Hurricane Irma evacuation supplies

Itemized Emergency Supply List

I’ve gotten several requests to itemize my emergency supplies, so that’s what this post will do. I am what you would call a “preparer.” I like to have supplies on hand in case of emergencies. I’m not as extreme as a “prepper”, especially since I have limited space in my 500 square foot apartment to store things, but I’ve managed to put together a comprehensive collection of supplies that has already served me well.

Having just gotten home from a 9-day evacuation from Hurricane Irma, I feel even more enlightened about what supplies are important. Please keep in mind that I am preparing supplies for one adult and a cat. Your supply list should vary according to your household.

Hurricane Irma evacuation supplies

I’ve broken down my supplies by container. Unless otherwise noted, all of these supplies fit in my Honda Fit and were taken with me during my evacuation. The above photo does not include my cat carrier that took up the front passenger seat, the litter box that took up the front passenger seat floor, a large bag of personal items, an extra box of litter, a plastic container of cat food and an extra backpack that I’m leaving behind next time.

Keep in mind that I accumulated these supplies over time. Obviously, you can find similar items in different brands for different prices. I always go for the highest quality item so it lasts a long time. If there’s no link included, then it’s something I already owned and did not specifically buy for emergencies.

Plastic Bin #1 (green)

  • Emergency weather radio – (Was given to me. I’ve included a link to an example. I might update mine to the one linked because the new ones have a solar charger and better phone charger.) – $25
  • Battery-powered Coleman lantern (these are probably way better than when I got mine years ago) – $25
  • Pack towel (I’ve had mine for a while so it isn’t quite like this) – Eagle Creek – $29
  • Travel slippers – LL Bean – Alas, they don’t seem to make these anymore. Click here to see what they were.
  • (8) D batteries
  • (8) AA batteries
  • 100′ of nylon rope
  • Big Sharpie marker
  • Extra feminine hygiene products
  • Poncho
  • (3) snap lights
  • Earplugs
  • Mosquito repellant wipes – (I’d be surprised if I paid this much. Bought them a while ago.) $15
  • Mosquito head/hat cover – Bill Jackson’s – $10
  • Water purification drops – Amazon – $6
  • Notepad
  • Belkin outlet extender – $18
  • Pstyle (lets women pee standing up) – Amazon -$13
  • Garbage bags
  • Survival guide
  • Potassium iodide (for a nuclear attack or leak… of course) – Amazon – $8
  • Duct tape
  • Laundry kit (Drain cover, laundry line, detergent packets. The one linked is a bit better than mine. You just need to add detergent packets.) – $10
  • Water preserver concentrate – Amazon – $12
  • Deck of cards
  • Small dish detergent
  • Tums
  • Bar of soap
  • Waterproof matches – Amazon – $5
  • Bottle opener
  • (5) face masks/respirators (Link is to more or less what I got.) – $15
  • 3 pairs of work gloves

Plastic Bin #2 (purple)

Igloo Cooler

  • Ice packs
  • Food from my fridge (cheese, fruit, potatoes, milk, bread, butter, water, etc.)
  • I also put in non-refrigerated food to save space in the car. I’d like just one shopping bag full of food other than this cooler.
  • This Igloo cooler ($70) is a good capacity and fits in my car nicely. Next time I think I need more ice, though.

Food in reusable shopping bag

  • Soups
  • Cereal
  • Snacks
  • Tea
  • Favorite seasonings (2)
  • Pasta

22″ Suitcase

  • Toiletries
  • Clothes and shoes
  • Hair dryer
  • At least one sweatshirt
  • Bathing suit
  • Small jewelry roll of special items
  • Soap, shampoo, razor
  • Backup pair of glasses

17″ Suitcase


  • Compact, powerful flashlight – Amazon – $15
  • Utility knife – Amazon – $10
  • 256 gig thumb drive with full computer backup – Amazon – $72
  • Everyday medications and supplements
  • Emergency whistle
  • Red blinking bike light attached to outside of pack
  • Emergency cash
  • Water bottle (in side pouch)
  • Grayl water filter (in other side pouch) – $60
  • Watch
  • Phone charging cable
  • Earplugs
  • Eye drops
  • Plastic zippered waterproof bag that will fit phone, cash, thumb drive, ID, credit cards and passport
  • Sun hat (not the exact one I have but similar) – $12

Messenger Bag or Small Backpack

  • Laptop
  • Travel mouse and mouse pad
  • Camera and battery charger
  • Ethernet adapter and cable
  • Any other office-related items
  • Folder of important documents
  • Small Toshiba backup drive

Cat evacuation supplies in reusable shopping bag

  • Small, soft-side cat carrier for continuing on without most possessions – Amazon – $37
  • Extra towels (ones I bought just for Libby at thrift shops, not my everyday towels)
  • Brush and nail clippers
  • Bleach spray
  • Lint brushes
  • “Special” canned food
  • Giant Ziploc bags – (5) large (great for putting a couple plastic grocery bags full of litter in to dispose of and prevent odor) and (3) x-large (great for putting pee-stained towels in to deal with later)
  • Catnip toys
  • Paper towels
  • Medical records
  • Plastic grocery store shopping bags for litter disposal
  • Metal cracker tin for cleaning out litter box

Other cat evacuation supplies

  • Litter box filled with extra amount of litter
  • Litter tracking rug
  • Brush and pan to clean up around litterbox
  • Extra litter if trip will last more than 7-8 days
  • Water and food dishes and food mat
  • Plastic food container filled with food
  • Scratching post – PetSmart – $23.99
  • Largest plastic cat carrier with top opening that will fit in my front seat and still allow visibility of side mirror – PetSmart – $54.99

Other items that went in my car

  • Folding bicycle in canvas case
  • Bicycle helmet
  • Life vest – West Marine – $34.99
  • Flotation device – Walmart – $8.94
  • Life hammer – Amazon – $16.95
  • 4-D cell Maglite – Amazon – $18
  • My pillow
  • A pillow that I put behind my back while driving to make it more comfy
  • A full water bottle in each beverage holder
  • Snacks for the ride
  • Kitty treats for the ride
  • Rain coat and umbrella
  • A tin with dry leaves and twigs for my camp stove
  • Hiking boots
  • 12V fan (mostly in case I have to sleep in the car) – $22

Items other than the above that I would use if I sheltered in place

  • 5-gallon water container – The Ready Store – $24
  • Luggable Loo emergency toilet – Dick’s Sporting Goods – $18
  • Bags for Luggable Loo – Dick’s Sporting Goods – $18
  • Solar oven – $350
  • Extra cat litter

I was given a great suggestion to print off a list for each container and keep the list in the container, if possible, so I can check it at the beginning of the season and before any evacuation to be sure everything is in the container.

So, again, it’s taken me about 10 years to accumulate all of these items. I feel this was money well spent as it makes me feel secure. If possible, I don’t want local resources to have to be spent rescuing or taking care of me in an emergency. Since I am able to be prepared, I choose to be. Many of these supplies will last my whole life, so I consider them an investment in my well-being and a service to my community.

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