3 Storm Preparedness Items Everyone Should Own

As I read through the comments to yesterday blog post, “Are You Evacuation Ready?” I noticed a question about which specific items I recommend. Immediately, I went into my supply room to check what was in my bug-out bag, which weather radio I own, which walkie-talkies I have in my safe room, and even which first aid kit I have.

To be completely honest, I have little attachment to most of the items in my “just in case” crisis inventory. The reason for that is mostly because I never really use these items on a day-to-day basis.

It’s a lot more important to me as a survivalist that I have a bug-out backpack than it is what brand I prefer. I love my MountainSmith backpack for regular use, btw 😉

Still, I realize that getting into specifics is useful for those of you that may be comparison shopping or the right this or that. That’s why I put together this list of 3 must-have storm preparedness items. I’ve included the items that I personally have in my stockpile right now, just for fun.

The important thing is that you have these bases covered… regardless of what brand you prefer.

1.  Weather Radio

I really like the  Ambient Weather WR-111B because it’s the most comprehensive weather radio I could find for under $50. It’s got a solar charging function, a hand-crank backup functionality, and it’s got a digital tuner. The tuner can be make or break on a weather radio… let me tell you.


2. Two Way Radios/Walkie Talkies

I own the old, tried and true Motorola Talkabouts. Other radios claim to have a longer range (I wouldn’t trust the 23-mile rating on these on a pristinely clear day, btw) but these are perfectly reliable and cheap. These are only $40 on Amazon.

3. Bug-Out Bags

The actually backpack is far less important than what’s inside. Like I said, I have several Mountainsmith bags that I really like, but you can purchase a fully loaded bag like this one for less that $50 online. A pre-loaded bag is extremely convenient and you can always customize the contents later. In some cases, you could simply take the contents out of one of these done-for-you bags (usually a poorly constructed bag) and dump them into a better pack.


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  1. Where available (companies) would be helpful.

  2. I too like Mountainsmith bags. The large Mountainsmith fanny packs are especially good for bug out bags. They have enough cubic inches to hold a enough items needed for a more complete bug out bag. I have the ETON FR160 radio. I think it is a little smaller than the WR-111B. The weather radio function works pretty good on it but I find that the receiver front end sensitivity is not as good as I would like. I bought it over the digital screen version because I thought the mechanical tuner would be less problematic in a crisis. Although, a backlit display can be seen in the dark on the WR-111B. The Motorola walkie-talkies are good but I prefer using Amateur Radios.

  3. What really matters is that you have these items. Name brands, designer styles and such do not matter as long as they work and reliable. Keeping up with the Jonses,style and political correctness is what got us to the point of needing them, for one aspect. Most of all knowing how to use them And knowing what to do Without them is even more important.

  4. We use suitcases on wheels for our emergency bag. We just pull up the handle and off we go. Much easier for older people to take along than a back pack which can be weighty. Thanks.

  5. If you prepare for a complete collapse of the financial market, then you should consider that your cell phones will be useless due to towers being most probably w/o power, therefore the cell phone is just a paper weight. When I am weighing in my mind is CB radios, cheap, pretty good distance and probably better than walkie- talkies. I really would like to use my amateur radio (I am licensed) but no one else in the family is and I dont know how to get around that unless there have been some changes since i got my licnense in the mid 90’s. The Motorolla walkie-talkie has 7 NOAA weather channels and that should suffice for weather reports. Probably would be little else on the AM band

    I am an ex-EmT and have my car go kit packed for up to and including gun shot repair and emergency stitching in case a medical facility is not accessible. For a long term go I would take my House EMT bag which is even better prepared.

    Can someone give me some info either here on by direct email as to how they would handle the amateur radio scenario with only one licensed operator

    What’s the most current thinking on deploying CB radio?

  6. I have a HillaryFrame Pack that I used as a Scoutmaster. It is still in good shape, and will hold more than I can carry now, so I have to be judicious in choosing what to take. My first item is a plastic Canteen filled with honey, and a 3 ounce bottle of Cinnamon, Honey is good for cuts also, rapid healing and virtuall no scar. I also keep some small sealable pill bottle filled
    with the a fusee powder for fire starters in difficult weather. A small roll of trot line cord, Snares, Bow Drill fire starter, and fishing. snares, Hanging Pack in Bear and coon country. These have been proven life savers in camping.

  7. Hello djmseventh, Who cares about the rule book , nobody is going to prosecute you or threaten your license if SHTF, Use your 2 meter handi talk , better range and all kinds of extras and nobody useing it except hams. Simply move over to an unused freq. and do what you want. The 2 meter call freq will probably be busy. Show them how to use it and practice. Good Luck K7HIZ Bend Oregon

  8. My husband is on oxygen and I wouldn’t leave him behind. Portable tanks are only good for a short while. I guess prayer is my best and only option.

  9. I think guys should build deer stands like tree houses and hide bug out bags,food,blankets,first aid,ect inbetween the walls. It’s just a thought. In an emergency I’ld rather be cramped then wet , cold or too hot…solar fans can be used in a deer stand or a potable propane heater. Weapons could be hid as well for back-up. Just make sure the outside looks crappy and old. And of course never leave the ladder up-use foot holds that you carry to the deer stand.

  10. Yes, David and Joyce, I like your suggestion of suitcases on wheels, no longer a spring chicken in my case! Have a great day. Will look forward for more great ideas!

  11. Great tips!

  12. I am new to this today. What is a bug out bag? Does it have to be labeled that? So far no bugs have gotten into mine for 20 years.

  13. I am also new at this and I agree with marilyn above, I don’t even know what a bug out bag is. I’m assuming it’s an emergency if you have to vacate wherever you are in a hurry. I too am older, but I would run if I had to , but to where and with what?
    Your 3 listed above, obviously and a first aid kit, some food, water(-heavy?) What else should we be thinking of adding?

  14. Oh u smarty pants. Thnx NEVER even thought of that. My NEW project. God Bless peace & health be with you!!!

  15. Ever thought of “BUGGING IN”? You may not be able to move very well but you can still prepare your home. If you have a basement, try turning that into a place to fortify yourselves if need be. Without disabling your home, can you dig below your basement floor to create hidden storage? Do you have extra land you can afford a small garden and a few small farm animals? Get creative and see potential in what you have and what you can do. Also look on Pentrest.com and lood up hidden compartments. Itll show a plethora of ways you can create secret compartments within the structure of your home. Your husband may be needing and O2 tank but with time, Im sure he can do some project around the house to help prepare you and yours for the expected events. Also, as you may know, every man is an overgrown boy who loves projects. lol Take care.

  16. Marilyn & Linda:
    I am surprised the author or website operator has not responded to your questions at all.
    A “bug-out-bag” (BOB) also has various other cute names such as GOOD (get out of dodge) INCH (Im not coming home) bags. All of them are similar, but not identical. Basically, it entails a situation where you would not be safe to stay in your home. Examples: wildfires in the west, hurricanes on the coasts, earthquakes where structural damage has occurred, Severe storms and falling trees or house fires where your home is not livable, riots in the city.
    In some emergencies, you may only have a matter of minutes; not hours, not days; of notice to vacate. Having a bag (or more) pre-packed and ready to go at all times, makes it easier to evacuate. You are not wasting precious time running in circles. You are not in a panic. You are not forgetting important things that you will need later. You will have done a lot of the work while thinking is clear, when emotions are calm. You can create your own checklist. You can check, re-check and periodically update your BOB. I.e. winter clothes comes out, sunscreen goes in.
    What do you put into them? Ask a 100 people and get a 100 answers. Much depends on your particular personality, physical condition and situation. It also depends on the reason you have to leave. For instance, If your house burned to the ground, you could just get in the car and stay with relatives, friends or a hotel. On the other hand, an earthquake could make these places uninhabitable too. Then you are going further and staying longer. Provided the roads are passable. (Thus having good up-to-date maps with alternate routes is vital) Not knowing ahead of time what the “event” may be, most people pack general stuff that is good for many situations. The items listed in this article fall into that category. They are good for just about any emergency.
    What else? Your important papers, ID’s, Medical Cards, RX, etc. Extra cash. medicine, Food that you can eat without cooking for quick meals and snacks. Appropriate clothes for the season. water and water filters and water containers. food to cook and a stove and fuel. hygiene materials. extra clothes, The list can become overwhelming.
    It is best to remember the basic needs we have as humans and work to solve those problems. 1. maintain body temp. not to hot, not to cold. 2. stay hydrated. 3 stay nourished. 4. protection for injuries and treatment of the same. 5. a way to obtain rest. 6. means of protection from critters, 2 and 4 legged. 7. maintain mental health and your spiritual outlook. 8. deal with hygiene and human waste.
    Don’t get hung up on the singular “bag”. If you are evacuating by auto, multiple bags can fit into your vehicle. You can pre-pack some stuff in your car already. Also, keep your gas tank at least half full. Don’t forget to plan for your animals.
    There are a lot of good sites around that have a lot of good info. Some sites also have bad info. Take small, but regular steps.
    Last: Having a bug-out-bag is only one facet of an overall preparedness and self reliance attitude and strategy for your life. This is neither the beginning nor the end. Prepping is a journey and a way of life, not a destination.
    I hope both of you periodically come back here to see if anyone has answered. God Bless.

  17. Hello, fellow survivors, I am new to the website but have been prepping since the dictator took the oath. These are all good ideas, and of course must be tailored to fit everyone’s needs. My small contributions to offer here are as follows.
    To winterized all our family minivans (even if we’re just stuck somewhere highly inconvenient) I’ve stashed pocket warmers, snow brush/ice scrapers, trash bags, grocery bags, insulated mover’s blankets, towels, toilet paper, tissues, extra bottles of motor oil/funnel, gallons of water, squeezable and packet water flavors, instant coffee/sugar/creamer packets, granola bars, gum/mints, vitamins/tums tablets bottle, acetaminophen/ibuprofen, first aid kit, pocket-sized hooded rain capes, umbrellas, heavy insulated gloves (waterproof), cheap knit gloves/hats/scarves, sunglasses, Swiss Army knife with all the tools, large/small screwdrivers, breakout hammer/seatbelt cutter, LED flashlights, crossword book, pencil/pen/heavy duty black Sharpie, sticky notepads, jumper cables, an extra heavy long wrench/crow bar/small shovel, plastic cups, waterproof matches, twine, hand crank radio/flashlight, and cash hidden in a couple spots. Find these at Meijer, Walmart, Cabela’s, Harbor Freight, dollar stores, etc). Of course, customize to your part of the country. God bless all.

  18. Me, too. Same reasons.

  19. I once did a personal study on fatness of people walking out of health food stores vs regular supermarkets. Yes, the Health food customers had less severe weight issues, but the bigger differences were in posture and energy.levels. Here in mile-high Denver, there are a lot of oxygen tanks–but not among the health store customers. So part of your prepping should include better food every day. This is a great prepper site for you as its founder is into Organic and wholesome food and sells better stuff than most prepper sites.

  20. What are the cinnamon sticks for?

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