Tips for Making Emergency Preparedness Kits

Although earthquakes are rare in Oregon and Washington, the Cascadia Subduction Zone and numerous faults pose a very real risk of significant seismic damage. Emergency Preparedness "ready to go" kit.

In the case of a catastrophe, you want to be prepared. Ready.gov and American Red Cross note important items to gather ahead of time. Use the lists below to start your preparation.

Assembling Your Home Emergency Kit:

  • Water: one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food such as canned food, and protein rich foods like nuts and energy bars
  • Pet supplies: food and water
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlights: with extra batteries
  • First aid kit: remember any necessary medications, baby formula and diapers if you have a small child
  • Medications: 7-day supply and other medical items
  • Whistle: to signal for help
  • Dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape: to help filter contaminated air and to make shelter
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, plastic ties, personal hygiene items for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Family and emergency contact info
  • Copies of personal documents: medication list, pertinent medical info, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies
  • Extra cash

Once you have assembled the basics, there are further items you may want to add based on medical conditions and other needs. Find those suggestions here.

Another important place to store a kit is in your car. Why a car kit? In the event your home is unsafe to stay in, you may have to travel to emergency shelters or stay with friends or family in another city.

Assembling Your Car Emergency Kit:

  • Jumper cables: might want to include flares or reflective triangle
  • Flashlights: with extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit: remember any necessary medications, baby formula and diapers if you have a small child
  • Food: non-perishable food such as canned food, and protein rich foods like nuts and energy bars
  • Manual can opener
  • Water: at least 1 gallon of water per person a day for at least 3 days
  • Basic toolkit: pliers, wrench, screwdriver
  • Pet supplies: food and water
  • Radio: battery or hand cranked
  • Cat litter or sand: for better tire traction
  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Clothes: warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes for the cold
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Charged Cell Phone: and car charger

Other recommendations are to keep your car serviced, running well, and with a full tank of gas in case of the need for evacuation.

Looking for a kit already put together for you? Check out what you can order online from the Red Cross.

Learn more about preparing for “the Big One”: