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Being a Kansas native I know that the threat of a harsh storm is real. It can be terrifying to get caught in a tornado warning without a storm emergency kit. That is why having one in my home, and in my car is vital. Today I am going to share with you how to create your own storm emergency kit.

You may also want to check out my Winter Safe Drivers Kit article.

Storm Emergency Kit How To:

Storm Emergency Kit Tornado Funnel Cloud


Keeping your family safe in the face of a storm is important.

Storms can happen in the blink of an eye.

Especially in some states known for tornados.

I can’t even express the destruction caused by tornados in states like Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma to name a few.

While this is by no means the worst it can get, here is a short video of the beginning of a tornado warning in Kansas.

This video was shot by me from my front door.

You can hear the tornado warning siren and see the ominous sky.

Luckily the storm passed and there was no severe destruction in my neighborhood.

We only had some fallen limbs, roof, and window damage, mostly from the winds.

When a severe storm warning or tornado warning occurs most families will retreat to their basements or crawl space.

Others without either of those options will try to get to a neighbors house with one, or a local storm shelter.

The question is, however, when faced with the possibility of losing everything, what do you need to pack and have on hand?

I have listed items needed in a storm emergency kit for you:

Before I list the items I do want to mention it is key to have your kit in a place that is easy to locate.

Shoving it into the back of a closet won’t be a lot of help in the face of an emergency.

Those precious seconds to dig out your kit could be the difference between life and death.

It is also important to have a plan.

Storm Emergency Kits Packed Up Ready To Go

Especially if you have pets or small kids.

Be sure everyone in your household knows their role in an emergency.

Just like having a fire exit plan, you want one in the case of a dangerous storm as well.

Also, have a backup plan in case a family member delegated to an important task is not at home when danger strikes.

Someone should always be in charge of rounding up children and pets to lead them to safety first.

Having all the emergency kit items in the world won’t matter if you lose your loved ones in the process of gathering the kits!

We have our bags by our front door in the center of our home ready to go!

How important each item is, depends on you and your family’s needs.

And Now For The Storm Emergency Kit List:

Medical Supplies – this may not be necessary for all but for those with life-saving medications and supplies this is number one on the list.

Batteries – Having extra batteries for flashlights, lanterns, headlamps, and medical supplies is a must. Also be sure you change them out with fresh batters each season as batteries have a shelf-life.

Lighting – As mentioned above, you may prefer lanterns, flashlights, or headlamps but having a light source is something you will want.

You Can Never Be Over Prepared In A Storm!

Storm Emergency Kit Items Tools Batteries

Phone Numbers – Have emergency resource and family member’s phone numbers written down on something that is not electronic. We never know how cell service will be in a storm and a phone that runs out of battery will be of little help. You may need to contact family that lives across town to check on their safety or reach out to emergency providers.

Pet Supplies – If you have pets you will want to be sure you have a leash for each, even the cats if you want them to be safe by your side! A little food or some treats, a travel water bowl, and anything that will help keep them calm. Pets are part of the family and deserve to be well cared for in an emergency. They are like children and will be afraid too. Freeze dried dog food saves space in your kit.

Children’s Items – Be sure you have something that will soothe your children such as a favorite stuffed toy, music to listen to, a warm blanket or their favorite snacks.

Don’t Forget Your Pets Or Children’s Needs In A Storm.

Snacks and Bottled Water – Snacks that are high protein are necessary if you are dislocated for any length of time. They provide you the energy you need to get through the storm. If you have medical conditions like diabetes, such as myself and my daughter do, they will save your life! Water is an obvious choice but easily forgotten. Be sure to have some.

Radio – We have a radio that operates via cranking a handle in case batteries fail and there is no cell service. This is also a flashlight although not the best of flashlights it serves multiple purposes. Knowing what is going on with the weather and in the city is vital in some conditions.

Storm Emergency Kit Item Swiss Tech Hand Crank Radio and Flashlight

Toilet Paper and Paper Towels – At the worst of times, in the most severe storms, your entire neighborhood could be wiped out. I know that sounds scary but it is true. Having some essentials like toilet paper and paper towels is not just a convenience but a must.

How Prepared Will You Be In A Storm?

Above I have listed only a handful of the basic essentials but there is far more you can do!

How prepared do you want or need to be for a storm?

Everyone is different.

Some of us tend to be overly cautious.

I am one of those people.

Having lived with medical issues my entire life and having a daughter with serious medical conditions has taught me to be this way.

If you are a rough and tough person who enjoys living on the edge or even someone who is able to go with the flow you may not need as many items.

Storm Emergency Kit Item ramen cooking pot freeze dried dog food water purifier mylar blanket

Additional Items You Can Pack In Your Storm Emergency Kit:

Fire Source – You may need a fire for cooking or warmth.

Cooking Pot – A small aluminum pot or can to cook in.

Food – Beans, Ramen Noodles and other small items that are easy to pack and easy to prepare.

Blankets – Fleece packs well and is warm. You can also pack mylar thermal blankets which condense very nicely and keep you very warm.

Plastic Sheets – These are not always necessary but having some large plastic sheets can keep your space and your family dry.

Blankets and Plastic Sheeting Is One Of My Top Recommendations For The “Extras”.

Grain Alcohol – While you may feel like drinking it from the stress, this is actually to disinfect wounds. It can also be a great fire-starter or help with pain until emergency help arrives should someone be injured. Use with caution!

Medical Kit – Bandages, ointments, aspirin, the typical medial kit.

Knife – I am one of those people who carries a pocket knife everywhere. You just never know what you may need one for! In an emergency, it could come in handy.

Circuit Tester – This may seem more to the extreme but in the case of a neighborhood being devastated you may need to find that one circuit that still has life to it. Use only if you know how to do so!

Storm Emergency Kit Item Circuit Tester Bottled Water Can Opener

Water Purifier – Bottled water does not last forever and you can only carry a few with you so be sure to have water purifying pills too. They drop into the water and purify it. Or have an Acquapura Filter! I love mine!

Basic Tools – Small screwdrivers, small wrenches, cutting tool, basically to be prepared for anything.

Can Opener – You may or may not need this but it could come in handy.

Remember To Pack An Emergency Kit For Your Cars Too! 

Let Me Know In Comments:

Did I miss anything vital?

Do you have a storm emergency kit and if so what do you have in it?

Are you in an area frequented by storms?

Just how overboard would you go to protect your family?

Do you think I went overboard?

If you do not have a storm emergency kit do you plan to make one?

Do you plan for your pet’s safety in case of inclement weather?

Does your home have a basement?

How close is your local shelter if not?


How To Create A Storm Emergency Kit Twitter Image



  1. March 26, 2018 / 11:04 am

    I grew up in Missouri, right on the Kansas line, so I am no stranger to tornadoes. I also lived in California for a while and experienced a couple of minor earthquakes. An emergency “kit” of sorts is vitally important if you live in any area where some type of natural disaster is common.

    • March 26, 2018 / 11:36 am

      Ahhh indeed you know exactly what it can be like!
      I grew up with tornados but an earthquake would scare the daylights out of me!
      The idea of the earth just being able to open up under my feet at any given point – GEESH!
      You are so correct though – an emergency kit is good to have anywhere there could be a natural disaster! Not just tornados!

  2. Laura
    March 26, 2018 / 3:06 pm

    While we don’t have tornados in south Florida, we certainly get hurricanes! A lot of the supplies you mentioned are essential for hurricanes as well. We are just lucky enough to have a little bit more of warning to get items. Every year in hurricane season though, I like to stock up on supplies so we don’t have to get caught up in the crazy lines last minute. Great tips!

    • March 27, 2018 / 2:59 pm

      Oh I imagine you do have to stock up! Hurricanes sound scary! I have been to Florida many times and never during a hurricane thankfully but man the storms can be scary!

  3. Shelley King
    March 26, 2018 / 7:05 pm

    We have an emergency kit. We have a lot of bad storms in the spring. Kentucky is nothing like Kansas but it can be bad. I find people really forget about their animals during these times. We have things packed up for them too.

    • March 27, 2018 / 3:00 pm

      Thank you Shelley for packing for the furbabies! Stay safe in Kentucky!

  4. March 26, 2018 / 7:48 pm

    These are really good ideas. I live in Michigan and we can have some really brutal storms. I never thought to put together a kit like this.

    • March 27, 2018 / 3:00 pm

      Thank you Leah! I hope you never NEED a kit but hope you pack one, just in case.

  5. March 26, 2018 / 8:41 pm

    While we want to believe that the snow is gone here in Colorado because it is spring that is not the case at all! Snow is falling right now. It is so important to have a storm emergency kit on hand no matter the season!

    • March 27, 2018 / 3:02 pm

      Oh wow Censie. I am sure it is beautiful when it falls but not fun to drive in! Glad to know you keep a kit on hand!

  6. March 26, 2018 / 11:53 pm

    Regardless of where you are, you should be prepared for anything but even more so if you live in a country that is prone to bad/dangerous weather. You’re absolutely right, you can never be over prepared and the last thing you want is to be missing the essentials.

    • March 27, 2018 / 3:03 pm

      Indeed Nadalie Everyone could ultimately benefit from having an emergency kit. Especially with how weather is acting these days. They are also good for other emergencies too.

  7. March 27, 2018 / 7:45 am

    We just went through an 8-day power outage after getting hit by a Nor’easter. I keep an emergency kit on hand with most of these things. I highly suggest buying more batteries than you think you’ll need! After the storm hit, my entire town was out of batteries! It was crazy!

    • March 28, 2018 / 12:37 pm

      Oh wow Nikki I am glad you are okay!
      Also very good to hear you have your emergency kit ready to go!
      I agree the more batteries the better!
      That is crazy the whole town was out of them but absolutely believable!
      I try to stock up on our medications as well for that reason. Stay safe out there!

  8. March 27, 2018 / 12:42 pm

    This is an argument that is so actual. I think often about this, but maybe I don’t have the courage to do something for real. Maybe I am afraid that I will panic so I prefer to do nothing. But your list is a good begining. We talk anly about some things, right?! I hope I won’t need to use it

    • March 29, 2018 / 2:00 pm

      I hope you won’t ever need one too Catalina. I understand what you mean though. If we don’t look at it – it’s not there. I still encourage you to make just a small kit. It could be fun to get things together too. A great family project!

  9. March 27, 2018 / 2:09 pm

    To be honest, we’ve had some pretty bad storms where I live but never to the point where I thought I had to be ‘prepared!’ I couldn’t imagine living in Kansas or any other place prone to tornadoes!!

  10. March 28, 2018 / 8:40 am

    Omg I totally am with you in this one. Not only is my home country stricken with storms but also with flood after all, so an emergency kit really helps a lot! Thanks for sharing this!

    • March 28, 2018 / 12:34 pm

      Thank you Aileen and I am so sorry your home country is stricken with storms!

  11. Reesa Lewandowski
    March 29, 2018 / 2:21 pm

    After Hurricane Sandy, we realized how unprepared we were for an event like that and I really have made sure we never felt the panic we felt than, ever again! I like that radio you have. I may have to pick that one up, it looks a little bit better than the one I bought. Stay Safe!

    • March 29, 2018 / 11:31 pm

      Oh Reesa I am so sorry you went through that!
      That radio is amazing!
      I have never had to really use it but I have checked it every year for the past several years and it still works perfectly!
      It’s kinda fun too lol.
      I hope we never HAVE to use it but I do love having it there.
      You stay safe too!

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