Your Family Disaster Supply Kit

Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes.  One way to prepare is by assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit.  Once disaster hits, you won't have time to shop or search for supplies.  But if you've gathered supplies in advance, your family can endure an evacuation or home confinement.

City of Berkeley Public Health Division
1947 Center Street, Second Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Map to Public Health Division

510-981-5300 (Phone)   510-981-5395 (Fax)   510-981-6903 (TDD)

Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm 


natural disasterFor more information about disaster preparedness for your family and community, visit

This information was adapted from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Community and Family Preparedness Programs

Disasters can happen anytime and anywhere.  When disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond.  A highway spill of hazardous material could mean instant evacuation.  A bioterrorist event might mean you would have to shelter your family in your home for several days.  An earthquake, flood, tornado or any other disaster could cut off basic services--gas, water, electricity and telephones--for days.

After a disaster, City of Berkeley officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it may take days.  Would your family be prepared to cope with the emergency until help arrives?

To prepare your kit, review the checklists in this document and gather the supplies that are listed.  You may need them if your family is confined at home.


There are six basics, plus any special items, you should stock in your home: 

First aid supplies
Clothing and bedding
Tools and hardware 
Sanitation and hygiene supplies
Special items

Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container.  The suggested items are marked with an asterisk(*).  Possible containers include a large, covered trash container; a camping backpack; or a duffle bag.

See Emergency Food and Water Supplies for additional information.



Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles.  Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles.  A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day.  Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount.  Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more.


Store at least a five-day supply of non-perishable food.  Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water.  If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno.  Select food items that are compact and lightweight.

*Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:

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first_aid_kitFirst Aid Kit 

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should include:

Non-prescription drugs

Contact your local American Red Cross chapter to obtain a basic first aid manual.

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emergency_beddingClothing and Bedding

*Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.





toolsTools and Hardware

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Sanitation and Hygiene Supplies

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Essential Items to Keep in Mind

Remember family members with special needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.

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