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Natural disasters, emergencies, and even outbreaks of viral infections can leave us in a situation where we can’t leave our home. That’s why it’s so important to prepare for an emergency. You never know when something may happen.

how to get things ready for an emergency in suburbia

How to Prepare for An Emergency When You Live in Urban and Suburban Areas

Most of us don’t own a large farm or homestead and have to do our best to survive on whatever we have in the home. Whether you’re quarantined because of a viral outbreak, or stuck inside because of a blizzard, having provisions at home is essential in the case of an emergency.

What You Should Have on Hand

Consider this the “home essentials” of the Dave Ramsey emergency fund. You will need whatever you end up using for one month (about 30 days).ย Sit down for a moment and take an inventory of what your family uses. Then consider how much of what is used is actually a need.

Below are the Things You Need


Keep a large amount of food in storage at all times in case of emergency. We have a family of six and we currently have large amounts of dried: beans, rice, flour, sugar, powdered milk, powdered protein and dried fruit. We also have plenty of canned food, both store bought and food we have canned at home. Along with plenty of meat, vegetables and fruit in the freezer.ย 

Related: Water Bath Canning 101

Cheap foods that are high in protein include beans, peanut butter, and eggs. Eggs, when bought from a local farmer, don’t have to be refrigerated. Eggs can also be pickled and canned if your refrigerator is no longer working. We also have a lot of oil and butter to add extra fat.

We also have yeast, baking soda, baking powder and salt in case we need to bake bread.

food storage for an emergency


Keeping water on hand is essential. If you aren’t able to collect rainwater and filter it, than having gallons of water stored in your closet or basement is a must. On average, one adult goes through 15 gallons of water per month. So be sure to plan accordingly, and consider that some of it will be used for cleaning, brushing your teeth and other things.

Medical Supplies

Basic medical supplies are always something you should have on hand. Be sure to keep both holistic supplies and western medicinal supplies as both can be helpful.

Holistic supplies – Elderberry syrup, echinacea, calloidal silver, raw garlic, oregano oil, raw honey, vitamin C and probiotics are a good place to start. I also keep daily multi-vitamins on hand to help maintain a healthy immune system.

Do some research on the above holistic options and look into others as well. These can be helpful in minor sicknesses and injuries, as well as being used as preventative medicine.

Western Medicinal Supplies – Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, asprin, antibiotic ointment and antibiotics (these can be bought at a local feed store, usually for fish tanks).

In case of a medical emergency, these can help in a pinch. If you have an chronic ailment of some kind (such as diabetes, asthma or a severe allergy), be sure to keep your necessary medication in storage in case you can’t get another prescription right away.

Additional Supplies – Always keep on hand: bleach, isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, gauze and bandages. I also keep vinegar on hand at all times as it works well to clean and sanitize.

additional supplies for an emergency


This is where you really have to consider what is necessary and what isn’t. These are the essentials: toilet paper, dish soap, antibacterial hand soap, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, diapers and wipes.ย  It’s always helpful to have a month’s worth supply of all your cleaning products and toiletries on hand, but keep extras of the above in case of an emergency.

Additional Things to Consider In an Emergency

Sometimes emergencies are about staying put, and sometimes they are about fleeing. If you have to leave at a moments notice, because of a fire or a potential threat that won’t allow you to go home, keep necessities either near the front door (or in the garage). If you have space, have a box of supplies inside your car.

You will need enough food, water and additional supplies for at least a week. Also be sure to always have at least a half a tank of gas, if not a full tank of gas at all times.

Being prepared can make all the difference in an emergency. Even if you aren’t able to get everything I have mentioned above, having something is always better than nothing. Start by putting some things together now and slowing add to it until you have enough for a month. If you ever need to use it, you’ll be so thankful that it is there.

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