Home Emergency Kits: Why Having One Is Important

Kevin Orsinger |

If disaster strikes, you might need any number of things. Having your emergency fund is a great step to protect you, but some emergencies call for supplies. Beyond just preparing you for financial hardship, we want to give you a checklist for a starter home emergency kit.

Water. This is the most important thing. Aim to have 4 gallons of water per person in the household. We recommend purchasing gallon jugs.

Food. You’ll want a supply of non-perishable foods for a few days for each person. Don’t forget a can opener and a few utensils!

Technology. A battery powered flashlight, extra batteries, a phone charger, and a phone power bank are all good ideas. A battery powered radio is also a good idea, especially if you live in an area prone to weather related power outages.

Cash. Your savings will help you, but you might need cash to get you out of a bind. Save some cash in your emergency kit – a few hundred dollars in small bills. A roll of quarters can also come in handy.  

Clothes. Pack at least one change of clothes, pair of shoes, and several facemasks for each person. A coat, hat, and gloves are a good idea as well if you live in cold climates!  

Customize it! Maybe you add a pen and notepad, a copy of important documents – like your insurances and identification, toiletries (don’t forget a toothbrush!), a small first aid kit, medications, a book or some small toys for children, or pet food if you’ve got pets!

We hope you never have to use your home emergency kit, but just like an emergency fund, it can help you feel confident that you’re prepared in times of emergency.