So, you have emergency preparedness supplies! That’s fantastic—it means that you and your family have a crutch in the event of an emergency. But now that you have all this stuff, you might wonder where you should put it. Do you need to maintain it at all?
Choosing the right storage location for your supply is crucial, as is maintaining it. If you can’t reach your items quickly during an emergency or have defective items, it won’t do you much good.
Unsure where to store and how to care for your supplies? These three tips for storing and organizing emergency supplies can help.
The Best Storage Locations
It depends on what you’re storing and what you have available.
If you’re storing food, you’ll want to choose a dry, dark, and cool area, like a basement, a closet, or a pantry. Light, air, and extreme temperatures are the enemies of storable food, so avoid any locations that have those elements in abundance.
You should store nonperishable supplies inside your home. Avoid using outbuildings for storage whenever possible. Ideally, you’ll want to place items in an easy-to-carry container, like a small pouch, bag, or suitcase. You can store them under your bed, under the living room couch, or in a kitchen drawer for quick and easy access. If you have a lot of supplies, you may need to store them in a basement or closet instead.
Another tip for storing and organizing emergency supplies is to take some things from your main store and use them to create emergency kits to store around the house. Some emergencies will prevent you from accessing your main store, which makes kits essential. Every kit should include water, food, a flashlight, medical supplies, a radio, batteries, chargers, maps, and hygiene supplies. Place these kits in various spots around the house and remember their locations so you can grab one quickly in an emergency.
Organizing Your Emergency Supplies
The best way to organize your emergency supplies is to divide and sort them according to type, use, and frequency of need. Place all clothing together, all medical supplies together, all light sources together, and so on. You might also want to organize supplies per person. If a member of your family needs specific items, like insulin or an inhaler, place these items separately from the rest of your items and label them with the person’s name.
For food, you should label and organize based on expiration date. This will make keeping track of expiration dates easier so you can locate and replace expired items as needed.