Be Prepared for Anything: What You Need in Your Survival Kit

first aid kit

When it comes to being prepared for emergency situations, having the right gear and equipment for emergencies can make a world of difference. Whether you’re facing hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, or winter storms, advance preparation can help keep you safe and prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

How to Build Your Emergency Supply Kit

Before we cover essential gear and equipment, let’s go over the steps to building and maintaining your emergency supply kit.

  1. Secure your supplies in a sturdy and waterproof container. A backpack or plastic storage pin with a tight-fitting lid will do the trick. Store in a cool, dry place.
  2. Consider your household’s needs. Be sure to include any required prescription medications, baby supplies, pet supplies, car and house keys, and copies of important documents.
  3. Be sure to check and update your kit regularly to ensure it’s in good condition. Rethink your needs at least once a year.

Minimum Required Emergency Supplies

There are plenty of things that you might need to add to your disaster kit. Before you add anything else, add these:

  1. 1 gallon of water per day, per person (3-day minimum recommended)
  2. Non-perishable food (3-day minimum recommended)
  3. Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  4. First aid kit
  5. Flashlight
  6. Extra batteries
  7. Sanitation and personal hygiene supplies
  8. Cell phone with chargers
  9. Wrench or pliers to shut off utilities
  10. Emergency contact information
  11. Copies of important documents
  12. Extra cash
  13. Map of the area

Recommended Emergency Supplies

Here are some additional supplies you might consider adding to your emergency kit:

  1. Two-way radio (1 per household member)
  2. Sleeping bag (1 per household member)
  3. Blanket and pillow
  4. Tent
  5. Water purifier
  6. Rain gear
  7. Change of clothes
  8. Dust mask
  9. Non-prescription medications (pain relivers, allergy medication, aspirin, etc.)
  10. Bug repellent
  11. Whistle
  12. Multi-tool
  13. Matches or lighter
  14. Power station or generator
  15. Portable heater
  16. Gloves and hand warmers
  17. Emergency blanket
  18. Fire Extinguisher
  19. Duct tape or paracord
  20. Deck of cards or boardgame (keeps the kids distracted and alleviates stress)

Our Product Recommendations

Below is our list of product recommendations to build your emergency kit that you can find in-store and online:

Water Storage and Water Treatment

FEMA recommends having 1 gallon per person for at least 3 days. You'll need strong, portable containers to hold plenty of water. Additionally, if access to clean water is disrupted, you'll want to have a way to clean the water that you can find. Boiling water is effective, but having a water filtration system of some kind is recommended to give you more options.


Again, FEMA recommends having at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food. Canned goods are an obvious option, but we recommend emergency food packs from Wise, ReadyWise, or Mountain House. These companies offer prepackaged food supplies that boast a shelf life of upwards of 25 years.

Hand-Crank or Battery-Operated Radio

Having a reliable way to stay informed and connected during emergency situations where power outages are common is invaluable. Stay up to date on weather forecasts, emergency alerts, and news broadcasts. Hand-crank radios are particularly useful, since you don’t need to dip into your supply of batteries to keep it going.

First Aid Kit

Including a first aid kit in your emergency kit is essential and can be lifesaving. A fully stocked medical kit includes supplies to treat any number of injuries or accidents such as cuts, allergic reactions, sprains, fractures, etc.


You always want a reliable source of light at hand. Power outages and emergency situations that require you to leave your home can happen at any time. A flashlight is crucial to navigating in the dark and at night. You can also use a flashlight to signal for help or attract attention.

Generators and Power Sources

It’s important to have batteries and other ways to keep your emergency tools requiring energy functioning. Rechargeable batteries are a great option; you can potentially reuse them if the power grid isn’t disrupted. Additionally, consider portable power stations that can be recharged using solar power, or if you plan to remain in your home, a portable generator is an excellent option to keep the heat going or lights on.

Portable Heaters

Consider adding a portable heater to your emergency prep kit if you live in a region prone to cold weather, or where blackouts are commonplace during winter. Since heaters offer a variety of fuel options, including propane, kerosene, and battery-operated models, these offer a reliable heat source should you find yourself without power. Be sure to consider the available safety features, ease of use, and fuel availability when choosing a heater, and check the manufacturer’s guidelines to operate a heater safely to avoid fire hazards or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Sanitation and Personal Hygiene Supplies

In the event supply chains are adversely affected, having personal hygiene products on hand will help maintain your health and well-being.

Emergency Contact Information and Documents

Store your important documents in a waterproof storage ensures their preservation and accessibility during emergencies, even in adverse weather conditions.

Two-Way Radios

Two-way radios offer efficient communication during emergency situations when cell phone service is unreliable or unavailable. With a compact and portable design, two-way radios are easy to carry and operate. Consider packing a two-way radio for each household member, so you can stay in touch even if you get separated.

Sleeping Bags, Blankets, and Pillows

During an emergency, shelter and warmth may be limited. Having a sleeping bag provides insulation and protects against cold temperatures. Sleeping bags are rated for varying temperatures, so pick one with enough insulation for your area’s climate. Blankets also provide warmth and comfort and can be water resistant. Pillows can help keep you comfortable when resting and sleeping when little comfort may be available otherwise.

Emergency Blanket

Emergency blankets insulate and retain body heat in extreme weather conditions and are often designed from highly reflective and brightly colored material, increasing the likelihood of being spotted and rescued in emergency situations.

Rain Gear

During emergency situations shelter from inclement weather and unexpected downpours isn’t guaranteed. Rain gear, including waterproof jackets, pants, and boots keep you dry. Additionally, rain gear helps maintain your body temperature.

Bug Repellant

The last thing you want to deal with during an emergency is biting insects. Bug repellant wards off mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting insects, reducing the risk of insect-borne diseases.


Never underestimate the usefulness of a whistle in emergency situations. A whistle’s high-pitched sound can travel long distances, cutting through silence, darkness, and confusion, alerting others to your location, and ensuring prompt assistance. You can use a whistle to coordinate with others, alert them to dangers, and even use it as a deterrent against potential threats.


Multi-tools are versatile tools providing a wide range of functions in a single, lightweight package. Multi-tools enable you to cut wires, open cans, and tighten screws. These simple, all-in-one tools are a must for your emergency kit.


An essential item in any disaster kit, having matches on hand enable you to start fires for cooking, warmth, or signaling others for help where other fire-starting methods might fail. Look for waterproof or stormproof matches designed to withstand harsh conditions that come in a waterproof container.

Gloves and Handwarmers

Including gloves and handwarmers in your disaster kit shields your hands from the elements and maintains manual dexterity. Combined with handwarmers, which can generate heat for hours, you’ll be able to perform necessary tasks with ease and efficiency you wouldn’t have otherwise. Look for gloves that are water-resistant, insulated, and offer a good grip. Handwarmers can be either disposable packs or rechargeable battery-operated.

Fire Extinguisher

The outbreak of a fire is always a possibility during emergency situations. Fires spread rapidly and including a fire extinguisher in your kit allows you to suppress flames and prevent further damage.

Duct Tape and Paracord

Duct tape and paracord offer endless possibilities to improvisation and problem-solving. Repair broken items, construct makeshift shelters, create splints, or fashion makeshift straps. These essential items make a significant impact with your ability to adapt and overcome challenges presented during emergency scenarios.