Disaster Supply Checklist

Build your kit all at once or step-by-step. Start with what you already have at home; then shop for the rest, as needed.

Pack the basic supplies for each person or pet in a portable container or backpack. A waterproof container is best. You’ll need these supplies whether you stay in your home (shelter in place) or evacuate to another location.

Use the list below or download a PDF of the Disaster Supply Checklist to help you be Texas Ready.

Communication, Lighting, Document Bag Items

  • Battery-Powered Radio with extra Batteries or Crank Radio (emergency alert radio is best)
  • Extra cell phone battery and car charger
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Matches and lighter – keep in a waterproof container or sealable plastic bag
  • Whistle
  • Reading glasses and sunglasses
  • Document bag items (more details)

Evacuating by Car

You may have to leave in a hurry to get to a safe place. Keep these supplies near your car. When it’s time, grab them and go.

  • Road maps
  • Car repair items (tools, spare tire, tire patch kit, oil)
  • Food and water
  • Plastic plates, cups, utensils
  • Tent, blankets, pillows
  • Clothes and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear and towels
  • Books, games, toys

Before you leave Home:

  • Fill your gas tank, and check your spare tire
  • Take cash, checkbook, and credit cards
  • Call your family emergency contact
  • Charge your mobile phone
  • Get a map of your route

Food and Water

  • 3-day supply of non-perishable food, such as canned or pouched food
  • 1 gallon of water per day for each person and pet
  • Manual can opener
  • Baby items (baby food, formula, bottles, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (more details)

First Aid, Medication, Hygiene Supplies

  • First-aid kit (more details)
  • Medications
  • Hand sanitizer, wipes
  • Bleach – To purify water, mix 1/8 teaspoon per gallon. Stir and let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags
  • Dental care products (toothpaste, toothbrushes)
  • Hearing and vision products (hearing aids, glasses, contact lenses, contact lens solution)
  • Soaps, personal hygiene supplies, diapers
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent
  • Face masks to filter air

Sheltering in Place

When staying home is your safest choice, add these items to your kit and stay tuned to the news.

  • Smoke detectors with extra batteries
  • Carbon monoxide detector (if using generators, charcoal grills, or camp stoves)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to seal doors, windows, and air vents from contaminated air or to build an emergency shelter)

Our Asbestos and Natural Disasters Guide covers important information such as:

  • How Asbestos is a Risk During a Natural Disaster
  • What to Do During Wildfires
  • What to Do During a Hurricane
  • How to Prevent Asbestos Exposure from Other Disasters
  • (More Here)

First-Aid Kit

Suggested items for inclusion:

  • 2 compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 band-aids (different sizes)
  • First-aid tape
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrocortisone ointment
  • Pain reliever such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Instant cold pack
  • 2 pairs of medical gloves (non-latex)
  • Oral thermometer, scissors, tweezers
  • 2 roller bandages (different widths)
  • 2 elastic bandages
  • 10 sterile gauze pads (different sizes)
  • 2 triangular bandages (for making slings)
  • First-aid instruction booklet

People with Disabilities and Those with Access and Functional Needs

Think about your day to day needs for independence. Plan now for your health away from home. Label medical equipment with your contact information.

  • Wheelchairs, walkers, and canes
  • Cooler with cold packs for medications
  • Extra medications and dosages
  • Copies of prescriptions and medical alert tags
  • Food for special diets
  • Medical supplies (oxygen, glucose monitoring strips, syringes, etc.)
  • Hearing aids with extra batteries
  • Communication devices
  • Supplies and documentation for service animals

Pet Supplies

  • 3-day supply of pet food, water, and bowls
  • Pet medications and first-aid kit
  • Vaccination records
  • Crate or carrier (may be required in shelters or where you spend the night)
  • Leash and toys
  • Cat litter and box
  • Photo, in case pet gets lost

Emergency Documents

Imagine how hard it would be after a disaster if you couldn’t prove your identity or if you didn’t have access to your bank account. Avoid difficult situations by making copies of your important documents and keeping them in a waterproof bag. Include the following items:

  • Current photo IDs, driver licenses, birth records, Social Security cards, passports (always keep your social security number separate from other documents to decrease the risk of identity theft)
  • Current photos of family members, in case you get separated
  • Health insurance and prescription cards
  • Medical records, medications, and dosages
  • Phone numbers (family, friends, doctors)
  • Bank account information
  • Insurance documents (homeowner, renter, flood, life)
  • Property deeds, leases, mortgages
  • Vehicle titles, insurance, leases, loan documents
  • Inventory of household possessions and their value (take photos of every room, every drawer, every closet)
  • Backup computer files on a USB drive
  • Copies of important keys
  • Utility bills (to prove where you live)

These supplies do not qualify for tax exemption:

  • Medical masks and face masks
  • Cleaning supplies, such as disinfectants and bleach wipes
  • Gloves, including leather, fabric, latex and types used in healthcare
  • Toilet paper
  • Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles
  • Camping stoves
  • Camping supplies
  • Chainsaws
  • Plywood
  • Extension ladders
  • Stepladders
  • Tents
  • Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
  • Services performed on, or related to, emergency preparation supplies

Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday

April 22 – 24, 2023


These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a sales price:

  • Less than $3000
    • Portable generators
  • Less than $300
    • Emergency ladders
    • Hurricane shutters
  • Less than $75
    • Axes
    • Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
    • Can openers – nonelectric
    • Carbon monoxide detectors
    • Coolers and ice chests for food storage – nonelectric
    • Fire extinguishers
    • First aid kits
    • Fuel containers
    • Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
    • Hatchets
    • Ice products – reusable and artificial
    • Light sources – portable self-powered (including battery operated)
    • Examples of items include: candles, flashlights and lanterns
    • Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
    • Radios – portable self-powered (including battery operated) – includes two-way and weather band radios
    • Smoke detectors
    • Tarps and other plastic sheeting

Note: Several over-the-counter self-care items, such as antibacterial hand sanitizer, soap, spray and wipes, are always exempt from sales tax if they are labeled with a “Drug Facts” panel in accordance with federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.

Other Resources

Online Purchases and Telephone Orders

During the holiday you can buy qualifying emergency preparation supplies in-store, online, by telephone, mail, custom order, or any other means. The sale of the item must take place during the specific period. The purchase date is easy to determine when the purchase is made in-store but becomes more complicated with remote purchases. The purchaser must have given the consideration for the item during the period even if the item may not be delivered until after the period is over.

For example, if a purchaser enters their credit card information in an online shopping website on Monday April 25, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.to purchase a qualifying generator, but the generator will not be shipped until Friday April 29, 2022 and will not arrive until Tuesday May 3, the purchase will still qualify for the exemption. However, if the charge to credit card is declined by the payment processor at 11:00 p.m. on Monday April 25, 2022 and the purchaser does not resubmit payment until Tuesday April 26, the purchase is taxable.

Additional Charges Affect the Sales Price

Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation supply being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. Consider these charges when determining whether an emergency preparation supply can be purchased tax free during the holiday.

For example, you purchase a rescue ladder for $299 with a $10 delivery charge, for a total sales price of $309. Because the total sales price of the ladder is more than $300, tax is due on the $309 sales price.

Sales Tax Holiday Refund Requests

Purchasers can buy certain emergency preparation supplies tax free during the annual Texas Emergency Supplies Sales Tax Holiday. If you pay sales tax on these items during the sales tax holiday, you can ask the seller for a refund of the tax paid. The seller can either grant the refund or provide their customer with Form 00-985, Assignment of Right to Refund (PDF) that allows the purchaser to file the refund claim directly with the Comptroller’s office.

Should you have additional questions about refund requests, please contact us at 800-531-5441, ext. 34545, or visit our Sales Tax Refunds web page for further details on filing a refund claim.

For more information, contact us at Tax Help, or call 1-800-252-5555.