Image of First Aid Kit, Water Bottles, Batteries, radio and torch

With the emergencies currently facing much of New South Wales, the need to be prepared is again highlighted. In the event you need to evacuate in a hurry, or you may be without power and clean water, a little planning now will spare you precious time.

Where do you begin to prepare for an emergency?  

For starters, it is good to have a minimum of three days of supplies at the ready.  

A “go bag” is an emergency bag you pack in advance, but hope you never need. Ready packed, you can just “go go go”. Find a bag that is sturdy enough to carry essentials, with a little spare room. A plastic storage tub can also be useful to readily store some of the supplies listed below. Some may already be in your camping equipment. Place reflective tape on watertight containers or bags to easily find them in the dark.  

Consider that electricity and drinking water may not be available.  

The Car

Keep your car fueled topped up so you can leave without delays at petrol stations. 

It’s a great idea to have a first aid kit in the car, and sun protection and insect protection. Water and snacks in case you are stopped on route. A Hi-Visibility vest is also a useful item to have on hand. 


Essentials - Items to pack

Pure Woollen Blankets - you can wet these and cover yourself for last-resort fire protection.


  • 2 L per person per day for drinking  
  • Extra for handwashing  
  • Water purification tablets  

Food/ Cooking

  • Three days of non-perishable food, eg tinned foods, dehydrated or dried foods, muesli bars, dry biscuit
  • Can opener (not electric)  
  • Cutlery and crockery (picnic or camping set) or disposable items  
  • Bedding – sleeping bags, wool blankets, sleeping mat
  • Cash, including small change 
  • Chargers for phone – solar ones are available 
  • Duct tape 
  • Extra batteries 
  • List of emergency contact numbers  
  • Matches - pay attention to fire bans
  • Pen and Paper  
  • Plastic bucket and a tight-fitting lid 
  • Portable gas cooker – be aware of fire bans for sterilising etc  
  • Printed photos or USB with family members photos – can be used in case of missing persons 
  • Radio and battery 
  • Saucepan or billy
  • Tent 
  • Torch and batteries 
  • Utility knife 
  • Whistle 

First Aid Kit

  • Adhesive dressings  
  • Antiseptic cream, spray or powder  
  • Anti-diarrhea medication  
  • Bandages, triangular and crepe  
  • Disposable gloves  
  • Dressings  
  • Dressing tape  
  • Gauze pads  
  • Safety pins 
  • Tweezers  
  • Thermometer 
  • Sterile Saline  
  • Spares of Medications – check they are within expiry dates  
  • Scissors 
  • Vomit bags  

  • P2 Face Masks - For smoke from fires if the emergency is a fire-related emergency
  • Gumboots or waterproof footwear for flood-related emergencies.

Basic toiletries

  • Insect Repellant 
  • Sanitary Products  
  • Shampoo 
  • Soap 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Toilet paper 
  • Toothbrushes  
  • Toothpaste 


  • Hat with excellent sun coverage  
  • Sturdy shoes/ boots  - waterproof if the emergency stems from flood or inundation warnings
  • Safety Glasses  
  • Safety gloves   
  • Try for clothing with natural fibres  


Fire-proof and waterproof envelope/ sleeve with copies of important documents like

  • Bank Details 
  • Child Immunisation Books 
  • House Titles or mortgage documents 
  • Insurance details 
  • Marriage and birth certificates  
  • Passports or other identifications  
  • Prescriptions  


Items for elderly or persons with disability

  • Assistive devices 
  • Adaptive equipment 
  • Cooler and ice bricks to keep medications cool 
  • Feeding products
  • Incontinence products
  • Heavy-duty gloves (for manual wheelchair users, in case you need to push through debris) 
  • Hearing devices and batteries 
  • Mobility items 
  • Spare glasses  
  • Special prescription items 
  • Writing devices  
  • Wheelchair battery information and spare battery if possible
  • Wheelchair repair kit  

Image of Baby Formula, bottles and spoon

For babies

  • Minimum of 3 days worth of nappies (if you use bamboo or cloth, be aware that washing water may not be available in an emergency. You may wish to purchase disposable nappies for the emergency kit)  
  • Bulk pack of nappy wipes.  
  • Changing mat
  • Favourite blanket or toy 
  • If your baby is express fed, be prepared to hand express in the event pumps are not able to be sterilised.  

For formula-fed babies 
  • Unopened Formula
  • Bottles and teats – all pre sterilised – enough for 1 each feed for three days 
  • Small bottles of drinking water to use to make up baby formula 
Older babies
  • Tinned foods, food pouches 
  • sturdy disposable spoons (in case washing water is not available) 


For children  

  • Something to keep them entertained  
  • Colouring in  
  • Balls to kick or throw 
  • Board or card games (not too large) 
  • A “comfort” toy 

For pets or service animals  

  • Food  
  • Water  
  • Leash or lead  
  • Collar  
  • Identification Tag  

You may also be interested to learn about Fire Safety and some tips for planning and guides to finding information.

NSW Health have a booklet that provides important information about health and hot weather. It is for anyone who cares for, supports or assists people at risk of serious health effects from hot weather. It includes tips and ideas on how to keep someone healthy during hot weather. Click on the following link to access this booklet.

Beat the Heat: Health tips for a safe season


Useful Links 

St John Disaster Toolkit
Alerts List for NSW National Parks
Bureau of Meteorology National Weather Warnings
Bureau of Meteorology Weather Warnings NSW 
Bureau of Meteorology Victoria Warnings Summary
Bureau of Meteorology Queensland Warnings Summary
Bureau of Meteorology ACT Warnings Summary
Emergency NSW 
Emergency NSW Evacuation Centres 
Fire Affected Parks in Victoria
Fires near me app  
NSW Health website 
NSW Rural Fire Service 
Stay up to date to set up alerts for your watch zones. 


Bush Fire Information Line 1800 679 737 
In an Emergency call 000 


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