How to Build a Home Survival Kit
Why do you need to store a survival kit in your home?
The key to survival is self-sufficiency. If a wide-spread disaster occurs, paramedics or disaster relief organizations such as the Red Cross will not be able to administer aid for several days or more. The more prepared your family is in advance of a major disaster, the better your odds are of surviving it. In a best-case scenario, your house loses electricity but is still habitable. Worst case, your home is no longer structurally safe to inhabit, forcing your family to shelter outdoors. Additionally, family members may have sustained injuries with no help available. The simple addition of a survival kit ensures your family has the supplies needed to turn an already dire situation into a survivable situation.
Below is a summary of the different categories of emergency preparedness supplies that you should have stored in your kit.
10-Day Supply of Drinking Water/Person
Potable drinking water is the most essential element of survival. After an emergency, securing safe, drinkable water will be your top priority after evacuation and treatment of injuries. Include a 10-day supply of drinking and cleaning water per person in your household. This equates to at least 1-gallon per person. How do you accumulate and store this much water?
- You can purchase and store bottled water. Keep in mind bottled water has limited shelf-life and must be replaced every 1 - 2 years. You must store bottled water in a temperature-controlled environment.
- You can purchase a 55-gallon water drum and water purification tablets. A 55-Gallon Water Storage Barrel provides an inexpensive means to safely store emergency water for 5-years when treated with Water Preserver Concentrate drops. The blue coloring of the barrel blocks UV rays, preventing the growth of algae and bacteria, allowing for indoor and outdoor storage of your water supply.
- Purchase cases of ER™ Water Pouches. Six of these flexible and yet durable water pouches provide a 72-hour supply of emergency drinking water per person. Each 4.2-ounce water pouch is U.S. Coast Guard Approved to store safely for up to 5 years even when exposed to temperatures ranging from -22°F to 149°F (-30°C to 65°C). Pouches can be frozen without harm to the pouch and used as a "cold pack."
10-Day Supply of Non-Perishable Food/Person
At a minimum, your survival kit needs to contain 72-hours of emergency rations for each person in your household. Ideally, your kit will include a 10-day food supply for each person. How do you store this much food?
- You can purchase non-perishables from the grocery store, such as canned and dried goods. Keep in mind these foods have expiration dates ranging from 6 months to a year and must be stored in a temperature-controlled environment.
- You can prepare the ER™ way by purchasing ER™ 2400 or 3600 Calorie Food Bars. One ER™ Bar provides an average person 72-hours of nourishment. The U.S. Coast Guard tested then certified our bars to remain shelf-stable for up to 5-years. The bars are easy to store and withstand temperature fluctuations ranging from -22°F to 149°F (-30°C to 65°C).
Wide-Spread disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or ice storms, can destroy infrastructures and knock out utilities for hours or weeks. If a disaster occurs at night, you will need lighting to navigate to a safe zone. Include several different types of lighting sources in your kit: candles, matches, battery-operated flashlights, extra batteries (note the expiration dates of your batteries), a lantern, a back-up solar-powered/hand-crank flashlight, and lightsticks. Use lightsticks to signal for help, illuminate an emergency shelter, or tie to pets and children to increase their visibility at night.
Add a radio to your kit that can broadcast the NOAA Weather-Band Alert channels. Use this radio to receive weather alerts, evacuation guidelines, and essential bulletins. Bonus if your radio is also solar-powered.
First Aid Kit
Purchase a family-sized first aid kit to clean and treat minor wounds and sprains. Include extra prescription medications, vinyl gloves, hydrogen peroxide, and any over-the-counter medications you might need, such as ibuprofen and Benadryl.
Add masks for each family member, sanitization wipes, and hand sanitizer.
Emergency Shelter Supplies
These items will provide shelter for you and your family if your house or shelter is no longer safe to occupy. Add thermal mylar blankets, sleeping bags, a portable tent, tarp, plastic sheeting, and duct tape.
Emergency Search & Rescue Supplies
Include a shovel, pry bar, gas shut-off tool, heavy-duty gloves, and dust masks to perform search and rescue operations.
Hygiene & Sanitation Supplies
Plan for a situation where water is unavailable for personal hygiene and sanitation needs. Pack waterless shampoo, toothbrush/toothpaste, comb, toilet paper, tissue paper, disinfectant wipes, portable toilet (can be a 5-gallon bucket), disposable bags, sanitary napkins, an extra pair of clothing, and closed-toe shoes for each family member.