If you are reading this it is likely you are in search for where to begin building your own Home Emergency Preparedness Kit. If not and you’ve come here to learn about crochet and other DIY projects, no worries they are here on a different page, but while you are here check out my previous post about why I’m running off topic for a couple of posts and why you should make your own Home Emergency Preparedness Kit. You can read all about that and the other posts in this series here:
In this post we are talking about how to store all of that. That’s a lot of important and essential stuff to keep and you need to make sure it is both easily accessible and well protected. So let’s just start with how we store our kit at home.
We keep everything we can in 5 gallon buckets with lids. These buckets are usually less than five bucks at Walmart or Lowes and they are easy to move and water tight. The nice thing about having all our kit in these buckets is if we are forced to evacuate we can easily transition our Home Emergency Preparedness Kit into an Evacuation Kit. It is important to keep your buckets at a manageable weight; it is easier to move a few buckets than a couple extremely heavy ones.
You also do not want all of your supplies of one kind in a single bucket; what I mean by that is don’t put all your food into one bucket and all your tools or other supplies in another bucket. We have our items evenly distributed between buckets with a list on the side for exactly what is in them and labeled Bucket A, B, C, and D. This ensures that if we were to lose a bucket in the evacuation chaos we would still have food and at least some of our emergency supplies. In the event of an evacuation you would have each bucket listed on your Evacuation Checklist in the Family Emergency Binder along with other items like the Weatherproof/Fireproof Lock Box and some choice items you should have taken out of the kit by now (NOAA Weather Radio, Flashlights, and Whistle on each person namely). Now our kit is not intended to be a Bug Out Kit by design, but it is nice to be able to grab it easily and use it if it’s needed on the road.
Still with me? I realize this can all seem very overwhelming to think about, especially if you have never been in the midst of a disaster before. But trust me it is better to think of these things now than not have it when you need it.
You don’t have to use 5 gallon buckets; you could use plastic totes or bags or just keep all your kit in one central location. Do be aware though it is easier to be tempted to use items from the kit if they are not packed away somehow and that could leave you in a lurch. Another thing to be aware of is where you store the buckets or totes or whatever. If you have the room available it needs to be stored in your home. Unless your garage is connected to your house and climate controlled it really shouldn’t be kept there. We have ours in the back of our Master Bedroom closet hiding behind clothes (for no particular reason other than I have to put our clothes there too). A spare room closet or pantry would be ideal. Don’t stress too much though if this isn’t available to you; find what works for your family and go with it.
Let’s talk for a minute about food storage. I put all of our meals in gallon size zip bags or larger. On each bag I write exactly what is inside and who it is meant for. Snacks all get put in a large bag, any special needs are placed in their own bag and labeled accordingly. I have also seen where friends have divided the food up by person and have each person’s food in their own backpacks. I have also seen where all the food is stored in a single, large tote with all the supplies to prepare it. This isn’t a bad thing and if it works for you then do it. Every family is going to find something different that works for them, and honestly we have changed how ours is stored more than a handful of times and I’m sure we will again as our situation changes.
The most important thing to take away from this is your Home Emergency Preparedness Kit needs to be kept somewhere easily accessible, climate controlled, and in a way that makes sense to you and your situation. Let me know how you store your kits in the comments below! I’d love to see your ideas and tricks for storage and maybe even learn a few things!
The next post in this series is about getting through the storm with some tips and tricks I have picked up. If you’d like to check out all the details from previous posts in this series you can find those here.
It’s Preparedness Season! Part 1 – The Intro
It’s Preparedness Season! Part 2 – The Essentials
It’s Preparedness Season! Part 3 – The Long List
It’s Preparedness Season! Part 4 – Family Emergency Binder
It’s Preparedness Season! Part 6 – Getting Through the Storm