Emergency Preparedness

Prepared, not scared. I know when people hear about emergency preparedness they tend to think that when people prepare for emergencies they’re building a fallout shelter. Of course after 2020 emergency preparedness means that you have hoards of toilet paper. I always felt that planning for emergencies meant I needed to be a “prepper.” It meant I needed to have months worth of food, ammunition, and basic supplies on hand. I’m not at all saying that it isn’t worth it to have some of those things. We truly don’t know what will happen (as evidenced by 2020). However, it’s still worth it to start small anywhere because no matter where you are just the weather can cause power to be out for days. The best case is you’d be without power and maybe only need a few items off of your list. However, the alternative is being unable to get to a grocery store, having no power, and having medical needs. The alternative is absolutely possible, folks. If you want to start small, this emergency preparedness list is for you! 

Comprehensive List vs. Starter List

This list is just a start. It’s basically the first set of things that we got on hand. They are in no particular order either. If there are things that you think are higher priority, that is up to you to decide. My plan was to just continue to pick items little by little regardless of their “priority.” Every time I ordered from Amazon I would throw in an item for the list. Every time I stopped at the dollar store I would add a couple of items to my cart to have on hand. Eventually I will do another post on the major list of things that would be helpful to have. This one is what I would consider a starting point. It’s a good list that will at least help you feel more prepared for some minor emergencies that could occur. 

These also are not bug out bags. There is a big difference in emergency supplies and bug out bags. These can be kept in a box or a tote so that you can bug out with them though. The concept of bug out bags is so that you will have a few days worth of supplies if you need to leave your house. This list is more tailored to bugging in. Meaning, it is designed for you to be stuck in your house for a while without being able to get out to get more supplies. 

Where to Buy Items

As I mentioned, I like to get my items from Amazon and Dollar General. As a whole, I definitely try not to order from Amazon as much as possible. I don’t like the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer. If at all possible I try to order directly from the manufacturer to eliminate the middleman. I’ll get off my soapbox about that but I thought you should know that I don’t agree with them but I still order from them. My all time favorite place to order from is the dollar store. You can get quite a few items on this list from good ole Dollar General. 

The dollar store items are not non-toxic items but they will work in any sort of emergency. You will need to decide if you want your emergency preparedness to be non-toxic or not. As I got started I didn’t mind toxins but as I started to get more sophisticated I started to change that. Each time I go through my stock I find that I get rid of a few more toxins and replace them with better versions too. Since I order from Azure Standard already they also have a lot of items that you can add quickly and easily to boost your emergency preparedness boxes as well.

Storing Items

You may be looking at this list and thinking that you have all of this on hand but it’s scattered around your house. It’s great that you have them on hand but you may want to get duplicates. It is well worth it to keep all of your emergency supplies in one spot. If you’ve never been in an emergency you really won’t know how you are going to react. Conversely, if you have been in an emergency you know just how difficult it can be to keep everything straight and not panic. Having everything in one spot makes it quickly available if needed without having to remember where it is all stored or where to go hunting. Plus, if the power is out you don’t want to have to search high and low for things via flashlight. At that point the resources that you have become valuable and you won’t want to waste any of it. 

Just one more point on having duplicates I promise. I have a husband that likes to use things up without telling me. The last tube of toothpaste, deodorant, plastic bags etc. He will use them without thinking and then I don’t know it until I’m looking to replace the next one and it’s not there. I would hate for you to think that you thought you had your emergency supplies but somehow they got used up without you knowing. Having them tucked away in totes or bags will help keep them all in the same spot and in stock when you need them. 

Emergency preparedness items should be kept together in a box.
Some of our emergency preparedness items, kept together.

Expiration of Items

Things don’t last forever, unfortunately. Every 6 months or so you should go through your items to make sure that they are all still in good condition and not expired. In an emergency I’d still rather have expired pain relief than having no pain relief at all. I am completely guilty of not getting to this task though. I usually try to go through my things at least once per year though. I’ll replace anything that has gone bad. I typically use this as another opportunity to get a couple more items too. Getting things little by little helps save the pocketbook a ton. 


  • First Aid Kit
  • Gauze
  • Pain Relief
  • Cold/Cough Medicine

General Supplies

  • Duct Tape
  • Matches
  • Candles
  • Battery Operated Candles
  • Batteries (make sure these fit whatever else you have in your kit)
  • Flashlights
  • Weather Radio
  • Life Straw
  • Collapsible Water Containers
  • Plastic Bags
  • Trash Bags
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Permanent Markers
  • Phone Chargers
  • Battery Backup Packs

Personal Hygiene

  • Soap
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrushes
  • Feminine Products  (tampons, cup, pads, etc)
  • She-wee (this is optional but if there is no working toilet squatting could get old)
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray


  • Flour
  • Quick Oats
  • Cornmeal
  • Pasta Noodles
  • Spices
  • Sugar
  • Dry Beans
  • Canned Food
  • Pet Food
  • Yeast


  • Foraging- You will want one specific to the area that you live in.
  • Essential Oils- There are several books on how to use these for almost everything.
  • Herbal Remedies- There are several out there again, some that might be more specific to what you want. 
  • Be Your Own Doctor & Be Your Child’s Pediatrician- These will help if medical care is needed.
More emergency preparedness items kept in a tote together.

Babies & Kids

This list doesn’t include anything for babies or kids. If you have kids or babies you need to plan accordingly. It’s hard to include their items because their needs change pretty constantly. For instance, I’d hate for you to have a tote full of baby food only for it to go bad. I would suggest that wherever your baby is at and whatever their needs are you always try to keep extra on hand. Instead of running down to your last 5 diapers before going to the store, always try to keep an extra pack on hand and same with baby formula. Always try to have one extra of everything on hand to keep you going for a while. If it comes down to it, you will find a way to support your child but buying yourself some time to figure out how to support them will be helpful.

As I mentioned, this is the starter list. The people who are most prepared have much more than just this on hand but at least it is a start. What else do you keep on hand for emergency preparedness reasons?

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