Keep these must-haves on hand so you'll be more prepared, and less panicked.

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While we all hope never to be in an emergency situation in our homes, having a plan and a well-stocked emergency kit just in case can offer some peace of mind. The best emergency kits don’t require anything fancy or expensive—basics like water, nonperishable food, extra batteries, and flashlights can save the day in a tough situation. The key is to package all of the supplies into a sturdy plastic bin, stash it in an easy-to-access spot in your house, and make sure the entire family knows where it is. Then, resist the urge to dip into your extra food or battery supplies during non-emergency situations, so you can rest assured you have the essentials on hand when you really need them.

Essentials for Every Home Emergency Kit:

  • One gallon of water per person per day (for at least 3 days)
  • Nonperishable foods (enough for at least 3 days)
  • Can opener
  • Battery-powered radio (we added this one to our kit)
  • Flashlights (we used these minis)
  • Extra AA and AAA batteries
  • First aid kit (like this $7 one)
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Plastic sheeting (to shelter in place)
  • Duct tape
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Garbage bags
  • Pliers or wrench (to shut off utilities)
  • Extra phone chargers
  • Local map
  • Sturdy plastic storage bin with a lid

If You Have a Baby, Add:

  • Diapers
  • Pediatric electrolyte
  • A thermometer
  • Pain relievers, fever reducers, or other medications

If You Have a Pet, Add:

  • Pet food (enough for at least 3 days)
  • Extra water