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20 Ingredients for an A+ Emergency Kit

Posted: January 11, 2015

No home—or emergency plan for that matter—is complete without a fully stocked emergency kit. Your emergency kit should consist of useful supplies that can aid with survival in a disastrous situation. Of course, there are some items that are absolutely crucial to have on hand. Here’s a list of 20 items you should stock up on in case of an emergency:


1. Water

According to Ready.gov, an emergency kit should contain at least one gallon of drinkable water per person per day. Estimating the right amount of water to keep in your kit can be difficult because you might not know how many days the emergency will last. Given this issue, it’s good to plan for at least three days for an emergency.

2. Food

Next to water, food is probably the most important thing you can stock in your kit. Luckily, putting together food for a kit is easy. There are many different kinds of food that take little to no preparation, and many of those foods are nonperishables, which is exactly what you want. Canned foods, including vegetables and soups, are always a good choice.

3. Can Opener

Opening a can of food can be pretty tough if you don’t have a can opener – especially if the cans with pull-tabs aren’t functioning properly. So, make sure you put a can opener in your kit. There are many camping can openers that also have other types of useful tools.

4. A Pot and Dishes

You don’t need a full set, but a couple of camping dishes and a pot will help make eating the canned food you have a lot easier.

5. Batteries

We rely a lot on all of our electronic devices, and many of these devices run on batteries. In the event of an emergency, we might not be able to charge our electronic devices, so make sure to have a few extra batteries around. Have several different kinds of batteries for all of your devices.

6. Radios

In an emergency situation, a radio set to an emergency broadcast station can make a world of difference. A hand crank radio is usually a reliable option, but a battery-powered radio is also fine. Just make sure you have the appropriate batteries to run it. You should also have a two-way radio so you can communicate with others during the emergency.

7. Flashlight

Emergencies often come with power outages, so you need to have a flashlight or two on hand. A crank flashlight is always a good option, but a battery-powered one will do just fine.

8. Tools

Emergencies present all sorts of unique situations. You might find yourself having to pry a door open or doing some heavy lifting, so it’s important to have certain tools on hand. Some useful tools to keep in an emergency kit include a crowbar, a camping hatchet, an adjustable wrench, and a multi-tool with a flat and Philips head screwdriver. You never know when these tools will come in handy.

9. Blankets

A few blankets could be the difference between life and death in some emergency situations. Make sure you have at least one sturdy, warm blanket for each person in your family. If possible, bring a few extra just in case.

10. Seven Days’ Worth of Medications

Something most people don’t think about is medication. If you have any daily meds, they need to be included into the emergency kit. If inclement weather is expected and you have extra time, refill medications at your local pharmacy if such refills are approved and available.  

11. Extra Cash

During an emergency, you probably won’t be able to stop by the bank, and even if you could, they might not be open. Make sure you have a few hundred dollars, or at the very least one hundred, stashed in your emergency kit.

12. Maps of the Area

GPS systems are accurate and easy to use, but if they run out of power and you don’t have a way to charge them, you’re out of luck. Make sure you have a few maps of the area, even if you know it well.

13. Cell Phone Chargers

Have a few cell phone chargers in your emergency kit, so when a power source is found, you’ll be able to contact loved ones.

14. A Whistle

A whistle can often be much louder than yelling, so it’s your best bet if you need to alert rescuers to your presence. Make sure to have at least one of these in your kit.

15. First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is essential for survival. Inside your first aid kit you should have the following:

  • Absorbent compress dressings
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Adhesive cloth tape
  • Antibiotic ointment packets
  • Antiseptic wipe packets
  • Packets of aspirin
  • Instant cold compresses
  • Hydrocortisone ointment packets
  • Scissors
  • Roller bandages
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Thermometer
  • Triangular bandages
  • Tweezers
  • First aid instruction booklet 

16. Duct Tape

Duct tape is one of the best tools to have in any situation. It can fix or temporarily repair many different items.

17. Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher can save your life. Just make sure everyone with you knows how to use it.

18. Warm Clothing

Hats, gloves, socks, coats, boots, all of these things are very important for surviving cold temperatures. Don’t be stuck without them.

19. Flare Gun

A flare gun is useful when that whistle you have isn’t enough to get the attention of your rescuers. Make sure to get a flare gun with instructions or learn how to fire one before you shoot it.

20. An Entertainment Item

You might be stuck in the same place for many hours, so it’s best to have something like a book or deck of cards to occupy your time. You might not use all of these things in every emergency situation, but ultimately, the goal is to be prepared for just about anything. If you have any other items that you know you’ll need in an emergency, include them in your kit. Your kit should be tailored to you and your family and the region where you live