We reviewed the available evidence in support of the effectiveness of disaster supply kits presently used in household emergency preparedness in the United States. The expectation that people should take responsibility for their own disaster preparedness has largely not taken into account contextual influences on disaster preparedness.
The efficiency of current disaster supply kits used during critical postdisaster periods has not been empirically tested. Professional recommendations regarding the composition of disaster supply kits containing at least water, food, first aid, hygiene, and clothing have not been universally defined. This lack of consensus may lead to the assembling of disaster supply kits yielding suboptimal results.
The use of disaster supply kits should continue to be nationally recommended, although additional research is needed to demonstrate their beneficial impact on survival and resilience after a disaster.