Fire, Flood, Hurricane, Tornado: Things You Need in Your Apartment Emergency Kit

There’s no better time than before an emergency to learn how to make an emergency kit for your home.

That’s because, for all of the modern conveniences we share, it takes just a single accident or natural disaster to send us scrambling for the basics you — and your loved ones — need.

Determining what should be in an emergency kit is a tall order. Where to start? We’ve done a lot of the legwork for you and have the following 25 suggestions.

What Is An Emergency Kit?

An emergency kit is a carefully curated collection of items capable of helping you weather a variety of unpredictable situations such as hurricanes.

What Should I Have In My Emergency Kit?

For your apartment’s emergency kit, think about the items that tend to fly off store shelves in challenging times:

  • Water
  • Non-perishable food (and a can opener)
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, and other sanitation items
  • Paper plates and plastic cups
  • Face coverings or masks
  • Bleach and assorted liquid cleaners
  • Antiseptic wipes and moist towelettes
  • Other essentials depending on the type of natural disasters your area is prone to

As for how much food and water:

  • Ensure that your emergency supply kit includes at least a three-day supply of food.
  • You’ll need an even longer supply of water: one gallon per person per day for several days for both drinking and sanitation purposes.

Apartment living might not allow you to store so much water, so consider items such as the much-heralded LifeStraw water purification device as well as iodine water purification tablets. They’re also much lighter for an emergency backpack kit.

Building Out Your Emergency Kit

The above list is just the start, though. Taking care of yourself and others will require an emergency kit capable of sustaining people for days at a time. That means adding:


  • Cell phone and charger
  • Flashlight and headlamp
  • Extra batteries
  • Multi-tool
  • Battery-powered/hand-crank radio
  • Whistle

Health and Wellness Items

  • First aid kit
  • Thermometer
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medicine (pain relievers, etc.)
  • Medical supplies such as glasses and syringes
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

Tools for Roughing It

If the unthinkable happens and good shelter options become challenging to find, the following supplies can help:

  • One sleeping bag or warm blanket per person
  • Rain gear such as coats and hats
  • Waterproof matches
  • Gloves
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors

You don’t need to be a news junkie to know that severe weather, earthquakes, tornados, floods, and other disasters can arise when least expected.

At CORT, we don’t think living in a temporary space should keep you from being prepared for whatever’s next — whether that’s an evening with friends or a hurricane warning. That’s why we’re reminding you that the time to prepare for such situations is before they strike. Set aside time now to create an emergency kit that you hopefully never have to use. Prep now, and you’ll thank yourself later.