None of us really know when a calamity may strike, be it the upcoming zombie apocalypse or another Category 4 or 5 hurricane. But whatever the disaster, one thing remains certain. You’ll need to be prepared to ensure your survival: thus, enters this detailed guide on survival emergency kit items and their uses (with pictures.)
Any responsible person tries to be ready in emergencies, and any true preppers are ready for whenever: that is when the proverbial ‘what not’ hits the fan.
Getting Started Building A Survival Emergency Kit
There are two important questions you’ll need to answer before setting out to build your survival emergency kit.
1. Who Are The People The Kit Is Intended To Serve?
An emergency kit list for older couples will look way different from emergency kit lists for young, single adults, or families with kids. Also, consider the number of people (and even animals) your survival kit will have to support and any specific needs (if any.)
2. What Emergencies Are Likely To Affect me?
What kinds of emergencies do you expect? For instance;
- If you reside in Tornado Alley, you’ll need an in-depth understanding of things to do amidst a tornado warning
- If you live in flood zones, your list of survival emergency kit items and their uses should include plans for hurricane seasons as well as cases like flash floods
- Do you live on the west coast? Well, it’ll be smart to stay prepped for wildfires and earthquakes
- Other areas are prone to emergencies like blizzards, mudslides, avalanches, and extreme temperatures. So prepare accordingly.
What’s more? If you think the emergency in question will require evacuations, you’ll need to go for portable survival emergency kit items. You should be able to throw these into your car easily. And if you spend most of your time moving around and are worried that an emergency might strike while you’re away from home, get survival gear you can keep in your car.
Now, if you’ve figured out everything I’ve mentioned above, Good For You! But if you can’t, it’s also okay. Most disasters and calamities have a lot in common. So you can rest assured you won’t go wrong with this list of survival emergency kit items and their uses with pictures.
Survival Kit And Their Importance
Below, I’ll review all emergency essentials and kit survival items, their uses, and how they’ll keep you safe.
Most disasters, be they earthquakes, floods, or fires, are likely to impact your water supply severely. As such, plan on having approx one gallon per day per person stashed away. You’ll need this clean water for sanitation (washing dishes and bathing) and drinking.
I’d suggest either reusing empty juice and soda bottles and filling them with tap water or getting purified water at local grocery stores. This brings me to the next survival emergency kit item and its use.
Is the survival kit you’re creating going to be used for evacuation scenarios or travel? Then you won’t be able to carry gallons of water to last you the distance. Instead, it would be best to consider investing in a portable filtering straw like LifeStraw.
These items are lightweight, packable, and small, so you can take them anywhere and use them to drink from whatever water sources you encounter. Here’s a pro tip. If the kit you’re preparing is for multiple people, you need a filtering straw that can purify a large amount of water at the same time. The Platypus GravityWorks filter is a great example.
3. Prescription Medications
Most individuals take daily prescription medications. In emergencies, finding open pharmacies and refilling these prescriptions becomes near impossible. So ensure you have extra over-the-counter drugs organized and protected.
I’d also suggest throwing several non-prescription medications in there. These include laxatives, antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, and pain relievers.
If the emergency leaves your area without any power or access to grocery stores, you’ll be grateful that you invested in and stored nonperishable food items beforehand. Plus, you must’ve seen images on the news anytime a natural disaster strikes. Almost always, grocery stores are picked clean of food items, with desperate individuals fighting over the remaining granola bars.
Experts recommend having a sufficient food supply to last you and everyone in your family for at least three days. If the likelihood of evacuating is minimal, go all out and get up to three weeks’ worth of RTE (ready-to-eat) food.
Remember, papers need no batteries. If you have to evacuate in case of a disaster, such as flooding, tornadoes, fires, or any other awful mess, you’ll be grateful you have some paper maps with you. Plus, unless you already know every square mile of your region by heart, you’d be surprised by how quickly it is for one to become disoriented in a wilderness.
6. A Multitool
Making fires will often require a bit of sawing. First aid scenarios will often call for using blades. Opening bottles and cans of food? They’ll need both a bottle opener and a can opener, respectively. To stay prepared for these scenarios and more, a great multitool, like the one pictured above, is a must-have survival kit item.
And guess what? Multitools aren’t expensive, either. Approximately $15 is all you need, and you’ve got yourself a lifelong tool.
Chances are you’ll remain in some form of contact with others amidst an emergency, whether by radio, email, text, cellphone, or landline. Ensure you have backup charging sources for whatever sources you have but also prepare for cases when systems fail or falter.
I recommend keeping a whistle and signaling mirror on hand. Yeah, I know, chances are you’ll never need to use either (let alone both), but they cost less than a dollar, so why not?
8. Protective Clothing And Gear
I came across this surprising statistic the other day. “Most people get hypothermia when hiking through mountains during summers than winters.” Why? Well, apparently, during summers, most hikers are rarely prepared for the extreme temperature drops that hit at night.
So, even if you live in mild or warm regions, ensure to include blankets, sleeping bags, and/or heavy clothing that’ll keep you warm. You’ll also need coverings or clothing (like ponchos) to keep you dry. Getting wet is another great way to end up sick, cold, or miserable. Plus, ponchos are like one of the cheapest survival emergency kit items.
Do you live in a cold region or an area that tends to experience chilly winters? Then any emergency survival kit without fire-starting supplies and tools would be nothing short of insufficient. And even if you reside in a warm region most of the time, you’ll still need these tools.
You can use fire for warmth, lighting, cooking, sterilization, purifying dirty water, and even signaling. My personal favorites are warding off lions, ghosts, and tigers.)
Some fire-starting tools you can include are lighters, sturdy storm matches, and spark tools that use ferrocerium. Also, ensure you have tinder or other easily combustible materials.
10. First Aid Kit
Injuries might be common depending on the survival emergency you’re caught in. So you’ll need to be prepared with the most comprehensive first aid kit. Must-have first aid kit items include:
- The first-aid kit bag itself
- Small cold pack
- Roller gauze
- Self-adhesive wrap
- Vinyl gloves
- CPR pocket mask
- Sterile abdominal pads
- Butterfly closures
- Sterile gauze
- An assortment of bandages and Band-Aids
- Sting stop towelettes
- Hand cleansing towelettes
- BZK towelettes
- Cotton tip applicators
Putting together such a comprehensive kit yourself may seem like a huge undertaking, but I promise it’ll be well worth it in the end. And if you think getting each item separately will cost you more in the end, I suggest going for a ready-made first aid kit.
These ready-made options often include most (if not all) of the items I’ve listed above. And in case the one you get doesn’t include some of them, you can easily get them separately.
You can’t get anywhere or do much if you can’t see where you’re going or what you’re doing. That statement holds true for everything, from cooking a meal and providing first aid to finding your way through a woodland path in the forest.
With that in mind, your survival emergency response kit ought to have at least two light sources per person. Think good flashlights, a multidirectional lantern, or the sturdiest headlamp.
12. Copies Of Your Personal Documents
It’s a great idea to ensure you’ve stored any important personal documents, so they’re ready to go with the rest of your survival kit items. Make copies of all your family’s house deeds, birth certificates, social security cards, driver’s licenses, family members’ passports, and all essential legal documents.
Also, create a file with any important contact numbers, such as the insurance company, your bank, as well as several relatives who live nearby.
In case of a widespread power outage, you may not be to call emergency hotlines, check the internet, or turn the TV on for the latest information regarding the disaster. A battery-powered or hand-crank radio, however, should allow you to tune into official broadcasts for important updates.
Solar-powered batteries (or just extra batteries) will also come in handy if you choose to use a battery-powered radio.
14. Bug Out Bag
As I conclude this guide on survival emergency kit items and their uses with pictures, don’t forget the bug-out bag. After all, where will you pack all the supplies you’ve already compiled? The best option is to go with a waterproof bag you can quickly grab and bring on the go.
Another fun option, the one my best friend uses, is a huge bucket with a handle. The bucket fully seals, and while it may not be the most stylish option, it’s shatter-resistant, crack-resistant, waterproof, and ready to bug out whenever he is.
15. Personal Survival Emergency Requirements
At the end of the day, your survival prep kit isn’t going to be 100% identical to mine. So feel free to customize your survival as needed.
My survival emergency kit, for example, includes fluids, my old glasses, and spare contact lenses. Yours might include a backup supply of medications specific to your family members’ needs. Mine includes some dog treats, but yours might have cat food. Mine is filled with my son’s favorite snacks, but yours might be filled with feminine care products – And So On.
How To Maintain Your Survival Emergency Kit
Once you’ve assembled your emergency kit, maintaining it is just as crucial. Here are some tips that keep all your supplies in tip-top condition and ready for deployment.
- Rethink your emergency and survival needs at least once a year and update your survival emergency kit as needed. Also, your emergency and survival needs will grow as your family grows.
- Avoid procrastinating and replace expired items right away. After all, I hope you’ll never need the kit, but if you will, no one knows the day or the hour. And the last thing you want is to be caught amidst your procrastination.
- Store any boxed food inside tightly closed metal or plastic containers
- Keep your canned foods in cool, dry places
What Are Some Great Emergency Survival Kit Storage Locations?
In addition to the day and hour, none of us know where we’ll be if an emergency strikes. As such, you’ll need to plan out for all possible scenarios.
As noted earlier, if you spend most of your time on the road, survival emergency gear in your car could come in handy.
2. At Work
If an abrupt emergency strikes while you’re at work, you’ll need to rest assured you’re prepared to shelter within your work premises for not less than 24 hours. Items to include in your work survival emergency kit are water, food, and other necessities, such as comfy walking shoes in your “grab and go” bag.
The most likely scenario is that you’ll be in your home when the emergency strikes. As such, use this guide on survival emergency kit items and their uses to assemble a kit for your home. Ensure everyone in your family knows where it is. It should also be in a spot you can reach easily if you need to leave your house in a hurry.
You May Also Like: My Ultimate Apocalypse Survival Kit List
Final Word – Survival Emergency Kit Items And Their Uses With Pictures
As you may have noticed, there is a great chance that you already have most of the items required to create a survival emergency kit lying idly around your home. Also worth noting, once you’ve created your emergency kit, you’ll need to inspect it every six months or so. Do this to ensure it’s still complete and that any perishable items remain intact and haven’t expired.
I’ll also make a point of updating this survival emergency kit items guide now and then. You can rest assured you won’t miss out on any cache or stash-worthy items.