Organizing Survival Gear

Gathering up gear and supplies in case of a disaster is wise, but if the items cannot be found when needed, all the preparation in the world is less than helpful. Therefore, organizing emergency supplies is just as important as collecting them. 

The best reason to organize emergency supplies and equipment is because the very name indicates that there will be some degree of stress and time crunch involved, requiring instant decision making. Knowing where to find the needed items in a situation like that can be a life saver – literally.

A good way to start is by using a writing instrument and paper. Make a comprehensive list of all the gear and supplies that have been collected and leave a bit of space for things that may be added later as new needs appear. Having this list both comprehensive and in categories itself will aid in arranging the actual supplies later. Additionally, it can serve as an inventory; including expiration dates will assist in rotating the stock to keep the medications and items usable when needed.

Give each item a category to make it simpler to organize. Some possible categories include wound care, respiratory, oral, ocular, digestion, ear, and other related categories. Finding and accessing the proper equipment for the task at hand will ease some of the inherent stress of having a situation happen. It is also true that survival gear will include larger items such as emergency water supplies and food supplies – which should be stored in a dry, dark place – as well as extra clothing, light and power sources, and general survival tools and equipment. 

Eight simple categories are a good place to start: Clothing, Food, Light, Medical, Outdoor, Power, Survival Gear, and Water. Clothing includes such things as gloves, hats, vests, and other safety wear. Food would be protein bars, MREs, and other emergency food supplies. Light includes headlamps and flashlights, glow sticks and candles. Medical encompasses both a first aid kit and other pertinent medical supplies. Outdoor is the camping related objects, such as mess kits, skewers, cast iron, etc. Power includes batteries or solar chargers, power banks, and related power sources. Survival Gear refers to such things as paracord, multitools, and other miscellaneous items. Water includes purification tablets and filters such as the LifeStraw. It is possible that different homes will have different categories, but these are fairly generic. 

Beyond the general categories, things can be further divided into more categories based on how often they may be used. Some things are likely to be needed daily. Some may be needed but probably only if one is caught away from home in a disaster; these should complement the every-day items and include basic medical supplies and a get home set of things. A bug-out bag that can carry a person through 5 to 7 days of survival is the next level, followed by things kept in the car, like larger cases and durably packaged supplies. For obvious reasons, the car should also be properly maintained in case of a crisis. 

For best results, a clearly visible label should be used for each item. This can make it easy to find what is needed, even when the lights are limited. Marking the date opened on supplies that expire more quickly after opening will assist in avoiding waste and keeping things fresh and safe. 

Remember that where supplies are stored may have much bearing on how long they can be stored. In the right conditions, supplies can often be kept for five years or more without losing any integrity. However, some items naturally decay or lose integrity, so knowing which items they are can make the difference between having the right supplies in a pinch or trying to make do with something that is not optimal. 

If it is possible to have a walk-in closet or the corner of a room to dedicate to this sort of storage, it will be much easier to organize it. Shelves and totes or cardboard boxes (again, clearly labeled) will make a huge difference. 

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
EVERLIT 42L Tactical Backpack Survival Kit Bugout Bag Assault Pack Rucksack with Hydration Bladder and Survival Gear 3 Day Rucksack Molle Outdoor Hiking Daypack Hunting
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness
Muscle Rack HD5G-4PK 5 gal. Heavy Duty Storage Tote (4-Pack), 8.75" Height, 12.25" Width, 16" Length, (Pack of 4)
IRIS USA, Inc. TB-35 5 Quart Stack & Pull Box, Multi-Purpose Storage Bin, 10 Pack, Pearl
96 Premium Chalkboard Labels Bulk - Free Erasable Chalk Pen - Dishwasher Safe Chalk Board Mason Jar Labels - Removable Waterproof Blackboard Sticker Label for Jars Glass Bottle Kids
52 Prepper Projects: A Project a Week to Help You Prepare for the Unpredictable
Pantry Inventory Log Book: Record And Track Food Inventory For Dry Goods, Freezer, Refrigerator And Grocery Items, Pantry Supply Log, Prepper Food List Notebook

 

Resources

Bug Out Backpack

A sturdy 42L tactical backpack comes filled with basic survival supplies from first aid and survival tools to a hydration bladder and high-carbon steel shovel, plus other items to make survival during a disaster easier and better. Perfect for hanging on a hook near the door or in a convenient closet, this backpack is a great option. 

LifeStraw Water Filter

These personal water filters are a must-include in any survival kit. 1,000 gallons of water safe for drinking can be filtered through this, which removes 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa. No batteries required; no parts to replace. 

Heavy Duty Storage Tote (4 Pack)

Heavy duty storage totes are strong for stacking and sturdy for protecting the contents. The lid fits tightly for secure storage and can be locked if desired. 

5-Quart Stackable Storage Bin (10 Pack)

These modular bins are excellent for sorting smaller supplies such as medical items, batteries, or other small items. They stack neatly and are easily labeled.

Chalkboard Labels

These label stickers look like miniature chalkboards and can be written on with the free erasable chalk pen that is included. They are made of waterproof vinyl, making them strong and reusable. 

52 Prepper Projects

Self sufficiency and skills are equally important as supplies. This book walks readers through a year of projects that will teach self-reliance and real preparation for situations that may occur.

Pantry Inventory

This handy notebook assists in keeping up with what food items are available, which need to be used first, and what needs to be purchased next. Increase cost-effectiveness and efficiency in shopping with this inventory. The same ideas can be converted into inventory of other supplies, as well.