The emergency supplies & gear checklist

It's hard to know what you'll need in an emergency. Here's a simple checklist of the type of gear we recommend in every important category


  • Water.

  • Food & cooking solutions.

  • Light, heat, and methods to store energy.

  • Safety & sanitation items.

  • Evacuation and transit solutions

The first thing to know is that it’s impossible to plan for everything. If you're also an A-type (like us), you'd like to prepare for EVERY eventuality, and have a backup plan for every eventuality. It ain't gonna happen, so little wonder we stall out when we want to formulate a plan. Instead, focus on acquiring the absolute essentials. Because no matter the disaster, many of the needs are the same.

So, let's get started!

The absolute easiest way to start is to refer to our Simple Disaster Plan. Identify which type of person you are, and go from there.

BUT, those lists can be fairly specific. Your needs might differ on where you live, and in what locale. (You'll need a worthy four-season sleeping bag in your go-bag if you live in Minnesota. Less so if you're in Key West.) So, consider going through our recommended list of emergency and disaster gear more carefully.

The absolute simplest start is to take at look at our Simple List. We start with 9 elemental items and a budget of a couple hundred dollars

Here at Preparation Concierge, we've broken all those necessities in simple categories.

1. Start with water. You'll need solutions to store water, first, and then the ability to turn dirty water into clean water. Our No. 1 storage solution for small spaces is the 8-pack WaterBrick system, which stores 3.5 gallons each, and are stackable and perfect for placing under the bed.

And for making dirty water clean, look to LifeStraw products, from the personal-use LifeStraw Flex Multi-Function Water Filter System and the more family-oriented LifeStraw Mission Water Purification System.

2. Next up is Food & Cooking. You'll want quick food — stuff like protein bars, peanut butter, and oatmeal pouches. You can find those suggestions here. But you'll want emergency, bucket-sized stores like the Saratoga Farms Quick Oatmeal ValueBUCKET, 5.3-Gallon Bucket, too.

Then you'll need longterm food storage methods, too. Do look in our food section for more advice, but our food for longterm storage section is pretty helpful.

3. You're gonna want some comfort items, so... Lights, Power & Warmth. America's electrical grid is in trouble. And more than any other single threat, the chance of sweeping and longterm blackouts should concern you most. You'll find solutions to keep your house lit, at least partially powered, and heated. And, if you aren't able to stay in your house, we've got the supplies to allow you to go afield with light, power, and warmth, too.

Look to personal lighting solutions like the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp, and a great solar lantern for your house or apartment — the Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern and USB Power Hub. When it comes to storing energy to recharge phones, lanterns, and other electronics, we like Goal Zero's battery packs. The Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Station, Rechargeable Generator can be charged up via a regular outlet or a solar panel.

4. Security, health & sanitation. "Security, health and sanitation" isn't exactly sexy sounding, is it?  But we're guessing it's pretty easy to see the appeal of keeping your loved ones as safe as possible.Go over the section carefully and see what works best for your security and sanitation needs (for the former, Clorox and garbage bags are, um, important).

As for health, we think a portable first-aid kit is key (see the Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Daytripper First Aid Kit), but check out our many suggestions in the Medicines & First-Aid Supplements section to help round a medical kit.

5. If you should have to leave your house, this one is key: Go bag, vehicle & evacuation. Our suggestions for the all-important go-bag include actual backpacks themselves, like the female-specific Gregory Mountain Products Maven 55 Liter, to various food items we recommend, and even the best socks that you should leave in your bag. (There's nothing worse than cold, wet feet.)

6. If you’d prefer to just browse all the gear and filter by needs, please see our Full gear list, which has every single item we like.

No, the items we mention here are by no means exhaustive. Please do go through section by section. It will take time, so try to get overwhelmed. But it WILL be a positive first step. And once you get going on this disaster preparation stuff, you'll fee less powerless, and sleep better at night.

Sane ways to deal with scary stuff