How a DIY Prepping Kit Can Help You Respond to Emergencies Faster

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

By the author of Prepper’s Pantry and Three Miles

A common discussion around prepper tables is how and where to store all of your stuff. One method I like to use is making prepping kits that are geared to respond to certain types of emergencies or situations.

The best example of a prepping kit that almost every prepper has is a bug-out bag. Our bags are geared toward providing us with what we need to survive for 24-72 hours away from our homes. In them, we keep food, water and filtration devices, lighting, navigation tools, emergency shelter supplies, and first aid gear. Because this is a standalone, contained set of gear organized for a specific purpose, we pare out the things that aren’t necessary for that type of emergency survival.

But you can easily expand the kit philosophy far beyond the bug-out bag. Not only do prepping kits help you to respond quickly, they also help you plug any holes you might have for a particular type of event. You can quickly find the things you need in one place, instead of searching around in the dark with a flashlight clenched between your teeth.

Here are just a few examples of the prepping kits you can create. Use this as inspiration to make kits that are most likely to be needed in your setting, for your family

Power Outage Kit

I keep a power outage kit in my hall closet, where it’s easy to find even on the darkest night. The kit is kept in a Rubbermaid container with a lid. In it, I keep the following:

I keep extra fuel canisters and candles elsewhere, but I always have the basics together so I can function. Plugged in to keep it charged, I keep my small solar generator in a closet that has a plug, with the accessory package and the folding solar panels on top of it and behind it respectively.  The goal is to keep all of your related things together so you have all the bits and pieces you need to handle things quickly and efficiently.

Water Kit

I have another kit in a decorative cabinet that resides in my front hall. This is where I store all things water-related. This prepping kit is larger but neatly stashed away, and like the other kit, it contains the basics. Extra supplies are stashed elsewhere.

In my water kit, I keep:

The things you keep in your own water kit may vary and could also include things like testing strips for your well, a vessel for collecting water from an outside source, and other miscellaneous water-related supplies.

Tornado Kit

This is an example of a more regional kit a prepper might want to put together. Anyone who lives in tornado country knows that their immediate response could be the difference between life and death. When we had a house in a tornado-prone area, I kept my tornado kit in the part of the basement where we’d go if a twister was inbound. You might want to keep a similar kit in your storm shelter.

Here’s what we kept in ours:

  • Helmets (any kind will do – including bicycle helmets, which are inexpensive and easy to acquire)
  • Water
  • Protein bars
  • A blanket to throw over ourselves to protect from debris
  • First aid supplies
  • Sanitation supplies in case we’re trapped in there for some time

Your kit will vary based on where you live, how many people are likely to be sheltering, and any special needs you and your loved ones may have.

What kind of container should you use for your prepping kit?

You can use a variety of vessels for storing your prepping kits. Here are some examples of how I store my supplies.

  • Stackable Rubbermaid Totes
  • Suitcases slid under the bed
  • Small, decorative cabinets that are dedicated to one specific type of prep
  • A shelf in your pantry or hall closet
  • A nightstand or side table with drawers
  • A basket on a shelf

The sky is really the limit when it comes to places in which you can compile a kit. The main goal is to keep things that you might need together, together. Often when you use the kit philosophy, you duplicate certain supplies. For example, I have a Sawyer Mini in my home water kit and my bug-out bag, and I also keep one in my purse at all times. But two is one and one is none, right?

I prefer opaque containers for this purpose so that a casual glance doesn’t spy my preparedness supplies.

The next time you have an emergency, you’ll be incredibly glad that you put the things you’ll need for it all in one place, where they were easy to find.

For some thorough checklists, take a look at The Prepper’s Interactive Book of Lists.

Do you use the prepping kit philosophy?

Do you keep your prepping supplies dedicated to specific emergencies in one place? Can you share what type of prepping kits you have and what you keep in them? Let’s discuss the humble prepping kit in the comments section.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • I use a similar approach, except that since I live in a heritage home with virtually no closets, I have to get creative about storing items. Everything that it not affected by temperature fluctuations lives in stacked ammo crates in my screened porch off the kitchen, or in the garage for less commonly used items. Also, a lot of preps are spread around the house in every room – for example, while I keep a flashlight in every kit, there are decorative candles and oil lamps all over the house – seriously a LOT!!. Usually combined with salt lamps and crystals, so it screams “superannuated hippie” instead of “prepper”. I have roughly 20 or so decorative coloured glass bottles with ‘water blessing labels’ on them. These I fill from my twice filtered water pitchers and rotate through them for daily use, so they never get very stale. That gives me 20 liters of relatively fresh drinking water lined up neatly on my dining room buffet at any given time. Another necessary kit for where I live is a flood kit – every time we have a decent rain storm the basement floods (since I have pretty much no kitchen cupboard space, the basement shelves are both my working pantry and longer term food storage). Not keep flood, just enough to soak anything on the floor and leave mold everywhere when it dries. So dealing with that is a must. My car is also outfitted with more than the usual amount of gear – there’s my BOB/GHB, winter and summer vehicle survival kits, extensive first aid kit, fire kit, emergency motel bag, and provisions bag (with shelf stable food, mess kit, and indoor and outdoor cooking solutions), as well as the small ammo boxes of compact food bars and emergency water pouches that I keep on the floor beside the drivers’ seat (since I very seldom have a passenger.)

    • I always thought that the reason to hide you are a prepper is not being ashamed of being labelled as “prepper” (what’s wrong about being cautious?) but because if people see your preps they might want some, and you don’t have enough to share widely. Having plenty of candles of the hippie sort isn’t going to stop any neighbor that has seen the candles to be tempted to ask for some if there is a power cut. And you sound like you have enough for sharing. Of course, if you have hippie candles just because you like hippie candles, that’s fine, too.

  • For our medical supplies we have three large tool boxes stored in a bedroom closet. One is labeled: First aid, another internal meds and the third external.
    I have a typed list of all contents in each box plus one with all three box contents outside the boxes. I have out grown those boxes, so have lots more medical supplies in a large cabinet in another room. I have been debating about getting a dental kit. Any thoughts?
    I have been reading all the articles and posts for a long time but this is first time to comment. Great site. Thanks, Daisy.

  • Uhm…also a gun kit, in a country where firearms are heavily restricted:
    Pepper spray (CR, adybenz-oxazepine).
    Gas pistol (Record Cop), six pepper cartridges.
    Knife (with 79 mm blade – as 80 mm is the maximum legal length).

  • A chaos kit. Family training as well as equipment to quickly resolve an unknown situation.

    When you awaken in the night to a crash through the window. It’s stormy, the power is not on. Is it a branch tossed through the window or?

    Both you and your spouse put on handy bedside clothing and SHOES. Both secure flashlights and personal defense tools. One goes to secure the children’s rooms while the other carefully checks out the broken window. Happily, it’s a branch this time. You have shoes so cut feet isn’t a direct threat.

    You go to the chaos kit and get out tools, plastic sheeting, wood strips and nails to quickly close off that window as sleeting rain-snow is coming in. The fresh battery in the headlamp is handy while you’re working. Do you HAVE a non-electric method to clean up that glass from the carpeted floor?

    Children have been trained to remain away from the broken window situation until clear is called out.

    Same situation but you smell smoke. Your spouse secures the children. Do you have a rally point if you have to evacuate the house?

    Do you have agreements of mutual support from trusted friends so your rally point B might be there? Nothing is worse as an EMS responding to a house fire to see parents frantically looking for their kids because nobody knew were to rally in that situation.

    Do you have a duress code in case something isn’t right, but you cannot call out about it. Do you have an all-clear code?

    Having replacement screen material, tarps, heavy duty sheet plastic, and so on can make the difference between having a battered but livable home or not when spicy times comes.

  • I don’t have a survival kit, per se, but I keep all my candles in one place, I have a flashlight available in several places in my small house, and first aid kits are in the main bathroom cupboard. I live in an area that is pretty emergency-free, but we do have short power outages regularly. We also have all our camping gear in one place so that’s usable if we have to cook off-grid. I am fairly new to prepping so I don’t really have any suggestions for others but 26 years of marriage and several moves have helped me pare down to mostly what is useful…

  • Some random thoughts

    WaterBOBs are excellent water storage bags IF you have the time to file them before an emergency strikes. They are NOT very portable when filled. So if you have to suddenly bug-out (like if flood water is rising or there’s a wildfire headed your way, eg.,) you’re better off with a few smaller containers your muscles can lift … plus a water filter system that you technically understand.

    For example, Sawyer water filters (and most others) use tiny capillary sized tubes that retain a little bit of the water from even the first time that filter is used. Unfortunately that means that almost any such even once used filter cannot thereafter be allowed to freeze — which will crack those tiny tubes and render the filter’s ability useless to block bad stuff that could make you very sick. The only water filter brand I know of that does not use the capillary design and can handle freezing is the SurvFilter — however pricey at around $100.

    Portable water distiller systems can also work well as long as you have a heating system (whether found or stored fuel or solar, etc). There are small portable ones for bugging out as well as large non-portable ones for bugging in.

    Having grown up in Tornado Alley I’m very aware of the incredible damage that can be done. A twin-size mattress pulled over on top of you in a bathtub is far better protection than just a blanket — IF you have no way or time or place to escape to. A classic story from East Texas a few years ago was about a woman whose son placed her in the bathtub that the tornado then picked up and deposited her safely some miles away. Make of that story what you will. Of course there’s only room in one bathtub for you or a WaterBOB — but not both.

    Since some kinds of bugouts (and even bug-ins) are of unknown duration … it’s a really good idea for your flashlights, radios, and other such gadgetry to be chosen so they can operate via rechargeable batteries (whether Nimh or Lithium Ion types, eg.,) … whether via wall power, USB power, solar power or hand crankable chargers. Have enough rechargeable batteries so that while your gadgets are ready to go with fully charged batteries installed, backup batteries can conveniently be charging regardless of your circumstances to be ready immediately when your installed batteries run out of juice.

    Some gadgets (especially some made in China) have rechargeable batteries built in with no way to replace them when they die The book titled “Poorly Made in China” comes to mind. The point is that rechargeable batteries (whether installed until the product dies or just stored in a box) need to be regularly tested so you know what you can rely on versus what needs immediately replacing.

    In the old horse and buggy days kerosene lanterns were routinely available for night time emergencies. Stored kerosene never wore out, but the surrounding glass tubes in such lanterns had to be protected from any impact. That method and equipment is still available but only if you are willing to be extra careful with it.

    I agree with the opaque container system for such gear. Depending on where such containers will be stored — or transported — some non-interesting false labels on such containers might include “family photos”, genealogy records, compost container, landfill material, broken parts, etc.


  • Since I was a Paramedic and the a Trauma Nurse for many years, I have a jump bag that goes with me whenever I leave the house. Other than my CERT kit, that’s the only two purpose assembled kits I have on hand.
    I keep a rechargeable flashlight in every room of the house, as well as some lanterns in the stairwell closet. I keep our old camping hiking gear in totes there as well. So I guess that is kind of “kit” based. Sleeping bags in one tote. Alternate stoves in another, and some freeze dried meals and water in a third, in case power’s out for a while. I do want to pick up a 3 or 4 man tent that pops up, and doesn’t require pegs and guylines, so it can be set up inside the house. In extreme cold, if the heat is out, gathering everyone into the tent inside the house, will keep you warmer than everyone scattering off to their rooms.

    Good article. I may try to come up with a few more purpose kits.

  • As live aboard preppers, we have what we call a go bag or a grab bag beside the companionway. It is ready to go if we have run out of options and need to launch the dinghy. Hoping never to have to face that dilemma but it is bright yellow and always in clear view. What does it contain? Hand operated watermaker, about a kilogram of barley sugar sweets, flares, mirror, orange V sheet for signalling, compass and two bright orange ponchos and a knife. There is a similar bag near it with vinyl repair kit and air pump for the dinghy. A few steps away are two 10 litre water containers.
    Not your typical prepper equipment but essential because of the potential. At sea everyday you are prepared for the worst because it can happen quicker than you can blink an eye.

  • As some are talking about firearm supplies being stored, remember to tell firefighters if your house is on fire, that you are storing ammo and which rooms they are stored in. No firefighter needs to get shot rescuing your family members.

  • When my nephew and his wife were expecting their baby I gave them a power outage kit in a tote that seals. It had candles, flashlights, headlamp, batteries, lighters, a battery operated fan (They can be hot, but not the baby!), a water filter in case the outage is long, a tarp in case a storm caused the outage and damage to their home, a first aid kit and a small non electric sterno stove. Then I decided to give my nephew who travels for work the same thing in case he’s stuck in a hotel with no power. Probably not exactly a power outage kit, but hopefully a gift to get them thinking.

  • You Need More Than Food to Survive

    In the event of a long-term disaster, there are non-food essentials that can be vital to your survival and well-being. Make certain you have these 50 non-food stockpile essentials. Sign up for your FREE report and get prepared.

    We respect your privacy.
    Malcare WordPress Security