Okay, there’s some pretty nasty things happening out in the world now, and we all have to know how to look after ourselves in case of an emergency. Here’s what Aderyn says you need to know about building your Emergency Kit.
Let’s start with the first aid kit. You can go ahead and get the basic premade kit, it’s super easy, but make sure you have the following:
- Bandaids - In various sizes, at least the standard & small
- Butterfly bands
- Gauze Roll & Pads (4x4 and large trauma ones)
- Eye Pad (no not an iPad)
- Tape - Athletic tape or some type of nylon based one
- ACE Wraps or similar
- Splint - I recommend the Sam Splints
- Trauma Sheers
- Alcohol wipes
- Antibiotic ointment
- Instant cold & Hot packs
- Also include any medication you will need, including OTC meds.
- If you wear glasses, put an extra pair in there as well as a repair kit.
- Same with hearing aids, and with extra batteries
Water & Fire
A good rule of thumb is to have at least two ways to purify water and two ways to start a fire.
Gallon water jugs, or bags of water, or whatever are great, but a back up plan for if/when you run out is always a plus
Water bottles with built in Purifiers are nice, and you can store other things in there when not in use.
Purification tablets are also a good choice, they’re small and easy to use and usually inexpensive.
Then there’s the traditional way of boiling, but for boiling you need...
Lighters & matches are good starting point, and most everyone knows the basics of how to use them. Waterproof matches are a better choice.
Magnesium strips are also easy to use if you follow the directions, and can help start materials on fire that might be damp.
Steel Wool & a 9V battery is also a good way to start a fire, as long as you have a way to keep the battery dry.
Making your own fire starter is fairly simple too, charcloth being the most popular.
Small camping candles are nice as well so can light them and use them to start other fires.
Now, most of you won’t need your own tent, but there’s still some basics it’s important to have.
A good sleeping bag. It should be graded to work in your environment. I have an arctic one that is good to -20 but for most of you that’s overkill.
Extra clothes, I recommend two full sets of clothes (including socks & underwear) and one set of sleeping gear. This isn’t the time for nice clothes either. Think sweats and t-shirts, clothing you can move in and don’t care about getting dirty.
Good hiking shoes or boots - these don’t have to stay in your kit at all times, but ready to go when you do. Waterproof is a blessing when it comes to shoes.
Also, consider your environment, hats, gloves, and wool socks might be appropriate, as could sun screen or bug repellent.
Baby wipes. Seriously, grab a fucking pack of them and put them in your kit right now. I don’t care what brand, as long as it has the soft case with the resealable opening on top.
Toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste
Travel sized Shampoo & Body Wash (if you want to add conditioner/face wash go right ahead)
Lotion or moisturizer of some kind & lip balm are also good to have, but not strictly necessary.
An antibacterial microfiber towel. Full stop on that one. I use mine for camping and it is amazing.
Garbage bags & zip ties for disposal of trash.
Toilet paper in a Ziplock bag.
Get a knife. One that is serrated at the base and ends in a sharp point. I prefer ones with a gut hook, but not always necessary. Choose one that fits your hand well. Benchmate, Buck, Spiderco, and Kershaw are great brands to look at.
A Swiss Army knife, Leatherman, or some type of multi tool that has at a minimum: small saw, small scissors, a bottle opener, a can opener, and a small blade. I carry the Champion personally, but both the Huntsman and Camper are adequate.
A monkey wrench & pliers if you live in a home where you might need to turn off utilities. Not necessary for a jump bag, however.
Flashlights and extra batteries for them. I usually have a small one and a larger one. Lanterns are also nice if you think you’ll be stuck somewhere without power for awhile. Glow sticks are also nice but not necessary.
A radio. A hand-crank one is what they’re always saying to get, but if you have adequate batteries (see a theme in that regard?) than any will do. Also know what your local government uses for their emergency broadcast system.
External battery and chargers for cell phones. In an emergency text don’t call, and make it brief.
If you’re near flooding, get waterproof bags. Pelican cases are great and customizable, not to mention sturdy. Some ambulance services here use them as their first in bags. Dry bags are also great and come in a variety of sizes.
Cash, as well as identification papers.
Work gloves (gardening gloves would work)
A small metal pot & a wooden spoon
A set of kitchen utensils, a dish, a bowl, water bottle, and a thermos
Granola bars are great but you will hate them if that’s all you pack
Canned goods: have a decent shelf life: chili, tuna, canned fruits/veggies.
Dry goods: Again, think foods that will last and won’t require a lot of prep work to make. Crackers, rice, cereal, peanut butter, applesauce, etc.
And you can also add 100% fruit juices, Gatorade, or non-perishable pasteurized milk.
- Jump Kit or an external battery jump kit (some come with air compressors so that’s an added bonus)
- Fix-A-Flat and a pressure gauge
- Rags/Hand towels of some kind
- Tow Strap
- Fire extinguisher
- Extra oil
If you’re driving somewhere with ice then you should also have a shovel, Cat Litter/Sand, a blanket, and an Ice Scraper (a plastic card like a gift card can also work if need be).
Where to put it all
Get a jump bag. One that has pockets and pouches and you can organize how you want and be able to find stuff easily. Plan for your environment. Mine is pretty water resistant and doesn’t have metal zippers. Hydropacks are also an option.
I have a small bag for just my first aid stuff. I have more because I’m trained to use more, so you might be able to put everything in a smaller bag and put it into your regular jump bag.
All the food I keep in a tote separate, and I eat everything in it and cycle it out pretty regularly so I never have to worry about it going bad.
The Vehicle kit I keep in my car and double check everything before each road trip.
I might have missed some things, but it’s a good starting point for right now.