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Where Smart Preppers Store Survival Supplies

With the threat of both natural and man-made disasters increasing, smart preppers everywhere need to have a healthy stash of survival supplies. However, an inaccessible stockpile of supplies will be just as useless as no stockpile at all in the event of an emergency.

You should diversify the places where you store survival supplies to maximize your chances of having access to them during a disaster. Keeping supplies in different locations will protect you from many disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and more.

Although preparing for the worst-case scenario can be scary, you’ll surely be thankful for your supply stash. Keep reading to learn more about the best places to store your survival supplies to maximize your and your family’s safety.  

4 Best Places To Store Emergency Supplies

The fact that you’re thinking about the best places to store your emergency supplies already places you way ahead of the curve. However, there’s no single place that can prepare you for most natural disasters. 

Disaster situations are crises. If a tornado or flood suddenly strikes you, you likely will only have a few minutes, or perhaps even seconds, to act. This means that you may not have time to reach the one designated survival supply stockpile location in time. 

The best places to store emergency supplies should be in different locations around the house. You may not need all your stockpiles if disaster hits, but increasing the locations of your supply stash will maximize your chances of having access to them during a flood or after an earthquake.

Let’s take a look at some recommended survival supply storage locations.

1. Basement

Cartoon house with supplies in basement or cellar

Storing supplies in your basement is a great choice. Basements are safe locations for most natural disasters, so having your stash in your safe room can be safe and convenient. 

You should keep in mind the following when storing supplies in your basement: 

  • Airtight containers like mason jars and canned goods store well in dark basements.
  • Basements tend to be humid, so avoid storing cardboard and products prone to mold.
  • Don’t store food on the floor as it may cause temperature fluctuations. Use shelves instead.

If you live in zones prone to flooding, you may want to keep this in mind when storing your emergency supplies. Although basement storage can be great for earthquakes, tornadoes, and snowstorms, a severe flood can render your basement stockpile useless.

2. Garage

Cartoon garage of with tools furniture storage and survival supplies

Your garage can be a great place for you to store supplies, particularly in the short term. One of the biggest benefits of using your garage as storage is the ample space. 

However, you should consider the following when deciding what to store in your garage: 

  • Most garages aren’t climate-controlled or well-insulated. Temperature fluctuations may affect the shelf life of any supplies you store in your garage. 
  • Garages can be very susceptible to natural disasters and might be the first to succumb to a fire or strong winds. 
  • Garages are easy to rob, so looters could get to your supplies in the event of a massive disaster.

With that said, garages should have a place in every smart prepper’s survival strategy. 

You can easily store bulky items like toilet paper, paper towels, and other hygiene products. Additionally, garages can be great temporary storage spaces if you’re preparing to be snowed in during a snowstorm.

You should also keep some supplies in duffel bags in your garage that are fully ready to go. If you need to evacuate your home due to wildfires or a flash flood warning, you can grab your duffel bag, hop in the car, and go. 

3. Car

Cartoon of SUV trunk full of survival supplies

In addition to keeping duffel bags in your garage with survival supplies, you should also keep some basic necessities in your car at all times. You never know how much time you’ll have to evacuate in an emergency, and sometimes you won’t be able to bring anything with you before you hop in your car. 

Keeping an emergency kit in your car will allow you to jump in your vehicle and go when disaster hits. 

Keep a first-aid kit, some water, granola bars, and a jacket or blanket in your car at all times. You might be stuck in traffic for hours on end as you try to evacuate, so plan for anything that you may need as you get to a safe location.

However, in the winter, you’ll need different supplies in your car, especially if you run off the road during a snowstorm and no one can find you for several hours. 

Flares, a portable power bank, and a portable heater will help you stay warm and safe. Also, water stored in the car will freeze in the winter, so you might want to re-think putting water there during the colder months.

4. Pantries

Pantry full of food and survival supplies

Pantries are great for storing food, particularly non-perishables like pasta and canned goods. Since they were designed for food storage, pantries are usually safe from temperature fluctuations and humidity, allowing your food to last longer.

You can also use pantries to store other non-food items such as toiletries, medicine, and even clothes. Don’t be dissuaded from using your pantry to store survival supplies beyond canned beans.

Preparing for Different Natural Disasters

Organization is key when preparing for different natural disasters. Every geographic region is different, so you should be informed about the kinds of disasters that are prone to happen in your city or state when building out your survival supply stockpiles. 

Here are some of the most common natural disasters and how to best prepare your survival kits.


Earthquakes are perhaps the most drastic natural disasters as they generally come without warning. A large earthquake can cause catastrophic damage in a matter of seconds without giving you enough time to move to a secure location.

If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, you should store some survival supplies in as many places as you can. You never know what damage the earthquake may cause or if you’ll end up trapped in a room or a section of your house, so it’s best to be fully prepared.


Fires can cause irreparable damage, but FEMA wildfire alerts usually give people anywhere from several hours to a few minutes to evacuate. 

Since you’ll likely have a heads-up to evacuate, the best way to prepare for a fire is to keep your supplies in ready-to-go bags so that you can take them with you as soon as you’re asked to leave your home.

Keeping your supplies in your car and garage is a great way to be prepared for wildfires. 

If you live in an area that’s prone to wildfires, you should try to keep important documents and items of sentimental value by or in your garage so that you can quickly grab them as you evacuate.


Floods are similar to fires since you’ll often have flood warnings that give you a heads up. 

However, flooded roads may prevent you from evacuating your home. If this is the case, you’ll have to hunker down and stay in the upper level of your house. 

If you live in an area prone to flooding, you shouldn’t rely on your basement for survival supplies. Since basements are underground, they’ll likely be the first room of the house to be flooded if it comes to that. 

Store survival supplies in the upper level of your house or your attic if you have one. Look at your house and try to predict which rooms will become flooded first and which will be safe the longest. 

Try to store a majority of your supplies in the latter.


If your home is in an area that is prone to tornadoes, you should store a majority of your survival kits in your basement. If you don’t have a basement, use a room without windows on the lower level of your house. 

Tornadoes are very unpredictable, so you’ve likely lived through several tornado alerts already. Having a fully stocked survival supply kit in your safe room will help you keep calm through the alert.


Hurricanes are a big problem for people in many parts of the country. Places like Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and even New York have suffered catastrophic damages from hurricanes. The biggest issue with hurricanes is that they’re very unpredictable. 

The wind can cause significant damage to your home’s structure, or torrential rain could cause severe floods. 

Both scenarios can present different kinds of problems that make it hard to predict what the safest room in the house will be. The best way to prepare for a hurricane is by storing survival supplies in as many rooms as you can. 

Where Can I Hide My Stockpile?

Survival Supplies Cartoon

The best place to hide your stockpile is in numerous locations around your house. Hide your supplies in as many different rooms as you can, as this will likely dissuade any lurkers from continuing to hunt for provisions. 

Although the thought of it may seem grim, the long-term damage caused by any type of disaster could prompt neighbors to come looking for food and supplies. Any smart prepper will try to anticipate this by dividing their stash among different hiding locations.

Family in home basement bunker or survival shelter safe room food supplies
Putting everything here might seem smart, but is it?

How Do You Store Water Long-Term?

The best way to store water long-term is in food-grade plastic bottles. Commercially available plastic water bottles are food-grade, and these should keep your water safe to drink indefinitely if stored properly. 

If you wish to store water in your own containers instead of using store-bought water bottles, you can use sterilized glass and stainless steel containers. Keep in mind that the CDC recommends replacing the water every six months if it’s not sealed in its manufacture container.

Does Stored Water Go Bad?

Stored water doesn’t go bad in the absence of outside contaminants. However, water can go bad if stored in containers not properly sanitized. You should use bleach to properly disinfect any storage containers before filling them with water to prevent it from going bad. 

Although water can go a little stale after a long time, it can remain safe to drink indefinitely if stored in a sterile container. 

Store-bought water bottles use food-grade plastic bottles, which creates a sanitized environment that allows water to be stored indefinitely. You don’t have to worry about your water going bad if you bought it from a store. 

However, if you wish to store water in your own containers, you need to make sure that you properly disinfect them before storing water. The containers may have food particles or other chemical residues that may cause the water to go bad. 

Additionally, the CDC recommends that you replace your stored water at least once every six months, even if you sanitize your containers before storing the water. 

To sanitize drinking water containers, the CDC recommends that you: 

  • Rinse the container with water. 
  • Create a cleaning solution by mixing 1 tsp (4.93 ml) of bleach with 1 qt (32 oz) of water. 
  • Pour the cleaning solution into your container and shake well, ensuring the solution covers the entire surface of the container.
  • Let the solution sit for at least 30 seconds before pouring it out and rinsing the container with clean water.
  • Air-dry the container and let it dry completely before filling it with clean water and sealing it for storage. 

Even after sanitizing, you need to remember to replace all of your stored water once every six months to prevent it from going bad. 

Should I Add Bleach To Store Water?

Adding a small amount of unscented household liquid chlorine bleach to water can help disinfect it and make it safe for drinking. Follow the instructions for drinking water on the bleach label before adding any to your water. If unavailable, use these CDC guidelines to disinfect water with bleach. 

Remember that bleach is toxic to humans, so adding too much bleach to your water could be harmful and potentially fatal. Always follow the instructions printed on the label or carefully read through the CDC’s official recommendations to avoid potential problems. 

You can watch the YouTube video below for a demonstration on disinfecting water with bleach:

Key Takeaways

Taking the time to build a survival kit is a great first step, and thinking about where best to store it ensures that you’re taking the necessary steps to keep your family safe. 

Always remember that natural disasters are wildly unpredictable, so the best way to maximize your chances of staying safe is diversifying where you store your survival supplies. Try the following places to store your survival kit:

  • Basement
  • Garage
  • Car
  • Pantry
  • Attic
  • Root cellar

Thanks for reading!

For more, check out How Much Does a Survival Bunker Cost? Build vs. Buy.