We’ve talked about how part of the reason we want our food storage is to help us maintain our regular standard of living as long as we can in an emergency. When we experience uncertain times in our lives, there is a tension that arises, and the more of our every day normal we can maintain, the more we can manage that. In addition to food, we are all accustomed to certain other things that keep our home running smoothly. As we are working to build our food storage up, we should also think about the non-food things we use everyday, so that we can lessen the interruptions to our lives even more.
Think back to 2020 and the first thing you probably remember is missing toilet paper, lockdowns, and masks. Right? But what else went missing? The cleaners were gone, soap was gone, hand sanitizer, paper towels, bottled water….. those shelves were empty. So now that we’ve lived through that emergency, and learned some things, what are we going to do about it?
Shopping ahead and building a reserve is also a great practice to get into because it allows us to have the things we need regularly on hand! How annoying is it to suddenly realize as you are getting ready for a shower? Or heading to the bathroom, only to realize your roommate didn’t buy the toilet paper they were supposed to? (Been there, done that….) Let’s avoid that, shall we? So, here are 10 things to think about having in your storage in addition to food to help simplify your routines, and prepare in case something bad were to happen.
Ok, first things first. We know why we want this one. We know why it’s important to have an extra stash of toilet paper, because for some reason, even during a pandemic that has to do with respiratory issues, this will be the first thing to go.
One way to avoid this problem is to shop in bulk. If you shop at wholesale stores like Costco or Sam’s Club, you get a giant package with multiple smaller packages inside. Easy solution is to always restock when you get to that last package. If you have a larger family like I grew up in, we would shop before the last large package opened, because we had a houseful of teenagers.
If you don’t tend to hit up Costco very often, try buying two packages, and then always shop before you open the second package, so that you have a few rolls to get you through before things get desperate.
In addition to toilet paper, many of us use other paper products pretty regularly, such as paper towels, paper plates, or tissues. We never know when big messes or illnesses will strike, so having extras nearby is close by is so helpful. Having a supply of paper plates on hand is also great for when you have impromptu get-togethers, or unexpected visitors.
There is a growing movement to use more sustainable with products like these, which also cuts down the need to stock up on paper products. Tissues can be replaced with washable handkerchiefs. Instead of paper towels, we can use microfiber cloths. (We use cloths from
Another thing that was hit hard during the Pandemic was cleaners, as all of us were deep cleaning and sanitizing everything. This is when I started experimenting with making my own cleaners. (You can check out my favorite cleaner recipes here.) It’s definitely a good idea to have some ingredients or cleaners on hand on to keep up on the cleaning.
I hate it when I am headed to the shower and I realize I’m out of soap, shampoo, or whatever it may be. (So annoying.) I like to have a stock of lotions, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioners, hand soaps, contact solution, etc. This helps so that I always can just go grab a new one when I need to, and just replace what I open.
Medications and Health Items
It’s also good to think about having a supply of medical supplies and things to promote health. This can include vitamins, cold or flu remedies, essential oils, humidifiers, diffusers, bandages, or first aid kits. If you have specific medications, try to get a little extra in case of supply chain problems, etc.
One thing that we learned quickly how important it is to have a supply of was diapers, wipes, and formula. We have had to formula feed our littles, but during 2020, that was tricky because it was so hard to find! With our second baby, we tried really hard to always have an extra can in the cupboard so that we didn’t run out. We buy our wipes and diapers from Costco, and always restock when we get down to the last “mini-package” in the box.
Have you ever thought about an extended power outage? If the power were out for more than a few hours, how would you have light in your home? Do you have a plethora of candles at home? Or maybe flashlights? The Texas power outage lasted two weeks, can we light our homes for that long?
The next few items listed here are right along these lines. Do we have batteries to power the flashlights? Do we have some solar or power banks to charge our phones? We always seem to need new batteries for something, so keep the ones we need most often close by. (We usually have AA, DD, and AAA on hand.)
Let’s think about an extended power outage again. If the power went out in the summer, could you keep cool? Here are some ways to think about that can help cool your home in case of no power, and maybe help lower your power bill in the meantime.
- Add blackout curtains to your windows and check windows for leaks
- Try opening the windows at night
- Use aluminum foil in the windows to reflect the heat.
- Have a backup generator if possible
- Close off hottest rooms, to limit the amount of space you are fighting to keep cool
- Have cooling rags to tie around your neck to help fight the heat
- Use alternative methods of cooking (barbecue, dutch oven, eat cold foods)
Ok, so what if this happened in the winter? How could you heat your home, or stay warm?
- Add window coverings and check windows for leaks
- Have a backup generator if possible
- Look at getting an alternate heat source like a pellet or wood burning stove
- Have plenty of extra blankets
- Have rice bags or heated water bottles
- Make sure family members have warm winter clothes including gloves and hats.
Another necessity we often overlook when we are planning our home and food storage is water. We use water for cleaning, drinking, bathing, so many things! If your water is pumped with electricity, a power outage could be a real hardship. During other types of emergencies, such as earthquake or hurricane, water supplies can become contaminated. Experts recommend about a gallon of water per person a day.
You can buy big tanks for water storage, or stackable 5 gallon jars. You can also “can” water to sterilize it in glass jars that will last for years. If you don’t have a lot of storage room for water, you can also get things like LifeStraws, or water purifying tablets or water purifiers to clean the water during an emergency.
Looking for More:
Looking for more ways to improve your emergency preparedness? Check out our Ultimate 72 Hour Kit List or our Family Emergency Guide Book. Be sure to follow our Instagram (@honeynlilies) for quick tips and inspiration for your personal and family preparedness.