Basic Survival Items Checklist
If an emergency occurs, having a basic survival kit is essential. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses. Basic survival kits should be able to last for at least three days after a disaster. The following is a list of basic survival items recommended by ready.gov that you should have in your kit:
- Water – One gallon per person per day for at least three days.
- Food – Non-perishable food for at least three days, including things like canned goods, protein bars, and dry cereal.
- Radio – A battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.
- Flashlight – One flashlight per person along with extra batteries.
- First Aid Kit – A first aid kit with all necessary items.
- Whistle – To signal for help.
- Dust Mask – To filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to create a shelter in place.
- Moist Towelettes – Sanitation and personal hygiene are important in an emergency.
- Wrench or Pliers – To turn off utilities like gas and water.
- Manual Can Opener – For food.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following items to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Masks or cloth face coverings for everyone over the age of two
- Soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes to maintain hygiene
- Garbage bags and ties to dispose of contaminated items
By having these basic survival items, you will be better prepared for emergencies and disasters. But it's not enough to just prepare supplies for your home, make sure to have a kit ready for work or your car as well.
Leaner Survival Kit
While having a comprehensive survival kit is important, it's also important to consider having a leaner survival kit that is easier to carry and can be used in case of an emergency. Here are some items that emergency professionals and survivalists recommend:
- Backpack – A durable, comfortable backpack to carry all of your necessities.
- Flashlight – A small, reliable flashlight with extra batteries.
- Multi-Tool – A multi-purpose tool that can be used for different purposes such as cutting, opening cans, and fixing things.
- First Aid Kit – A small, portable first aid kit with all necessary items.
- Non-Perishable Food – High-calorie, non-perishable food such as energy bars, nuts, and beef jerky.
- Fire-Starting Kit – Waterproof matches or a lighter and fire-starter to build a fire.
- Personal Hygiene Products – Toilet paper, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer to maintain hygiene.
- Important Documents – Copies of important documents such as identification cards, passports, and insurance policies.
It's important to test all gear and know how to use it in advance to avoid any difficulties during an emergency. The experts also suggest stocking up on non-perishable foods and learning fire-building basics to be more prepared. Furthermore, it's important to have personal hygiene products and important documents stored in accessible places. Some additional items that experts recommend include:
- Kaito Shortwave Radios – A portable radio that can be used to receive news and emergency broadcasts.
- Waterproof Matches – Matches that can be used in wet conditions.
- Power Banks – A portable charger for electronic devices.
- North Face or Montbell Sleeping Bags – High-quality sleeping bags that provide warmth and insulation in cold temperatures.
By having a leaner survival kit, you can be more prepared for emergencies and be able to move quickly if needed.
Outdoor Survival Kit
For outdoor enthusiasts, having a survival kit is crucial in case of emergencies. When creating a survival kit, it's important to consider various factors such as climate, location, and the duration of the trip. Here are some basic supplies that should be included in an outdoor survival kit:
- Tools – A knife, hatchet, saw, and other tools that can help you build shelter, start a fire, and prepare food.
- Illumination – Flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns with extra batteries.
- Clean Water – A water filtration system, iodine tablets, or a water bottle with a filter.
- Cordage and Tape – 50 to 100 feet of paracord and duct tape to repair gear and create shelter.
- Fire-Starting Kit – Matches, lighters, and fire-starters to build a fire.
- First Aid Supplies – A comprehensive first aid kit with all necessary items.
- Rescue Signals – Whistle, signaling mirror, and flares to signal for help.
It's important to customize your kit based on various factors such as the length of your trip, the number of people in your group, and any medical conditions that need to be considered. Additional items that should be considered include:
- Medical Conditions – Medications, inhalers, EpiPens, and other medical supplies that may be necessary.
- Self-Defense – Pepper spray, a whistle, or a personal alarm to deter animals or attackers.
- Cash – In case of emergencies, having cash on hand can be crucial.
- Communication Devices – A satellite phone, a two-way radio, or a personal locator beacon to call for help.
When choosing items for your outdoor survival kit, it's important to choose multi-purpose items that can be used for various purposes. Furthermore, choosing an efficient container for the kit can make a big difference in terms of portability and organization. By having a well-planned and well-stocked outdoor survival kit, you can be more prepared for emergencies and enjoy peace of mind during your outdoor adventures.
Customizing Your Survival Kit
While there are basic items that should be included in every survival kit, it's important to customize your kit based on your individual needs and circumstances. Here are some factors to consider when customizing your survival kit:
Climate and Location
Consider the climate and location where you will be using your survival kit. If you will be in a cold climate, you will need to include items such as warm clothing, gloves, and hats. If you will be in a desert climate, you will need to include items such as a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. If you will be near water, you will need to include items such as a life jacket, a fishing kit, and a water filtration system.
Duration of the Trip
The length of your trip will also impact what items you should include in your survival kit. If you will be gone for several days, you will need to include more food and water. If you will be gone for an extended period of time, you may need to include items such as a solar charger for electronic devices.
Number of People in Your Group
If you will be traveling with a group, you will need to consider the needs of everyone in the group. Make sure to include enough food and water for everyone, as well as any necessary medical supplies.
If you or someone in your group has a medical condition, make sure to include any necessary medications or medical supplies in your survival kit. This may include items such as inhalers, EpiPens, or prescription medications.
Finally, consider your personal preferences when customizing your survival kit. If you have a favorite brand of energy bar, make sure to include it in your kit. If you prefer a certain type of knife, make sure to include it as well.
By customizing your survival kit based on your individual needs and circumstances, you can ensure that you have the necessary items to survive in case of an emergency.
Testing and Maintaining Your Survival Kit
Once you have created your survival kit, it's important to test all your gear and know how to use it in advance. Additionally, you should maintain your survival kit regularly to ensure that it is up-to-date and in good condition. Here are some tips for testing and maintaining your survival kit:
Testing Your Gear
Before you head out on a trip, make sure to test all your gear to ensure that it's working properly. This includes items such as your flashlight, radio, water filtration system, and fire-starting kit. Make sure to replace any items that are not working properly or are damaged.
Practicing Survival Skills
In addition to testing your gear, it's important to practice survival skills in advance. This includes skills such as building a fire, creating shelter, and using a map and compass. By practicing these skills in advance, you can be better prepared in case of an emergency.
Make sure to regularly check your survival kit to ensure that it's up-to-date and in good condition. This includes checking the expiration dates of any food, water, and medications, and replacing them as necessary. Additionally, make sure to regularly clean and maintain your gear to ensure that it's in good working order.
Updating Your Kit
Finally, make sure to update your survival kit regularly to ensure that it meets your changing needs. This may include adding or removing items based on your individual circumstances. For example, if you develop a medical condition, you may need to add medications or other medical supplies to your kit.
By testing and maintaining your survival kit regularly, you can ensure that you are prepared in case of an emergency. Additionally, by updating your kit regularly, you can ensure that it meets your changing needs and circumstances.
Be Prepared, Stay Safe
Being prepared for emergencies is essential for everyone. By having a well-stocked survival kit, you can be ready for any situation that comes your way. Here are some final thoughts on how to be prepared and stay safe:
Take Action Today
The first step in being prepared is to take action today. Make a list of the items you need for your survival kit and start gathering them. It's important to take action now, rather than waiting until an emergency arises.
Stay informed about potential emergencies in your area. Sign up for emergency alerts and make sure to have a plan in place for different scenarios.
Practice Safety Tips
Practice safety tips in your everyday life to reduce the risk of emergencies. This includes things like practicing fire safety, wearing a seatbelt while driving, and storing hazardous materials properly.
Check out Our Other Great Content
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out our other great content on emergency preparedness. We have articles on everything from creating an emergency plan to preparing for natural disasters.
By taking action today, staying informed, practicing safety tips, and checking out our other great content, you can be better prepared for emergencies and stay safe in any situation.
What are basic survival items and why do I need them?
Basic survival items are essential supplies for emergencies, such as food, water, and first aid kits. You need them to stay safe and prepared.
Who should have basic survival items?
Everyone should have basic survival items. Emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone.
How long will basic survival items last in an emergency?
Basic survival items should last at least 72 hours, or 3 days, in an emergency. It's important to have enough supplies for everyone in your household.
What if I can't afford to buy all the basic survival items?
Start small and build your kit over time. Prioritize the most essential items, such as water and food, and look for deals and discounts.
How do I know what to include in my basic survival kit?
Consider your individual needs and circumstances when creating your kit. Follow the guidelines provided by trusted sources, such as the Red Cross and Ready.gov.
What if I already have a basic survival kit, do I need to update it?
Yes, it's important to regularly update and maintain your survival kit to ensure that it meets your changing needs and circumstances. Check expiration dates and replace items as needed.