top of page

The Housing Authority of the County of Monterey (HACM) 

Prepare a Kit

Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. And when disaster strikes, you may not have much time torespond.

Prepare a Kit - Housing Authority of the County of Monterey (HACM)

A highway spill of hazardous

materialcould mean instant evacuation.

A winter storm.

A winter storm could

confine your family at home.


An earthquake, flood, tornado, or any other disaster could cut off basic services – gas, water, electricity, and telephones – for days.

Prepare Kit.jpeg

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.

To prepare your kit

  • Review the checklists in this document

  • Gather the supplies that are listed. You may need them if your family is confined at home

  • Place the supplies you’d most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. These supplies are listed with an asterisk (*)


There are six basics you should stock in your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing andbedding, tools and emergency supplies and special items. Keep the items that you would most likelyneed during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container — suggested items are marked with anasterisk(*). Possible containers include:


A large, covered

trash container:

Camping bagpack.

A camping backpack

A duffle bag.

A duffle bag


Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.

  • Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation/sanitation)*

  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water for each person in your household.


Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation, or cooking and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of Sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight.*Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:


  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables

  • Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)

  • Staples — sugar, salt, pepper

  • High-energy foods — peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix

  • Vitamins

  • Foods for infants, elderly persons, or persons on special diets Comfort/stress foods — cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bag

First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should include:

  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes

  • 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)

  • 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)

  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape

  • Triangular bandages (3)

  • 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)

  • 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)

  • Scissors

  • Tweezers

  • Needle

  • Moistened towelettes

  • Antiseptic

  • Thermometer

  • Tongue blades (2)

  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

  • Assorted sizes of safety pins

  • Cleansing agent/soap

  • Latex gloves (2 pair)

  • Sunscreen

Non-prescription drugs

  • ​Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever

  • Anti-diarrhea medication

  • Antacid (for stomach upset)

  • Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)

  • Laxative

  • Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)

Contact your local American Red Cross chapter to obtain a basic first aid manual.

Suggestions and Reminders

  • Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk of your car

  • Keep items in air-tight plastic bags

  • Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh

  • Rotate your stored food every six months

  • Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.

  • Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications

Tools and Supplies

  • Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils*

  • Emergency preparedness manual*

  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries*

  • Flashlight and extra batteries*

  • Cash or traveler’s checks, change*

  • Non-electric can opener, utility knife*

  • Fire extinguisher: small canister, ABC type

  • Tube tent

  • Pliers

  • Tape

  • Compass

  • Matches in a waterproof container

  • Aluminum foil

  • Plastic storage containers

  • Signal flare

  • Paper, pencil

  • Needles, thread

  • Medicine dropper

  • Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water

  • Whistle

  • Plastic sheeting

  • Map of the area (for locating shelters)


  • Toilet paper, towelettes*

  • Soap, liquid detergent*

  • Feminine supplies*

  • Personal hygiene items*

  • Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)

  • Plastic bucket with tight lid

  • Disinfectant

  • Household chlorine bleach

  • Clothing and Bedding

*Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

  • Sturdy shoes or work boots*

  • Hat and gloves

  • Rain gear*

  • Thermal underwear

  • Blankets or sleeping bags*

  • Sunglasses


Special Items

Remember family members with special needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.

For Baby*
  • Formula

  • Diapers

  • Bottles

  • Powdered milk

  • Medications

For Adults*
  • Heart and high blood pressure medication

  • Insulin

  • Prescription drugs

  • Denture needs

  • Contact lenses and supplies

  • Extra eye glasses

  • Entertainment — games and books

Important Family Documents

Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container.​

  • Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks, and bonds

  • Passports, social security cards, immunization records

  • Bank account numbers

  • Credit card account numbers and companies

  • Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers

  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)


Links to any translation services on HACM web pages are provided as a free service offered by anindependent translation company. HACM is not liable for any inappropriate or inaccurate translationsprovided by this service. Please use at your own discretion.

bottom of page