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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Emergency Preparedness > Emergency Preparedness
Everyone should be prepared for an emergency. Whether it’s the loss of power and electricity (which could last for days) or a hurricane, earthquake or other natural disaster…. Or a terrorist attack…

We’ve had numerous “disasters” in the last few years….the World Trade Center attack (9/11/2001), Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004), Hurricane Katrina (2005), Haiti Earthquake (2010)…

Being prepared is not an “option” anymore. Even if just the electricity went out…and you happen to have an “all electric” home….would you be able to survive? Do you have enough food to last you for a few days? What happens if all the stores are closed?

These are just some things to think about…..

There are numerous websites and articles that tell you to be prepared to survive for at least three (3) days if an emergency occurs. The “72 Hour Kit” as some people call it.

Besides the basic kit, you also need to have an emergency plan in place. Below is a basic list that will give you some ideas to get you started (there are numerous variations of this kit).

Basic Kit:

  • Water – one (1) gallon per person , per day for at least three (3) days

  • Food – 3 days supply of non-perishable food. Some ideas are: soup mix, granola bars, trail mix, crackers, peanut butter, beef jerky, fruit cups….

  • Plastic / paper – plates, cups, napkins…

  • Radio – battery powered

  • Flashlight – with extra batteries

  • First aid kit – basic kit

  • Whistle

  • Can opener

  • Garbage bags & plastic bags (various sizes)

  • Sleeping Bag

  • Blankets

  • Clothes – for three (3) days

  • Shoes

  • Coats & rain gear & cold weather gear

  • Personal hygiene products such as: shampoo, lotion, razors, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, feminine products, sunscreen…..=

  • Wet wipes

  • Toilet Paper

  • Sewing Kit

  • Paper & pencils

  • Matches / lighter (in water proof container)

  • Cash

  • Basic tools (wrench, pliers, scissors….)

  • Maps

  • Water purification tablets (or Chlorine Bleach)

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • String / rope / cord

  • Cooking appliances (portable stove with fuel….)


Some things (like medications…) cannot pack ahead of time…so have a checklist prepared for those items.

Checklist for supplies that need to be packed last minute:

  • Prescription medication

  • Infant formula

  • Pet food

  • Family documents (passport, birth certificates, identification cards, bank info, insurance info….)

  • Watch

  • Games for kids


Start thinking about how you and your family would handle an emergency….and start planning for it today…before that emergency strikes.

Thanks to Organized A to Z.com partner Karin E. Fried, CPC, for contributing this article. Karen is owner of Organizational Consulting Services and you can visit her Web site at www.organizationalconsultingservices.com