Getting Started: Inventory

Before buying items for your kits take inventory of the items that you already have. You probably have more supplies than you realize. Your first step for emergency preparedness might be to catalog and organize your existing supplies.


You probably have warm blankets, jackets, and sleeping bags. If these are scattered throughout your house consider grouping them in one place so that you know where they are and can access them quickly. Sleeping bags stored in an inconvenient place in attic or basement may be difficult to access. Consider moving then to a location that is in easy reach.

Outdoor Equipment

Many households have some outdoor equipment such as a lantern, camp stove, barbeque, tent, knife, backpack, etc. Test these items to be sure that they are in working order. Make sure to have ample fuel. Store these items where they are easily accessible.


If you need food then your first line of defense is your home pantry. Do you have a good variety of food that you could use if food became scarce? Do you have a mix of proteins, vegetables, fruit, starches, and other basic ingredients. When you do your normal grocery shopping try to keep your pantry stocked with a good variety of foods.


In an emergency you may have to make repairs to house or vehicle. Do you have basic tools in your car for fixing a flat tire, temporarily repairing hoses, replacing a fuse or light, etc. At home do you have shut-off tools for gas and water mains, making repairs to plumbing that could break, sealing broken windows, etc.

Other Stuff

You probably have several other items that could be used for emergency preparedness such as duct tape, electrical tape, first aid items, tie wraps, warm clothing, rain gear, extra batteries, etc. Look around your house and garage and see how many preparedness items you can find.