Prepare for the unexpected: Build an emergency kit

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
March 12, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas — Hurricane season begins June 1, but disaster can strike any time. Make sure you’re prepared today by taking stock of your emergency kit.


Every household needs an easy-to-carry bundle of supplies like water, food and medications to last at least three days. In addition to one in your home, you may want to keep an emergency kit in your car, because you never know when disaster might strike.


A basic emergency kit should include these items:

  • Water: Include at least three gallons per person, to last a total of three days.
  • Food: Bring enough non-perishable items for three days.
  • First aid kit: Learn how to build a kit at
  • Medications: Stock a seven-day supply of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
  • Important documents: Store deeds, leases, insurance policies, passports, medical information and other papers in a fireproof, waterproof container. You may also want to store electronic copies on an external drive or website.
  • Contact numbers: Know how to reach your support network, including family members, neighbors, doctors and insurance agents.
  • Cash: ATMs may be down during power outages.
  • Local maps: The internet and global positioning system (GPS) may not be available.
  • Flashlight: Don’t forget batteries!
  • Radio: Get one that is powered with batteries or a hand-crank.
  • Matches: Keep them in a waterproof container.
  • Cell phone: Bring your charger, and consider external batteries.
  • Generator: Think about getting a portable generator, and don’t forget the gas.


For more information on building a basic emergency kit, visit or for Spanish.


Aside from basic supplies, many people need additional items in an emergency. If your household includes children, use the checklist at to make sure you have everything you need. Households with seniors can find a checklist at and those that include a person with a disability can look here: To view a checklist for pet owners, visit


For additional information on Hurricane Harvey and Texas recovery, visit the Hurricane Harvey disaster web page at, Facebook at, the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at or the Texas Division of Emergency Management website at

Last updated March 18, 2021