In case of a major emergency, it is recommended that you are prepared to be on your own for at least 72 hours. Think about what you and your family will need to survive in the event there is no water, gas or electricity. The items you need may differ from those of other families. For example, if you have a baby, you will need diapers. If you have a medical condition, you will want to have your medical records and prescriptions handy.
Here are some essential items to stock:
Water, at least 3 gallons / person*
Water purification supplies
Bleach or iodine and eyedropper
Canned foods and non-electric can opener
Flashlight, portable radio and spare batteries
Phones, both cordless and with a cord
First aid book, kit and essential medicines
Food, water and restraints for pets
Cash and change (ATMs may not work)
Extra house and car keys
Blankets or sleeping bags
Lantern, candles and match
*Enough drinking water for each person for at least 3 days (3 gallons per person). To purify water that has been stored longer than 1 year, treat it with one of the following (in order of preference):
Add 8 drops of unscented liquid chlorine bleach to each gallon. Double this dose if the water is cloudy.
Add 12 drops of 2% tincture of iodine to each gallon. Double this dose if the water is cloudy.
Boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Keep in mind that another source of water is your water heater. Let the water cool first, turn off the cold water supply to the tank, turn off the gas or electric heater for the tank and open the drain valve at the bottom.