Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.

Some people think that plumbers should be paid more than doctors because they prevent disease. Having a good sanitation kit can help prevent illness and disease for your family during an emergency. Don't buy into the idea that there will always be a bathroom for you to use. One of the first things you might need to gain access to during the case of an earthquake, hurricane, fire, or other disaster is a first-aid kit. Make sure you have enough first-aid supplies to take care of everyone in your family and enough to care for others who may need your help.
Backpack. One of the more common mistakes for 72-hour kits starts with the backpack. Choose a backpack that has multiple compartments in which you can divide your survival gear. Sifting through an unorganized pack, where everything is jumbled into the same large compartment can be frustrating and time consuming. By subdividing your stuff into different pockets you can access what you need quickly. Amazon has a variety of military-style packs to choose from.
Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and strong enough to remove 99.999% of waterborne parasites and bacteria, including E. Coli and Salmonella, the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter works for everything from camping to traveling. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter not only removes waterborne parasites and bacteria, but it also removes microplastics (down to 1 micron) and turbidity (down to 0.2 microns). LifeStraw is put through rigorous testing, with one Personal Water Filter durable enough to provide 1,000 gallons of clean drinking water. Pros: The filter acts as a giant straw, with users able to drink directly from natural water resources like lakes and rivers. We also like that for every LifeStraw product sold, a school child receives clean drinking water for one year. Cons: Because the LifeStraw is a personal water filter, it’s not ideal for using to gather large quantities of water for a group. Some customers noted that the LifeStraw does require quite a bit of suction, which can make users who are hiking at high altitudes dizzy. Image courtesy of Amazon  

Dig up or purchase the items on your list. You will be surprised how much is already have around the house. In addition to the basic list, at least one family member should have a big First Aid Kit (see First Aid Kit Ideas on Amazon), and everyone else should have a small kit – even if you make a simple one from the dollar store. Plus you’ll need some basic sanitation items like toilet paper.


I agree with all except this one, “you should carry a water filter instead.” That water filter does NOT filter viruses which can incapacitate or kill just as quickly as can the bacteria it does eliminate. Carry purification tablets & a couple gallon sized double-ziplock baggies or an aluminum/titanium pot (multiple uses) or learn about SODIS instead. Why plan to fail?
It’s an impressive lineup – did we mention the 2 person tents? – that, like many of its competing bug out bags, is light on food. Although there’s plenty of room in the heavy duty nylon backpack for all the food you’ll need to survive several days in the wild. The company advertises their bag as being ‘discreet’, which is their way of saying others won’t recognize that it’s full of high quality survival gear and try to steal it from you. That may very well be but if Hurricane Harvey is bearing down on your location you have bigger things to worry about. The 2 person tent we mentioned is minimalist in nature but will provide welcome shelter if you can find a dry place to set it up and the waterproof backpack cover that comes with the bug out kit is a major plus this bug out bag has over some of the competition. The Stealth Tactical bug out bag costs a little more but it’s ready for whatever comes.
I agree less is more. Use two contractor refuse bags sandwiched together with leaves and moss in between the layers will make a good sleeping bag, floats for river crossings.water storage etc. Not so detectable on ir, properly camouflaged. Thermal a whole different story. The Oath Keepers site has instructions for a thermal evasion cloak. With a little bit of tweaking it will make a very warm and snug sleeping bag. So if evasion from thermal is a concern this might be a solution. It can be used as poncho, lean to, and rain fly. For survival needs I carry .22 with subsonic 1000 fps thereabouts and a silencer. The sound signature is that of a click of the firing pin. For motion detection $ 9.99 motion detector from Harbor Freight, they come in white, mask and and paint black avoiding the white detector cover.
While you're working on gathering and storing supplies, visit our official blog for great ideas and to learn some useful skills. Our Emergency Essentials blog and articles provide top-notch emergency preparedness education. There's more great information available via our Facebook page to get you exactly what you need. You may think of "preppers" as people that aren't like you. But the truth is, most preppers are just everyday people planning ahead for unexpected circumstances with a bit of food storage, water storage, emergency power, and other supplies that will fulfill their basic needs if somehow their supply to their everyday source of supplies (like a grocery store) is unavailable for a while. Remember, survival isn't about luck. It's about prepping for difficult situations ahead of time, including the survival gear, emergency food storage, water storage, and the other supplies and skills you'll need in a disaster—whether a natural, personal, or financial disaster.
Bug-out bags are standard kit for most any survival-minded American. These handy lifesaving devices are typically unobtrusive and compact while containing the critical gear you might need to survive a disaster. For those whose circumstances might mandate a more protracted adventure, however, two companies provide the equipment to take this concept to a whole new level.
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