Emergency Plans and Disaster Kits

As you may have noticed, we took a LONG time to get Baby Step 7 out to you but we have a good reason! I got completely distracted with emergency preparedness. Over the past few weeks I had the chance to relax and do a lot of thinking/pondering about my food storage and emergency plan. The relaxation soon ended as I became somewhat frantic with how “unprepared” for an evacuation-type disaster I was. I needed to be more on top of the advice we’ve been giving on our getting started page!

So last week I started on a mission … to get my emergency plan ironed out, including the disaster kit and 72 hour kit food items. Back in July when Jodi bought all the ingredients to update our 72 hour kits, I put mine in a bag in the closet (the truth comes out). I started to think, if I had to evacuate my house I would be in big trouble. All my food was in a bag in one closet, the emergency supplies I DID have were scattered around the house, and another thing – my important documents binder wasn’t made and I had no cash in case credit card systems were down. How would it have worked for me if I had to evacuate my house quickly – ummmm not so well!

It’s been about 5 days of me focusing really hard and now I finally have my emergency bin all put together! We are going to be focusing a whole month on Emergency Preparedness early next year, but for now I wanted to fill you in on a couple things I did and learned.

1- I bought a car kit ($20 at Wal-Mart). If your Wal-Mart doesn’t carry something like this, we found this Emergency Road Assistance Kit that is very similar and is great because you can toss in a water bottle and some snacks into the bag as well.

2- I PUT my binder with important documents together (passport, birth certificates, social security cards etc). When doing this, I asked myself one simple question – if my house burned down – would I be annoyed I didn’t have this document? If so, I put it in.

3- I went to the bank and took out $200 cash – and asked for small bills. In Hurricane Ike, a lot of people commented on how they wish they would have had small bills so they weren’t paying too much for stuff when stores didn’t have change.

4- I put my 72 hour kit food in a nice old big plastic animal cookie bin. It fit perfectly and was easier than using milk jugs (I like easy).

5- I gathered up all the items in the disasters supplies area of our Emergency Preparedness Plan and purchased the things I didn’t have.

6- I placed ALL this stuff in a big bin in my front hall closet. I was sad because I had a cute little shelf all arranged in my basement for this, but then learned that it’s best to keep your kit somewhere that you can access it easily if you have to evacuate quickly.

p.s. My wonderful sister sent me a list of things she compiled for HER emergency kit. Some of the items were not initially on the list that we posted under Getting Started. I have recently added them to our Emergency Preparedness Plan and uploaded the revised list so you may want to print off a new copy if you have been using the older version.

Have you done your emergency checklist yet? You can accomplish all of this within a few days if you just set your mind to it!


  • Pingback: How to Create an Emergency Binder | Food Storage Made Easy()

  • Great question! This is definitely not our area of expertise, but I found a good page on the cdc website about this. Check out http://www.cdc.gov/features/MasksRespirators/ It sounds like anything that is marked n95 will be helpful. However, they do clarify that a mask alone is not enough and you need to continue to wash hands and use hand sanitizer for ultimate prevention protection.

  • Great question! This is definitely not our area of expertise, but I found a good page on the cdc website about this. Check out http://www.cdc.gov/features/MasksRespirators/ It sounds like anything that is marked n95 will be helpful. However, they do clarify that a mask alone is not enough and you need to continue to wash hands and use hand sanitizer for ultimate prevention protection.

  • Great question! This is definitely not our area of expertise, but I found a good page on the cdc website about this. Check out http://www.cdc.gov/features/MasksRespirators/ It sounds like anything that is marked n95 will be helpful. However, they do clarify that a mask alone is not enough and you need to continue to wash hands and use hand sanitizer for ultimate prevention protection.

  • Great question! This is definitely not our area of expertise, but I found a good page on the cdc website about this. Check out http://www.cdc.gov/features/MasksRespirators/ It sounds like anything that is marked n95 will be helpful. However, they do clarify that a mask alone is not enough and you need to continue to wash hands and use hand sanitizer for ultimate prevention protection.

  • Anonymous

    Do you know which N95 dust mask series is sufficient for an emergency, or the swine flu? There are so many different kinds, I’m not sure which one I should get.

    • Great question! This is definitely not our area of expertise, but I found a good page on the cdc website about this. Check out http://www.cdc.gov/features/MasksRespirators/ It sounds like anything that is marked n95 will be helpful. However, they do clarify that a mask alone is not enough and you need to continue to wash hands and use hand sanitizer for ultimate prevention protection.

    • Great question! This is definitely not our area of expertise, but I found a good page on the cdc website about this. Check out http://www.cdc.gov/features/MasksRespirators/ It sounds like anything that is marked n95 will be helpful. However, they do clarify that a mask alone is not enough and you need to continue to wash hands and use hand sanitizer for ultimate prevention protection.

  • linzjen

    Do you know which N95 dust mask series is sufficient for an emergency, or the swine flu? There are so many different kinds, I'm not sure which one I should get.

  • Natalie

    I think I need a bigger closet πŸ™‚ You might like to change the disaster kit list from 1 gallon a day to 2 liters. Thanks for your ideas. I will share what I decide to do later! Also, as far as the disaster kit list goes is that per person or per family? It would be nice to have a list like the one you have for the food for the non food items. Just a suggestion! πŸ™‚

    • Jodi — Food Storage Made Easy

      Natalie, We’ll be revamping our 72 hour kit/disaster kit info pretty soon! We meant for those to be guidelines or samples of ideas but people like to follow them exactly so we will try to help with that! And give multiple options for 72 hour kit food as well.

  • Natalie

    I think I need a bigger closet πŸ™‚ You might like to change the disaster kit list from 1 gallon a day to 2 liters. Thanks for your ideas. I will share what I decide to do later! Also, as far as the disaster kit list goes is that per person or per family? It would be nice to have a list like the one you have for the food for the non food items. Just a suggestion! πŸ™‚

    • Jodi — Food Storage Made Easy

      Natalie, We’ll be revamping our 72 hour kit/disaster kit info pretty soon! We meant for those to be guidelines or samples of ideas but people like to follow them exactly so we will try to help with that! And give multiple options for 72 hour kit food as well.

  • Natalie

    I am in the process of getting together my family 72 hour kits. I cleared out a large closet next to my garage for my family’s 72 hour kits ( 2 adults 4 kids) On the third babysteps list it says to gather all the materials and put into a large rubbermaid tote. Is this tote for one person? Or for the whole family? If it is for the whole family how are you fitting it all in there? I am suppose to have 1 gallons of water per person a day for my family (18 gallons!) and I am just wondering how I am going to fit all the food and diaster kit for everyone into this. Please help!!!!

    • Jodi — Food Storage Made Easy

      Natalie, Please forgive us, we both have small families still so we didn’t think of that. It does seem a little silly. We recommend doing the 72 hour kit water in 2-liter bottles and including 3 bottles per kit per person. So that would be 18 2 liter bottles, not 18 gallons (the 1 gallon per person per day is for your 2 week supply water storage). I’m thinking you could maybe put 4 bottles in a stackable plastic crate, and get 4 or 5 of those and stack them in the bottom of your closet maybe? You might also just have to have several of the rubbermaid totes. If you get them with lids they should stack nicely on top of eachother. We might need to start some discussion on food storage for large families πŸ˜‰

  • Natalie

    I am in the process of getting together my family 72 hour kits. I cleared out a large closet next to my garage for my family’s 72 hour kits ( 2 adults 4 kids) On the third babysteps list it says to gather all the materials and put into a large rubbermaid tote. Is this tote for one person? Or for the whole family? If it is for the whole family how are you fitting it all in there? I am suppose to have 1 gallons of water per person a day for my family (18 gallons!) and I am just wondering how I am going to fit all the food and diaster kit for everyone into this. Please help!!!!

    • Jodi — Food Storage Made Easy

      Natalie, Please forgive us, we both have small families still so we didn’t think of that. It does seem a little silly. We recommend doing the 72 hour kit water in 2-liter bottles and including 3 bottles per kit per person. So that would be 18 2 liter bottles, not 18 gallons (the 1 gallon per person per day is for your 2 week supply water storage). I’m thinking you could maybe put 4 bottles in a stackable plastic crate, and get 4 or 5 of those and stack them in the bottom of your closet maybe? You might also just have to have several of the rubbermaid totes. If you get them with lids they should stack nicely on top of eachother. We might need to start some discussion on food storage for large families πŸ˜‰

  • jweiss08

    Natalie,
    No no no, I didn’t put all those papers in my car. The car kit went in my car (which is a mini version of all the things in the picture). The car kit is if I get stranded on the road or something. The rest of the kit and binder stay in my house and if I have to evacuate quickly, I have all of it ready to go. Good call on not putting those thing in your car. I don’t think that is too paranoid at all.

  • jweiss08

    Natalie,
    No no no, I didn’t put all those papers in my car. The car kit went in my car (which is a mini version of all the things in the picture). The car kit is if I get stranded on the road or something. The rest of the kit and binder stay in my house and if I have to evacuate quickly, I have all of it ready to go. Good call on not putting those thing in your car. I don’t think that is too paranoid at all.

  • Natalie

    I just wanted to make sure I was reading this correctly…did you put the important document binder (copies) into the car kit in the car? I am a little bit paranoid about my car getting stolen or broken into and having someone have access to all that important info. What do think of that? Am I just being to paranoid? πŸ™‚

  • Natalie

    I just wanted to make sure I was reading this correctly…did you put the important document binder (copies) into the car kit in the car? I am a little bit paranoid about my car getting stolen or broken into and having someone have access to all that important info. What do think of that? Am I just being to paranoid? πŸ™‚

  • TracyinSC

    I learned a couple of days ago another good reason to be prepared. My youngest daughter had a seizure two mornings ago, and we spent all of two days in the hospital with her, trying to figure out what was wrong. We had only what we threw on in the rush to get to the ER. I did make a trip home to pick some things up since we had to spend the night.

    I thought several times during the ordeal of things that would’ve been nice to have in my car. We also got in a car accident on the way home from the hospital (I know, awesome week!), and there were even more things that I wish I’d had.

    I’ve been preparing my car emergency kit, and can see now how very helpful it will be to have that for numerous different reasons. Even if only to have a piece of home with you when you need it, that little piece will help bring a little peace (wow – that was incredibly cheesy. I apologize.).

  • TracyinSC

    I learned a couple of days ago another good reason to be prepared. My youngest daughter had a seizure two mornings ago, and we spent all of two days in the hospital with her, trying to figure out what was wrong. We had only what we threw on in the rush to get to the ER. I did make a trip home to pick some things up since we had to spend the night.

    I thought several times during the ordeal of things that would’ve been nice to have in my car. We also got in a car accident on the way home from the hospital (I know, awesome week!), and there were even more things that I wish I’d had.

    I’ve been preparing my car emergency kit, and can see now how very helpful it will be to have that for numerous different reasons. Even if only to have a piece of home with you when you need it, that little piece will help bring a little peace (wow – that was incredibly cheesy. I apologize.).

  • TracyinSC

    I want more info on those backpacks Jen mentioned. They look perfect!

    Thanks!

  • TracyinSC

    I want more info on those backpacks Jen mentioned. They look perfect!

    Thanks!

  • Charleston earthquake was initially perceived in that city as a barely perceptible tremor, then a sound like a heavy body rolling along; the sound became a roar, all movable objects began to shake and rattle, and the tremor became a rude, rapid quiver. The first shock was at 9:51 p.m. and lasted 35 to 40 seconds. As bad as the economy is these days, be glad if you don’t have to be taking out payday loans to be patching drywall. Charleston, South Carolina, was hit by a minor earthquake last week that caused mostly minor damage. No homes were destroyed, and there weren’t major injuries as a result. Charleston isn’t known as an earthquake hot spot in the U.S. like California is, but quakes do happen there. The most recent one measured a 3.6 on the Richter scale. 3.6 isn’t a major event, but cleaning up after it is a royal pain in the neck. The history of the region has been that a small quake, like the one that just happened, is a usual precedent of a much larger one to come. An earthquake rocked Charleston in 1886 that killed upwards of a hundred people and cost millions to repair, and measured between 6.6 and 7.3 on the Richter. The Great San Francisco Quake of 1906, by comparison, was over 9.0 on the Richter. (A 10 has never been seen or recorded in the span of human history, and isn’t achievable by atomic blasts.) Earthquakes are tough to predict, because the only indicators that tell of one happening are apparent only right before the event. You can read the article called “Charleston Earthquake | Payday Will Be Spent Fixing Drywall”, on the payday loan news blog at personalmoneystore.com.

  • Charleston earthquake was initially perceived in that city as a barely perceptible tremor, then a sound like a heavy body rolling along; the sound became a roar, all movable objects began to shake and rattle, and the tremor became a rude, rapid quiver. The first shock was at 9:51 p.m. and lasted 35 to 40 seconds. As bad as the economy is these days, be glad if you don’t have to be taking out payday loans to be patching drywall. Charleston, South Carolina, was hit by a minor earthquake last week that caused mostly minor damage. No homes were destroyed, and there weren’t major injuries as a result. Charleston isn’t known as an earthquake hot spot in the U.S. like California is, but quakes do happen there. The most recent one measured a 3.6 on the Richter scale. 3.6 isn’t a major event, but cleaning up after it is a royal pain in the neck. The history of the region has been that a small quake, like the one that just happened, is a usual precedent of a much larger one to come. An earthquake rocked Charleston in 1886 that killed upwards of a hundred people and cost millions to repair, and measured between 6.6 and 7.3 on the Richter. The Great San Francisco Quake of 1906, by comparison, was over 9.0 on the Richter. (A 10 has never been seen or recorded in the span of human history, and isn’t achievable by atomic blasts.) Earthquakes are tough to predict, because the only indicators that tell of one happening are apparent only right before the event. You can read the article called “Charleston Earthquake | Payday Will Be Spent Fixing Drywall”, on the payday loan news blog at personalmoneystore.com.

  • Jodi

    Jen, Thanks for the tip about the backpacks. We are going to go more in depth on 72 hour kits and survival stuff early next year so we will definitely point people to your backpacks as we discuss these things in detail. p.s. Thanks for adding our button too!

  • Jodi

    Jen, Thanks for the tip about the backpacks. We are going to go more in depth on 72 hour kits and survival stuff early next year so we will definitely point people to your backpacks as we discuss these things in detail. p.s. Thanks for adding our button too!

  • You site is amazing and I love your ideas on emergency planning! I’ve been fortunate enough to have parents who are very into having 72 hour kits prepped and ready to go! I live here in Utah and I actually sell backpacks specifically for 72 hour kits at a ridiculous price, you are more than welcome to check out my blog, and if you’d like to spread the news about the backpacks, please do. I ship all over in quantities of 20, and at $25 a backpack, it is a fabulous deal! If you do post about this, let me know, I’ll be adding your widge to my blog!!! love your BLOG!

  • You site is amazing and I love your ideas on emergency planning! I’ve been fortunate enough to have parents who are very into having 72 hour kits prepped and ready to go! I live here in Utah and I actually sell backpacks specifically for 72 hour kits at a ridiculous price, you are more than welcome to check out my blog, and if you’d like to spread the news about the backpacks, please do. I ship all over in quantities of 20, and at $25 a backpack, it is a fabulous deal! If you do post about this, let me know, I’ll be adding your widge to my blog!!! love your BLOG!

  • Jodi

    Andrea … stay tuned because a revised blog button is coming soon (we can’t have the old non-cute one hanging around out there still) hehe.

  • Jodi

    Andrea … stay tuned because a revised blog button is coming soon (we can’t have the old non-cute one hanging around out there still) hehe.

  • Andrea

    Oh I am so proud! You need to make a cute little “widget” link for my blog…

  • Andrea

    Oh I am so proud! You need to make a cute little “widget” link for my blog…

  • jweiss08

    I’m going to make a couple copies of everything, give one to my sister who lives a few hours away, and one to my parents.
    One day (it’s better to start somewhere then not start at all) I’m going to put the originals in a “fire/water” proof binder or box that locks and keep that in my “to go” box – however, I think copies in there would be just fine – it probably depends whichever one you prefer. My thinking is – if there is a fire and we have to evacuate and my house burns down I’d want those quick and accessible.

  • jweiss08

    I’m going to make a couple copies of everything, give one to my sister who lives a few hours away, and one to my parents.
    One day (it’s better to start somewhere then not start at all) I’m going to put the originals in a “fire/water” proof binder or box that locks and keep that in my “to go” box – however, I think copies in there would be just fine – it probably depends whichever one you prefer. My thinking is – if there is a fire and we have to evacuate and my house burns down I’d want those quick and accessible.

  • Should we make copies of our important documents to place in the “to go” binder or put the originals in there and make copies for our regular filing cabinet?

  • Should we make copies of our important documents to place in the “to go” binder or put the originals in there and make copies for our regular filing cabinet?