What is the single most important prerequisite for activation in the event of an emergency?  Multiple radios, spare batteries, emergency HF antennas, or a 4WD truck?

How about an emergency ready home? How likely are you to deploy after a local disaster if the power is out, water isn't running, and/or stores are closed with a family scrambling to gather the bare necessities?  Not very likely at all.

While many prepare for disaster with bug-out bags, the reality is that more often than not a disaster creates many obstacles to bugging out, while your home, even if damaged, provides needed shelter and supplies. I'm not against bug-out bags, mind you, just pointing out that statistically, disasters are more likely to make home the safest place to be as opposed to the alternatives.

Despite the Southern tradition at the first mention of the four letter 'S' word of raiding all nearby stores and purchasing every bit of milk, bread, eggs, and often beer, that can be found, most of us could comfortably subsist on what we have around the house for several days with just a little additional preparation. FEMA recommends enough on-hand emergency supplies for three days.  I recommend a little longer.

The biggest item is water.  It's not just for drinking. It's also used for hygiene and food preparation purposes.  It's wise to have a gallon per person per day stored. With this you can do everything from boil eggs before they go bad to fill up the toilet tank.


Non-perishable foods are important.  Again, enough for at least three days.  Many of us probably have enough canned foods to go that long, but they might not be the favorite thing(s) on our diet. During an emergency you want to have some comfort food around,  as it makes riding out an uncomfortable situation that much easier. Consider any special dietary needs family members may have.

Flashlights, radios, & batteries for both are important. With the power out, the flashlights will be heavily used and the radio can provide more than just news, but entertainment.

Toiletries and hygiene products, from toilet paper to towelettes, is important, as is a first aid kit (which is a whole discussion unto itself). Is there a need for special items in this category, for instance, diapers for a baby?

There are a variety of sources of information available and I've included links to a few at the end of this article.



FEMA's recommended Disaster Supplies Kit
FEMA Emergency Supply Kit Checklist
Citizen Corps Home Preparedness Checklist
Red Cross Preparedness Checklist




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