what to put in your emergency flood kit

In addition to making sure you have flood insurance to protect your home and belongings, it's important to consider putting together an emergency kit to help you and your family get through the aftermath of a flood.

Every family is different, and your emergency kit should reflect that. When you're preparing for a flood, essentials like medications, important family documents, and other unique necessities should be included in your emergency flood kit. Here's our helpful guide to constructing an emergency kit, covering the essential items you should have.

basic emergency supplies: a checklist for your kit

Certain universal needs should be met when bulking up your emergency kit, like water, food, and protection from the elements. It's important that your emergency kit fit 2 scenarios: if you're able to stay in your home after a flood or if you have to evacuate to get to a more protected place.

  • 3 days' worth of water — one gallon of water per person, per day
  • 3 days' worth of non-perishable food
  • A hand-crank radio, which also operates as a flashlight and cell phone charger (these are manually powered and can be purchased at most electronic stores)
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • A first-aid kit — you can get detailed info on what yours should include on the Red Cross website
  • Hygiene essentials like toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and moist towelettes (and if need be, also include feminine hygiene products)
  • Matches kept in a waterproof container
  • A plastic whistle
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Extra clothing and shoes
  • Disposable utensils, plates, napkins, and a manual can opener
  • Extra-large plastic trash bags
  • Coins, cash, and photocopies of ID cards and credit cards (in case banks and ATMs are unavailable for a while)
  • A copy of your keys (house, car, etc.)
  • Prescription medications, eyeglasses, hearing aids — basically, any medical must-haves for everyone in your family
  • Depending on your climate, a sleeping bag or heavy blanket for each person

It's important to replace the water and non-perishable food stored in your emergency kit every 6 months. And remember to account for any changes in your family when revamping your emergency kit. If you have an infant, remember to include formula, pacifiers, diapers, and any other baby essentials. Likewise, if you have pets, remember to pack their food and water (it's also good to keep an extra leash in your kit).

Extra emergency kit items

If you have the space — or if you can keep another kit in your car — these are valuable extras to have in your emergency kit.

  • Tarps and tents
  • A cooking stove and fuel, along with the proper utensils
  • A generator
  • Books, games, and playing cards
  • A fire extinguisher

Depending on your climate — particularly if you live in a place that can get hot and humid — your extra emergency items could also include sunglasses, sunscreen, and insect repellent (not exactly luxury items, but great to have in a pinch).

where to keep your emergency kit

When it comes time to grab and go with your emergency kit, you'll want it to be easily accessible. That means keeping your kit in a camping backpack or duffel bag. Even a clean, unused trash can with handles works, too.

It's best to store your emergency food and water in a cool, dry place, with older goods at the front and newer ones at the back. Write the dates on any of the airtight, plastic or metal containers you use (avoid using glass bottles or containers!) so that you know which items should be consumed first and when it's time to refresh your supplies.

And just like it's a good idea to check/replace food and water every 6 months, the same goes for your whole emergency kit. Just check to make sure your items are up-to-date — that your spare batteries are fresh, your extra clothes still fit, and so on.

get flood insurance for better protection

Whether you live in the Deep South or a beach town, floods can happen anywhere, anytime. But because most homeowners policies don't cover flooding incidents, it's a good idea to equip yourself with flood insurance. Even though you can't prevent natural disasters, flood insurance can help greatly reduce financial damages after they occur.

Flood driving tips
Sometimes driving in dangerous weather conditions can't be avoided. Get safe driving tips if you ever have to navigate a flooded road.

Disaster-proof your insurance
Need help figuring out how much and what kind of insurance you need? Check out these tips for making the most of your insurance policies.

Speak with a flood insurance expert today. Call 1-866-351-3059 (M–F, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET) or get a quote by email

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