Create Your Own Disaster Preparedeness Kit

It’s easy to make your own disaster preparedness kit using simple household necessities and a small rolling suitcase. For our family, it’s great knowing that all we’ll have to do in an emergency is pull our prepared suitcase out of the closet on our way out of the house. Learn more about what to include in a kit in my companion post, and see how I made mine below.

build a disaster preparedeness kit

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Step 1

 Open Gallerydocuments for disaster kit

In the front pouch of our suitcase, I packed photocopies of important documents, extra sets of car and house keys, two flashlights and extra batteries.

Step 2

 Open Galleryfirst aid kit for diaster kit

Inside the suitcase, I packed a ready-to-go first-aid kit.

Step 3

 Open Galleryhygiene items for disater kit

I also added travel-sized tissue packs and wet wipes, extra toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Step 4

 Open Galleryfood for disaster kit

For food, I included peanut butter, tuna fish, soup, granola bars and canned fruit. Don’t forget to include a can opener if you’ll need one, or choose all pull-top or twist-off cans.

Step 5

 Open Gallerywater for disaster kitWe included a gallon of water as well as several smaller water bottles.

Step 6

 Open Gallerywarm items for disaster kit

These extra socks and blankets should help keep us warm in the event of an emergency.

Step 7

I also included a bowl and some extra food for the canine member of our family.

About Emily Fazio 

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I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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58 Responses

  1. SHANNON says:

    IT'S ALSO A GOOD IDEA TO WRITE DOWN IMPORTANT NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF FAMILY,DR, ETC. I DON'T KNOW ABOUT ANYONE ELSE BUT I NO LONGER CAN REMEMBER VERY MANY PHONE NUMBERS CUZ I HAVE COME TO RELY TOO MUCH ON MY CELL PHONE. IF SOMETHING HAPPENS THAT YOUR PHONE BREAKS YOU NEED TO HAVE IMPORTANT NAMES AND ADDRESSES WRITTEN DOWN AND IN THE KIT ALONG WITH ACCOUNT NUMBERS ETC

  2. Bev Giles says:

    you also need to add 3 days worth of clothing. I go through my kit every 6 months to change out expired food items. I add food items I know I would eat along with a deck of card and puzzle books that I like. You need small items to help keep you entertained especially if you are in an emergency shelter. I have a blanket that folds into a pillow and now just need a space-aged blanket.

  3. tom says:

    how can l get a copy to help me to put
    a kit together thanks for your help tom

  4. I don't use a suitcase with wheels, but rather backpacks for each of us. Then I keep a collapsible compact luggage cart/dolly folded up and stored near the backpacks. The dolly can actually hold my backpack AND my husband's, and the backpack we packed for our dogs. I have a few bungee cords to secure them all. This way, if the wheels become damaged or it isn't practical to use the cart, we could just carry the backpacks. The wheels are much bigger than the ones that typically come built into suitcases, and typically do better at going over rough ground.

  5. Best Apartments Dallas says:

    For pet owners, the dollar store has collapsible water and food bowls, as well as tie out stakes and chains. At Walmart or Target you can find collapsible nylon pet crates. I packed a separate backpack with all the supplies for my 2 dogs, including their food, water, medical records, first aid kit, etc. Also include a picture of yourself with your pet in case you have to prove ownership or they become lost. Have shot records, and I printed out ahead of time locations of hotels that accept pets (all La Quintas take pets), boarding facilities, and dog day care facilities. I also included a sweater for ea of them, dog flea & tick repellent, a brush/comb, and their own folded up silver emergency blankets. Also a harness for ea of them, with extra tags attached to the harnesses.

    Need pet friendly Dallas apartments? Check out http://www.BestApartmentsDFW.com

  6. Bon says:

    Sterno canned heat cooking fuel and waterproof matches. Would be lighter to get water purifier tabs than a gallon of water. Now they have collapsible gallon containers. Bottled water in the size that purifier tabs recommend would be great as you would have correct measurements.

  7. char hirschi says:

    Ummm. How much is this going to weigh. It sounds like the backpack I packed for my 12 yr old scout. I can still see the scout master standing over that overloaded pack throwing sox, TP and canned goods out on the lawn. Good suggestions but make sure you can grab it and run.

  8. cathy says:

    has any one lived through a disaster and took their emergency kit with them. What was the out come? what would you do different?

  9. Helen Short says:

    I would suggest a crank-type radio, the type that receives regular stations and weather alerts. These often have a flashlight, emergency siren, and a few even have a port to charge cell phones. I found this type at Walmart. Also, sporting good departments often carry emergency blankets that are silver colored and fold up very small. they reflect body heat. Emergency responders use these. They cost less than $3 at Walmart.

  10. Your Prep Station says:

    Let's not forget a few other tiny yet vital things:
    1. A radio. (weather and other vital community updates)
    2. A whistle. (sound travels further and takes less breath than yelling)
    3. Some cash. ATMs and electronic funds may not be available for a while after)

  11. texasmimi says:

    Many great suggestions, and as I read found those that I thought of. One thing that I would add is to put a bug out bag in the trunk(s) of your car(s)with basics. Divide up all the items needed into backpacks that can be sized according to family members. Little ones can carry their own if not too heavy. Adults, of course, would carry all the essential info and additional supplies. Keep all backpacks in a central location and have regular drills so everyone knows where they are and also where to meet up before departing.

  12. lcb213 says:

    Solar phone chargers would be useful.

  13. Scott says:

    This is an awesome idea! Check out some other preparedness ideas at http://www.preparemedaily.com

  14. Dmoon81 says:

    All the above is great but also include a whistle for in case of a Tornado or Earthquake and you are in a collapsed structure. List of Emergency contact Names,address and phone #'s, don't depend on the use of cell phone service or it's battery power for your contacts! Also 2 way radios, have one in your kit and give the other one to nearest neighbor or relative for their emergency kit that way you can have contact with each other!

  15. Guest says:

    I have purchased several wheeled suitcases at garage sales for only a few bucks and keep them filled at all times.

  16. summer says:

    you might want a extra pair of clothes

  17. MarilynJH says:

    I would add a reminder to NOT fill up your freezer during severe weather times so if the electric goes out, you don't waste all the frozen food.

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