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Build an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit is a container of items that your family may need during or after an emergency. It is important to make your emergency kit before any emergency occurs and to swap out expired items regularly. Your emergency kit should be in an easily accessible place in your home and clearly marked for any family member to find. You should also build separate emergency kit to have in your vehicle and/or at work, in case an emergency occurs when you are away from home. 

An emergency kit should be made for each of the following:

Make a First Aid Kit

In any emergency you or a family member may be cut, burned, or suffer other injuries. Basic supplies will make you better prepared to help yourself or your loved ones with injuries. A First Aid kit should also be included in your Emergency Kit for your home and your vehicle.

Things you should have:

  • Two pairs of Latex or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex)
  • Sterile gauze pads or dressings to stop bleeding
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection
  • Burn ointment
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or to use as a general decontaminant
  • A thermometer
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers.(You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid (for upset stomach)
  • Antihistamines (for minor allergic reactions)
  • Laxatives

Make a Contact List

Be sure to have an emergency contact list accessible in an event of a disaster. An emergency contact list should be included in your emergency kit for your home and vehicle.

Take the following steps to create an emergency contact list:

  • Pick an out-of-state friend or relative that all family members will call if you become separated from each other (if local DC phone circuits are busy during an emergency, it may be easier to call out-of-state).
  • Give the name, phone number, home address, and e-mail address to each member of your family.
  • Include emergency contacts that are specific to your family, such as:
    • Your doctor(s) offices
    • Your childrens’ schools
    • Office numbers
  • Add general emergency contact numbers to the list such as:
    • HSEMA: (202) 727-6161 24hr; TTY: 711
    • DC Animal Control (202) 576-6664 24hr.
    • Poison Control Center (800) 222-1222
    • Pepco Power Outage (877) 737-2662
    • Washington Gas Emergency Line (703) 750-1400 or (800) 752-7520
    • DC Water (202) 612-3400
  • Store the list in a plastic zip-lock bag (to avoid water damage).
  • Keep a digital copy of the list in your phone or other personal device.