What Should be in an Emergency Kit?

Ken Black
Ken Black

An emergency kit should include many of the things needed for first aid, as well as some basic provisions needed for everyday life. It should be noted that a first-aid kit and an emergency kit are not the same things, but both are essential for emergency preparedness. While any good emergency kit should include a first-aid kit, there are many other items that will also be needed in an emergency situation.

Canned foods should be included in an emergency kit.
Canned foods should be included in an emergency kit.

One of the most important thing you will need in an emergency kit is a supply of water. In an emergency situation, municipal water systems may not be available. If they are, the water may be dangerous to consume without being treated in some way for bacteria and other contaminates. Storing water in milk jugs or other similarly-sized containers is a good idea. Some also choose to fill up their bathtubs with fresh water. However, if there is a chance you could be bunkered in a basement, this will do you little good.

A generator for backup electricity.
A generator for backup electricity.

An emergency kit should also have some water purifiers or neutralizers just in case the stored water supplies run out. This may include chlorine tablets that will kill any harmful bacteria in the water. These should be used cautiously, as there is a chance the chlorine could be harmful, if it is used without following the directions. It must be diluted properly.

Batteries may be useful in an emergency kit.
Batteries may be useful in an emergency kit.

While water is the primary concern, survival food should also be included in an emergency kit, as well as a way to access them. Having plenty of canned goods, such as vegetables, fruit, and even meat, is a good way to build a collection of emergency food supplies. Also, having a hand-operated can opener is essential. Do not rely on an electric can opener as there is a chance that electricity could be out. Some may choose to go with a military staple and buy meals ready to eat (MRE) from a military supply or camping store.

An emergency kit should include a first-aid kit with bandaids.
An emergency kit should include a first-aid kit with bandaids.

Making plans to stay informed is the key to any emergency preparedness plan. This is why it is so essential to have a good radio on hand. If battery operated, plenty of batteries should also be stored with it. However, for those who do not wish to rely on batteries, there are models of radios out there which are powered by a hand crank.

Water is the most important thing to include in an emergency kit.
Water is the most important thing to include in an emergency kit.

Having enough light to see in dark situations is important as well. An emergency kit should include a couple of good flashlights, along with some spare bulbs and batteries. Like the radio, there are flashlights that can be powered with a hand crank, making batteries unnecessary.

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Discussion Comments

lokilove

Potted meat, Deviled Ham and of course, Spam are great as the meat part of an emergency kit. Might not be gourmet but you'll live! If you have small kids, make sure you have peanut butter, most kids look at the emergency kits menu and make the barf face.

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    • Canned foods should be included in an emergency kit.
      Canned foods should be included in an emergency kit.
    • A generator for backup electricity.
      A generator for backup electricity.
    • Batteries may be useful in an emergency kit.
      Batteries may be useful in an emergency kit.
    • An emergency kit should include a first-aid kit with bandaids.
      An emergency kit should include a first-aid kit with bandaids.
    • Water is the most important thing to include in an emergency kit.
      Water is the most important thing to include in an emergency kit.
    • Water purifiers can be important in emergency kits in case regular water supplies run out.
      Water purifiers can be important in emergency kits in case regular water supplies run out.
    • A flashlight should be included in all emergency kits.
      A flashlight should be included in all emergency kits.
    • Fuel may be needed to run generators and other emergency equipment.
      Fuel may be needed to run generators and other emergency equipment.
    • First aid supplies should be included in an emergency kit.
      First aid supplies should be included in an emergency kit.
    • Toilet paper can be used for a variety of purposes in an emergency situation.
      Toilet paper can be used for a variety of purposes in an emergency situation.
    • Water, batteries, flashlights and extra food should all be included in an emergency kit.
      Water, batteries, flashlights and extra food should all be included in an emergency kit.