Give the Gift of Preparedness

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young teenage girl with shopping bags at shopping mallAs the holiday season quickly approaches and holiday shopping begins, find a gift that truly show those you love how much you care—the gift of preparedness.

infographic illustrating an emergency kit.While an emergency kit may not be on any of the top-ten big name gift lists this season, a starter kit could end up being the most important gift you give your friends and family this year.  Most of us would love to be a little more prepared, but have not made the time or don’t know where to start. Often, just taking the first step towards getting prepared is the hardest part. Give your friends and family the gift of being prepared for the unexpected.

Need creative ideas for your gifts of preparedness? We’ve got you covered with these gift ideas:

The Starter Kit

Help get your friends thinking emergency prep with a few key items to start their emergency kit. Pack the items in a small plastic storage container or water-proof bag that can be stored easily. Include the following items:

  • First aid kit (You can get a pre-made kit at most of your local drug stores or pharmacies)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Portable phone charger (also sometimes known as a portable battery. This charger should be rechargeable and have the ability to charge a phone without being plugged into a power source)
  • Manual can openers (and a reminder that every emergency kit should include a three-day supply of food and water)

Emergency Prep for Kids

Sometimes the best way to get families thinking about emergency preparedness is through teaching kids about the importance of having an emergency kit, an emergency communication plan, and a family emergency response plan for every disaster.

Get kids excited and interested in emergency preparedness with CDC’s Ready Wrigley activity books. You can print coloring books for disasters including, extreme heat, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and winter weather.  Help kids check-off items on Ready Wrigley’s emergency kit list with some of the following items:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • A battery-powered or crank weather radio
  • Small and portable games or activities that can entertain kids if they have to shelter in place or evacuate to a shelter. (Small board games, playing cards, books or stuffed animals are good items to consider).

Emergency Kits for the Road

Is you car ready for winter graphic with cartoon bird and car emergency kit suppliesFor the car-lovers or new drivers on your list, consider putting together a kit of emergency supplies they can keep in their car. Plan your gift based on local hazards. If you live in an area that gets significant amounts of snow you may consider including a windshield scraper, extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets. For any emergency, your car kit include these basic items:

– Basic tool kit with pliers, a wrench and screwdriver

– Jumper cables (you may consider purchasing a “roadside emergency kit” from your local auto shop that also includes reflective triangle markers, gloves, and a flashlight)

– First aid kit

– Cellphone charger (either or a car charger, or rechargeable portable charger)


Pets and Pet Lovers

young girl with shopping bags and a pug dogRemember to include pets in your emergency planning. Whether you are thinking of gifts for your furry friends or a gift for the pet lovers in your life, put together a gift of the following pet emergency kit items:

  • Extra food and water for your pet, including an extra water and food bowl.
  • Sturdy leash, harness, and carrier to transport pet safely. A carrier should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for several hours.
  • Pet toy and a pet bed that can easily be stored and taken if you are forced to evacuate. (Remember to always check with your local emergency shelters before a disaster to find out which shelters take in pets).

All of these emergency packages are great gifts to help friends, family, or yourself start an emergency kit. Check out CDC’s Emergency Preparedness and You page for more tips on how to be prepared for any emergency.

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6 comments on “Give the Gift of Preparedness”

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this site is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

    It is always good to be prepared. A few days of food, water, and power are helpful in the event of a storm. However, it is crucial to consider more serious situations, such as a large scale failure of the power grid in the United States, the likes of which are described in Ted Koppel’s thoughtful, level-headed journalistic analysis, yet clarion plea for action in his book, Lights Out. As in the wide scale breach by cyber attack on the federal Office of Personnel Management, it is not only possible, likely–even inevitable–that our nation’s power grid will be attacked. Inaction by industry and government to more thoroughly and resolutely defend the nation’s power supply will mean that three days or a couple of weeks of provisions will be utterly inadequate. Likely communities and individuals will need months or years of provisions at the ready for the failure of the electric grid, which obviously disables virtually all communication, sanitation, water, transportation, heating and air conditioning, and life-sustaining infrastructure. Action is required now.

    It is always good to be prepared for the worse. You never know when your car can break down on a long dark stretched road or your power can be turned off for days due to a bad weather or a natural disaster. At home we have made emergency kits for our home and vehicles. The kits include first aid equipment, non perishable foods, a wind up radio, glow sticks, water purified tables, blankets and water. These items are enough to help a person survive for about 10 days. It’s always good to have items such as these ready. At times we take every day living for granted and we need to be aware and cautious of the inevitable.

    We have 3 cars and 3 drivers in our family. Just finished 3 backpacks for an urban bug out situation complete with dried food packs, stove, water, water filter straw, 1st aid kit, chemical suit & mask, compass/map, emergency blanket, 2-way radios and cash.

    Nowadays, many may think of emergency preparedness as getting ready for post apocalyptic scenarios like the ones featured on popular televisions shows. However, the truth is some are simply not prepared for common problems you may encounter or even sudden natural disasters. As a nurse, I cannot stress enough having multiple first aid kits in your vehicle, home and office. Along with first aid kits, please do not forget your daily medications and other necessary medical needs. Please be mindful of your elderly, infant and pet family members’ medical needs. You will need to take into account that they may need additional food, clothing, sanitation products and batteries.

    While many joke about preppers, being prepared for an emergency is important. I am not talking about the zombie apocalypse, but at any given moment a car accident, bad weather, or even a national disaster could happen. A disaster happens somewhere in the world on a daily basis, therefore you should make sure you have a few items in case a disaster happens near you. When driving you should always have a first aid kit, extra drinking water, food, manual can opener, utensils, blanket, warm clothes, flashlights, extra batteries, and a multipurpose tool.. It is also important if you take medications to keep at least a couple days worth in case you can’t get to your home supply anytime soon. Always make sure you keep a list of medical problems, medications you take, and emergency contact for when help arrives.

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Page last reviewed: November 24, 2015
Page last updated: November 24, 2015