The Basics of a Survival Kit
When it comes to emergency preparedness, having a survival kit is essential. The kit should be easy to carry and contain all the necessary items needed in case of an emergency or disaster. In this section, we will cover the definition of a survival kit, its importance, and what should be included in it.
Definition of a Survival Kit
A survival kit is a collection of supplies and equipment that are necessary to help an individual or group survive during an emergency situation. The kit should be designed to be easily transported and accessed in case of evacuation.
Importance of Having a Survival Kit
Emergencies and disasters can occur at any time and can leave you without access to basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter. Having a survival kit can help you and your family stay safe and comfortable during these times. A well-stocked kit can also help you deal with unexpected situations that may arise.
What Should be in a Survival Kit
There are several items that should be included in a survival kit. These items are necessary to help you and your family survive during an emergency or disaster. Here is a list of the top 10 items that should be included in your survival kit:
- Water – At least one gallon of water per person per day should be included in your survival kit.
- Food – Non-perishable food items such as canned goods, energy bars, and dried fruits should be included.
- First Aid Kit – A basic first aid kit should be included in case of injuries.
- Sanitation Supplies – Including toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and garbage bags can help maintain hygiene in emergency situations.
- Communication and Navigation Devices – A battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, whistle, and local maps can help you stay informed and find your way to safety.
- Flashlight – A flashlight can provide light in dark places or at night.
- Manual Can Opener – In case of power outages or damage to electrical appliances, a manual can opener can be used to open canned foods.
- Local Maps – Maps of your area can help you navigate to safety in case of emergency.
- Wrench or Pliers – In case of gas leaks or other hazards, a wrench or pliers can be used to turn off utilities.
- Whistle – A whistle can be used to signal for help and alert rescuers to your location.
By including these items in your survival kit, you can ensure you and your family are well-prepared for any emergency situation.
There are several organizations that provide recommendations for survival kit supplies. We will cover the recommendations of the American Red Cross, Ready.gov, The New York Post, Yardbarker, and FEMA.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross recommends keeping a survival kit that is easy to carry and contains all the necessary supplies in case of an emergency. They provide a short quiz to test your knowledge, then offer a full list of recommended supplies. Some of the items they recommend include:
- Non-perishable food
- First aid kit
- Sanitation and hygiene items
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Manual can opener
- Local maps
- Dust mask
- Moist towelettes
- Garbage bags
- Wrench or pliers
For more information and to access the full list of recommended supplies, visit the American Red Cross website.
Ready.gov recommends building a disaster supplies kit with basic items such as water, food, a radio, flashlight, first aid kit, and sanitation supplies. They also recommend additional items such as masks, prescription medication, and pet food, which have been recommended since 2020 to prevent the spread of viruses. It's important to store your kit in a cool, dry place and update it yearly to meet your family's changing needs. Keep kits in designated places at home, work, and in the car in case of emergency. For more information, visit the Ready.gov website.
The New York Post
The New York Post spoke with three survival specialists to provide examples of what each kit should include, as well as links to purchase them. They suggest that everyone should have emergency kits at home, in their car, and in their everyday bag. Some of the items they recommend include:
- Food and water supplies
- Medical kits
- Communication and navigation devices
- Wilderness survival kits
Despite the recent increase in awareness, nearly half of US adults still do not have emergency resources and plans in place. For more information, visit the New York Post website.
According to Yardbarker, being prepared can provide much-needed reassurance in a time when that's scarce. They recommend building a well-stocked emergency kit in the event of severe weather or other major crises. Some of the items they recommend include:
- Water and non-perishable food
- First aid kit
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Multipurpose tool
- Extra clothing
- Personal hygiene items
For a full list of 20 essential items for your emergency kit, visit the Yardbarker website.
With climate change increasing the frequencies of natural disasters, FEMA stresses the importance of being prepared with an emergency kit. They recommend including several days' supply of food, water, and supplies for pets. Other important items include a flashlight, whistle, dust mask, local maps, manual can opener, battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, activities for children, first aid kit, and wrench or pliers. It is also recommended to have a smaller emergency kit stored in your car. Regularly maintain and reevaluate your emergency kit to ensure it is up-to-date. For more information, visit the FEMA website.
Must-Haves in a Survival Kit
While expert recommendations can provide a good starting point for building a survival kit, it's important to tailor your kit to your own needs. In this section, we will cover some must-haves that should be included in every survival kit.
Water is essential for survival, so it's important to include a sufficient supply in your survival kit. The American Red Cross recommends at least one gallon of water per person per day. Consider including water purification tablets or a water filtration system as well.
Non-perishable food items such as canned goods, energy bars, and dried fruits should be included in your survival kit. Consider including a manual can opener and utensils as well.
First Aid Kit
A basic first aid kit should be included in case of injuries. It should include items such as bandaids, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
Maintaining hygiene is important in emergency situations, so include items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and garbage bags.
Communication and Navigation Devices
In case of power outages or lack of service, a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio can help you stay informed. A whistle and local maps can also help you navigate to safety.
A flashlight can provide light in dark places or at night. Consider including extra batteries.
Shelter and Clothing
In case of extreme weather or displacement, it's important to include items such as blankets, warm clothing, and a tent or tarp.
Consider including the following items in your survival kit as well:
- Multipurpose tool
- Activities for children
- Prescription medications
- Pet food
By including these must-haves in your survival kit, you can ensure you and your family are well-prepared for any emergency situation.
In this section, we will share some anecdotal stories to emphasize the importance of having a survival kit.
Survival Kit Saves a Family During an Earthquake
In 2019, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Southern California, causing damage and power outages. A family in Ridgecrest, California, was well-prepared with a survival kit that they had put together after experiencing a previous earthquake. They were able to use their kit to provide for their basic needs, including food, water, and shelter, until help arrived. This family's experience serves as a reminder that emergencies can happen at any time, and having a survival kit can make all the difference.
Hurricane Katrina Survivor Shares Her Story
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the United States, causing widespread devastation and loss of life. One survivor, Sheri Fink, shared her experience of being stranded in a hospital during the hurricane. She was unable to evacuate due to her medical condition, but luckily had a survival kit that included food, water, and medical supplies. This kit helped her to survive until she was rescued several days later. Sheri's story highlights the importance of having a survival kit tailored to your specific needs.
A Hiker's Survival Kit Helps Him Through an Unexpected Night in the Wilderness
Hiking enthusiast John was on a day hike in the Rocky Mountains when he got lost and had to spend an unexpected night in the wilderness. Luckily, he had a survival kit with him that included a flashlight, extra batteries, and a space blanket. He was able to use these items to keep warm and signal for help. John's experience shows that even a short day hike can turn into an emergency situation, and having a survival kit can be a lifesaver.
These anecdotal stories remind us that emergencies can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Having a survival kit can mean the difference between life and death.
Be Prepared with a Survival Kit
In conclusion, having a well-stocked survival kit is essential for emergency preparedness. By including must-have items such as water, food, first aid supplies, sanitation items, communication and navigation devices, and shelter and clothing, you can ensure that you and your family are prepared for any emergency situation.
Anecdotal stories remind us that emergencies can happen at any time, and having a survival kit can make all the difference. So, take the time to put together a survival kit tailored to your specific needs and keep it in a designated place at home, work, and in your car.
Remember, being prepared is key to staying safe in an emergency situation. Check out our other great content for more tips and resources on emergency preparedness.
Q: Who are the experts that share their must-haves for a survival kit?
A: Survival specialists and organizations such as the American Red Cross, Ready.gov, and FEMA.
Q: What items should be included in a survival kit?
A: Must-have items include water, food, first aid supplies, sanitation items, communication and navigation devices, and shelter and clothing.
Q: How much water should be included in a survival kit?
A: The American Red Cross recommends at least one gallon of water per person per day.
Q: What should be included in a first aid kit?
A: A basic first aid kit should include items such as bandaids, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
Q: How often should a survival kit be updated?
A: It's recommended to update your survival kit yearly to meet your family's changing needs.
Q: What if I have special medical needs, can they be accommodated in a survival kit?
A: Yes, make sure to include any necessary prescription medications and medical supplies in your survival kit, and tailor it to your specific needs.
Q: What if I don't have much space for a survival kit?
A: Consider creating a smaller emergency kit to keep in your car or a designated spot in your home or workplace.