Build an Emergency Kit for National Preparedness Month

SPRINGFIELD – “If you want to be fully prepared for a disaster, you need an emergency kit.” That’s the message this September for National Preparedness Month. Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau wants everyone to review their family emergency plans, fill out a family communications plan, and build an emergency kit. Tate-Nadeau said, “It could be a matter of life or death because if you need to evacuate within minutes, you will need that kit packed and ready to go.”

While some items recommended for an emergency kit seem obvious, like water and non-perishable food, others might not be top of mind during an urgent evacuation order. “Some of the items that families find critical in a disaster are prescription and over-the-counter medicines, important documents like Social Security cards or insurance policies, cash, or personal care supplies like contact lenses and cleaners,” she said.  

The general preparedness items include:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for three days)
  • Non-perishable food (three-day supply or ready-to-eat canned or other foods that require no refrigeration or cooking, non-electric can opener, utility knife)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Battery-operated radio with extra batteries
  • Extra battery/external charger for cell phone
  • Copies of important family documents stored in a waterproof bag or container, cash
  • Face coverings for all family members
  • Hand sanitizer/disinfecting wipes
View the family communications plan brochures. English - Spanish 

The full emergency supply checklist can be found here.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA): www.Ready.Illinois.gov