Plan for an Emergency

Survival kit: Things you’ll need in case of an emergency

ABC Emergency survival kit


Emergency agencies recommend having a kit ready with items that will help you survive and recover from a disaster.

The Red Cross talks with hundreds of people each year who are recovering from an emergency including what they wished they’d done to prepare.

Jacqui Pringle from Red Cross Emergency Services says you should ask yourself what are the things that will bring comfort and how will I protect the things that are important.

“A good example is proof of identity: what if you have lost your wallet and are not able to access your computer, how can you prove who you are?Get PreparedGet Prepared is an app that helps you connect with your key support people, accomplish simple tasks to make you and your loved ones safer, and protect the things that matter most to you.Read more

“Thinking through some of this in advance can make you feel less stressed and give you some control in a situation that is often out-of-control,” said Ms Pringle.

Having an emergency kit is one of the top four survive and recover preparations recommended by the Red Cross, along with knowing your risks, getting connected and getting organised. Find more Red Cross prepare information at or download the Red Cross Get Prepared app.

You should keep your kit in a handy location, in a container or bag that’s big enough to add extra items when you’re responding to a specific disaster.

Some basic items to include:

  • Radio: battery-powered, wind-up or solar-powered radio. Mark on the dial the frequencies of ABC Radio and other local services.
  • Light: a waterproof torch is good, and consider a backup windup version that doesn’t need batteries, plus candles with waterproof matches or glow sticks.
  • Drinking water (consider having 10 litres per person to last three days).
  • Food: dried and long-life food to last three days, include a can opener and utensils.
  • Spare batteries for all devices (check batteries every six months).
  • Toiletries including soap, handwash gels, alcohol wipes, toilet paper, tissues, toothpaste and sanitary items.
  • Cash: enough to meet basic needs for a few days.
  • First aid kit and guide book.
  • Waterproof bags for valuable items and documents
  • Copies of essential documents such as prescriptions and insurance details. You can also store this on a portable hard drive, give a copy to a trusted person, and/or upload to cloud-based storage.
  • Your written bushfire, cyclone, flood or emergency survival plan, including contact numbers of family or neighbours.
  • Protective blankets and clothing suitable for likely emergencies in your area such as long-sleeved natural-fibre shirts for bushfire areas, protective footwear or rubber boots in flood areas. Sunscreen, insect repellent and wide-brimmed hats are also useful.

Set an annual reminder on your phone or calendar to check your emergency kit.

If you need to relocate, include:

  • Prescription medications
  • Toiletries and a change of clothes
  • Mobile phone charger
  • ATM cards and credit cards
  • Important documents or valuables including passports, wills, photos, jewellery, insurance papers or mementoes

Don’t forget people with special needs in your family:

  • Mobility aids
  • Nappies and supplies for infants
  • Encourage children to pack familiar things that will bring them comfort in times of stress such as a  favourite toy
  • Items to keep your pets comfortable including a leash, basket, travelling cage and pet food

Posted 2 JulJuly 2020, updated 7 SepSeptember 2020Share

11 thoughts on “Plan for an Emergency

  1. I’m sorry to hear that Peter is totally bedridden now. 😦
    You and Peter continue to be in my thoughts and best wishes.
    Please give him a gentle hug from me.
    Keep finding the joy in each day!
    (((HUGS))) and ❤ to both of you!

    1. Hi, Carolyn! So good to hear that you keep us in your mind. Peter is actually not totally bedridden any more. With an increase in morphine it has been made possible to get him a bit out of bed from time to time. He is been well looked after right around the clock by loving family. Nurses and doctors are on call whenever needed. He has still quite a few lucid moments, but of course he also sleeps a lot. His appoetite is still remarkably good, even though he has again a few problems with urinating and bowel movements.
      Thanks for your HUGS and Love, dear Carolyn!
      Much Love and HUGS from us, Uta and Peter 🙂

      1. Thank you for the update, Uta.
        I’m so glad Peter is able to get out of bed from time to time and has such loving people looking after him. That makes me smile. 🙂
        How are you doing?
        I think of you both so often…and I wish you both well.
        Give Peter a gentle kiss on the forehead and/or a gentle hug from me.

      2. Thanks, Carolyn. Yes, will do. I do get all the help I could only wish for. Everyone in our family do their bit, same as eight years ago, when Gaby, our daughter died. It is so good to feel that I can count on family and friends. 🙂

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