Saturday, March 12, 2011

Make your own Emergency Kit

We've had an emergency kit in our garage for more than a decade. It includes such things as a tool kit, crank radio, crank flashlights, first aid kit, dust masks and the like. Our kit sits on our cases of bottled water next to our garage pantry that contains granola bars, canned food and such. But the numerous massive earthquakes that have been hitting the Pacific rim lately has now made me get off my butt to inventory our current kit, refresh any food and water that has expired, and add new supplies like more camping gear to our kit. I live in the Pacific Northwest, not too far from several volcanoes, an ocean and several fault lines...right in the Ring of Fire. I need to have a comprehensive emergency kit that will keep me and my family safe, fed and maybe even comfortable for at least a week if not longer. I also plan to put a mini version of this kit in each car. We already have a first aid kit, some extra food and water and a change of clothes in the car, but I'd like a few more things in there as well.

Also, as a side note, if you  live in an earthquake zone, never put your bed under a window or anything else that can fall on you. So hang those pictures somewhere else! And keep a pair of hard soled shoes and a flashlight close to your bed so when you are running around after the shaking stops, you're not stepping on broken glass in bare feet. I also read that the safest place to be if an earthquake happens while you're in bed is right off the edge of the bed on the floor. Even if the ceiling falls on the bed and collapses it, there's likely to be a pocket right next to the bed that is relatively debris free.

Now, back to the emergency kit! We have a Propane grill that lives outside and will be our tool for cooking if we're put outside due to an earthquake or fire, but I've also included things that would work if we had to build a fire. We're planning to put our kit somewhere away from the house so that it's accessible even if the house isn't. So here is what I plan to put into my kit.


Store water in long term storage containers, water bottles or hydration packs. Or you can purchase water pouches from emergency suppliers, but you end up paying upwards of $20 for a couple of gallons of water that way. Just be sure to refresh your water supply every 6 months or so if you're storing your own. Store one gallon of water per person per day and keep at least a 3 day supply. I'm going to try to put away a week's supply for my family. We also purchased a water filtration kit a while back for our kit. We have rain barrels that will capture water, but we'll need to boil and filter it if we need to drink it. I also included a small bottle of bleach with an eye dropper for sterilizing water. Water can be sterilized if boiling is not possible by using 4 drops of bleach per quart of water. Shake then let stand for 30 minutes before drinking.

Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Keep track of their expiration dates and refresh accordingly. Alternatively you can purchase energy bars that have a 5 year shelf life from Emergency Preparedness sites.

•Ready-to-eat canned or pouch meats, fruits, and vegetables
•Canned juices
•Freeze Dried Fruits, veggies or meats
•Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
•Energy Bars or granola bars

First Aid Kit
Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car or purchase a ready made one from the drug store or Target. I have a pre-made First Aid kit as well as the following additional items

•Assorted sizes of safety pins
•Roll of Gauze bandages
•Latex gloves (2 pairs)
•Surgical Tape
•Tylenol for Adults and Children's Tylenol
•Baby Wipes
•Bottle of Purell
•Bottle of Rubbing Alcohol
•Tube of moisturizer
•Prescriptions for 3 or 4 days
•Extra pair of glasses and a travel contact kit

Tools and Supplies
If you camp, you probably have most of these things in your camping supplies. And basically an emergency kit is just an elaborate camping gear kit. So use the same gear and save yourself money and time.

•Set of Silverware for each person
•Plastic plate for each person
•Camping frying pan
•2 Tin cups for heating water for tea/coffee/cocoa
•Emergency preparedness manual
•Pair of Work Gloves for all adults
•Hand Crank AM/FM Radio
•Hand Crank Flash Light or flashlight with extra batteries
•Cash and  change
•Non-electric can opener
•Utility or hunting knife
•glow sticks or candles
•Tube tent, Nice Tent or 2 large tarps
•Basic tool kit including Hammer, pliers, wrench
•Roll of Duct Tape
•Waterproof matches
•Plastic storage containers
•Paper, pencil, deck of cards, book
•Needles, thread (I used a mending kit from a hotel)
•Small bottle of Chlorine bleach and Medicine dropper for sterilizing water
•Shut-off wrench to turn off household gas and water
•Small shovel
•N95 dust mask for each person
•Photocopies of all important documents like driver's license, social security cards, passports, credit cards (front and back), Insurance policies, bank account numbers, and phone numbers for all banks, insurance companies, credit card companies, and any other relevant numbers.

•2 rolls Toilet paper
•Bar of Soap
•Small bottle of Dawn dish detergent
•Feminine supplies
•toothbrush for each person
•travel tooth paste
•travel shampoo and conditioner
•comb or brush
•Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)

Clothing and Bedding
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

•Rain gear or poncho for each person
•Blankets and/or sleeping bags
•Mylar emergency blankets
•Hand warmers
•gloves and warm hat for each person

Great place to buy emergency supplies at a great price

Another list of supplies for emergency kit

Visit the Red Cross site for more info


  1. The first-aid kits you have provided are very helpful to take care of our health and our family. It contains essential things that we can take while going for a travelling. It is also very useful during natural disasters.

  2. Nice nice post here. A friend and I have been talking about this as we've walked. I'm going to print this off (a rare thing for me) and work through your ideas as they are THOROUGH! Very good job!



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