Assembling Your Survival Kit

By CL Hendricks

A life changing disaster can happen at any time. Having a disaster survival kit you can access at a moment's notice can mean the difference between life and death for you and your family.While you can buy any number of different survival kits, it is just as easier - and usually less expensive - to assemble your own survival pack.

Whether it is a tornado, earthquake or all-out war, it is important for you to be able to survive with the loss of electricity, gas, fresh water supply and shelter. Being prepared can help you avoid needless suffering.

Mini Survival Kits

Mini emergency survival and auto survival kits are available to provide you with basic necessities for a three-day period. These kits are stored in cars, boats, or taken on hiking or camping trips. The kits are small enough to fit in a jacket pocket and contain things like:


  • Waterproof matches/lighter
  • Small mirror or survival whistle for signaling purposes
  • Candle
  • Fishing line and hook
  • Water purification tablets
  • Small compass
  • Hard candy or bouillon cubes

Survival in a Can
You can actually survive in desert-like or arctic-like conditions with the contents in this can. It's compact, air tight and easily carried. A kit can carry any or all of the following things:


  • Compass
  • Waterproof matches
  • Fishing line and hooks
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Tea bags
  • Sugar packets
  • Razor blades
  • Signaling mirror
  • Band aids

Winter Emergency Kits

These kits are especially for cold and snowy weather in which you may find yourself suddenly while camping or hiking. These kits are good for times when blizzards knock out power for long periods of time. A winter survival kit should include these items:


  • High-calorie nutrition bars that contain 400 calories or more
  • Water purification tablets
  • Pre-packaged meals in heat-friendly pouches that can withstand fire
  • Waterproof matches
  • Thin, but insulated emergency sleeping bags
  • Portable cooking stove
  • Steel utensils and cups
  • Long-burning candles
  • Multi-function knife
  • Collapsible tent

Survival Food Kits
Food survival kits should last one person three days or longer. The best kind of food to put in a survival kit are freeze dried foods that just need a little water to become ready to eat. Foods that contain more than 2000 calories and high protein survival bars are the preferred items for survival kits. You should also include water purification tablets, sugar packets, candles, and plastic utensils.

Bug Out Bag (BOB), Go Bag and Grab & Go Bag
This kind of kit is kept in a survival backpack and within easy reach in case of emergency. The BOB or "Get out of Dodge Bag," was originally a 72-hour survival kit, but these days many people pack them to last longer. This kind of survival kit is for serious emergencies when you only have time to grab it and run for safety.

For long term disasters when the government can no longer help you, putting together a disaster survival kit is a proactive move that can be lifesaving. A BOB contains certain supplies that may not be needed in short term disaster scenarios, like a pot for disinfecting water, rubber gas masks, duct tape, and plastic.

Disaster Survival Medical or First Aid Kits
The probability of serious injury is high when it comes to disasters like earthquakes and tornados. It's important to have ready access to medical supplies. Serious injuries must be treated within the first minute and patients must be stabilized within the first hour. You cannot do that without proper medical supplies. A complete disaster survival kit should contain the following for medical emergencies:


  • Antiseptic/antibiotic/burn relief spray/ointment
  • Band aids, all sizes
  • Gauze
  • Alcohol/hydrogen peroxide
  • Cold/hot packs
  • Eye drops
  • Extra strength ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Sinus medication
  • Antacid tablets
  • Splint/stretch bandage to set broken bones
  • Tweezers and scissors
  • Benadryl for allergic reactions
  • Q-tips

You should always have a fully stocked survival kit that can be reached easily. It's a good idea to check your kit regularly to make sure it's updated with the latest necessary items to give you the best possible chance of surviving any kind of emergency.

C.L. Hendricks has been a Jill-of-all-trades and become an expert in some, including active participation in the preparedness movement. It is with personal knowledge and experience that she writes for such websites as Apocalypse Survival and Real Survival Skills [].

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