Build a Disaster Kit

Emergencies and disasters can happen anytime, anywhere and in any form. Will you be prepared?

Replenish for freshness

  • Up-to-date list of family medicines and dosages, along with doctor and pharmacy phone numbers, and a two-week supply of prescription medicines.
  • Enough non-perishable food to feed your family and pets for three to seven days. Special dietary foods or baby food and formula, if needed. Replenish every six months.
  • One gallon of drinking water per person, per day, plus water for cooking and washing (minimum seven days). Stock up on a few cases of bottled waters at your home and/or workplace in the event that there is a “boil water” order.
  • Extra batteries for a camera, flashlight, radio, portable TV, lamp, etc.
  • Infant items (medicine, sterile water, diapers, ready formula, bottles), if needed.

Stow until needed:

  • First aid kit including bandages, antiseptic, tape, compresses, aspirin and aspirin-free pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid, and important phone numbers.
  • Flashlights and batteries for each family member
  • Portable radio and batteries
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Fire extinguisher (small canister, ABC type)
  • Instant tire sealer
  • Whistle and/or distress flag
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Plastic tarp, screening, tools, and nails, etc.
  • Water purification kit (tablets, chlorine (plain) and iodine)
  • Plastic trash bags
  • Clean-up supplies (mop, buckets, towels, disinfectant)
  • Garbage can or bucket with tight-fitting lid and cat litter (emergency toilet)
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, and pre-moistened towelettes or baby wipes

If you evacuate, you should also take:

  • Pillows, blankets, sleeping bags or air mattresses
  • Extra clothing, shoes, eyeglasses, hearing aids (and batteries)
  • Folding chairs, lawn chairs, or cots
  • Hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)
  • Quiet games, books, playing cards, and favorite toys for children
  • Important papers and irreplaceable keepsakes (driver’s license, special medical information, insurance policies, property inventories, photographs, etc.)

Items for before and after a storm:

  • Emergency charger for cell phones and other devices (consider a solar powered alternative)
  • An old-fashioned corded telephone that does not require electricity (i.e. not a cordless phone or cell phone)
  • Cash (with no power, banks may be closed; checks and credit cards may not be accepted, and ATMs may not be operational)
  • Charcoal, matches, and grill (do not use indoors)
  • Fuel
  • Ice chest / cooler and ice

What about filling my prescription medication?

Per Florida State Statute 252.358, during a state of emergency, health insurers, managed care organizations, and other licensed entities shall waive time restrictions on prescription medication refills to allow refills in advance.


Creating a complete disaster kit does not have to be a hit to your wallet all at once. Picking up a handful of items during weekly shopping trips will help you build your disaster kit in no time.

Manatee County Emergency Management recommends your disaster kit contain water, food and supplies for seven to fourteen days. 

The shopping lists below are guides to help you develop your family's emergency disaster kits. Every family and situation is different, so please adjust the lists for your family's needs.