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I made an emergency bin for my family about 8 years ago. I was visiting my mom in Tennessee and there were a ton of tornados while we were there. Many people were displaced from their homes and trees were down everywhere. Some had major damage while others only had to leave their home for the weekend. I thought how horrible it would be to leave your home and have to go to a shelter and have NOTHING with you. I came home from that trip and decided to make an emergency bin and placed it in my garage. If I needed to leave quickly, I could grab it and go.
How to make a 48 hour emergency bin
Just this winter, we had a lot of forest fires in the mountains near us in NC. Many people they were interviewing on the new were in shelters and had to leave their homes within minutes. It got me thinking about my emergency bin. I decided to go through it again since it had been out there a long time.
I used an old Rubbermaid storage container (like this one). I started thinking about being stuck in a shelter or someone else’s home. What would I need to make my family more comfortable?
What I put in my bin
- A set of clothes for each person in the family – I was working on clothes to give away so just kept a set for each person, underwear and sock included.
- Toiletries– Toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, and lotion. I went through the little bottles I had from hotels and put them in a baggies. What I didn’t have I just bought from the Dollar Tree. If I had to stay at the local YMCA or other town shelter, this would make me feel better!
- Books and playing cards– I grabbed books for everyone in the house. Remember, you may not have electricity and sitting around in a strange place get boring and fast.
- Paper and pencils– You may or may not have damage to your home or car, but if you do you will want to have paper handy so you can write down information. I’m sure you will be in close contact with your insurance company and have to write things down.
- Emergency contact info– I placed a list of phone numbers of family and friends, just in case. There may not be a place to charge your cell phone.
- Insurance information and a copy of a credit card– I put a copy of our car and home owners policies in there, along with a copy of a credit card that we rarely use. There’s no balance and I’ll be able to buy anything we may need, including a hotel room!
- Towels or blankets– I had some old towels so I split them between our camping box and this box. They can be used to sit on, to bathe, or even a blanket for the kids.
- Add anything that you know would make you and your family feel comfortable!-I added some mini flashlights I found on sale and some instant coffee. I added in my old pair of glasses too.
It was in my living room for a couple of weeks. If I came across something or thought of something new, I could add it easily. I placed it back in my garage and I have to pass it to get to the car. If there was an emergency, my husband or I can grab it on the way to the car. Hopefully, we’ll never have to do that!
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