Before you enter the home, check for gas leaks and damage to the electrical lines. If gas is leaking or the power lines are damaged, do not enter the home. When you return to your home after a flood or damaging storm, you will need items for cleaning up and making minor repairs as well as personal items.

Cleaning supplies:

  • Air freshener, 8- or 9-ounce can
  • Bleach, 82 ounces
  • Bucket, 5-gallon, with lid
  • Cleaner, household, 12- to 16-ounce bottle
  • Clothes pins, 50
  • Clothesline, 100 feet
  • Detergent, liquid laundry, 50 ounces
  • Disinfectant dish soap, 16- to 28-ounce bottle
  • Gloves, latex, 2 pairs
  • Gloves, work, 1 pair
  • Masks, N-95 rating, 5
  • Scouring pads, 5
  • Scrub brush
  • Sponges, 7
  • Towels, cleaning, 18
  • Trash bags, heavy-duty, 33- to 45-gallon, 24-bag roll

First aid kit:

  • Aspirin
  • Bandages, adhesive
  • First aid booklet
  • Gauze
  • Gloves, sterile, 2 pairs
  • Ointments, antibiotic and burn
  • Soap
  • Sunscreen, SPF 30
  • Thermometer
  • Wipes, antibiotic

Food and snacks:

See the Living Without Power chapter of the After a Disaster Guide Book for suggested foods and food storage and preparation supplies.

Insect repellent that contains DEET

Medications, prescriptions

Personal hygiene items:

  • Hand sanitizer, alcohol based
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Towel, bath
  • Washcloth

Water (at least 1 gallon per person per day)

Sturdy shoes (with toes and hard soles)

Tarp, to cover roof damage or use as an outdoor shade


  • Ax
  • Chain saw for clearing trees
  • Hacksaw
  • Hammer and nails
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Rope

This list is a part of the After a Disaster Guide Book.

View more Disaster Recovery Information