What items to keep in your emergency box

What items to keep in your emergency box

You really need to have two boxes on hand: one for emergencies and one for when the power goes out.

Both will come in handy in the case of an emergency or incontinence. Here’s a list of things to keep in your box.

Download and print this emergency checklist: Emergency Box Checklist

Emergency box


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It’s unlikely, but disaster could strike at any moment. It’s better to be prepared for the worst than be surprised at the worst moment.

Put together a plastic bin with the following ESSENTIAL items for when a disaster strikes:

  • Water. One gallon per person.
  • LifeStraw or Sawyer Mini. A straw or pump that filters water when sucked through the fibers.
  • Food. Non-perishable items.
  • Manual can opener. A hand-help can opener for non-perishable food.
  • Handcrank radio. An NOAA Weather Radio will give you the most up-to-date information on weather conditions.
  • Handcrank flashlight. You’ll never run out of batteries.
  • First aid kit. A kit that can handle any minor injuries.
  • Loud whistle. If you need to be found, have a loud whistle to help others locate you.
  • Personal hygiene items. Soap, sanitizer, and a washcloth should be included.
  • Emergency contact information. Numbers for your family and friends in case you can’t access their numbers.
  • Extra cash. Have $100 per person in hard cash.

These are the bare minimum items. Others to consider are:

  • Tracfone and charger. Use for pre-paid calling.
  • Prescription medications.
  • 7-day supply of medications. Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Asprin, non-Asprin, BC, and other drugs are smart to have on hand.
  • Multi-purpose tool. Pliers with tweezers and a knife is good.
  • Waterproof matches. In the unforeseen moment of needing to create a fire, be ready in all environments.
  • Dust masks or face cloths. Use if the air is contaminated.
  • Copies of important documents. Driver’s license and proof of address.
  • Emergency blankets. If it’s cold, you’ll need to stay warm.
  • Household items: garbage bags, duct tape, disinfectant wipes, and charging cords
  • Contact solution. Use to disinfect lenses so you can see.
  • Infant formula. Keep your baby fed.
  • Feminine supplies.
  • Extra pet supplies. Food, collar, leash, etc. Whatever your furry friend needs.

Power goes out


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This box is less about an emergency and more about keeping you and/or the kids entertained if the power goes out.

Keep a box with these ESSENTIAL items:

  • Water. One gallon per person.
  • Food. Non-perishable items.
  • Sterno. Light and warm soup and other food over it (don’t forget the pan).
  • Flashlight. Maybe 3 or more.
  • Batteries. For the flashlight.
  • Candles. A pack of 100 tea lights for lighting at night.
  • Matches or lighter. You’ll have to light them!
  • Phone charger for the car. At worst, charge your phone in a warm car.
  • Bucket. Fill and use to flush the toilet (by dumping it all quickly).

Those were the essentials, here are a few optional things to have on hand:

  • Gas-powered generator. Keep fumes away from where you stay. Better yet, let it stay outside.
  • A french press or Aeropress. Use if the coffee machine isn’t working.
  • Pre-ground coffee. For, you know, a cup of Joe.
  • Treats. Cookies, chocolate, or something else that’s sweet.
  • Deck of cards. Play endless games of Go Fish or Solitare.
  • Weather radio. If the weather is bad, have on-hand to know when the storm will pass.
  • Coloring books and pencils. Good for you and the kids!
  • Extra pet supplies. Food, collar, leash, etc.

Other resources to consider:

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People Use Self-Storage For These 9 Reasons — Do You Need Storage?

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