Preparing an Emergency Kit | Shelf Reliance Emergency Corner

This article and picture are courtesy of

The theme of this year’s National Preparedness Month is “Pledge to Prepare,” and if there’s one thing we’d admonish you do to prepare besides having a supply of foods that will sustain you through an emergency, is putting together an emergency kit.

If you already have an emergency kit such as a 72-hour kit, it’s important that you not only update it, but know what’s in it. It’s a good idea to go through your kit at least once a year to familiarize it and replace any items that may have gone bad. It’s wise to keep a contents list with your kit that details the names and quantities of all the items inside it. If your kit is large or has several different pockets, sections, or containers, it can be helpful to also include the location of each item. This way in an emergency you won’t waste precious time during dangerous situations looking in the wrong place or searching for something the kit doesn’t contain. It’s also a good idea to read the instructions of all the tools in your kit so you’ll know how to use them if the time comes.

If you don’t have a kit yet, there are several things to keep in mind. It’s easy to buy a kit and throw it in a closet without even looking inside it, but it’s important to make sure your kit has the right amount of supplies for your family and the right type of supplies for all the emergencies that are a possibility in your area. You may want to build your own kit to customize it for your family size and the situations you might need the kit for: a family of three living in a 6th-floor apartment in New York will have vastly different needs than a family of six living in a hurricane-prone area in Florida.

If you need help building the perfect kit for your family, check out our Emergency Planner! It allows you to build a completely customized kit—just enter the number of people in your family, the length of time you’d like the kit to supply you for, and the type of kit you’re looking for. You can select add-ons for categories for anything from earthquakes to volcanoes to urban unrest. The Emergency Planner will create a kit to your specifications, and you can edit it manually to individualize it further.  If creating a kit from scratch seems overwhelming, our planner is a great way to see what kind of things your family might want to include in your kit.  Plus, there is a great video tutorial.

So whether you’re shopping for a kit or updating the one you already have, creating and familiarizing yourself with your customized emergency kit will ensure that if the time comes to use it, you’ll know where to go and what to do.



join the conversation