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Whether you’re just starting out or a preparedness pro, gathering your emergency supplies is easy. A good rule of thumb is to have supplies for about 3 days, or 72 hours. You’ll be surprised at how much you already have.

You're more prepared than you think.

In addition to the standard supplies, certain things will help you—and only you—manage during an emergency. Set aside a few items that will give you and your family extra comfort.

Everyone enjoys a tall drink of water. Stay hydrated by gathering one gallon per person, per day.


You might need to be able to patch up small scrapes until help arrives. Channel your inner Scout and keep a first aid kit on hand.

First Aid Kit

While candles are great for ambience, a good flashlight is invaluable for navigating if power is out. Simply put: it buys you freedom.

Flashlight and extra batteries

You didn’t start the fire. But you can help extinguish it. Stash a fire extinguisher with your supplies so that you can stay safe.

Fire extinguisher

Just like when camping, in an emergency an old fashioned can opener is just the ticket. Impress your friends with your canned culinary choices.

Manual can opener

Next time you’re at the grocery store, add extra shelf-stable foods (that you like to eat!) to your basket. We recommend 3 days of food per person.

Non-perishable food

These items represent things that many people want in an emergency—but don’t always think of. Stash them away, and you’ll get through the first 72 hours more easily.

You never know when an emergency might happen—or what you might (or might not) be wearing. Be ready for the elements by setting aside warm clothes and walking shoes.

Warm clothes and sturdy shoes

Feeling safe starts with knowing what’s going on—so tune into the radio. Check 740AM for live updates—and your favorite radio station to pass the time.

Radio (battery operated or hand crank)

In an emergency, credit cards might not work, and cash becomes important. Protect your purchasing power by stashing small bills.


Keeping warm is crucial. Blankets and sleeping bags will help you stay snug, even when the fog rolls in—or if the power goes out.

Sleeping bag or blankets

A battery operated phone charger, or one that plugs into your car, will help you stay informed, take photos, and communicate in an emergency.

Cellphone charger (battery operated or car plug-in)

A basic toolkit with items like a hammer and duct tape will help you turn off the gas, repair broken windows, or board up your home.


In addition to the standard supplies, certain things will help you—and only you—manage during an emergency. Set aside a few items that will give you and your family extra comfort.

Plan for your personal health. Keep a 3-day dose of any medicine you take on a regular basis, in case the pharmacy is closed.


What non-perishable comfort food would lift your spirits? A supply of chocolate, dried fruit, or nuts with your emergency snacks might make you smile, and help you make friends.

Sweet (or salty) treats

Toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer, a toothbrush, soap, unscented bleach, and heavy duty garbage bags are a good place to start.

Personal hygiene & sanitation items

Upload copies of your driver’s license, passport, leases, titles, and contact list to the cloud. Protect your assets, by going digital. Or make photocopies.

Personal documents

What unique items would make your family feel better in an emergency? Favorite games? Special toys? Little things can make a big difference.

Children's toys and games

Don’t forget to store dog food, toys, or extra water for your pets.

Don’t forget to store food, medicine, water and toys for your pets.


Pet items

Come together

Emergencies are opportunities to come together and support those around you. Sharing a meal, book, or phone charger are even more meaningful in the days after an emergency than before. What items would you share with friends and neighbors?


Board Games

San Mateo County
Public Sand Bag Locations

Public Works Corporation Yard, Dinkelspiel Station Lane near Fair Oaks

Belmont Corporation Yard, 110 Sem Lane
City Hall, 1 Twin Pines

600 California Drive

Town Corporation Yard, 601 F Street

Daly City
Water/Wastewater Treatment Plant, 153 Lake Merced Blvd.
Public Works Corporation Yard, 798 Niantic Ave.

East Palo Alto
Public Works Corporation Yard, 150 Tara Road

Foster City
Foster City Hall, 610 Foster City Blvd.

Half Moon Bay
Historic Train Depot below Johnston House 110 Higgins Canyon Road

Parking lot on the North side of Town Hall, at 1600 Floribunda Ave

Menlo Park
Traffic Island in front of 222 Laurel Avenue
The parking lot at Burgess Drive and Alma Street
The Menlo Park Fire District Station 77, 1467 Chilco Street

Library parking lot off Poplar Ave at Lansdale

Public Works Corporation Yard, 675 Oceana Blvd.
Behind the Linda Mar Fire Station at 1100 Linda Mar Blvd.

Portola Valley
Portola Valley Town Center, by the drive way near the tennis courts

Redwood City
Public parking lot Corporation Yard, 1400 Broadway at Chestnut Street

San Bruno
Corp Yard-San Felipe Ave. at Huntington Ave.
Fire Station 51-555 El Camino Real

San Carlos
Corporation Yard employee parking lot, 1000 Branston Road.

San Mateo
2015 Detroit Dr. San Mateo
1949 Pacific Blvd., San Mateo

South San Francisco
Public works Building, 550 North Canal Street

Town Hall parking lot, 2955 Woodside Road

Unincorporated/County Area Communities:
Pescadero - High School 350 Butano Cut-Off
La Honda - Corporation Yard 59 Entrada Way
Princeton - County Corporation Yard 203 Cornell Avenue
Redwood City - County Corporation Yard - 752 Chestnut St.

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