Build Your Own Physical Preparedness Kits

Team Rubicon

Recommendations from Team Rubicon’s readiness experts on what to put in your disaster preparedness kit.

Disaster preparedness is often portrayed as a gear-head’s fantasy, but assembling an emergency kit is much simpler than you may think.

So simple, in fact, that one can put together an emergency kit with commonsense essentials found throughout your home right now. 

It’s important that you not only have these things in your home, but all assembled in one place that can be grabbed and accessed at a moment’s notice. In a disaster scenario, time means everything. These are the physical assets you should have at your disposal should a threatening incident occur. 

What to Have On Hand for When Disaster Strikes

  • First Aid Kit

    Make sure to keep a first aid kit handy and take the time to learn how to use its contents. If you or a loved one has severe allergies, verify that your kit includes EpiPens. Always restock your first aid kit after use. 
  • Food

    Store several days’ worth of frozen and non-perishable meals. We’re partial to MREs.  
  • Water

    It’s recommended to buy commercially bottled water and keep it in its original container until the time of use. Store at least one gallon per person per day. 
  • Medications

    If you or a loved one depends on a prescription medication, talk to your doctor about issuing an advanced amount of medication to be saved for emergency situations. It’s also wise to stock up on your preferred over the counter products.  
  • Essential Supplies

    Cleanliness and hygiene will maintain health and improve morale in the wake of a disaster. Make sure to keep a supply of personal grooming essentials, feminine products, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. 
  • Fuel

    Get a few government approved petroleum containers and create a strategic fuel stockpile. Keep some in your home, some in your vehicle, and some in a discreet location. 
  • Cash & Credit Cards

    Know your card numbers and your credit card provider’s customer service number. Try to keep several hundred dollars in cash at hand. 
  • Family Keepsakes

     Irreplaceable photos and souvenirs should be kept together in a weatherproof container that can be easily transported.  
  • Important Documents

     You should keep multiple forms of government identification for each member of your family in a secure, portable container. Also, include any important credentials you may need to display. 
  • NOAA Weather Radio

    This small portable radio will allow you to tune into seven 24-hour NOAA weather stations. Weather alerts will be critical when other sources of information have been downed due to a disaster. 
  • Flashlights & Batteries

     Make sure you have several flashlights, including a headlamp, that are bright enough for you to move confidently at night. Bring batteries for several days of use. 
  • Durable Clothing & Footwear

    Pack tough, comfortable clothes and avoid cotton materials as much as possible. Always include a jacket and raincoat. Footwear should be sturdy, close toed shoes that you can comfortably stand and walk in. 
  • Tools

    There are a few items that can come in handy wherever you find yourself. Stock your kit with a wrench, duct tape, a fire extinguisher, work gloves, and a whistle. 


We’re knocking on wood that your disaster preparedness never gets put to the test… but being prepared doesn’t stop here.   

Learn about how to prepare for floods, severe wind events (tornadoes, tropical storms, hurricanes), earthquakes and other disasters here.   

Bookmark this page and help us spread the habit of preparedness by sharing these tips across your social channels. 

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