Personal Needs

Testing Blood

Personal needs are the things that you could not do without in an emergency—basic necessities, items, supplies, equipment, and tools that you need to protect your physical, mental, and emotional health and safety in an emergency.

  • An emergency water supply
  • Nonperishable and ready-to-eat food, including specialty foods—such as nutrition drinks and ready-to-feed formula—for infants, people with dietary restrictions, food allergies and sensitivities, and medical conditions such as diabetes.
  • Prescription medications
  • Prescription and home-use medical devices, such as:
  • Medical supplies, such as:
    • Antibacterial wipes
    • Catheters
    • Syringes
    • Nasal cannulas
    • Blood test strips
  • First aid supplies, such as:
    • First aid reference
    • Non-latex gloves
    • A thermometer that is easy to use and to read; for example, a digital thermometer with a replaceable battery
    • Waterproof bandages and gauze
    • Tweezers and scissors
  • Infant and child care supplies
  • Pet supplies
  • Pack emergency supplies in a portable and durable container(s), such as a plastic bin, duffle bag, backpack, trash can with a lid, and/or carry-on luggage.
  • Store a bottle of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach to disinfect your water and to use for general cleaning and sanitizing. Try to store bleach in an area where the average temperature stays around 70°F (21°C). Because the amount of active chlorine in bleach decreases over time due to normal decay, consider replacing the bottle each year.
  • Shop for and save on emergency supplies during tax-free holidays in your state. Learn more about tax-free holidays where you live, and what items are exempt.
  • Store at least 1 gallon of water per day for each person and each pet. Store more water for hot climates, for pregnant women, and for people who are sick.
  • Update your supplies every six (6) months and/or as the needs of your family change. Remove, use, and replace any food and water, prescription medications, and supplies before they expire.
Are you resilient?

A person’s “resilience” is their ability to bounce back from a difficult or life-changing event—like the diagnosis of chronic disease or the impacts of a natural disaster. People are more resilient and better able to withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity when they make healthy choices, including the decision to prepare for emergencies. Communities are more resilient when their citizens are prepared.

Page last reviewed: April 10, 2020, 03:55 PM