Emergency Supplies to Take to a Shelter

Items to Include

In the case of an evacuation, families should prepare to take care of themselves without outside help for several days. The average amount of time for an evacuation is three days.

  • Sleeping bags or two blankets per person. Most shelters will be located in schools and other public buildings. While they will have a limited amount of supplies, you and your family will be much more comfortable if you bring your own supplies.
  • Emergency preparation guides. Get these now. They contain valuable information not only on the immediate emergency, but what you need to do and know to recover – such as what aid is available and signs of stress in family members
  • Water, stored in plastic bottles with screw caps; one gallon per person per day. Water services may be disrupted at the shelter as well in the early hours of an emergency. See related pages.
  • Board games for entertainment
  • Special items for infants
    • Blankets
    • Bottles and nipples
    • Clothes
    • Diapers
    • Food
    • Milk or formula
    • Portable crib
    • Powder
    • Small toys
    • Etc.
  • Personal hygiene items such as:
    • Deodorant
    • Feminine supplies
    • Soap
    • Toothbrushes
    • Toothpaste
  • First aid kit, including:
    • Adhesive bandages
    • Aspirin
    • Liquid soap
    • Prescription medications
  • Non-perishable canned or packaged food and drinks (corned beef, tuna fish, apple sauce, cookies, juice, etc.), preferably that requires no cooking and a non-electric can opener. It may take a day or more to set up a regular meal schedule at a shelter
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Battery powered flashlight in case of power loss

Additional Items to Include

  • Change of clothes, including rain gear, sturdy shoes, and extra socks and underwear.
  • Credit cards and cash.
  • Emergency cooking equipment, such as a camp stove
  • Extra pair of glasses or contacts, and contact lens case and solution.
  • Pens or pencils
  • Pillows
  • Plastic cups, plates and utensils. The shelter may not have utensils in the early hours of an emergency.
  • Sewing kit
  • Special items for elderly or disabled family members.