Essential Items in Your Emergency Survival Kit

Emergencies or a disaster do not come knocking on your door. So, you always need to be Red Cross ready and have essential items in your kit. Staying prepared for an emergency means, you must have the proper supplies of materials that you might need in an emergency event. As a rule of thumb, you must remember that the Federal Government expects the people to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Hence, while deciding on the survival kit, first consider where you are going to use it.

Will you keep it in your car? Are you going to place it in your backpack if you are going for a hike? Will you require it for a week long camping or simply want it for your home or school? Wherever you might go, the emergency survival kit must support you for 72 hours.

As it is important to stay prepared for an emergency, keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency survival kit. It should be lightweight, something that you can use at home or take away in case if you have to evacuate or run from the scene.

In order to stay prepared for an emergency or a disaster, Red Cross suggests having seven essential items in your survival kit.

These are –
1. Water
2. Food
3. Lighting and Communication
4. First Aid
5. Survival Gear
6. Sanitation and Hygiene
7. Shelter and Warmth

You can last for several weeks without food, but without water it is almost impossible. Water is the most important of all as you only have 3 to 4 days without hydration before you die. You need to have a 3-day supply of one gallon of water per person.

Next, on the list is food, and for this, you need to have a 3-day supply of non-perishable items for each person. Foods you might have are a supply of MREs, rice, salt, honey, molasses, noodles, hard candy, energy bars, canned foods, some wine or liquor.

For proper lighting and communication, one might consider a flashlight, a battery-powered radio with some extra batteries, cell phone with your chargers, and emergency contact numbers. If you are not planning to take candles, make sure they are waterproof matches. It ensures to start a fire anywhere you need.

In your first aid kit, you will need proper medicines both prescribed and non-prescribed like aspirin. The medical items must be able to support each person for at least 7 days.  Have Band-Aids, bandages, bicarbonate soda, gloves, eye drops, soaps, sterile strips, sanitizers, scissors and many other first aid items.

As for sanitation, having a makeshift toilet is a plus in an emergency. Make sure to have a good supply of hygiene items to stay clean as much as you can. Among hygiene items comes clothing and it is the most difficult item to pack. It is enough to have shirts both long and short sleeves, a jacket, socks and undergarments are some of the basic clothing you need in your kit.

As for shelter and warmth, carrying tents or sleeping bags is no doubt the best. Sleeping bags may not be a comforter but they are better being cold. Do carry a waterproof blanket or a space blanket in case of emergency. They add to warmth and keep you out of rain and cold.

So, having these 7 items is going to increase your chances of survival in case of disaster or emergency, whether you are at home, school, work or in your car. The below infographic by More Prepared, an emergency preparedness experts will depict everything in more details.

Mina Arnao is the Founder/CEO of More Prepared, the emergency preparedness experts for over 10 years. More Prepared’s mission is to help families, schools and businesses prepare for earthquakes and other emergencies.  Mina is CERT trained (community emergency response team) and Red Cross certified.


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