Top 10 Items For Your Emergency Survival Kit


What You Really Need In The Event Of A Disaster

Whether it’s a natural catastrophe, like an earthquake or hurricane, or a tragic accident, like a fire or explosion, unfortunate things can happen anytime, anywhere. That’s why it’s always important to be prepared for the worst. Keeping a survival kit is a great way to be prepared. In the event of a disaster or evacuation, a survival kit will have everything you need to sustain your energy, nourish your body, help get you found, and protect you from the elements. Should anything ever happen, a survival kit could be what helps save your life and the lives of those you love. Here are the top 10 items you’ll need in your survival kit: SEE ALSO: 7 Holiday Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

1. Water

Water is the most important item you need to survive. It is advised that you have one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days in the event of an emergency or evacuation. A two week supply is recommended in the case of a disaster.

2. Food

Food is also essential for survival. Non-perishable, shelf-stable or easily prepared foods would be best. These types of foods include:
  • Canned foods (soups, meats, tuna, vegetables, fruits)
  • Grains (rice, pasta, oats, quinoa)
  • Beans
  • Beef Jerky
  • Powdered or evaporated (canned) milk
  • Peanut butter
  • Honey
  • Nuts
Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), which are pre-packaged meals that come with their own flameless heating source, are another good option, and are available online or in emergency supply stores. Again, a three day supply of food for an evacuation and a two week supply for a disaster is recommended. Also, if you need to, don’t forget to set aside a supply for any babies, pets, or family members with special diets.

3. First Aid kit

It’s always good to have a basic first aid kit at the ready in order to treat any common or minor injuries. First aid kits can come in all shapes and sizes and are widely available online and at most drugstores. If you plan to put your own kit together, make sure it includes:
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Roller gauze and gauze pads
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Medical tape
  • Pain killers and antihistamines
  • A thermometer
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Disposable gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Space blanket
  • First aid manual
You should also include any personal medications for you and your family, as well as any important medical information that should be known, like allergies, medical conditions, or diseases. A list of medical contact information would also come in handy.

4. Radio

A portable radio and batteries can keep you informed in case the power goes out and the phone lines are down or busy. You might want to consider a hand-crank, NOAA weather radio, which can come with a built-in flashlight, smart phone charger, and access to news reports and weather warnings.

5. Flashlight, lantern, or candles

You always want to have a light source available to use as a signal in case of a rescue situation or just to light your way if your power goes out. Flashlights and lanterns are convenient, but, unless you go the self-powered route, make sure you have the right size and amount of batteries.

6. Matches or lighter

Having some type of fire source is ideal for both heat and cooking. Lighters are more convenient because they last longer and won’t get ruined by water. But, if you do prefer matches, make sure you keep them away from water, or, better yet, get waterproof matches.

7. Multipurpose tool

A portable multi-tool or pocketknife will be useful to have in all kinds of emergency situations. Again, there are various types and sizes of multipurpose tools that can come with any number of accessories. When choosing a multipurpose tool for your survival kit, make sure it has these vital features:
  • A blade
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver tips
  • Can or bottle opener
  • Tweezers

8. Sanitation/hygiene items

It is important to stay clean and healthy in order to fight any type of germs or pathogens floating in the air after a disaster and to help keep everyone feeling as normal and comfortable as possible. Some items to include are:
  • Toilet paper
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sun screen
  • Tooth brush and tooth paste
  • Feminine products
  • Sanitation or garbage bags

9. Maps

Have a map of the local area on hand in case of an evacuation or other type of emergency. Even if you are familiar with the area, if roads are blocked or closed, you would need to find another way through town that you might not normally use. Also, make sure to have a map of the surrounding areas in case you need to travel away from your city. SEE ALSO: Why Sending Silent Distress Calls Can Save Your Life

10. Copies of important documents

Copies of important documents are good to have in case the originals are damaged or inaccessible after a disaster. Make sure to store copies of these documents where they can be protected from both fire and water. Important documents you might need are:
  • Identification documents: driver’s licenses or IDs, passports, birth certificates, visas, social security cards
  • Insurance documents: insurance policies, deeds/lease to home, title papers, bank account numbers or certificates, wills and trusts, bank or insurance company contact information
  • Personal documents: marriage certificates, family records, keepsakes or photos
  • Contact information: names and numbers of friends or family to contact in case of an emergency
Putting a survival kit together won’t take much time or effort, and once it’s ready, you won’t have to worry about it. Keep it somewhere it won’t get moved around, and be sure that everyone in your household knows where to find it. A survival kit will give you peace of mind knowing that you and your loved ones are prepared if disaster strikes.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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