Emergency Checklist

Preparing for the Storm...Planning Ahead

Hampton Roads residents normally have plenty of time to prepare for a storm, but it's never too early to start thinking ahead.

After a disaster, local 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?

  • 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.
  • Read over our Evacuation Plan page carefully - ahead of the storm.
  • Be sure to develop a complete Family Weather Emergency Plan!
  • And don't forget the family pet. Make sure they will be cared for as part of your family plan as well.

Family Disaster Supplies Kit

These contents can be assembled over a five-month period on a weekly basis and perishable items should be changed or replaced every six months.


  • Battery-operated radio
  • Flashlight Extra batteries

Do not include candles, which cause more fires after a disaster than anything else.


  • 3 gallons/person, minimum, in a food-grade, plastic container
  • Additional water for sanitation


Minimum 3-day supply of non-perishable food that requires no refrigeration or preparation and little or no water.

  • Canned fruits
  • Canned juice
  • Canned vegetables
  • Dry cereal
  • Peanut butter
  • Quick energy snacks, graham crackers
  • Ready-to-eat canned meals
  • Ready-to-eat soups (not concentrated)

First Aid Kit

(one for your home and one for each car)

  • 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4 to 6)
  • 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
  • 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
  • 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4 to 6)
  • Assorted sizes of safety pins
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Latex gloves (2 pairs)
  • Moistened towelettes
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • Sunday screen
  • Thermometer
  • Tongue depressor (2)
  • Triangular bandages
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Tweezers

Non-Prescription Drugs

  • Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)
  • Antacid (for stomach upset)
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Laxative
  • Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)

Tools & Supplies

  • Aluminum foil
  • Assorted nails, wood screws
  • Cash or traveler's checks, change
  • Compass
  • Crowbar
  • Heavy cotton or hemp rope
  • Map of the area (for locating shelters)
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Medicine dropper
  • Mess kits, or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • Needles, thread
  • Non-electric can opener, utility knife
  • Paper and pencil
  • Patch kit and can of seal-in-air for tire
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Pliers, screwdriver, hammer
  • Shut-off wrench, to turn off household water
  • Signal flare
  • Tape, duct, and plumber's tape or strap iron
  • Whistle


  • Disinfectant Soap, liquid detergent
  • Feminine supplies
  • Household chlorine bleach
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
  • Toilet paper, towelettes, paper towels

Clothing & Bedding

  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Hat and gloves
  • One complete change of clothing and footwear per person
  • Rain gear
  • Sturdy shoes or work boots
  • Sunglasses
  • Thermal underwear

For Baby

  • Bottles
  • Diapers
  • Formula
  • Medication
  • Powdered milk/soy milk

For Pets

  • Food
  •  Record of vaccinations
  • Leash, harness, or carrier
  • Non-tippable food and water containers

Important Family Documents

  • Copy of passports, social security card, immunization records
  • Copy of will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks, and bonds
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
  • Important telephone numbers
  • Inventory of valuable household goods
  • Record of bank account numbers
  • Record of credit card account numbers and companies

Family Medical Needs

  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Denture needs
  • Extra eye glasses
  • Heart and high blood pressure medication
  • Insulin
  • Prescription drugs


  • Games and books

(This list courtesy of The American Red Cross)