Shelter-at-Home Kit

So far this series has taken you through a journey where you learned how much food and water to stockpile for your family, which alternative shelter and electricity options you may have during an emergency, how to fortify your home and stay safe, how to put together hygiene, first aid, and family emergency kits, and how to organize all of your important documents. You’ve come a long way!!

After accomplishing all of those tasks, your bug in kit is almost complete!

What’s a bug in kit?

A bug-in kit, otherwise known as a shelter-at-home or shelter-in-place kit, will help you survive a long-term emergency without having to evacuate.

Some likely scenarios that would force you to bug-in include a severe winter storm, a biological, chemical, or nuclear threat, or as we’ve experienced since the beginning of 2020, a pandemic and violent protests.

What supplies do you need to bug in or shelter in place?

You can make this process as complicated as you want it to be but let’s simplify it by breaking it down into categories. Your kit should contain, at the very minimum:

  • Water
  • Food
  • A way to cook your food
  • A first aid kit with basic and personal medications
  • A hygiene kit
  • A way to heat or cool down your home and a way to stay warm or cool, depending on the season
  • A way to defend yourself and fortify your home
  • Entertainment to stay happy (and sane)
  • And, any tools needed to accomplish all of this

Under the best bug-in circumstances, you will have electricity, running water, access to food and medicine, internet, cell phone service, etc, but you should plan for the times when you don’t. If any of these commodities were taken from you, your situation would become exponentially more difficult and possibly even dangerous.

How long should your bug in kit last?

Your bug in kit should contain enough supplies to last you and your family a minimum of 14 days. With that said, we recommend preparing for as long as you’re able to, whether that’s one month, three months, or a year.

My three-tier preparedness strategy, as mentioned in the water and food sections, was inspired by survival expert Creek Stewart. He recommends preparing a stockpile of supplies that starts with a 2-week plan, then increasing that to a 3-month plan, and finally stretching it to a 1-year plan.

Implementing this strategy helped me a lot, which is why I recommend it to others. In any case, everyone’s goals, budget, space, and circumstances are different, so do what is best for you and your family.

Action Step

Review the list below and checkmark everything you have completed so far.

Set goals and reminders to work on all the rest.