behold, I have told you all things beforehand.” [Mk 13:23]

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