So you want to get Ready: Emergency Supplies

photoHi! I’m Caitria and I’m going to walk you through purchasing and storing emergency supplies. This is a very basic list – you can always add more items specific to your area or family. Suggestions? Let us know in the comments!

First – take a deep breath and relax. You do not have to run to Walmart and buy every bit of emergency gear that they stock. Getting your household and neighborhood ready for an emergency can be a more gradual process, completed in small tasks. I’ll tell you what you might need, and you can plan to pick it up on your next shopping trip.

  • Water. You should have at least 3-5 gal/person in your house for longer power outages. This can be a case of water, a tank, a few gallon jugs in the basement, or even a waterbed. I keep two 5 gal containers of water in my shed, and change the water every six months.


  • Food. You should have at least 3-5 days of food per person/pet in the house. Store nonperishable food that doesn’t require cooking (canned fruit, vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, crackers, canned soups, beans, baby food if you have an infant) and a non-electric can opener. Try to get something familiar rather than expensive dehydrated food you aren’t sure you’d like to eat. I keep a case of beans, a case of soup, and an extra tub of dog food from Costco in my shed.


  • Flashlight, Batteries and Candles. When you are Ready and the power goes out, it can be fun! I have a big yellow flashlight that slides out to a lantern and a few boxes of plain taper candles. Thomas and I bought both on Amazon, and I keep them in the cabinet over the sink.



  • First aid kit and Prescriptions. I’ll write a longer post on this and link it soon. You can get a basic first aid kit at most drugstores, online, or at Walmart. I added a whistle to signal for help, and we keep it under the sink. If you have prescription medicine, have 3-5 days worth on hand at all times.



  • Tools. Have a wrench or pliers to turn off the gas valve and other utilities. You can also have plastic tarping and duct tape on hand if a window breaks. Thomas’s tool bucket is outside in the shed, and the duct tape is over the sink.



  • Information. Having important information printed and in your wallet is very important! helps you assemble the information and phone numbers you might need, and print a wallet sized or full page sheet. For example, having my insurance claims phone number on hand can help me call in for help even if I leave the house for shelter. I created an emergency profile on, and you can too!

Whew – that’s it. I spread out these purchases over about 2-3 weeks and just added the items to my regular grocery lists. Do you have advice or tips for other readers? Put your suggestions below!

Learn more about emergency preparedness and create a profile at !  Questions and comments? Image credit to Noun Project. 


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