According to Consumer Reports federal authorities recommend keeping the following in your emergency kit which represents a three-day supply of necessities. If your family has special needs-i.e. small children life-threatening allergies elderly grandparents-your kit should be tailored accordingly:
One gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation
Non-perishable food and a manual can opener
A battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries
Flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Filter mask or cotton t-shirt to help filter the air
Moist towelettes garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Important family documents in a waterproof container
Items for unique family needs such as daily prescription medications infant formula or diapers
Experts also advise families to create an emergency plan that outlines how families will communicate in the event of a crisis including where everyone will gather. Keep in mind that text messages will often get through when a phone call will not.
Consumer Reports suggests adding a power inverter to your emergency supply kit a shoe-box sized gizmo that can be connected to your car's 12-volt system and convert direct-current (DC) power into the alternating-current (AC) power required to run a refrigerator or sump pump. Although not as powerful as a standby generator it can get you through an outage and doesn't need gas.