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


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 


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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62 Responses

  1. Martijo63 says:

    Matches , pills to clean water or one of those drinking siphons

  2. Lindacay says:

    Kotex and. Panty liners work great for bandages, we make fire starters out of left over wax and wood chips. They are fantastic and will start a fire anywhere.

  3. Map Books 4 U says:

    If nothing else, make sure you have a copy of your prescriptions so if you have to be evacuated, you can get refills wherever you end up, even if it is a temporary amount, until things settle down.

  4. Ms. Paige says:

    This is an awesome idea in case you have to grab and go quickly! When Hurricane Katrina was coming I put my meds in one of those plastic pill organizers except for a week's worth that I left I n the bottles and took with me. Some pharmacies will give you an extra labeled bottle for non narcotics in case of emergencies but I never think l that far ahead lol

  5. mommyceo says:

    I read somewhere that the best "weapon" to take is a knife. It is a tool that can be used for multiple things, unlike a gun or hand grenade :-) .

  6. Annie says:

    I would suggest that a wheeled suitcase might not be as good an idea as a large backpack as the wheels could get damaged or you might have to go over rough ground or even grass. The wheels wouldn't be much good over wet grass, etc. And this would result in you having to carry the suitcase by hand. A large backpack is so much easier to carry than a clapped out suitcase.

  7. Map Books 4 U says:

    If you have not had the chance to watch American Blackout which was on National Geographic…please take the time to seek it out and watch it. Another tip, keep your vehicle's gas tank 3/4 to full all the time. Gas pumps will not work in a black out or severe natural disaster. Also keep small dollar bills and even coins handy as credit cards will not work or be accepted by most merchants. Unfortunately yes a weapon will most likely be necessary as the "have nots" will take from the "haves" by force. If you wear and rely on eye glasses, don't forget to put a pair of old ones in your emergency kit.

  8. Kelly says:

    I include glow sticks from the "dollar stores".

  9. Donna says:

    Have a place designated to meet up with family. An out of state contact to have family call to ChecK in with

  10. Phyllis says:

    All the previous comments are great, prescriptions, fire starter, extra paper for fire starter, container for heating water, small grate for fire, radio, extra batteries, any camping gear, pots, pans, plastic container for washing, TP, paper towels, blankets, pillows and clothes for everyone. Plastic tarp for protection, bungee cords, clips and clothes pins, sewing accessories. Food and water. All of this in water tight containers with wheels. Hammer, saws, nails and tools.

    • Sue says:

      And the list keeps growing! Now we need more than a small suitcase for everything mentioned!

    • Yours Truly says:

      I agree, and then not. Some of this is not stuff you can quickly grab in an emergency. Hammer, nails, saw, tools, if a flood happened and your car was not accessible, this would be very difficult to carry along with canned goods and all the other necessities. I would put those items in the car, and if it can be used then bring them. They wont fit in the suitcase or backpack idea along with all the other necessary items. Also, a pillow is not necessary, although I would want one to lol! I think your idea is good, but bringing several pots and pans, things like that, it is good if you have a motor home. Maybe one multi purpose pot or pan so as not to make the bags so heavy in case it must be carried.

  11. Judi says:

    An extra pair of prescription glasses would also be good. Tissues should always be in your car as well as gloves and a blanket or two. We have a fold-up shovel and matches in a waterproof container. The clothes we pack are older items we don't wear any more but are serviceable. Extra shoes/boots wound be a good idea too.

  12. tja says:

    I would include a radio, and sadly but necessary, a weapon.

  13. Lele says:

    Trash bags….for trash and as a rain coat

  14. Lacey Swalling says:

    I would suggest adding feminine products.

  15. Sally says:

    also if you have little ones .. diapers, formula, baby food, extra clothes, juice boxes

  16. Lori says:

    You could put a luggage tag on it that had the expiration date of the items that need replacing as they get older so you don't have to open it up to check the expiration dates.

  17. Wendy says:

    This would be a good 72 kit for ONE person. Not the whole family. As stated before don't forget meds, prescription as well as OTC pain meds. I would also add string, duct tape, matches, toilet paper, extra socks, feminine hygiene products, crank radio, crayons, color books, a favorite toy, and a map book,. Each bag can be tailored to the individual it's intended for (little Johnny doesn't need tampons).

  18. Ashlee says:

    How often do you need to switch out some of these items?

    • Emily says:

      Good rule of thumb is to check your pack/bag twice a year on daylight savings weekend. It only takes a few minutes to check/switch out food/water and change summer/winter clothing out, if you packed any. Same thing with checking the batteries in your smoke alarms.

  19. Tracey says:

    If you have pets, I would add an extra collar and lead for each, along with their ID tags, microchip info, vaccination records, and pet first aid kit.

  20. India Flynn-Kerr says:

    I forgot meds, take meds

  21. India Flynn-Kerr says:

    If you can pick up a few of the silver looking blankets used in fires or cold to add would be great & don't take up much room. Plastic bags & dehydrated foods, containers for food, spork & pocketknife like Leatherman, crank radio for news, paperback book, paper & crayons. Toilet paper, string and duct tape & a couple of large garbage bags. I think all this will fit in the case. I would definitely get a suitcase with wheels. I'd do a bit more than ankle socks like wool ones & a pair of thermals. Dawn soap & one small camp pot.

  22. Map Books 4 U says:

    I would suggest packing tampons for feminine hygiene, nose bleeds, fire starters, and probably a few other uses. Don't forget to pack any meds that are necessary for people in your household as well as copies of the prescriptions, medical cards, allergy lists, and typed & laminated emergency numbers and addresses to family members. A charger for you cell phone or tablet, gloves, a multi-tool and a knife.

  23. Amy says:

    include extras of prescription meds

  24. raquel says:

    I think the only thing missing from this little kit is a battery powered am/fm radio…. Other than that I think this is a great idea for a quick exit bag for emergency situations. Great idea… thanks for sharing

    • Carole Foster says:

      I got a little radio with an emergency flasher on it, and a hand crank to make sure that you always have power (dead batteries?). It also floats. I keep it in my car. A very good thing to have on hand.

    • Sistersage says:

      They also have the wind up radios if you don't have batteries handy.

  25. wanda box says:

    that is a good thing to do went the power is out for a long time too.

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