How To Make An Emergency Kit (With Printable Checklist)

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How to make an emergency kit for your home. Keep your family safe and ready for emergencies by preparing ahead of time. This reduces panic and stress when problems come up. Don’t miss the easy to use checklist at the bottom to help you keep organized.

It doesn’t matter where you live, emergencies always happen.

Depending on the area you live in you may have the risk of hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, snowstorms, ice storms, or simply long-lasting power outages.

Then there are global problems like recessions and pandemics that can cause long-lasting problems for families.

How To Make A Emergency Kit With Checklist text overlaid on a photo of emergency supplies on a wooden table.

But being prepared can help your family live better through difficult times.

It’s not about hiding things away because you are scared of the future but about being wise and preparing to take care of your family before problems happen.

Too often we live with a feeling that “those things” happen to others but not me. Why?

Because it’s part of human nature to not want to think about problems. We naturally want to think that everything will be ok and just keep on living our normal lives.

But storms do happen, economic problems happen, wildfires can seem to come out of know where.

I’ve always been a believer that it’s better to be prepared than sorry.

So take a little time to build an emergency kit for your family and it will give you peace of mind knowing that you are ready for problems if and when they come up.

This list of helpful items below are great ideas to have in your family’s emergency preparedness kit.

Start with the ones that best fit your family’s needs based on where you live and what problems you can see happening in your area.

Emergency supplies like water, backpack, matches, rope and more laying on a table.

Storage Solutions

First, you’ll need a place to store your kit. It’s best to keep everything in one place as much as possible.


You’ll want to have 2 gallons (4L) per person per day. This is enough to cover drinking needs as well as cooking and cleaning for each person.


Next to water non-perishable food is the most important thing in your emergency kit.

If you are making a 72-hour kit then simply storing some energy bars could be enough. But for a longer emergency, you’ll want some real food.

You can go with dehydrated meals that last for years or simply store a little extra normal canned and dried food to last a few weeks.

Pet Food

Don’t forget pet food too! If you have cats, dogs, small pets or farm animals you need to have a reasonable supply of food and care products on hand to look after them too.

Personal Items and Medication

Keeping basic first aid and medications on hand helps to relieve a lot of stress when you stuck at home for a while.

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper should always be kept on hand for emergencies. While it can be bulky to store you can remove the cardboard tube from the center and flatten the rolls to make them fit into your storage container better.

Feminine Hygiene Products

Feminine hygiene products, yup gals it goes without saying you don’t want to be without these items if you can’t get to the store.


If you are on prescription medication make sure you always have 2 week supply minimum on hand. It’s never a good idea to let your medication run out.

What if the roads are closed due to a storm and you can’t get out to pick up a refill?

Pain medication (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc.) and cold medication are always a must-have for any emergency kit.

In emergencies, it’s common for people to get hurt or simply it could be just bad timing that you came down with the flu when that snowstorm hit. You’ll feel much better having what you need at home already.

Clothing & Bedding

Change of clothes and update this as the seasons change.

Extra socks and undergarments are something that’s easily forgotten but you’ll be so glad you have on hand. Cotton socks are cooler in the summer heat but wool socks are warmer in the winter. Plus wool socks can be worn and dried at night an go a long time before they start to stink.

Spare shoes, make sure they are comfortable hiking or running shoes.

Lighting and Heating

Flashlights and lamps are other items that need to be near the top of your prep list. It’s no fun trying to move around in the dark and can cause you to get hurt.

Thankfully there are many types of fuel, battery-powered, or hand crank are all good options.


In a waterproof bag or container make sure to store copies of personal documents that you may need. This includes:

Copies of legal documents (birth certificate, marriage certificate, wills, etc.)
Insurance policies
Credit card information
Contact list
Emergency plan


Always keep a little money in your emergency kit. Small bills and change are the best options if you need to go to a store when the power is out.

Basic Stationery

Paper and pens for leaving notes or even just drawing to pass time when you start to get bored.


While not really a necessity, keeping a few activities in your emergency kit can really help to break up the boredom and tension especially if you have young children in your home.

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