How to Throw a Build-a-Kit Party


Preparing is more fun when it’s a party! Ali Ryan Hansen of the Oregon Department of Geology shares ideas for hosting a holiday party that’ll help you and your friends get ready for disasters.

Ali’s tips:

Look for inspiration in the classic holiday party themes. Instead of a cookie exchange, ask each guest to bring a dozen items like canned fish, fruits and veggies, nuts, energy bars, gallons of water. Everyone leaves with different items that’ll add variety to your kit, or be a great start to creating a kit. Or make your white elephant exchange preparedness themed! All the offbeat gadgets for camping are a great addition to a preparedness kit – and will also make for an energetic white elephant. Kickstart your planning by checking out the Red Cross list of essential supplies for emergency kits.

Use games to get guests talking. Knowing which hazards Oregon faces is the first step in getting prepared. Party games like natural hazard charades or a hazard-themed “name on the back” guessing game are a fun way to get friends talking about why getting prepared is important. Take a look at to learn more about hazards, and to find game words!

Consider a little (friendly) competition. Have guests whip up snacks in a preparedness kit cooking challenge, or ask judges to award points in a Drop, Cover, and Hold On competition. Use preparedness publications from the Oregon Office of Emergency Management for ideas!