Work on gathering some hardware and supplies to protect and shelter your family in the hours and days following a disaster.

Your task: Build a tool kit of essential supplies.

Following a disaster, you may not be able to depend on the usual comfort and protection of your home, or the assistance of emergency responders. This tool kit will give you some essential supplies for surviving the elements until assistance arrives. Store these items in a common location that can most easily be reached when the safety of your home may be compromised, such as your garage or a tool shed.


  • Battery powered radio or television, with extra batteries.
  • NOAA weather radio (if service is available in your area).
  • Flashlights with extra batteries (LED lights are more efficient and durable).
  • “Old fashioned” corded telephone (phone service may work even though your power is out).
  • Satellite phone, if you don’t mind bearing the subscription fees.
  • Matches in a water-proof container, or water-resistant matches.
  • Gas shut-off wrench (make sure it fits your gas valve).
  • Duct tape.
  • Plastic sheeting or tarps.
  • Scissors.
  • Whistle (preferably one for each member of your family).
  • Signal flares.
  • Compass.
  • Work gloves.
  • Paper, pens and pencils.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Needles and thread.
  • Rope (suggest 1⁄2” diameter, 20’ length).
  • Staple gun (with staples).
  • Hammer, screwdrivers, pliers.
  • Rubber bands.
  • Disposable camera.

Kitchen Items:

  • Manual can opener.
  • Paper cups and plates, plastic utensils.
  • All-purpose knife.
  • Liquid bleach (to treat water).
  • Aluminum foil and plastic wrap.
  • Re-sealable (“Ziploc”) bags.
  • Camping stove with can of cooking fuel.

Comfort Items:

  • Games.
  • Cards.
  • Books.
  • Toys (for kids).
  • Blankets and pillows.
  • Jackets, sweatshirts, rain gear.