An official website of the United States government

Emergency Preparedness
February 28, 2022

The U.S. Embassy offers a home disaster kit checklist to assist in your personal emergency preparedness. In case of an emergency, you will wish to have the following items at the ready:

  • Several clean containers for water, large enough for a 1 month supply of water.
  • A supply of non-perishable food.
  • A first aid kit.
  • A battery-powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries.
  • Prescription medicines and needs for special medical conditions.
  • Baby food and/or prepared formula, diapers and other baby supplies.
  • Disposable cleaning cloths, such as “baby wipes” for the whole family to use in case bathing facilities are not available.
  • Personal hygiene supplies, such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, etc.
  • An emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.
  • Copies of important documents, including the following:
    1. Passport information: passport number and date of issue
    2. Visa information for non-US citizen family members for entry into the US
    3. U.S. driver’s license numbers
    4. Social Security numbers
    5. Bank account numbers
    6. Credit card numbers
    7. Insurance policy numbers
    8. Car registration, title, serial number and car insurance
    9. Current prescriptions, including eyeglasses and contact lenses
    10. Immunization record or shot cards
    11. Acquire a safe deposit box in the United States. Copy the documents you will need at post and leave the originals in the safe deposit box:
    12. Copy of will(s). Originals should be left with lawyer or executor,
    13. Notarized Power of attorney
    14. Birth and marriage certificates
    15. Naturalization papers
    16. Deeds
    17. Mortgages
    18. Stocks and bonds (or leave with broker in case you want to sell)
    19. Insurance papers – life, car, house, medical, and household effects

Whatever the circumstances, personal, political, family, and medical emergencies are even more complicated when they happen overseas. Being prepared will help you cope. No matter how calm things are where you live, you should not be lulled into thinking that “it can’t happen here.” A home disaster kit will help you and your family to remain secure both in times of calm and of crisis.