Preparedness blog

Essential Items For Your Shelter In Place Kit

By Ben from Ready Store
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a “shelter in place” order means that you need to get inside, find a safe spot, and stay put until an official deems it safe to leave the shelter. These orders generally accompany a nearby disaster, coming quickly and without warning. Therefore, in order for it to be most useful, you’ll want to have a thoughtfully-prepared shelter in place kit at the ready. We can’t always anticipate what may happen, but it simply makes sense to be prepared.

If you find yourself involved in a shelter in place order, you and your family may be grounded wherever you are at the time for days, or even weeks. Accordingly, your kit should include the absolute necessities first, then whatever luxury items there is room for. A shelter in place kit may notneed to be as portable as a bug out bag, or your 72-hour kit, so you can get a little creative with its contents. Regardless of what you choose to add to your shelter in place kit, make sure it starts with this essential emergency gear:

Shelter In Place Checklist:

1. Water- Plan on 1 Gallon per person, per day for drinking and sanitation. Datrex Water Pouches, 5-Gallon Water Containers, and other water storage options can help ensure you have access to clean water in nearly any situation.

2. Food - Have enough food in your kit to feed each person for 3-5 days, at least. Remember, the

first couple of days may be supplemented by what's already in the house. However, having a 3-21 day food supply, or some MREs in your kit is a great way to be sure you have ample food.

3. Clothes - Be sure to have an extra pair of clothes and shoes for each person in your group/family packed in your kit as well.

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 expired medication appropriately.

5. Flashlight - During a shelter in place order, a reliable flashlight is a must. Consider spending a little more so you don’t end up with a cheap light source. The good news is there are plenty of quality, affordable flashlights to choose from, like the Ultra-Bright 3-LED Dynamo Flashlight (with USB charger).

6. Can Opener - Another item that shouldn’t be a cost-cutter, having a can opener is essential. Even if your long-term food storage isn’t stored in cans, you may find food around the kitchen (or wherever you’re sheltered) that is.

7. Radio - The ideal option for a radio is one that has multiple powering options including batteries, hand-crank, AC/DC, and/or solar to keep you informed for the duration of the shelter in place order. There are numerous options that combine your radio and flashlight into a single device.

8. Hygiene Kit - Start with the basics; soap, toilet paper and a toothbrush is enough to get most people by for 3-5 days. However, if you have room for other luxuries, they can go a long way.

9. First Aid Kit - While your shelter-in-place first aid kit may not need to be robust as others, it should still at least include an antiseptic, gloves, bandages, and non-prescription medicines like aspirin or Tylenol. There are plenty of compact, affordable first-aid kits that are perfect for shelter in place kits.

Put these 9 essential items in place and you've got a good foundation for a sheltering in place emergency kit! What else would you add to your kit?

11 years ago
Frank Hanson
11 years ago at 8:10 AM
Also need some kind of self defense.
Anthony F.
11 years ago at 8:34 AM
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.
11 years ago at 9:50 AM
Tents, sleeping bags, blankets ... some sort of warmth and protection from the elements might be a good idea. How 'bout matches or lighters ?
Kevin L.
11 years ago at 10:38 AM
Containers for boiling water, I pack emergency supplies in coffee cans.
11 years ago at 12:57 PM
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.
11 years ago at 2:04 PM
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.
11 years ago at 2:41 PM
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
Dave W
11 years ago at 10:53 PM
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.
6 years ago at 4:26 AM
Hey Dave, What type of heater/stove top is that you're talking about? Arnie
6 years ago at 3:54 PM
Loose lips sink ships.
jay m
11 years ago at 11:05 AM
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.
Jerry K
11 years ago at 5:33 PM
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!
mike s
11 years ago at 3:39 PM
buy a kerosene'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
Curt L
11 years ago at 5:22 AM
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.
Lana P.
11 years ago at 3:34 PM
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.
11 years ago at 11:01 AM
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.
11 years ago at 3:25 PM
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.
6 years ago at 3:07 AM
David, I respectfully submit you have missed the point of this article/topic "Sheltering in Place". Yes, wilderness survival can be useful knowledge as can be emergency medicine and home/shelter repair. Since you have introduced an additional topic lets take a very brief look at it. How much are these backpacks going to weigh with ammo, water, and camp axe? How many miles can average americans hike with this kind of weight and where will you stay at the end of the day- Hotel 6, the local KOA campground? Where are you going…how long will the supplies on your back last now that you've left 98% of your total supplies where they were stored? Do you believe that a farming community will let your group set up shop in a pasture while you eat their crops and chickens? Who is really prepared to make such a journey? College students who spend their summers backpacking, perhaps U.S. veterans that have just released from active duty used to carrying firearms, ammo and water. BTW: unless the military is on a spec-ops very, very long range mission they typically get resupplied daily or so especially with water food and ammo following a firefight. And the military is not towing families with children. The very best trained survivalist will not bode well living on bugs and tiny plant roots indefinitely. Perhaps you will simply throw your packs in the back of your truck and evacuate town; have you ever read how successful the local Department of Emergency Management's plan to evacuate is believed to be? Two or three accidents on the roads out of town will shut down traffic completely and the back roads will be filled with thousands. The decision to bug-out is a critical one and perhaps only made if its certain death staying (radiation/rampant disease/rats are consuming the last dozen morsels of food...). Dying in your vehicle now out of fuel when you are out of food and water surrounded by 10,000 other vehicles in the same status is not very appealing either. What rural, remote, desert or woodsy places can support millions or thousands of people even if you could reach them? Certainly plans and alternative plans are important, however, General Dwight Eisenhower said "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, But planning is indispensable".
11 years ago at 10:44 PM
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.
10 years ago at 10:45 AM
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!
bob johnson
6 years ago at 2:46 PM
Terminology: shelter in place refers to SHORT TERM separation from outdoor atmosphere. When a tanker overturns on the interstate and a cloud of chlorine gas is headed your way, THAT is when you shelter in place. when SHTF or a pandemic strikes you just lock down your house
C Gun
5 years ago at 3:34 PM
I understand that fantasizing about the impending apocalypse is more psychologically satisfying (and probably more lucrative for gear sellers) than contemplating the more mundane but far more likely events like bad storms, power outages, and such, but a realistic appraisal of the relative likelihood of different scenarios in which ones prepping will be called on seems like a responsible part of serious prepping, no? Complete social collapse is not an impossibility, but its very unlikely to happen overnight, and even if this were to happen in a country as heavily armed as the US, we have likely long since passed the point of diminishing returns on hoarding personal weapons. Your third gun is not likely to be as useful to you as you think. The people who are most likely to survive such situations will probably not be the most heavily armed, but rather those most adept at actually constructing communities that are thereby able to tap into economies of scale and diversities of skills. People with social skills, cultural literacy, experience in negotiation, community organizing skills (!), doctors, nurses, plumbers, carpenters, electricians,teachers, childcare workers, cooks, sysadmins, even priests and lawyers will all likely be in far more demand than gunmen, which we have more of than any other society ever in human history. Most people in this country live in cities and most cities are more racially and ethnically diverse than the mainly white enclaves most enamored with prepping. I know that many preppers imagine that when TSHTF that everyone will head for the hills, but the historical record has many examples of exactly the opposite happening, of people seeking refuge in cities as chaos engulfs the countryside. In either event, people who don't really know how to talk to people unlike themselves will probably not do very well no matter in which direction people are walking down the freeway.
Glenn Baltazor
11 months ago at 11:50 PM
Hi guys! the fellows at is giving away a free tactical flashlight
Clarisa Blouir
10 months ago at 12:46 AM
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9 months ago at 3:07 AM
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