Shelter in Place

You should have the bulk of your disaster supplies at your home. This is where you have the largest collection of resources right at hand – beds, furniture, pots and pans. If you are somewhere other than home when a disaster hits, you’ll have what is in your car kit to get you home. All the family members should try to get back home if it is safe to do so.

If the disaster necessitates you evacuating your home or your apartment, you will want to have your EVACUATION supplies all together, and separated from the rest of the disaster supplies, so you can quickly grab it and leave. Most likely you will not have time to sort, pick and choose what you take with you in the event of an evacuation. You may have half an hour to leave, you may have only minutes. Do the sorting now.

Your SHELTER IN PLACE supplies can be in plastic totes. Plastic is better than cardboard boxes: if you have 4" of water in your home from a flood, plastic totes will keep your preparedness items dry while they will all get wet if in cardboard.

Emergency Kits for All Occasions


Your EVACUATION supplies need to be in something portable and easy to move. Many people who live in large cities don’t have cars. They use bikes or public transportation. You would want your evacuation supplies in a backpack or a duffle bag with handles that can be used to carry the duffle on your back, leaving your hands free to carry a flashlight, to ride a bike or to move debris. MAKE SURE YOU CAN CARRY THE PACK! IT IS NO GOOD IF YOU CAN’T CARRY IT!

A great idea, especially for families, is to use 2 rolling clamp-lid garbage cans for their EVACUATION supplies: one can is for a daypack for each family member with water, food, other supplies, plus supplies just for that family member. The person-specific packs might have a spare pare of eye glasses or extra meds where applicable. It is very important to have a comfort item for small children such as a doll or stuffed animal. For teens and up, sitting at a shelter with no TV, no Game Boy or PSP, no form of any entertainment, is going to cause one restless, bored person. A paperback book or travel board game won’t take up much space and they are very lightweight. We carry non-noisemaking, lightweight games that are perfect for evac packs, and can be used while stranded at home as well.

We have a great checklist for disaster supplies that we’ve divided into 2 sections – the stuff that goes into the plastic tubs and the items that you’ll want to have in the EVACUATION pile, packed into a backpack or into daypacks and your rolling garbage cans. (Why the ROLLING trash cans? If it is full of supplies, it can be quite heavy. If you need to evacuate in a hurry, you can roll the can over to your car or van, pop the trunk and just shove the whole garbage can right into your trunk or the back of your van or SUV. In a disaster that requires evacuation you won’t have the luxury of walking next door to see if someone can come back to your house and do it for you. SELF RELIANT is the thought here.)

Shelter in Place at Home Checklist & Grab and Go Bag Checklist

Get Home Safe Checklist for Car