If you’re reading our blog content, you obviously understand the importance of keeping an emergency supply kit in your home, vehicle and workplace. A natural disaster or another type of emergency can happen at any time, so you know that you can never be too careful.
But how do you organize, take inventory of and store your emergency supplies at home? If your food, water and medical supplies are just scattered throughout a room in your home, you will have little idea of which items are right to use. Therefore, you’re basically defeating the purpose of keeping an emergency supply kit in the first place. When it comes to maintaining an effective home emergency supply kit, there are four main elements that you should be aware of to get the most out of your preparedness efforts.
The Four Elements
First, you must take a look at everything you have – know how much more food, water or medical supplies you might need, and when they expire. Second, keeping a checklist or an inventory of the supplies you have is extremely helpful, but a surprising amount of preparedness advocates skip this step. An emergency supply checklist alleviates any kind of headaches because you’ll have a record of everything you have and whatever else you need. Third, you need to get and stay organized: rotate food, water and medical supplies according to their expiration dates, group similar items together, and so on. And lastly, proper storage of your emergency supply items is the crucial fourth step. We’ll break down each of the four steps and give some helpful tips that we’ve learned along the way.
Inspecting Your Home Emergency Supplies
Purchasing a convenient home survival kit gives you the peace of mind knowing that all the high quality supplies with last you for five years. However, if you’re storing store-bought food and water, you’ll need to take extra steps. We recommend doing this every 3-6 months, or at least a month in advance of any kind of problematic time of year, such as hurricane season. While inspecting your items, be sure to do the following:
- Take visual notes of all of your food, water, medical supplies, and other emergency items.
- Check the expiration dates. Keep in mind that medical items and supplies like batteries have an expiration date as well.
- Keep up-to-date copies of medical information, insurance documents and any other kind of crucial documents inside a protective case to keep them safe and handy in the event of a disaster.
- Don’t forget about the pets! Cat and dog food also has an expiration date, so keep up on supplies for your furry friends as well.
When a disaster hits, the last thing you want to be doing is rummaging through a messy, unorganized room filled with necessary emergency supplies. Follow these steps to keep your home emergency supply kit as organized as possible.
- Start with food and water, grouping items into logical groups, like canned veggies, and then fruits, then nuts and oats, and so on.
- Rotate older food and water items to the front, and throw out anything that’s expired.
- Keep items like flashlights, radios, and blankets in their own designated area.
- We recommend organizing each part of your home emergency supplies by the needs of each individual member of your household. Put the items in individual bags or containers and label them with that person’s name.
- Consider obtaining a high-quality, durable duffle bag or other types of way to carry your emergency supply kit. You never know when you’ll have to evacuate, and an emergency kit does you no good if you have to leave it behind.
- As your living situation and/ or family grows or gets older, your needs will change as well. Be sure to keep that in mind as well. Your five year old will no longer need stored baby food, and so on.
Make a Thorough Checklist and Inventory
Once you have a mental checklist of everything you have in your supply kit, it’s time to write everything down.
- Write down the type of food, how many servings, and when it expires.
- Then move on to water and do the same thing, followed by medical supplies.
- Lastly, write down any kind of perishable miscellaneous items that you might have as a part of your home emergency kit.
- Not only does keeping an updated checklist and inventory of your home survival kit take the guesswork out of emergency preparedness, but you’ll also get the added bonus of sharing your inventory with family and friends. This way, you’ll get ideas of what you need to add to your kit and help others do the same.
Proper Storage of Your Home Emergency Kit
Whether it’s a spare bedroom, or a closet, or basement – be sure that wherever you decide to store your emergency supplies, that you can easily and safely access it at any time. Each household will have individual needs, but everyone will need to be able to get to emergency supplies.
- In addition to home emergency kits, get yourself a kit for each vehicle you own. If possible, get yourself an emergency kit for your workplace as well.
- FEMA recommends having enough food and water for every family member, coworker or pet to last you at least 72 hours.
- Pick a place in your home to store your emergency kit that has the least amount of temperature fluctuations and is as dry as possible. This will help preserve your items and keep them from spoiling.
- Outside storage of your emergency kit on the path of your evacuation route is recommended, such as a garage or shed, if you have one.
Properly storing and organizing your home emergency kit might seem like a difficult task, but if you follow these steps things will run smoothly for you. If you want to take the work out of having a home emergency kit, consider purchasing one directly from More Prepared. Our kits last 4 to 5 years and contain all of the food, water, medical supplies and emergency items you’ll need to survive. We also can customize your kit based on your family’s needs, so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.