FEMA, TSA Warn Holiday Travelers to Be Prepared for Disaster

Craig Bannister | September 14, 2023
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Be prepared for disaster during your holiday travels this year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) warn in a new Public Service Announcement (PSA), advising travelers to pack an emergency kit filled with everything they need to survive on their own for “several days.”

On Wednesday, September 12, FEMA and TSA issued a joint press release titled:

“FEMA, TSA Share Public Service Announcement Encouraging Travelers to Make a Plan and be Disaster-Ready”

“Ahead of what is projected to be another busy holiday travel period,” TSA and FEMA “distributed a new public service announcement (PSA) today, asking travelers to make a plan and be prepared before traveling,” the release explains.

“Natural disasters and emergencies could happen at any time, so it is important to be prepared,” Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro N. Mayorkas warns in the PSA.

“Transportation security might not immediately come to mind when you think of disaster preparedness, but travel readiness is an important part of being prepared,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske adds.

“[I]t’s important to understand what you’ll need and what you’ll do when a disaster or emergency happens when you travel,” the PSA advises.

The press release also provides a link to lists of more than two dozen things holiday travelers should pack in their “emergency kit”:

“When travelers are packing their bags and any items they may need in their emergency kit, it is important they check the TSA.gov “What Can I Bring” tool.”

Among the “basic” items travelers should include in their emergency kits are supplies they need to survive in the wild for “several days”:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)”
  • Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)”
  • “Manual can opener (for food)”
  • “Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert”
  • “Flashlight”
  • “First aid kit”
  • “Extra batteries”
  • “Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)”
  • “Whistle (to signal for help)”
  • “Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)”


“Additional” items travelers should pack in their emergency kits include a “sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person,” “matches in a waterproof container,” a “complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes” – and “a fire extinguisher.”

Finally, in case tragedy strikes, holiday travelers should pack copies of insurance policies in their emergency kits, along with other “important family documents”:

“Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container.”

Unfortunately, while these same documents could enable a thief to steal a person’s identity and drain their bank accounts, a legal firearm for protection is not included in either list.

Basic Emergency Kit ItemsAdditonal Emergency Kit Items