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Step 4 - Get packing

Packing a kit of items that will help you during and after an emergency is an important way to prepare.

Step 4: Get Packing

Organising the things that will help you gain a sense of control after an emergency is the next step to being prepared.


Things for survival and recovery

Think about the practical things you'll need during and after an emergency. There are two types of items you should think about:

  • Survival items: things that will help if you have to evacuate your home quickly or if you have to stay in your home when essential services have been cut off.
  • Recovery items: things that will help limit the disruption to your life after the emergency has passed. These will be much more personal to your own needs and situation.

When thinking about recovery items to pack in your kit, think about how you will:

  • identify yourself if your wallet and/or your house and its contents are destroyed.
  • access money if banks are closed and ATMs are not working.
  • provide details of your insurance cover and contents for insurance claims if you don't have access to the original paperwork.
  • occupy/comfort your children if they're unable to return home for extended periods due to property damage.
  • care for your pets and animals during an emergency and afterwards.
  • prove ownership of your home/car.


Get your essentials together

Packing your survive and recover emergency kit can be satisfying and fun, especially for the kids. So get together with everyone in your household or your personal support network to make a list of what you'll need.

Suggested items for your emergency kit include:

  • Light
  • Water
  • Food
  • Cash
  • Special medical supplies or equipment
  • Radio
  • Toiletries
  • Chargers/batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Protective clothing/blankets
  • Pet essentials
  • Scans or photocopies of important documents
  • Copies of videos and photos
  • Photographs of valuable household items
  • Entertainment

Download your Red Cross RediPlan for more information on how to pack an emergency kit.

Most of the things you need will be at a supermarket, hardware store or even the $2 shop. Remember you may already have useful items around the home, such as camping equipment. Some useful emergency items can be purchased from the Red Cross online shop.

Store your an emergency kit where it's easy to access-close to an escape route in your house, or in a shed. Mark your kit clearly, and put some reflective tape on it so it can be seen easily in darkness. Make sure everyone in your household and personal safety network knows where it is.


A conversation is where an action begins.

Don't underestimate the power of talking to others about emergencies and what we can all do to prepare.

  • Talk to your support network about your emergency kit. Make sure everyone is clear on its contents and where it's stored.
  • Help someone else put together an emergency kit.
  • There are many items that will assist you after an emergency that could be of benefit to others in your networks and vice versa. Talk to your network about what you might need/have to help you clean up after an emergency.

Get packing. Get Red Cross RediPlan.

Red Cross Rediplan is a free guide packed with helpful hints and clever strategies on how to prepare for disasters and make your emergency plan.

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