Emergency Preparedness: How to Organize Supplies for Quick Access

When disaster strikes, there’s little time to think – let alone search for supplies. Being organized can be a game-changer during an emergency. Here are ten tips to ensure swift access to your emergency supplies.

1. Assess Your Needs

Before you start, list the essential items every household should have ready, like water, non-perishable food, flashlights, and first aid kits. Then, tailor this list to meet the specific requirements of your household, including pets, medical needs, and the number of family members.

2. Create a Storage System

Dedicate a specific area in your home for emergency supplies – a closet, cupboard, or part of your garage. Use clear bins and labeled shelves, so you can find everything at a glance during a stressful situation. Considering the storage solutions for your emergency supplies before hand will save you precious time in case of an actual emergency.

3. Categorize Your Supplies

Group related items together – categorize supplies into groups like food, water, first aid, etc. Within these categories, use separate containers or bags to keep similar items together, reducing the time spent rummaging around during an actual emergency.

4. Prioritize Accessibility

Make sure the items that you’re likely to reach for first are the most accessible. This might mean placing them at the front of your storage space or in a separate, more reachable location, such as an emergency backpack by the door.

5. Label Everything

Don’t underestimate the power of labels. Clearly label all containers and shelves, and be sure to mark perishables with their expiration dates. It’s much easier to find what you need when each item is clearly marked.

6. Regularly Check and Rotate Supplies

Goods aren’t meant to last forever. Put reminders on your calendar to check your supplies several times a year. Rotate out expired items, particularly food and medicine, and replace them with fresh stock.

7. Keep Important Documents Handy

Store critical documents like IDs, insurance papers, and medical records in a designated folder or binder. These should be easily accessible, so consider keeping them with your other emergency supplies.

8. Educate Your Household

Preparedness is a household affair. Make sure every member of your family knows where the emergency supplies are and how to use them. A brief tutorial session could make a big difference when each second counts.

9. Review and Update Your Plan

As time passes, your needs might change. Periodically assess and adjust your emergency plan. Perhaps you’ve moved houses, added a family member, or updated insurance policies – ensure your plan and supplies reflect these changes.

10. Stay Informed

Emergency guidelines evolve, and staying current could be crucial. Keep in touch with the latest recommendations from emergency management agencies and adapt your preparedness measures accordingly.


In emergencies, being able to act quickly can save lives. Organized supplies grant you invaluable time and peace of mind. Implement these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to being prepared for any unexpected situation that may come your way.