How to make 5-gallon emergency buckets and what to put in them

( Everyone should be prepared for an emergency, especially emergencies tied to bad weather because no matter where you live, you’re susceptible to it.

Heavy rains and flooding, major snow storms that could trap you indoors, tornadoes and hurricanes – whatever you might experience in your neck of the woods, you should always be prepared for the aftermath, and that is especially true for homesteaders.

One of the best items out there for making individual emergency kits is the 5-gallon bucket. These rugged cans are completely sealable and waterproof and will not only hold a great many items but will protect them from the elements. And, they are easy to pick up and take with you.

Now, you can purchase professionally-made 5-gallon kits, but chances are good they won’t contain all of the items that are specific to your needs and the needs of your family. So building you own is probably a better idea.

So, with that in mind, let’s get to building those kits.

First things first – you’ll need enough 5-gallon buckets for everyone in your family; everyone has their own kit. You can buy these at home improvement stores, hardware stores, paint stores and so forth. You can also pick them up at the big box retailers.

Secondly, let’s figure out what to put in each bucket; you can decide how much of each item you think you may need.

TIP: In EACH bucket include a list of local emergency phone numbers and other contacts.

Food item suggestions:

– MREs

– dehydrated meats

– dehydrated fruits

– soups

– bottled water



– filter masks

– rope

– paracord

– heavy duty gloves

– batteries (8 at least – type will depend on your equipment)

– small transistor radio

– matches (waterproof if possible – consider leaving these out of your young children’s bucket!)

– firestarter kit

– 12-hour lightsticks

– heavy plastic trash bags

– heat-sealing emergency blanket

– zip ties

– hand warmers

– feet warmers

– portable flashlight

– whistle

– emergency candles

– roll of duct tape


First aid supplies:

– box of various-sized band-aids

– antibiotic ointment

– lip balm

– alcohol wipes

– anti-diarrheal

– ibuprophen/aceteminophen

– gauze wraps

– 4×4 bandages

– instant ice pack

– instant heat pack

– burn cream

– basic guide to First Aid

– petroleum jelly

– battery-operated thermometer

– waterproof adhesive tape

– butterfly bandages

– ace bandages

– Q-tips

– tweezers

– nail clippers

– cough drops

– hydrocortisone cream


Toiletry supplies:

– bar soap

– Kleenex

– roll of toilet paper

– sunscreen

– toothpaste and toothbrush

– feminine hygiene products

– floss

– hand cleaner

– sanitation wipes

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