What should be in your emergency kit

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.
  • 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 this list to have it on hand if the power goes out.

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

For the latest road and traffic conditions, see WTOP’s traffic page or listen to updates every 10 minutes online or on the air at 103.5 FM. Submit traffic tips by calling 866-304-WTOP or tagging @WTOPtraffic on Twitter.

How to prepare for all types of disasters 

Ready.gov provides guidance for preparing for a variety of disasters and emergencies.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers an online brochure to help you prepare for hurricanes. The agency offers a guide for preparing for tornadoes


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