10 Emergency Preparedness Tips

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Here are 10 emergency preparedness tips to make sure you’re prepared for emergencies including things that many people forget to plan for ahead of time.

10 Emergency Preparedness Tips

10 Emergency Preparedness Tips

Since we live in Tornado alley, we always try to be prepared for tornadoes. One thing I thought of today (as we are under a severe watch) is to make sure you have a shovel and gloves with you in your shelter. That way, if you need to dig yourself out, it will be easier.



One time, I learned the hard way not to drink a cup of coffee and a cup of tea when you are under a tornado warning. My only bathroom was upstairs, far away from from my tornado shelter closet. I now store an ice cream bucket with a lid and toilet paper in there.

I keep ice cream bucket with a lid and some toilet paper in my car, too, because one time the kids and I were caught in a terrible blizzard in the middle of the Kansas prairie. The wind and snow were blowing so hard we couldn’t open the car doors. We were stranded from six in the morning until late that night. I was prepared with food and blankets but forgot the potty part.

You can get special inexpensive toilet seats that fit on any 5 gallon bucket, which are nice for emergencies too. You can store toilet paper and your other emergency kit items inside the gallon bucket and then use it for a toilet when needed.

This may not be the most pleasant subject, but I do like to be practical and prepared.



Additional Emergency Preparedness Tips:

  • Whistles. Keep a whistle in your emergency kit. You can hear whistles better and farther than the human voice, so if you get trapped somewhere in an emergency it’s easier to let rescuers know where you are. Make sure your kids each have a whistle, too.

  • Office Kits. Keep a mini emergency kit at your office. Use a soft sided lunch box and put items in it like a whistle, a small flashlight, a mini first aid kit, a couple bottles of water, etc. Also, if you wear heels to work keep a pair of hard soled shoes at the office (in case of broken glass).

  • Kids’ Kits. Keep a small backpack for each child if you can– one with wheels is best. Place a change of clothes, parent and grandparent information, a small stuffed animal (for comfort), something like a coloring book, a whistle, a small flashlight, a bottle of water and some hard candy (It helps with energy and is soothing). Place the backpack and a pair of hard soled shoes (in case of broken glass) under the child’s bed.

  • Pet kits. Include a small bag of food, a leash, a small bag of cat litter and a box, like a shirt box, to put the emergency supplies in.

  • Keep relatives’ and friends’ names, phone numbers and addresses in your emergency kit. It is easy to forget these items in an emergency.

  • Permanent Marker. We have mentioned it before but, in an emergency, write your child’s name, your name, address and phone number or grandparents’ info on a child’s arm in case they get lost. In a really bad situation you may want to mark yourself in case someone finds you unconscious.

Of course these are just a few of many things you can do in addition to the standard preparation like food, water, blankets, etc. You can add anything you think you’ll need to all of these kits but always remember you may have to carry them for a bit, possibly for miles, so don’t make them too heavy.




  1. Lady M says

    My mom used to pray for that to happen to their home every tornado season. The house needed so many repairs that due to health issues, they could not do themselves and could not afford to have done. I told her if that was what she was praying, at least scan all the pictures, get them burned onto a disc and into a safe deposit box somewhere else, lol! The rest, we could have cared less about- well, and my parents of course!.

  2. Erika says

    Where I live we go thru flooding alerts every spring.What I did was to get several large food service pails with lids(they are waterproof).I filled with them
    with important papers(copies)and other important memorbilia etc and tossed them up in the attic.If the water gets that high they will float and stay dry.When you see banks etc sandbagged,I don’t want to worry about items being lost to water damage in a safety deposit box. It takes me about 30 mins every spring and it’s a relief to know it’s taken care of in case of evacuation or more important when they close off your road while you are out.

  3. says

    I am so glad we have no disaster type things happen where we live.
    Even forest fires would stop about a mile from our town.
    The only problem would be the fact there is only one road leading out of town.
    We have to grab the two cats first and then the 5 computers. 3 lap tops and 2 desk type. They have all the important things on it so they are the important things that need to be saved.
    Not too worried about a fire because the house is shingled with the old asbestos type.
    the thing about evacuating is it would probably happen while Don is at work so it would be me trying to get out of the way. I do not have a license but know how to drive so I would pile things into the van and get to our meeting place. That we do have out on the hwy. only two ways to go so we have meeting places where we would get to. I don’t think the police would be looking at licenses in a situation like that.
    Most of our camping gear is stored in the van except for bedding and the tent so we are set up to survive when we leave. The little car also has a one burner stove and a kettle and pot so if we have to take the car we are also good for a few days.
    We do have people from other towns evacuate to our town due to forest fires and floods. People take many evacuees into their homes and the rec centre is used for that purpose as well.
    I guess if you have to leave a lot of people save or miss the things that have sentimental value but there is really nothing here that I would cry over losing. Not the sentimental type I guess.
    So my cats, computers, food and clothes are all I would keep in an emergency situation.
    Even the pictures on the walls are all in the computers.

  4. Lynda says

    Emergency preparedness encompasses much more than natural disasters and it may not be a pleasant subject but a necessary one.

    What would you do if a pandemic happened or the grid went down? Not to mention dire economic circumstances whether it’s on a national level or job loss.

    For starters, everyone should visity a government site or the Red Cross. There are a host of other sites dedicated to being prepared.

  5. Bea says

    That bucket toilet idea is a good one I never thought of. A couple of years ago there was a freak snow storm that caused so many accidents they had to shut the highway in my town completely down WITH CARS still on it. Some were stuck on this highway for 14 hours! There was nowhere to go either because many exits were too far away to walk to and the snow was coming down too hard anyway. So many people were stuck for hours and hours without many things. Food, warmth or bathrooms.

    • says

      I guess in one way Bea I have been blessed to be stranded so often because I now keep my car well stocked with so many things. In one blizzard us and other cars were stuck. We had blankets, food and all we needed so I made my way to the car in front of us to see if they needed any help and there were 2 ladies in hose, heels and dresses with not even a coat. They asked if I could get them at least a cup of water for one of them to take some medicine. They didn’t even have any thing to melt snow in.

      Since then I carry a fold up cup in my purse and enough stuff in my car trunk to keep an army for a week. Well not quite but you know what I mean. Even when I fly I am prepared. Once I was suppose to be flying to Hawaii. We got stranded waiting outside for about 2 hours for a bus. No one but me had a coat because they were going to Hawaii but it was outside in Denver in a blizzard. We ended up going almost 18 hours without food. I never did make it to Hawaii but that is another story in and of itself.

      Once I was stranded on the side of the road in 104 degree heat with no shade anywhere. I now carry an umbrella in the summer in case I need shade.

      Anyway I try to always be prepared because it doesn’t even take a natural disaster to need things.

  6. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    Just today I heard Admiral Thad Allen speak. He directed the Katrina and Oil Spill responses. One thing they had difficulty with was identifying corpses. Maybe we all need hospital bracelets with our name, address, next of kin and numbers on them.

    • says

      This is so true. That is why Tawra has a marker in her supplies to write the kids (and their) names, addresses, phone or what ever on their arm or some place so if they get lost or heaven forbid hurt they can be identified.

      Parents really should put some sort of arm band or something on their kids even if they go to something like a fireworks display or huge get together in case their children would get lost and always at least tell your older kids if you get separated we will meet at …. then pick a landmark, gate or something. I know many have cell phones now but cell phones can get lost, go dead or other things so you should still do this.

  7. Bea says

    Lots of good advice Jill. It does pay to think of all the possibilities and this thread has been food for thought. So thanks.

  8. Tonya says

    Hi Auntie!

    Good article! You’ll never have to worry about me being prepared since I was raised by a Boy Scout. :)

    Love you!!!

    • says

      Hey Tonya don’t I know it and he’s a rough and ready ranger too. :) So you actually do read what your auntie writes (preaches??) about. HA!HA! Can you believe Tawra is going to be living only about 10 mins. from you soon?? Oh you are trying to block it out of your mind huh. HA!HA!

      I love you too and will be seeing you in just a few days.

  9. ann dziagwa says

    I love love love this article! I have been preaching preparidness for months now to whoever will listen. Kids, friends, my ladies prayer group,relatives. I think I hit home to pretty much everyone I talked to. I hope they take action as well.I carry a pile of stuff in my car too. I was raised by a depression erea father who bless his soul kept a suitcase full of canned soup under his bed till the day he died and my dad didn’t raise any fools LOL

  10. Veronica Tidd says

    So many ideas so much to do I could write a book but others have already done that. So I would say read as much as you can and prepare as much as you can afford for emergencies that may be appropriate for your situation in your local area and national situations that may affect the whole population.
    Think of stockpiles as an investment against future price increases but only store items that you would normally use. Think ahead about the conditions under which supplies will be stored. A full freezer won’t do much good in a prolonged power outage, but if you have a generator it may be possible to make use of those supplies before your fuel runs out. For long term self sufficiency it might be better to can and dry foods for future use. It is very important to properly protect dry goods such as flour and sugar and anything that has been dehydrated so they are useable when needed. Vacuume packing in plastic or mason jars is a good method or the use of oxgen absorbers. Regular pressure or hot water bath canning can be used for many items and again I would caution that only canning things that would normally make accepable meals should be stored.
    Personal supplies such as toilet paper toothpaste soaps and household cleaners should be stock piled with caution. First determine the amount of product thst is used in a certain period. For example if one toilet roll lasts two weeks and you are preparing a six month supply the correct number to store will be 12 rolls. This amy sound macarbe but if you are 80 years old is it really wise to store enough to last 20 years.
    As I am a senior citizen my preparations are aimed at the older generation. Basics will get me through. Flour makes bread and many other things. Cans of meat and fish provide a good souce of protein. Dried and condenced milk will replace fresh. Butter and cheese can be canned or frozen. Again it is important to estimate how much you need for a given period.
    Especially if you are older or have chronic illneeses don’t forget your medications. My Dr was happy to prescribe an extra three month supply which I keep in the freezer and rotate. A very comprehensive first aid kit is also important. Even if you could never in a million years suture a wound it is good to have those supplies because you may meet someone who can.
    Many people have described the essential supplies needed in a 72 hour pack and I have a 2 person kit ready packed but being senior citizens we plan to shelter in place or if necessary escape by car or RV. I doubt if either of us could carry the 72 hour pack further than the end of the driveway.
    In closing I have not spent a fortune in preparing and every thing that has been stockpiled has an everyday use with a life expectancy of five years.
    Even if you depend on meals on wheels it is prudent to store a few components for instant meals should the delivery service not be available for several days. Cans or pouches of meat or fish, dried potatoes with caned vegetables will make an excellent meal with little effort in an emergency.
    Would you rather be in the comfort of your own home or in a shelter with 300 other people waiting your turn for MREs

    • says

      Check out our web site if you need more inof. I do push dehydrating over freezing because of power outages and dehydrated things have a longer shelf life. One idea you might try is to keep your 72 hour kit in a rolling back pack or light weight rolling suitcase because there is no way I could carry it either. I also have a small collapsible light dolly (sp) and bungy cords in case I need to strap things to it. For a family divide your things up and have a rolling back pack for each child so the older ones can roll theirs.

      Be careful in having huge 5 gallon containers of water. They would be almost impossible for a woman, child or older person to lift and carry which could be the case if something happens to the man of the house. Try to keep your water containers smaller in case they need to be grabbed in a hurry and tossed in a car. I like having an assortment of sizes of water containers with lots of small bottles that can be easily grabbed and put in a pocket, purse or tucked into a back pack in a hurry.

  11. bARBARA says

    Emergencies are emergencies and having things ready helps reduce panic. I always remember to keep the little things to keep my husband and I going. Things to pass the time. Once when we had a flood in a non-flood area, I grabbed a backpack, and meds, change of clothes, bible and crossword, search a word, games etc.
    rd. Aminals and their items. and jacket. Water, food on a run. I had 30 minutes. It was a 13inch flood! Thanks for your info.

    • says

      You were more on the ball than I would have been. I keep a list of things to grab if I only have 10 minutes because I know I will not be able to think straight in a hurry. I also try to keep as many things as I can in a closet or close to the door I will probably leave from so I can just grab on my way out.

  12. ann dziagwa says

    I read an interesting way to stock up if you are on a fixed income. Spend $5 a week on things to stock up on. $5 buys more than you would think, especially at a dollar store. Think about it 5 cans of soup, 1bottle of shampoo, 1tube of toothpaste, 1bottle of bodywash, 1box of bandaids and 1tube of antibacterial ointment. Any number of items and combination of them that you can imagine. And don’t forget the OTC medicine like generic tylenol and advil, benadryl, decongestant,and cough syrup. I found this on a survival blog and tried it it really does work and it is not a hardship.

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