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The Best Emergency Preparedness Supplies


Emergency-supply checklists are abundant across the internet, including recommendations from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (PDF), the American Red Cross, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But those lists can be intimidating in their breadth and their specificity. In reality, for the most part you can assemble a basic emergency kit out of stuff you may already own. And there’s no such thing as a single kit that’s exactly right for everyone.


“I think we focus too much on there trying to be one right way to prepare,” said Jonathan McNamara, a regional communications manager for the Red Cross. “We almost overcomplicate these things and confuse people into thinking, ‘Well, my kit has got to have this in it.’ At the end of the day, my family’s emergency kit, having two kids and a crazy dog, is going to look much different than somebody else’s. You should definitely feel free to customize it for your family.”That said, there are some basics that everyone should keep on hand. And it’s never a bad time to prepare for a crisis by stocking up on gear and organizing it so you know exactly where it is when you need to shelter in place during an emergency. (We also have a separate guide to go-bags should you need to leave your home in a hurry with a small amount of essentials.) Collectively, our staff put in hundreds of hours of research and tested nearly 100 different items to come up with a list of essentials that are indispensable in a natural disaster and helpful in everyday life, too. The items are organized into seven key categories, and by making sure you have these areas covered, you’ll end up with a best-on-the-block kit.

Find the best emergency preparedness supplies here.

LAST UPDATED

May 3, 2022

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Wirecutter’s mission is to recommend what really matters. Each year, we independently test and review thousands of products to help you find just what you need. Our goal is to save you time and eliminate the stress of shopping, whether you’re looking for everyday gear or gifts for loved ones.

We strive to be the most trusted product recommendation service around, and we work with total editorial independence. We won’t post a recommendation unless our writers and editors have deemed something the best through rigorous reporting and testing.

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