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How to make an emergency kit

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Learn how to create emergency kits in case there is an emergency.


Before you get started

A home emergency kit is for when the City of Boston orders a shelter-in-place. That means the safest place to be is inside your home.

Your kit should have enough supplies so you and your family can survive for at least three days. Keep everything in a container that’s easy to open.


Make an emergency home kit

When you create your kit, please remember to include:

  • one gallon of drinking water, per person per day
  • canned food that won't go bad and doesn't need to be cooked
  • a manual can opener, whistle, first aid kit, and a flashlight
  • a battery operated AM/FM radio with extra batteries
  • any items you'll need for hygiene
  • a non-electric phone
  • blankets and extra clothing, and
  • medication and other special items.

We created an emergency home kit checklist to help you put together your kit. It's also available in Spanish.

Don't forget about your pets!

Remember to include your pets in your emergency plans and make a kit that you can keep with your family’s kit. You should include these items:

  • Photocopied veterinary records, including a rabies certificate, vaccinations, a medical Summary, and prescriptions for medications
  • Photocopied registration information, like a proof of ownership or adoption records
  • Pet description, including your pet's breed, sex, color, and weight
  • Recent photos for each of your pets (include a picture of you and your pets)
  • Waterproof container for documents
  • Microchip information, including the microchip number, name, and number of the microchip company
  • Contact information (phone numbers for family or friends you may be staying with)
  • Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container
  • Store at least three days of water specifically for your pets in addition to water you need for yourself and your family
  • Have collapsible food and water dishes, and a manual can opener and spoon (if you're using canned food)
  • Feeding instructions for each animal
  • An extra supply of medicines that your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container (include instructions)
  • Leash or collar with ID and rabies tag and harness
  • A big enough pet carrier with bedding, blankets, or a towel
  • Pet first aid reference book and first aid kit
  • Cleaning supplies for accidents (paper towels, plastic bags, and disinfectants)
  • For cats, store a litterbox and litter
  • Toys!

Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your pets yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.

Locate your closest neighborhood emergency shelter. Boston’s neighborhood emergency shelters will provide safe, temporary shelter for owners and their pets. Get a “Pets Inside” sticker for your window so emergency responders know your pets are in the home.

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