What You Need in Your Emergency Kit
Let’s face it, when it comes to an emergency kit, you don’t always know what you need. I want to help, so let’s talk about what you need in your emergency kit. It’s so vital that you have the right items in your emergency kit. Keep reading to discover what one might keep in that kit. Keep in mind that it looks different for every single person or family out there based on their particular situation and family makeup. In case you missed this post, 30 Items You Need To Survive A Pandemic
“Prepare Your Family For Survival” by Linda Loosli
Headlamps so you can keep your hands FREE
What You Need in Your Emergency Kit
Clean water is your number one essential that you don’t want to be caught without following an emergency.
- Plan on having one gallon of water per person for each day, that will cover both sanitation and drinking purposes. At the very least, you need to store a 3 day supply of drinking water for everyone in your family. If you have the space to do so, you should consider storing a 2 week supply of water that will more than cover you during most emergency situations.
- You have the choice of heading to the store and buying purified drinking water in gallons or filling up old milk jugs with tap water. If money isn’t an issue, purchasing a 55-gallon water barrel is a great way to quickly have enough drinking water set aside for your family.
- If an emergency forces you to quickly evacuate your home, having to transport all those jugs or gallons of water simply may not be feasible.
- For that, you will need a portable water filter, like the LifeStraw. It’s a filtering straw that is lightweight and takes up very little space.
- You can use it to directly drink from most any water source. However, if you’re needing a water filter that can purify large amounts of water, the Platypus GravityWorks is a great solution.
When a disaster strikes, there’s the real possibility that your local grocery store may not be available to come to your rescue. Plan on having a stock of non-perishable foods that have a longer shelf life and won’t be spoiled by the time you need them. (Be sure to rotate them out about every 6 months.) Just don’t forget to have a can opener handy for your canned foods.
Don’t forget to have quick and easy snack items on hand, including energy bars, dried fruits, nuts, and jerky. Also, be sure that you gather foods that your family actually enjoys eating. Your family’s morale will already be running low due to your situation, and having to eat food that’s unappealing isn’t going to help matters any.
Fumbling around searching for supplies in the dark of night will be an annoyance or even dangerous, in some cases. You’ll need to have flashlights with plenty of batteries. It’s a good idea to have one light source for every member of your family.
Information that’s relayed by emergency officials will be of extreme importance for your family following a disaster. Not knowing what’s going on around you could be the difference between life and death, especially when officials are informing you of changing weather conditions or urging residents in your area to evacuate. That is why a hand-crank radio is so important for you to have in your emergency kit.
A situation may force you or other family members to separate for whatever reason and you may not be able to rely on your cell phones to keep in touch. Don’t make the decision to split up unless you have 2-way radios available so you can stay in contact.
Emergencies aren’t called emergencies for no reason. The first aid kit should have sufficient supplies to cover a number of situations. Some could be as easy as someone in your family only requiring bandages to hold them over. Your first aid kit should include bandaids, gauze, antibiotic ointments, burn cream, tourniquets, pain medication, and other medicines, just in case.
When your home is no longer a place that you can consider safe and you have nowhere else to turn, you’ll need a shelter to escape the cold and wet elements. Consider having a lightweight camping tent and extra emergency blankets for everyone to stay warm. Good sleeping bags will also be necessary in order to stay cozy during the night.
Warm Clothing and Shoes
Even under normal circumstances being wet or cold can be extremely uncomfortable and possibly dangerous. Make sure to have plenty of warm articles of clothing set aside for each member of your family, along with an extra pair of shoes. You may need to have hats, gloves, and coats at the ready if it’s during the winter season.
Following a disaster, you may have to be able to turn off your utilities or cut down some tree branches that you can use for firewood. Start out by getting yourself a multitool that has a sharp pocket knife built into it so you can cut wires, open battery chambers, and several other small tasks. There may come some point where you need duct tape, a hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches, or an ax. Don’t forget gasoline or camping fuel for starting fires and for cooking meals.
This one’s usually the number one thing that gets forgotten most often, but sanitation will play an even more important role than ever before. To ensure that your family stays fresh and clean you’ll be needing personal hygiene items, baby wipes, face masks (Covid-19), hand sanitizer, and garbage bags for managing waste.
If you’re forced to evacuate your home, you’ll need to be able to grab important information in a hurry, such as birth certificates, insurance information, passports, and other documents. Have them ready in a waterproof container or small safe that’s close to your emergency kit. Extra cash tucked away in your kit is something else to think about in order to purchase necessary supplies that you may have forgotten.
There’s no telling how long an emergency may force you to rely on your emergency kit to sustain your family. When you’re first starting out it may seem overwhelming. It’s best to start with at least a 3 day supply of all your needs until eventually, you’re up to a week’s worth. Once there, you can expand on the supplies in the kit if you feel that will provide the coverage you may need.
Your emergency kit should be stored in a climate-controlled environment so that none of your supplies are damaged or spoiled by extreme temperatures. Your kit needs to be placed in an area of your home where you go to seek shelter when a disaster strikes. I’d also encourage you to use watertight containers or tubs to store everything that you’ll need. What do you feel you’ll need in your emergency kit? May God Bless this world, Linda.
Copyright Images: Emergency Bag AdobeStock_300421732 By Studio GDB, Emergency Bags AdobeStock_256162855 by Markobe
26 thoughts on “What You Need in Your Emergency Kit”
I’d consider 2 types of flashlights: a handheld one and a headlamp. One for power and one for working that you don’t need to hold.
The headlamp needs to have a combo of power and longevity. You need it bright enough to see what your doing but might need the battery to last for a long time if you are fixing stuff, walking out or using it all night in the house.
Hi Matt, I need to add those links, I love having headlamps, I learned to use that when I was getting certified for CERT. Great tip, great reminder. Linda
Welp it’s timely. Our minor ice has turned into a major ice storm. Power down, tree down etc.
setting up plan B with headlamp lol
Hi Matt, darn, I hate ice storms they are the worst! We have winds and it’s now 12 hours without the internet. Tree down, not good. Stay safe, Linda
So, what’s in the sardine can?
Hi Karl, sardines, my husband loves those. Me, not so much. Stay safe, Linda
That’s what I figured. I asked because I’ve seen “survival kits” in cans like the one pictured in your post.
Hi Karl, I have to! I wondered how they would seal them. Linda
I keep reading about having cash in an emergency. How much do you suggest? I know small denominations is best.
I do have all the other items ready to go. I just bought a plastic tote to put them all in to lighten my BOB.
One other thing I want to say. If you are walking to Bug out, pace yourself. Go slower and be sure to drink lots of water. My grandson just went on a hike and got very dehydrated. He had to be rescued at night in the rain. A couple of life straws is better than one. His dad was about 5 miles ahead of him, and he was trying to catch up. His Dad had a Sawyer bag, but it doesn’t work every time. He got to where some water was, but didn’t read the warning to NOT drink the water. He did use his Sawyer bag though. But drank too fast and immediately threw up. Then, he read the notice that said Don’t Drink the Water.
Hi Deborah, oh my gosh, I’m glad your grandson is okay!!! You know we have always suggested having small bills on hand. UNTIL COVID hit. Yes, we still need them but now places do not accept cash only debit cards. The amount of cash to have on hand is a personal thing. Everyone has a different budget and spending habits. Dehydration is a scary thing. Linda
If his dad hadn’t called for help, he would have been in really bad shape. He had what they call as hikers knees. All swollen up. You’d think an ex-military person would know better. He hadn’t told his dad that he was out of water. Men can be so stubborn at times. LOL No offense guys.
Hi Deborah, I have been without the internet all day. I had to drive to a hotel to use their wifi. That’s terrible. I’m so glad things turned out so well. Linda
Alls well that ends well. Both are well and safely at home. God is good.
Hi Deborah, yes indeed. Linda
Thank you for this content! I appreciate it!
You have bag at the beginning of this blog post. Could you please advise me where that one is from?
Keep up the great work!
Hi Paulette, that’s actually photo stock that I purchased, But I like the looks of so I’m going to look for one. Thank you for your kind words! Linda
Hi Linda! Great list! Here in NW Florida we are prepping for hurricane Zeta. ..our 4th in the last 2 months! All we had to get today was fruit & a box of kitty’s new favorite canned food. Getting Ice tomorrow & we’re good to go.
Suggestions for the bags… check craft & hobby stores for similar items. There are many styles & types of bags created for scrapbooking, yarn & sewing that would be great for storing your preps. Many are wheeled & have retractable handles.
Also check feed stores & saddle shops, as they will often carry sturdy bags & carriers for show folks to stow all their grooming equipment & stuff.
Don’t forget to check thrift & junk stores for sturdy bags & backpacks.
We love the headlamps! Used them to read by when the power was out in Hurricane Sally. We have flashlights & battery-powered lanterns for ambient light so we can navigate through the house. It’s very dark inside once we put up the hurricane shutters & lose power.
HI BDN, oh my gosh, I have not heard about Hurricane Zeta! Our TV and internet were out for 12 hours today. I had to go to a hotel to use their wifi in the lobby. I love hearing you’re prepped and ready to go. Stay safe, Linda
Zeta isn’t due to hit the Gulf Coast until Wednesday afternoon through Thursday. It’s crossing the Yucatan Peninsula tonight. Not sure the Weather Channel is even featuring it yet.
We still have tomorrow (Tuesday) to finish up getting ready. Prefer not to have to be in long lines for any supplies we need so try to get everything bought well before any storm gets here.
We’ll put up the hurricane shutters in the morning. The first rainbands will be here early Tues. afternoon. By Wednesday mid morning, we’ll be getting steady rain & increasing winds, along with all the tornado alerts. It goes downhill from there! Sometime Thursday the last of the storm will clear out & we’ll see what damage this storm left.
BDN, take care and I’ll be praying for safety for all. We live up in East Texas so we’ll probably get a day or so after you, if it heads this way.
Thanks, Deborah! You be safe, too! Looks like the boot tip of Louisiana & SW Mississippi will be landfall. Those folks have had 4 direct hits in 8 weeks! At least Zeta is not another Harvey…. it’s booking at 15 mph & expected to really zip along after landfall!
Main reason we put the shutters up is because there’s all sorts of unsecured household debris that can go airborne along the roadside just a couple hundred yards from us…… that & all the political signs at the early voting site directly across from us! We also have old pecan trees that throw a lot of limbs in these storms.
I just hope everyone is safe. We’ll probably get some bad weather too. We’ve had cold and rain the last couple of days. We’re staying in and doing what needs to be done inside. Take care and God bless you all!
Yeah! I saw the storm system that you folks had, Deborah. It looked like a pretty strong storm. Stay safe!
Zeta is certainly lopsided & we won’t get the bad stuff until it turns to the NE. Folks to the W of Louisiana are getting more wind & rain than we are right now. By mid afternoon we won’t be going outside anymore. Praying that God dissipate the winds, especially in areas already hit by Laura, Sally & Delta.
BTW, glad your grandson is safe after his adventure.
Hi BDN, the storms are crazy! My grandson had to evacuate in Irvine, CA. because of fires. My gosh, the weather is crazy! Stay safe. Linda
My family also bought a heat-reflecting cape – it can be useful when it’s cold!
Hi Adam, great tip, we need all the ideas we can get to be prepared! Linda