Design and Build Your Emergency Kit | What to Carry in an Emergency |

Design and build your emergency kit to include household items that you may need in case of an emergency.

There are different types of emergencies, from medical emergencies to chemical emergencies to natural disasters etc.

It’s easy to design and build your own emergency kit so you can prepare for the unexpected. This can help reduce stress in case an emergency occurs.

Natural disasters range from hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and tornados to blizzards, windstorms and wildfires, to name a few.

Having an emergency kit stocked, ready and on-hand is a great idea.

Stock your emergency kit

You can design and build your own emergency kit or there are pre-made kits you can purchase. If you choose to design and build your own, it’s a good idea to use a case that is visibly marked for first aid supplies or use a clear container. If you purchase a pre-made kit, make sure you add an items which are specific to your needs.

  1. First Aid Kit 
  • Acetaminophen
  • Aspirin
  • Band Aids
  • Topical antibiotic ointment
  • Antihistamine
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Personal Medications–example: EpiPen, inhaler, insulin
  • Cloth tape
  • Gauge – 2×2, 3×3, 4×4 (variety of sizes)
  • Dressings 5×9
  • Instant Cold Pack/Cold Compress
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Ace Wrap
  • Hydrocortisone Ointment
  • Gloves
  • Purell Wipes
  • Baby Wipes or Body Wipes
  • Other Over-The-Counter Meds: antacids, laxatives etc.
  • Alcohol Towelettes
  • Baggies
  • Burn ointment
  • Eye wash solution
  • Blanket

2. Flashlight and lanterns with extra batteries

3. Wind up-Crank Radio

4. Medical History and Medication FormHealthin30 | Personal History and Medication From (PDF) – (Carry at all times in your wallet and include in your emergency kit)

5. Whistle to signal for help

6. Water (one gallon of water person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation is recommended)

7. Battery-powered or hand-crank/manual can opener

8. Non-perishable foods (at least 3 day supply) – Foods that require no refrigeration, cooking or little water

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetablesDry cereal or granola
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit, nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • Power Bars
  • Tuna-Vacuum packed pouches
  • Sports Drinks

9. Emergency money

10. Extra Clothes

13. Matches

14. Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

15. Local Maps

16. Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

17. Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

18. Cell phone, solar charger or charger through crank radio

19. Hygiene products-Toilet paper, feminine products and toiletries

20. Baby Food (if applicable)

21. Pet Food (if applicable)


Healthy Design Action

  • Design and build your own emergency kit.
  • If you already have a pre-made emergency first aid kit you purchased, make sure you include items that are specific to your needs.
  • Some items have expiration dates. Don’t forget to check expiration dates and restock.
  • Keep your personal history and medication form in your emergency kit and keep a copy in your wallet.
  • Keep your emergency kit where you have easy access. Store it in your organized pantry, closet or cupboard. Make sure you know where it is and that you can reach it quickly.


Thanks for being part of the Healthy Design Community at If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me here.

Your turn

Did you design and build your own emergency kit? What items did you include? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks so much!

Design Your Healthy Life™


P.S. Get your FREE newsletter filled with chic healthy lifestyle design tips.

NBC Connecticut

Tune in August 29, 2015 to NBC Connecticut News at 9:20 a.m. I’ll be talking live on-air about what to carry in an emergency and how to build an emergency kit.

Sources and more information

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 


American Red Cross



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