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Closet Storage Emergency Preparedness

How to use your closet space properly and plan ahead for bad weather and emergencies

Posted September 17th, 2010   |   Tags: Closet Planning, Closet Storage Systems, Emergency Supplies
Closet Storage Emergency Preparedness

Well, it's about halfway through hurricane season and we've all seen what extreme weather conditions are capable of.  Tornados, floods, hurricanes, power outages and earthquakes are just some of the emergency situations that many communities are faced with from time to time.  What you have in your closet space can really help out during an emergency.


What emergency supplies do you have in your closet storage systems? 

If you have to think about it for a minute, you may not be fully prepared.  Personally, after hurricane Ike, I immediately made an emergency box to keep in my closet storage systems.

Learning the hard way

Yes, living in the Houston area is great, it's a big city with lots to do; but every year, as hurricane season approaches, people get a little nervous. I used to reside in an older historic neighborhood... right next to a Bayou. That being said, you can imagine how fast the water rose on our street during hurricane Ike. 

Why wasn't I prepared?  I had no batteries for my flashlight, no way to charge my cell phone, no radio, no nonperishable food items, no candles... nothing.  I had plenty of room in my closet storage systems for supplies, but it never crossed my mind.  We couldn't leave for about a week, trees were blocking the road and water was still deep in many areas.  The few stores we could find open, as we walked the neighborhood days later, had only a few bags of chips and soda left.  I recall walking to a home improvement store a week after the storm and waiting in line for an hour to purchase a saw to help with the tree that had fallen on and through our property.  Luckily, we had GREAT neighbors who helped us out in ways I could never thank them enough for.  And although having no electricity for 3 weeks is much less of an inconvenience than many people endure during hurricanes, it would have been nice to have stored food items, have flashlights or listen to the news on a radio during that time.

My closet storage system emergency kit

I have a closet system in my bedroom, but my hall closets and extra storage currently have regular home builder standard closet shelving; I keep supplies in both.  It doesn't matter if your emergency supplies fit all in one box or a few boxes in your closet storage systems or storage space as long as they are accessible. 

Here is a run-down of what I keep in one of my closet spaces:

  • 5 jugs of water
  • All standard sizes of batteries
  • Candles
  • Car charger for my cell phone
  • Canned food items/nonperishable food items
  • Food can opener/paper plates/plastic ware
  • Battery powered radio
  • Flash lights
  • Books and a deck of cards
  • An inflatable pool float (you never know)
  • Extra pair of eye contact lenses
  • A few toiletries
  • Lighter and matches/plastic sealable bags
  • Bag of dry dog food (remember your pets too)

Keep in mind, these are just my personal emergency kit items for my closet storage systems.  I also keep extra food and water in secondary closet spaces.  Other items should be added depending on your personal needs.  We encourage you to find out more on emergency preparedness; for more ideas, you can check out this great emergency checklist provided by homeland security. 

Other emergency supplies for closet storage systems:

  • Extra medication
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Reading glasses
  • Tools
  • Change of clothing
  • Roll of toilet paper
  • First aid kits
  • Insect repellent

10 Emergency Supply Tips for Closet Storage Systems:

  1. If you have closet shelving or closet storage systems in your space, try to keep all paper, cardboard or other non-water-proof items on shelving higher than 12" from the floor in case of flooding.  Water jugs and other heavy items that can not be penetrated by water are fine on the floor.
  2. Try to store emergency supplies in a plastic storage box with a lid as opposed to cardboard.
  3. A small box of garbage bags is a great thing to keep in closet storage systems.  They can come in handy when cleaning out your closet or act as storage or rain ponchos in extreme weather.
  4. A list of emergency phone numbers or important notes can be written on your emergency kit in case you are not home with your family during extreme conditions.
  5. Closet storage systems are great for storing extra blankets or sleeping bags which are also handy in case of an emergency.  If you don't have one in your closet space now, add one soon.
  6. Keeping most, if not all, of your emergency supplies together in one area of a closet or closet storage systems is best.  If the power goes off, you'll want everything together where it is easily accessible.
  7. Remember to check your emergency supplies from time to time.  Candles can become disfigured if stored in a hot area, batteries can corrode and some items may become damp if you've had pluming or humidity issues.
  8. NEVER store gasoline, power generators or any other flammable or hazardous item inside your home or closet storage systems.  These should be placed in the garage away from the hot water heater or in a storage shed outside.
  9. It is a good idea to store at least one long extension cord in your closet systems.  For isolated power outages, sometimes a neighbor can help out.
  10. Never store heavy boxes or sharp objects on higher closet shelves.  In the event of an earthquake or power outage, this could be hazardous when you try to retrieve your items.

For more information on closet planning check out our other blogs!  Or if you plan to evacuate an area due to an impending emergency, download our travel checklist.

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Might I recommend

Might I recommend a Swiss-Army knife or another all-in-one tool to add to your list. A lot of them have some really useful attachments; plus, they're more readily mobile than several full-sized tools. You're right--you never know!

Posted by Anonymous on Sep 28th, 2010
RE: Might I recommend

Thanks! You're very right. Growing up, I was very much into camping, and all in-one-tools were something we always had. They're great for several situations. I appreciate it and will add it to the list!

Posted by Tabitha Kokoska on Sep 28th, 2010

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