A home emergency kit is one of the best ways to deal with the unexpected.
We recommend that all households build a small emergency kit and keep it in a safe place. This will help prepare you for a wide range of emergency situations, and minimise the stress or expense that unexpected events can bring.
Make sure that you include a copy of your household emergency plan. We have a plan template that you can download to your device or print out and keep in a safe place. It also includes an emergency kit checklist.
Download our household emergency plan template:
It’s important to remember that you are the best person to make decisions for your own household, and what you think might be most useful will depend on who lives with you, where you live, and your own personal circumstances.
For example, those in more rural areas may be more prone to being cut off from the shops during snowfall, while those in flood-risk areas may wish to be ready to leave their home at short notice if required.
Here’s a sample list of what an emergency kit could include:
- A battery-operated torch and spare batteries (or a wind-up torch);
- A battery-operated radio and spare batteries (or a wind-up radio);
- A mobile phone charger;
- Any essential medication, some toiletries and a first aid kit;
- Three days' supply of bottled water and ready to eat food (that won't go off);
- Copies of important documents e.g. insurance policies, birth certificates;
- Pencil, paper, a penknife and a whistle;
- Spare keys to your home and car;
- Spare glasses or contact lenses;
- Pet supplies;
- Formula/baby food;
- Putty or a repair clamp for fixing burst pipes.
You might also wish to consider keeping some parts of the kit together in a waterproof bag, in case you need to leave your home without notice e.g. if your home is at risk of flooding.
In the winter, you might also want to put some items in your car:
- A first aid kit;
- Battery jump leads;
- A torch and spare batteries;
- A map for unplanned diversions;
- A blanket;
- A reflective warning sign.
In cold weather, you should also take:
- An ice scraper and de-icer;
- A shovel for snow;
- Warm clothes and boots;
- Some food, and a warm drink in a flask.