Emergency Preparedness – Week 1 Storage

December 8, 2012

Welcome to “Emergency Preparedness” 8 week series here at A Bowl Full of Lemons.  Over the next 8 weeks I will be showing you how to put together an emergency survival station for your home.    The station will include storage for your survival gear, a 72 hour kit for each family member and pets, supplies to get you through an emergency, a well stocked first aid kit, and an emergency binder.  Each week, I will also be sharing “money saving tips” for those of you who are on a tight budget!  To see the introduction to the series, visit my blog post (here). I share the 8 week schedule, so you can follow along.


The United States has been hammered with natural disasters & storms over the last couple of years… and its getting worse. Have you been affected?  Tornados, hurricanes, ice storms, earthquakes, mudslides, droughts, power outages, etc.  have been going wild around the world.  What would YOU do if you were affected by one.  Do you have water stock piled in case your city water is contaminated?  Do you have means to cook food if you loose power for weeks at a time?  Do you even have non perishable food stored in case the grocery store shelves are empty?  If you answered no to any of these, why not? Why would you put your family in that situation?  You need to have a plan. Everyone needs to have a plan!  My 8 week series will help you get prepared for the unexpected.





This week your goal is:

1. Designate a space in your home, close to the exit (garage or hall closet is best), for your station.

2. Purchase or repurpose a shelf to store everything.

3. Purchase or reuse 1 backpack for each family member/pet.

4. Collect at least 3 large storage bins for supplies, etc.

5. Attach a name tag to each backpack. (Include parents number/address & extended family members contact number).




There are many types of shelving to use.  Choose what works best for you!  It can be made of wood, metal, or plastic!





 I was lucky to find 5 of the same color backpacks on clearance at Target!  They were 50% off.  You can also purchase backpacks online (here).





 You do not have to go out and purchase new shelving, backpacks or bins.  If you already have them, reuse them.  You can also check your local thrift store. They always have backpacks for a couple of dollars. Throw them in the washer and they are as good as new!   Trust me, if you are in an emergency you will not care what color your backpack is… as long as its packed full of the essentials you need to survive!  The most important thing to remember – An emergency survival station may save your life one day!



If you would like a copy of the 8 week series, you can purchase my “Emergency Preparedness” E-Book below.  It includes the entire  8 week series, along with several Emergency Binder Printables.  The E-Book is a great tool to refer to while setting up your station.   (Here) are the details of the E-Book.  Purchase your copy for only $10.



A Bowl Full of Lemons
<div align="center"><a href="https://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/2012/11/emergency-preparedness-8-week-program.html" title="A Bowl Full of Lemons" target="_blank"><img src="https://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/imgettingprepared250.jpg" alt="Ask Anna"  width="250" height="250" style="border:none;" /></a></div>




Please welcome our first “Emergency Preparedness” series sponsor, Kimmoy Matthews from Tomboy Tools. These tools are made especially for women, “pink and prepared for emergencies”. Visit Kimmoy’s website (here) to see their wide array of products developed especially for women.

37 comments on “Emergency Preparedness – Week 1 Storage

  1. Damian says:

    Funny, I just wrote an article discussing organizing your emergency supplies as it is an important topic. Being both heavily interested in emergency preparedness and organizing, I was surprised as how dis-organized my supplies had become over the years!

    Getting all of your stuff in one spot is a useful idea but I like to keep my supplies in the basement and my 72 hour bags closer to the door so, unfortunately, they cannot be together. This is something to consider since your backpacks are meant to be grabbed immediately and then out the door. Perhaps a good application is to use coat hooks or something similar placed by the front door with the bags hanging from them so they’re off the floor and actually a big decorative. Or, maybe in a hall closet.

  2. Fantastic idea Toni, I have always wanted to do this, thanks for helping me to get started!

  3. Bonnie says:

    I’m excited about this series and hoping to follow along with you. Very important to be prepared as much as possible!

  4. Lia Risheill says:

    Is there a reason that this needs to be set up near the exit door? I just assembled our storage unit and I have it put next to the staircase in our basement… when you walk up the stairs you are then facing the exit to the garage… is that ok? or should it not be in the basement at all?

    • Admin says:

      Lia, The reason why I recommend it being close to your door is because if there is an emergency and you need to load up the car and get out of dodge, you can do it within a minute or 2 if you had to. Do whats best for your family and home. 🙂 Thanks for participating.

  5. jan says:

    I think this wonderful that are doing this. It is not always “natural disasters” that we need basic supplies for. Our city worked on the pipes outside our home for half day and had to turn off the water in the area. Thank goodness we had water to drink and brush our teeth as we got ready in the morning.

  6. Terrie m says:

    I am doing this! I just wrote backpacks on my list! Thanks for getting us all organized for this very important topic!

  7. Angee says:

    Just what I needed….my husband and I have talked about Emergency Preparedness alot lately. Perhaps this is what I need to follow this 8 week Preparedness Challenge. I have some things but need to do more to be more organized and prepared. Will be on the look out for backpacks and may just have to raid my attic to see what is stored up there.

  8. Nickie says:

    Is there a specific size plastic tote you recommend? Thanks!

    • Admin says:

      Nickie, I am using 3 that fit together on one of my shelfs… SO it depends on the size of your shelf. You should have 2 for supplies and 1 for comfort items.

  9. Nicole says:

    hi, I’m just curious how i should accommodate my 2 year old in this? I am a single mom so it is just us 2. should i get 2 bags and pack necessities in 1 and not so important in the other? and is there anything else you would recommend for my situation?

    • Admin says:

      Nicole, I would have 2 separate backpacks. One just for your things, 72 hour kit, etc… and the other with only your 2 year olds things, extra set of clothes, 72 hour food kit, toys, etc… Keep following the challenge! You are doing a great thing by getting prepared!

      • Melissa says:

        I would like to add that with young littles that maybe can’t walk too far on their own or tend to wander if they do walk you may want to include either a stroller or a carrier like a sling, mint etc. and keep them with or near your kit. I keep a 2nd sling in my 22 mo olds kit and an umbrella stroller in my minivan.
        Consider what you can carry when packing bags. Hubby can stand the extra weight but I’ve pulled my shoulder out of joint a few times and can’t tolerate a much. My 10 can carry her pack but my 5 & 6 yos can’t handle the full weight of theirs. I’m still working on putting all of ours together but I am planning to add a sturdy rolling suitcase for extra food, water & blankets as well as coats and extra shoes. My aunts house burned in the middle of the night in winter and I assure you she didn’t have time to hunt the kids coats and shoes and they lost everything. She told me the other day that if she had had something like this together near the door or near their car in the garage it would’ve helped tremendously.

    • Kynda says:

      I’ve done emergency preparedness for years. When my kids were little we purchased a sturdy wagon to help them transport their own emergency supplies. Now that they are older, we plan to use the wagon to carry extra water if we have to evacuate our home.

  10. Lynne says:

    I’m a single mom with a 16 year old and 3 dogs, living in a new state which can have some severe weather. Moving @ the end of this month and I will definitely set this up @ the new house.

  11. Hilary Cook says:

    I have a very small 6 year old and I was wondering if I should still get a normal sized back pack for her or if I should get something more her size? I have seen her almost fall over when the normal size pack is full. Thanks.

  12. Mabby LaVoy says:

    I got the SAME backpacks – all 5 – but in pink on Targe’ts clearance for $8.00!!!

  13. Mandy says:

    this surprised me only for one reason- i was always taught NOT to keep it all by the exit because if you are broken into, your supplies could be the first to go- especially in a scenario where times are tough and people are stealing to survive.
    But I can see your side, that in case of an immediate emergency, you need to be able to grab and go.
    now to find the middle ground for our household….

    • Ti Anderson says:

      I would say keep it near the door but out of sight if possible such as in a hall closet. In the first hours of an emergency you want them handy if you need to evacuate. If you make the decision to stay in your home you can move them farther inside and fortify your entrances. Most people wont resort to potting until you (as a prepared and quick thinking planner ) have already left or fortified. 🙂

  14. Tracey says:

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing this important information. I pray that none of us ever needs to use it! I imagine being prepared gives you a sense of peace. I’m looking forward to becoming prepared!!

  15. I appreciate this series although I have to admit that I am skeptical. I worry that people feel that they will grab their pack and head out the door. But, what are they heading into? Perhaps people should also consider what form of communication they will be able to use. Do they have an amateur radio such as a ham radio? Most likely telecommunications will be down in the type of disaster you are preparing people for. And where are you going? There is a lot to consider here.

  16. This is such a relevant and informative post. I’ve always meant to get started on this but never got round to it so thanks for giving me a push in the right direction.

  17. Tanya says:

    I will have four children under four (3.5, 1.5, and twin babies) and a dog. Any thoughts on how to carry all this gear? I’m thinking just a backpack for my husband and I or maybe one backpack and one larger gym type bag to fit stuff for all the kids?

    • Chalyce says:

      You could make a bike trailer. There are several you tube videos on how to turn an infant bike trailer into a trailer to haul your gear on. You can customize it to carry your small children on the front part and the gear in the back half. If you have a child seat carrier on the back of your bike that may help. Basically, you strip the trailer down to the frame, add a sheet of plywood cut to fit and align and punch holes through the frame then drill holes through the plywood and you’re ready to put bolts through both securing it on the underside of the trailer frame. Then you can add wood to build sides and a seat for the little ones with a separate compartment in back for the dog. The dog can walk sometimes, but after a bit it will tire out and need to ride (depending on the size and breed of dog). If you have a husband he could also have a trailer and he could haul the gear. You could make a bench seat padded with a blanket for the little ones in both trailers if you wish. There are a lot of things you can do with a bike and trailer. You could partially enclose the seat area to shelter the children from the sun, wind, rain, or snow, too. Sometimes you can find these trailers for free or cheap at yard sales or the thrift stores, just ask around. I hope this helps! Good luck. I’m happy for you and your small family. I always wanted twins. I have three that are really close together and I know how exhausting it is. Take care, rest up and do what you can!

  18. LILLIAN F WISDOM says:

    Thank You for posting this Blog. Living in Los Angeles County, you would think every resident would have one shelf prepared for this situation. Unfortunately like me, and everyone I know, we just seem to busy to prepare for it. My family consists of four people two of which both my kids are in College, one at home, the other in Orange County. Three dogs. I plan on going to Costco today to first start with my shelf, first of all. Then I will shop around for the back-paks. Thank you once again for your 8 week blog.

    Lily from L.A.

  19. APMommy says:

    I knew I’d post my previous question too soon. 🙂 Found the backpacks! Thanks for all the info!!!

  20. Charlotte says:

    Hello. I just found your lovely site. It is nice to find a helpful site that doesn’t make you panic. What size backpack should we use, ie a school pack, a frame pack, a molle pack? Also we have 4 cats and a dog. How do you suggest I care for them. I know shelters don’t accept them. I have four kids and my husband and myself. How on earth am I going to fit all in the car. The cats especially will need a crate each. Thanks for all your time and hard work.

Get the latest downloads from A Bowl Full of Lemons printables shop.
Hello. Add your message here.