What should be in your emergency kit

WASHINGTON — Every home should have an emergency kit on hand for when storms and power outages occur.

WTOP recommends you print it out this list ahead foul weather and power outages.

Supplies to have on hand:

  • Portable radio. If your power goes out, radio will be your lifeline. Preset your radios to 103.5-FM. If you live in Virginia south of the Beltway, you will also want to preset 107.7-FM. And if you live in Frederick, Maryland, preset your radio to 103.9-FM. 103.5-FM works just fine everywhere else. Listen to WTOP on the telephone. Call 202-380-9977.
  • Extra food. Consider some foods that do not require cooking or refrigeration. Have a three-day supply on hand.
  • Bottled water. One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation.
  • Prescription medicines. Fill any you may need ahead of time.
  • Extra baby supplies — diapers, formula, etc.
  • First-aid supplies.
  • Flashlights.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Manual can opener.
  • Extra blankets.
  • Batteries.
  • Cash.
  • Whistle, in case you need to signal for help.

Around the house:

  • Charge your cellphone.
  • Make a list of emergency phone numbers.
  • Check the batteries in your smoke detectors and flashlights.
  • Set your thermostat a few degrees higher.
  • Refrain from calling 911 or other emergency services unless it is a true emergency or life-threatening condition.
  • Make sure you check on your neighbors who are senior citizens.
  • Make sure the account information on file with your electric utility is correct. Have the number to your utility handy, should the power go out.

Other home tips:

  • Don’t try to remove tree branches from a power line. Treat fallen wires as if they are energized.
  • If the power goes out and you use a portable generator, always keep it outside — away from doors and windows — to prevent carbon monoxide fumes from coming inside.

Utilities — Electric and cable

WTOP has gathered a list of utility phone numbers.

Print the utility phone number list.

Power Companies


The phone numbers to the electric companies are available by texting POWER to 91035.

Car emergency kit supplies

Make sure your car has an emergency kit. Here’s what AAA recommends you put in it:

  • Make sure you have a full gas tank.
  • Cellphone
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Drinking water
  • Jumper cables
  • Tool kit
  • Flares or orange triangles
  • Knife
  • Towels
  • High calorie, nonperishable food

Road condition information

Follow @WTOPTraffic on Twitter for up-to-the-minute traffic conditions.

Check local road conditions and traffic cameras at WTOP’s Custom Commute.

Tornado and flood safety tips

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes has a list of tips for what to do in a tornado and how to handle flooding conditions.

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