One of the questions that seems to pop up is, “Where do I put my stuff?” We go to a lot of effort and considerable expense to gather our disaster kit. And now that we have it all together, ready for any emergency where do we store it? Ideally we’d all have a storage pod that’s burglar, fire and earthquake-proof. It will also be situated somewhere handy, secure, temperature controlled, but out of the way. It will be damp-proof, bug proof and oh yes, expandable, because all disaster kits tend to grow. AND portable, don’t forget portable.
Whenever there is an emergency, we sometimes don’t think as clearly as when nobody is screaming. If your house is on fire, it’s best to have a prearranged meeting place and alternate routes to get out of the house. If this is all decided ahead of time, then when the need arises, people won’t need to be told what to do. My point is if your kit is scattered throughout the house, then you’ll have to stop and think about where you’ve put all your stuff. For that reason it’s best to keep it all in one place. Trying to round up your emergency gear in the middle of chaos is just that, chaos. Mix in the fact that it is the middle of the night and the kids are scared and you’ve got the formula for a secondary disaster. I recommend you start with a couple of big totes then find a place for them. Which brings us to the next question. Where? In the basement? A closet? The attic? The storage shed?
Those choices may all be correct depending on your personal circumstances. Or not, depending on circumstances. In the event of an earthquake, it might not be a good idea to store your kit in the basement because of the possibility of collapse. But then, some items, mostly foodstuffs, recommend storage in a cool, dry environment.
One person I know bought a surplus military communications “cube”. It is six feet square, designed to house military radio gear and to be hauled in the back of a pickup. He remodeled the inside to organize his kit. It is weather tight and portable.
If you own an RV, you already have your cooking apparatus, probably some pots and pans and other supplies. In the event you’d need to evacuate you wouldn’t have to round up all your gear. It’s already in one place.
For the rest of us we need to find the best possible place that would keep our gear safe and accessible. It is impossible to plan for every contingency, but every home has a ‘best’ spot for storing your kit. Make it a family project, get some suggestions, do some brainstorming and I’ll bet you can come up with the best location in your home to store your supplies. If you come up with a unique or interesting location to store your kit, email me at email@example.com. You may check out previous columns on my blog at www.disasterprepdave.blogspot.com. Dave Robinson is a retired Postmaster, and the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us,” available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other online booksellers.