The 9 Essentials to Sheltering in Place

Written by The Ready Store

When it comes to emergencies there’s items that are necessities and there’s items that are luxuries.Generally speaking you want to tackle the necessities first and then add additional items to increase the comfort level of the situation.

Here are 9 essentials you should have during a sheltering in place scenario, (keep in mind that you may be required to shelter in place somewhere besides your own home):

1.Water- Plan on 1 Gallon per person, per day for drinking and sanitation.Our water storage category includes items like Datrex Water Pouches and 5-Gallon Water Containers that can help you with your water needs.

2.Food – A supply of 3-5 days per person.For a lot of people the first couple of days can be supplemented by what’s already in the house.However, to insure that you always have your emergency food supply ready to go I recommend one of our 3-21 Day Food Supplies.

3.Clothes – In your 72-Hour Kit you want to be sure you have an extra pair of clothes and shoes for each person in your group/family.

4.Medications – It’s a good practice to collect 3-5 days worth of any prescription medications that you’re taking.Also be sure to note expiration dates so that you can rotate them appropriately.

5.Flashlight -When it comes to flashlights, don’t go cheap.There are good flashlights out their that are very affordable.Here’s some great options: Ultra-Bright 3-LED Dynamo Flashlight, 12-LED StreamLine Flashlight, or the ULTIMATE Dynamo Solar Powered Survival Radio.

6.Can Opener – This is another item that you want to be sure is high quality.There’s nothing worse than a can opener that won’t open cans.

7.Radio – The ideal option for a radio is one that has multiple options for powering the radio including, batteries, hand-crank, AC/DC, and/or

solar.The ULTIMATE Dynamo Solar Powered Survival Radio is a great option for this.

8.Hygiene Kit -Start with just the basics, soap, toilet paper and a toothbrush is enough to get most people by for 3-5 days.

9.First Aid Kit – Again, from a starting point perspective make sure that your first-aid kit at lest includes, antiseptic, gloves, bandages and your non-prescription medicine such as aspirin or Tylenol.

Put these 9 essential items in place and you’ve got a good foundation for a sheltering in place emergency kit!

Updated October 29, 2010


  1. Frank Hanson wrote:

    Also need some kind of self defense.

    November 1st, 2010 at 7:10 am
  2. Anthony F. wrote:

    I agree with Frank. When the s@&$ hits the fan, people that aren’t prepared will be trying to take from those that are. A handgun with ammo, a shotgun (high intimidation factor) with ammo, a baseball bat and a taser are all good tools to have around to protect family and supplies.

    November 1st, 2010 at 7:34 am
  3. DaveJD wrote:

    Tents, sleeping bags, blankets … some sort of warmth and protection from the elements might be a good idea. How ’bout matches or lighters ?

    November 1st, 2010 at 8:50 am
  4. Kevin L. wrote:

    Containers for boiling water, I pack emergency supplies in coffee cans.

    November 1st, 2010 at 9:38 am
  5. Jennifer wrote:

    Also, extra supplies for trade. When TSHTF, money will have little value. Useful goods (food, toilet paper and other basic necessities) will have higher value than coins.

    Sheltering in place doesn’t so much need extra protection from the elements – that is the role of your house. Some ability to heat the structure would be useful though (when the grid goes poof and the gas company no longer exists). Presumably you also have pots and pans that you can use for boiling water.

    The “Sheltering in place” differs from the “get out of town” mindset – the latter requires a high degree of portability where one would be minimizing contact with people. For that, I’d agree that tents and such would be important.

    November 1st, 2010 at 11:57 am
  6. Bill wrote:

    Frank is correct, self defense should be included but Anthony will be in trouble bringing a Taser or ball bat to a gunfight. Not my choice of weapons against a mob. Yes, the shotgun is intimidating, but you’d better be ready and willing to USE it.

    November 1st, 2010 at 1:04 pm
  7. James wrote:

    You should keep more than 3 days of food,and don’t forget your pets, an oil lamp would be good, I would keep some cash in small bills for a short term emergency

    November 1st, 2010 at 1:41 pm
  8. Dave W wrote:

    2 AR-15 M4’s 2,000 round .223
    1 Remington 870 Tactical Shotgun 1,000 rounds
    1. DPMS Panther LR-308B 1,000 rounds 308 win. 500 yard scope.
    1.Browning B.A.R. 300 win. mag. 500 rounds. 1,000 yard scope.
    1.Springfield XD .45 Auto and 1.Colt 1911 .45 auto. 2,000 round .45 Acp.
    1.Ruger Viquro .44 magnum and 1.Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 magnum. 1,000 rounds .44 mag.
    When TSHTF?It’s not just me that is armmed to the teeth,it’s four others as well.And one of my friends is with the FBI,and the other 3 are cops from my town.
    And I have all of the 9 things to boot.
    What about the heat,and how to heat the food?
    Being stuck in a house in the dead of winter without power,You should try it some time.Flashlights only last 10 hours tops.I have 20 bags of candles on hand.The last time I was without power it was -5 outside and the power was out for 16 days.I now have a back up gas heater that has a stove top to heat food.

    November 1st, 2010 at 9:53 pm
  9. jay m wrote:

    I also include a multiplier, mine is a sog powerplier or a leatherman or any other quality tool. Not like the 5.00 dollar junk. & days food and water is better then three days( 72 hours). Make certain its food kids will eat.

    November 2nd, 2010 at 10:05 am
  10. Jerry K wrote:

    I couldn’t agree more with some of the previous posts here regarding self defense. As human beings, we have no higher responsibility than to protect the lives of our loved ones as well as our own. After all, that’s precisely why we’re putting these supplies together in the first place.
    However, all these preparations are worthless if you can’t defend them. In fact, they could end up costing you your life if the wrong people come to take them from you and all you can offer in resistance is a can of pepper spray and a Taser. It is very naive and highly dangerous for anyone not to believe that in a situation where we have been living off disaster supplies for more than ten days that our world will have become a very savage place virtually overnight. Just look back at Katrina.
    Learn the importance of the Second Amendment and understand why our Founding Fathers felt it so important to make it a Right of the American People. Become proficient in the use of as many different types of firearms as possible. It’s not as hard as you’d think and I’m willing to bet that most of you have friends and family that would love to share their knowledge with you.
    Guns save the lives of the innocent each and every day, a fact that is woefully under-reported by America’s Media Establishment. If you are among those of us that have it inside themselves to understand and prepare for the worst of times, you are also not far from understanding just how quickly things can go sideways. Guns are a necessary part of any well thought out survival package (although DHS and most websites selling survival supplies will not even touch this subject). If you are comfortable with learning and need training at any level, go to your local gun range and find a quality NRA Certified Instructor. There are thousands of good Instructors out there that want nothing more than to pass their skills and knowledge down to Law Abiding American Citizens that want to take charge of their own personal protection. If things get out of hand, you will have no one to count on but yourselves…. Good Luck!

    November 2nd, 2010 at 4:33 pm
  11. mike s wrote:

    buy a kerosene heater….it’ll heat up 1000 sq ft. If you live in an all electric house, a power failure during a bad winter storm or some other kind of disaster could be deadly….especially if you live in a remote area

    November 3rd, 2010 at 2:39 pm
  12. Curt L wrote:

    It should be the ten essentials to sheltering in place. I would definitely add security to the top of the list when it comes to sheltering in place. My list would be:

    1. Security
    2. Water
    3. Food
    4. Communications (Radio, etc)
    5. Medical
    6. Medications
    7. Tools (Can opener, etc)
    8. Back-up Power source (Lighting, etc)
    9. Clothes
    10. Hygiene

    I think security should be on top of any persons list. Developing a family safety plan, fortifying doors and windows (the perimeter of your shelter location) and designing an area as a safe room containing extra supplies in case you needed to retreat.

    November 4th, 2010 at 4:22 am
  13. Lana P. wrote:

    I’m very quiet about preparedness. Because when TSHTF, those neighbors who have not prepared (and there are many) will come looking for help if they know you have supplies. . Give them a goodie bag and THEY WILL COME BACK looking for more. They will be willing to take your supplies if they are desparate. You can’t save the whole neighborhood.

    I am alone. Depending upon the situation, the back up plan is to take my supplies and go to my next door neighbor’s home because they have a woodstove and a big wood pile which we will all bring inside. He is armed and so am I. I have a lot of food and water stored as well as hygene needs. If his kids can make it to his house, it may get crowded, but they will bring their supplies and we will all try to survive.

    The tazer and bat would work well for his wife and daughter who won’t touch a weapon. His sons know how to shoot. They may be of some help for self protection.

    November 5th, 2010 at 2:34 pm
  14. Karen wrote:

    to this list, I add plastic sheeting and duct tape. Your emergency could be spilled chemicals or something where you need to cover the windows.

    November 8th, 2010 at 11:01 am
  15. David wrote:

    I agree with Most of what’s been said above especially the protection and self reliance aspects. In addition to training in the use of firearms I suggest a good course or at least a good reference guide in wilderness survival. Not only will this help the untrained about woods survival but it will help somewhat with urban survival, however in a total breakdown of our society I would suggest getting away from populated areas if possible. I realize this article was about sheltering in place but survival may come down to how fast you can move and how prepared you are to do that. I suggest a good sturdy pack for everyone in your party, one that works for each persons ability. Each containing not only food, water, clothing, and meds. but a weapon and ample ammunition and most importantly a good rugged knife and when possible a camp axe. Be sensible about weight in your pack because the key is to get as far as possible before having to stop to catch your breath…. Good luck to all and remember it may come down to doing things you never thought you could to survive.

    November 21st, 2010 at 3:25 pm
  16. GRCalvin wrote:

    If with very small children or expecting them within a few months, include cloth diapers and supplies. Also if traveling with women, include fem supplies. While this may seem like something you’d not forget, put it on the list, because WTSHTF you may not remember them and then … yeah…ew.

    November 24th, 2010 at 10:44 pm
  17. Alphadog wrote:

    Interesting. All of you. Know your history, though, too. Recent history: when Katrina happened the NG confiscated all the guns from the registered owners leaving them defenseless (which is why the looting was so bad). All my defenses have either been ‘stolen’ or purchased by an 80yr old woman (It will be funny the NG looking in her retirement home for her stockpile). Don’t be stupid. They aren’t. Above all else … Seek wisdom.

    January 3rd, 2011 at 10:36 am
  18. Ken wrote:

    All of those apply. In addition, don’t forget to include some neighbors (if they are “your type”) along with family. My son knows what I have here and is planned on to be here if anything happens. Natural or man-made. Neighbors of mine (I live in the country) and us grow a lot of our own food and do canning. We have also purchased a supply of food and have water here. Heat? We all have wood backup or main heat. I have three propane tanks full of propane for heating (I use the wood heat 99% of the time) and cooking. Love these ideas that have been supplied by readers!

    January 18th, 2011 at 10:45 am

What Do You Think of That?