Plan. PREPARE. Protect.

Get a Kit

During an emergency, you might not have access to food, water or electricity for some time. By preparing an emergency kit before a disaster, you can provide for your entire household- including pets. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention* recommends including the following in an emergency kit.

PlanPrepareProtect*Project funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The views expressed on this website do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.

  • Water. Having an ample supply of clean water is a top priority in any emergency. A normal, active person needs to drink at least a half gallon of water each day. You will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Store at least an additional half-gallon per person, per day for this. And don't forget to take pets and service animals into account as well.
  • Food. Store at least a three day supply of non-perishable food for each member of your family. Even though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off your food supplies for two weeks, the CDC recommends considering a supply that would last that long.
  • Items for infants such as formula, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, powdered milk and medications that do not require refrigeration.
  • Items for seniors, disabled persons or anyone with serious allergies. Include special foods, denture item, extra eyeglasses, hearing aid batteries, prescription and non-prescription medications that are used regularly, inhalers and other essential equipment.
  • Several flashlights and extra batteries
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Kitchen accessories such as a manual can opener, mess kits or disposable cups, plates and utensils; utility knife; sugar and salt; aluminum foil and plastic wrap; and resealable plastic bags.
  • Entertainment for children, including games, books, favorite dolls and stuffed animals.
  • A map of the area marked with places you could go and their telephone numbers.

Use this checklist from to help build your emergency kit. Keep items in easy-to-carry containers such as duffel bags, backpacks or heavy duty Tupperware bins. Label the containers clearly and store them where they would be easily accessible.

Don't Forget Furry Family Members!

Pets will need taken care of in an emergency as well. Pet items to include in your emergency kit include:

  • Food and water for at least three days for each pet
  • Manual can opener
  • Food and water bowls
  • Depending on the pet, litter and litter box or news papers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items and household bleach.
  • Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container.
  • Pet first aid kit and first aid book
  • Study leashes, harnesses and carriers to transport pets safely
  • Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated.

For more information on pet preparedness, visit Caring for Animals Website.