The U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggests three things that you should do to keep yourselves and your family prepared:
Get one or more emergency preparedness kits
Make a family emergency plan
Be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur in your area and their appropriate responses.
Everyone should have some basic preparedness supplies on hand in order to survive three days or more if an emergency occurs. The following is a list of some basic items that every emergency preparedness kit should include. However, it is important that you review this list and consider where you live and the unique needs of your family in order to create an emergency preparedness kit that will meet your needs. You should also consider having two or more emergency preparedness kits, one full kit at home and smaller portable kits in your workplace, vehicle and/or other places you spend time.
Recommended Items to Include in your Basic Emergency Preparedness Kit:
Water: one gallon of water or more per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
Flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air
Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
Local maps: at least city and state
Additional Items to Consider Adding to your Emergency Preparedness Kit:
Prescription medications and glasses
Infant formula and diapers
Pet food and extra water for your pet
Important family documents: copies of identification, insurance policies, and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container:
Cash and change equaling around $100
Emergency reference material: a first aid book or survival information such as The SAS Urban Survival Handbook
Sleeping bag or warm blanket per person: Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate
Complete change of clothing: long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes per person: Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate
Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper: Dilute nine parts water to one part bleach to be used as a disinfectant.
You can find basic kits, expanded kits, family kits and other items at my "Survival Gear Central" website.