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Family Three-Day Home Emergency Kit

Every home should have an emergency kit.  Whether it’s an actual emergency, inclement weather, a power outage or other unforeseen occurrence, it’s important to expect the unexpected.  Therefore, it’s a good idea to prepare a three-day home emergency kit that includes the following elements:

Bottled Water

Experts recommend drinking 6-8 glasses (8 oz.) of water every day, which is why having bottled water in your home emergency kit is essential.  Not only is water necessary for good health, it’s also necessary for survival.  You should keep enough bottled water for everyone in your family to drink for several days.

Canned Foods

Without electricity or running water, you cannot cook using traditional methods.  Therefore, ready-to-eat canned foods are a must.  Vienna sausages, Spam, canned fruit, ham, tuna and other similar foods that do not require preparation are ideal for a home emergency kit.  Because most canned foods have a lengthy expiration date, you can keep them on hand for some time.  And don’t forget a non-electric can opener!


Whether it’s common everyday allergies, a serious medical condition or a reaction to a bee sting, it’s important to keep your home’s emergency kit equipped with the medication necessary to treat sudden ailments.

Cellular Phone

What would happen in the midst of a winter storm if the electricity was lost and the phone was out?  How could you call the power or phone company to get the service restored?  In an emergency situation, how could you contact anyone?  If you have a cellular phone and live in an area where there is a strong signal for using the phone, you can use it in an emergency.  In some cases, this may be your only link to the outside world, especially if you live in a rural area.

Flashlight & Batteries

Without electricity, the nights are dark.  This means that you will need a supply of flashlights and batteries.  If you need additional light, you should also consider purchasing a supply of candles for your home emergency kit.

Radio & Batteries

In an emergency, a battery-powered radio can serve as your link to what’s happening around you.  It not only informs you of the weather, but also of the latest news for your area.  You can also learn of road conditions, which will help you to decide whether or not travel is a good idea.

Now that you know what to include in your three-day home emergency kit, it’s important to know where to keep it.  Because it should be easily accessible, you will want to keep it in an area that’s easy to reach.  The kitchen is one likely location but, if in doubt, it may be a good idea to create several emergency kits and place them throughout the home for easy retrieval.  Always keep a flashlight near your bed in case you lose power during the night.

Be sure to check your emergency kit on a regular basis to test batteries and update any supplies that have passed their expiration dates.