My DIY Emergency Kit: What’s In It

Making a DIY emergency kit is easy and can be a lifesaver in an emergency. Having the right supplies on hand can alleviate some of the stress involved in an emergency situation.

Do you know what the contents should be in your emergency kit? Well, that depends on the emergency you are preparing for. I prep for hurricane season here in central Florida so my DIY emergency kit includes the items that I would need if a hurricane causes havoc on my homestead. Other types of prepping kits may include different supplies, for example, a 2-week emergency food supply.

I am sharing with you, my DIY emergency kit that I keep in my home, I have included the contents and the reasons that I include these items. I hope that this will help you become better prepared in the future. Feel free to eliminate or add additional supplies to fit your situation.

My DIY Emergency Kit

My kit starts with a Walmart tote. I use a medium size tote because my emergency kit is for just me. If you have a family you may want to grab a large one or even two.

DIY emergency kit-tote

On the bottom of the tote, I lay a blanket and newspapers. This gives cushion to any contents being placed on top in case the tote must be taken in a car for example. The newspaper will be used for fire starters if needed or for wrapping glass jars.

diy emergency kit 2

Next, comes my drinking water. The recommended amount of water is one gallon, per person, per day. I chose to use smaller bottles to make more room for other stuff.

DIY emergency kit 3

Next, I place garbage bags and some storage bags at the bottom. I will use these for the disposal of garbage and other waste as needed.

DIY emergency kit

I also place one change of clothes in the bottom. You never know when you may need to have clean clothes so you can wash what you were currently wearing. I also include a pair of shoes.

DIY emergency kit 5

Now I include a hygiene bag. These are the things I may need to stay clean.

Hygiene bag contents:

DIY emergency kit 6

I then place a wrench and a pair of pliers in the tote so that if I have to shut any utilities off, I can. This is followed up by a flashlight, batteries, duct tape, a bag of fire starters, and matches.

DIY emergency kit 7

At this point, I can add canned food like soups and tuna, peanut butter, crackers, granola, snacks, olive oil and drink mixes. Make sure you include a can opener. I place a small pot and a pan inside to cook with along with a spatula and a spoon and some foil.

DIY emergency kit 8

Finally, I add a first aid kit, paper plates and plastic utensils, and a roll of paper towels in a bag.

DIY Emergency kit 9

If and when an emergency may occur and I know I may need to open my DIY emergency kit I will then add any prescriptions, financial papers, my pets food and water dishes and their food, my cell phone and charger, cash and change, and a fire extinguisher. Obviously, what doesn’t fit into my tote will be placed into another tote or a large bucket.

Other Useful Items:

Depending on what type of emergency you are preparing for you may want to include some or all of the following items:

Specialty DIY Emergency Kits


Have an emergency kit for your pets is smart to have ahead of time. Include in your pets kit the following items:

  • food and water dishes
  • any meds they are taking
  • collar and id
  • veterinarian records
  • crate and blanket
  • plastic bags for waste


It is important to not only have the necessities for children in an emergency but for some extras as well. Include these items in their kit:

  • diapers, wipes
  • baby food
  • snacks
  • bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers
  • blankets
  • pillows
  • toys, busy stuff
  • medical records
  • any medication they are on
  • bath supplies

Final Thoughts…

Remember that in an emergency there may not be enough time to gather supplies or make a DIY emergency kit. Always try to have a kit on hand and ready to go. I always go through my emergency kit to checks dates on foods or medicine that may be in my kit and replace any items that are out of date. Also, try to remember that water is perishable, so keeping your water supply fresh is important.

Keeping your emergency kit safe and out of the way, yet easily accessible is important too. You can keep a tote in your home, a shed, or even your car. Mine stays in my closet in my bedroom. Just make sure it is somewhere that you can get to it quickly during an emergency.

If you do not want to make your own, there are many resources available to purchase emergency kits. I have included some links for you:

 Things happen that we do not expect every day. When an emergency happens we must be prepared and these DIY emergency kits can help!

Do you have a DIY emergency kit ready? Are there items you include in your kit that I have not mentioned. Feel free to share with my readers any suggestions or comments you may have.

This post is shared on the Homestead Blog Hop and Good Morning Mondays Blog Hop.


  1. Hello. Found you on Homestead Blog Hop 140. Very interesting article, and I liked the way you photoed the stages of packing! A bit different from most other “emergency kits” I’ve read about, but I think that I just may take some ideas of yours and pack my own in a very similar way.
    Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. Author

      Thanks for taking the time to read my post! I make my kit specifically for my situation and most probable emergency which currently is a hurricane. I am glad you may have got some good ideas! Feel free to send me another comment with a pic of what you end up packing. Thanks again!

    2. Re-read your post again, and looked more closely at the pics. I am trying to put together kits for both of my daughters…one in So.CA (Earthquakes) and one in New Orleans (Hurricanes, Tornadoes). AND myself, Oregon, so probably where I’m at, Earthquake or Volcano???!!!
      I’m using your list with another and trying to get a small one made for the vehicles for my girls.
      It is unfortunate, but I use my jeep to deliver mail, so I can’t have one in my vehicle as all room is needed for the mail, which makes it frustrating, as I just KNOW that if disaster strikes, it will be while I’m working!!! (you know, Murphy??) But I will put the finished kit by the back door and I’ll feel much better after it is ready.
      Who knows, maybe I’ll take it to work every day and put it by my locker then I only have to get back to the PO!!!
      Just a quick question, do you know the actual size of the tote? They usually go by gallon size, which, to me, makes no sense…
      I’ll try to get photos to you after I get the tote!
      Thanks again for such a complete and well done post!

    3. Author

      I am so glad I could be of help to you! The tote I used in the post was an 18-gallon tote from Walmart. What a wonderful idea for your daughters. I made one for my brother who lives on a large sailboat. And as for Murphey…I live under his law! lol Looking forward to seeing what you have done! Good luck!

  2. How much does the tote weigh with all those things in it? How much would it weigh with the last-minute items also in it?

    1. Author

      Hi Pam. I didn’t weigh the tote but I can tell you that I am a small woman and I picked it up with no problem. I opted for individual water bottles instead of gallons to keep the weight down.

  3. HI Annie,
    It sounds like you have thought out and included everything you would need in an emergency. Great idea to be prepared especially when you have small children. Thanks for sharing you tips.

    1. Author

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post! I hope it was informative for you!

  4. Great information. I love how you used smaller bottles to make room for other stuff – smart move! Quick question, what medicine do you bring in your emergency survival kit?

    1. Author

      I pack a small first aid kit, rubbing alcohol, peroxide, Benadryl, and some natural medicines that we make ourselves. Of course, bandaids, gauze, blood stop and so forth also.

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