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What do You Need in a Disaster? Family Emergency Survival Kits

Updated on December 8, 2013

Tornadoes are coming more frequently

Tornadoes have been causing billions of dollars in damage in the last few years and many people have lost their lives - it's very important to be prepared ahead of time for disasters.
Tornadoes have been causing billions of dollars in damage in the last few years and many people have lost their lives - it's very important to be prepared ahead of time for disasters. | Source

The Best Thing You Can Do Is Be Prepared

We may ask ourselves sometimes: What do I need for my family in case of a disaster? This is something that we don't talk enough about-Emergency Survival Kits for the Family. With record breaking disasters happening daily around our globe, it's more imperative than ever to make sure that we have an emergency survival kit for our family- preferably one for home, one in our car and one at our place of business. There is no better way to be prepared then to take your survival into your own hands and prepare yourself ahead of time in the case of a natural or man made disaster.

One of the most realistic quotes I have read says this: " When the time for action comes, the time for preparation has passed ".

Why Prepare For A Disaster?

In the event of a disaster, whether man-made or natural, it is up to us to prepare ourselves ahead of time. Chances are that we will face some type of emergency situation in our life - at some point - which will require us to think on our feet, and having pre-prepared supplies ahead of time can help us get through the disaster more smoothly. If we have children it's especially important for us to prepare ahead of time so that we can help provide for our family.

In the event of a disaster our water, electricity, gas, telephone access and living situations can change in the blink of an eye, and chances are that we may not be able to rely on the government to respond quickly enough to be able to help us. (Remember Katrina?)

You Can Buy A Kit or Make Your Own

Whether you buy an emergency survival kit for your family or make one up yourself, it's important to make sure that the things your family needs are included in your kit. Listed in the link below are the government recommendations for some of the basic things you should have in your emergency survival kit. If you do buy one from EBay or another site, make sure that you add the things that your family needs to survive.

If you have pets factor them in, and also prepare yourself for the fact that you may not be able to get medical attention right away after a disaster - so make sure you have the medicine that you need on a daily basis also packed in your emergency survival kits. The same goes for your children. If they take medicine that is critical to survival such as an inhaler for asthma - make sure that you have inhalers packed in there too. My oldest son has asthma, and as most of you with asthma know, it can be a very frightening thing. On top of being stressed out on top of a disaster situation you don't need to be worrying about being able to breath at that time too..

Most emergency survival kits that you buy come with a backpack which is very handy for grabbing but make sure you keep your emergency survival kit somewhere handy that you can easily access it when you need it. A survival kit is not going to do you any good if it's kept in the attic or locked away where you can't get at it.

One of my friends who is a CERT responder also carries a smaller emergency survival kit in the trunk of his car, with a pair of old running shoes in it. We live in earthquake country so the theory behind that is in case of an earthquake, roads may be impassable, and he may need to walk along ways on foot. Could you imagine having high heels on and trying to navigate treacherous roads? Worse yet, having to take those shoes off and walk barefoot? Keep this in mind when preparing your emergency survival kit. The things you wear everyday may not be suitable to wear in an emergency or a disaster.

Another idea is to keep an old bike with air in the tires on your property. In case of a disaster on land you may be able to get around much easier with wheels instead of feet. Of course in the case of flooding a bike won't do you alot of good but there again, if you live in possible flood zones having a small boat or raft handy is a good idea too.

Also assess the area that you live in and the kinds of possible disasters that could befall your area when preparing your disaster kits. If you live in flood zones then you will want to make sure your emergency survival kit is in something waterproof. If you live in tornado or hurricane areas then you will want to have bungees cords and things like that to secure things down that could go flying around.

Write down your families key information, and your family contacts, laminate that and put it in your survival kit.

Phones may not work in a disaster and you may need to refer to that laminated copy often, Also put in there any family allergies in case of emergency. The more information the better so medical personnel can help you in case of illness or sickness.

Making sure you have an emergency survival kit for your family is one of the best and most responsible things you can do for yourself and your family. In case of a disaster having a survival kitfor your family may save your life and theirs.

(If you have found this article helpful please feel free to send this article along to other family members so they can prepare for surviving through a disaster too)


Submit a Comment
  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    9 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    @Juan) That's a good idea. Thanks for reading and the comment.

  • profile image

    juan najera 

    9 years ago

    you shot make a list of what can you take on a trip

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    10 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    @NewOrleansFlair)Glad to hear the hub was helpful to you. Thank-you and YW!

  • NewOrleansFlair profile image


    10 years ago from Louisiana

    Post Katrina makes me want to read all articles like this. Thank you for such a great hub.

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    10 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    @melusine) Thanks for reading and the comment. Those that prepare will still have a higher rate of getting through a disaster. It will be the days and months after that are going to really test our mettle, and having planned ahead will help many people in disasters. Yes not all will be saved but prep before is still a smart idea.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    the majority of us are not ment to survive. get real. where do you run to? yes you and 6 million others. dont you think the roads will be blocked. the survivors have already been chosen and for u.s.a that is only 5 million maximum and 3 million gb. you would need an artic truck to carry all those supplies. in reality it will be granny, babies and the sick slowing you down. what supplies will most probably be lost in a panic run or stolen. survival of the fit, the young , the educated, the rich and the man with the big gun.

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    10 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    @Jpineiro) Thanks for the kind comments and tips. Great add-ons to disaster preparation. Thanks again for reading.

  • Jpineiro profile image


    10 years ago

    Although this article is 2 years old, I would like to congratulate the author for this informational hub. I would add that in the event of a catastrophe text messages should be the primary means of communication between loved ones as the phone switches will be overloaded or not working. Also it is a good practice to agree on a meeting point between family members in case you lose contact with them should be part of your family's emergency plan. I'm new to hubpages and I hope to keep reading quality hubs like this one.

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    Great Hub!

    I live in the south right in the middle of hurricane alley, so I know all too well about the emergency kits. Sadly I wasn't prepared for it the first time I was in one. Now I am 100% ready, as much as I can be, but the one thing I found that makes things feel a little normal is a portable generator. In the hurricane I was in, I was without power for 21 days! Well, I will never be in that situation again. Since I bought my portable generator.. at a great price might I add, I can have the comforts of home when power fails. So to all your hub readers, I will give you the link I got the great deal from.


  • Digital Bard profile image

    Digital Bard 

    12 years ago from The Beautiful Pacific Northwest

    Thank you so much for this great Hub! I feel that it is very important for people to wake up and get prepared because you just never know when an emergency situation will happen to you. One of the things I have done is to make sure that there is a bottle of LifeCaps in the glovebox of every car we own as well as every family member's 72 hour kit. That way, as long as we have water, the absence of food will not wear us down and we will not suffer from hunger even for an extended period of time.

    I highly recomend that everyone check out their website and they can even get $10 off per bottle if they use the code "GETCAPS" at checkout!

  • foodstorage profile image


    12 years ago from Utah

    Great info. I had my kit in the basement and I moved it up to my coat closet when I read your hub. It totally makes sense to keep it where you can grab it in a hurry. Thanks for the reminder :)

  • profile image

    Free Car Quotes 

    13 years ago

    Great Hub you have here :) please read my new hub about getting free online car quotes...

  • sixtyorso profile image

    Clive Fagan 

    13 years ago from South Africa

    Excellent Hub. Thought provoking and very topical with all the natural and man made disasters happening on a daily basis. A disaster kit requires careful planning. But it also needs to be looked at and reviewed on a regular basis. It is no good having a spare tyre but no air in it! So take out and review your disaster kit on an ongoing basis (say monthly). Circumstances, medication etc may change and therefore need to be kept up to date.!

  • SweetiePie profile image


    13 years ago from Southern California, USA

    I have a suggestion, maybe you can add some information about the Southern California fires from 2003 and 2007. I know people who lost their homes in these fires and adding some additional information might help these people too.

  • profile image


    13 years ago

    I appreciate this reminder. Living in the Caribbean, hurricanes are a regular occurrence, and in Trinidad there is also the danger of earthquakes. One thing I have promised to stock up on is my medication because I can't go for more than a few days without it. Thanks again for the reminder.

  • marisuewrites profile image


    13 years ago from USA

    E X C E L L E N T  I am standing and saluting you.  Preparation is a loudcry from many   let's heed it!! 

    ..."One of the most realistic quotes I have read says this: " When the time for action comes, the time for preparation has passed.."

    yep, let's drain the swamp before we get caught up in it   thank you Doris for waking us up! 

  • Science Guru profile image

    Science Guru 

    13 years ago

    Jack who?

    I thought it funny when I bought my dad a hand-cranked radio for Christmas. For the life of him, he couldn't figure out how to use the damn thing. Another good point is to know how to use the equipment in your survival kit.

    My brother's survival kit is his entire truck - he even keeps an old laptop in his truck alongside weapons.

  • Constant Walker profile image

    Constant Walker 

    13 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

    Jack Burton makes a good point. In reality, a weapon should be an essential part of any survival kit.

  • Eileen Hughes profile image

    Eileen Hughes 

    13 years ago from Northam Western Australia

    Very importanthub for everyone. I always have a first aid kit at home and in cars and gave our kids and their kids one for their cars.

    And I always carry water in the cars. But have never thought about anything else.

    When I watch the torpedos in america I can understand why everyone needs to be more vigilant with this emergency equipment. Great Hub thanks for sharing

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    13 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    Thanks everyone for stopping by. Emergency preparation has been something close to my heart for awhile now, you know when you start to see survival kits in Costco that's it time to pay attention. Hopefully everyone that reads this will at least put something basic together- it could mean the difference between life and death in a disaster.

  • In The Doghouse profile image

    In The Doghouse 

    13 years ago from California


    I am so with you on this topic. I even organized the 100 houses in my neighborhood and had a meeting on this very thing. We certainly must be prepared, for in the event of an emergency, the certified emergency personnel will simply not be able to respond to everyone. We localized and found out who were medical personnel in our neighborhood, police officers, HAM radio operators etc. It made everybody more aware and we got to meet neighbors we had never even met. The most important issue that can't be stressed enough is water!!! Storing water is a must... that is simply one thing that we cannot live without! If you can't do anything else, store water!!! You can see I am very passionate about this... Thanks for your timely warning and information... We simply must prepare now!

  • solarshingles profile image


    13 years ago from london

    Dorsi, this is an extremely useful hub! We need to think about these events before they happen. Appropriate preventive measures could even save many human lives, when it comes to the worst. Dorsi, you made me to think about this very topic, once again. Thank you!

  • SweetiePie profile image


    13 years ago from Southern California, USA

    This is a very relevant topic to many people today. My family has lived through two fires in the last five years, so this type of planning is highly essential. Excellent hub!

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 

    13 years ago from New Brunswick

    An essential for everyone, I always have some survival gear with me and a more complete kit at home.

  • TetonRose profile image


    13 years ago from Utah

    Excellent information for everyone. Now...we all need to make sure we have one of these kits available for each family member. Even small children can be the proud owners of a small backpack with at least some of their own personal needs included.

  • Jack Burton profile image

    Jack Burton 

    13 years ago from The Midwest

    Do you remember the novel back about 20 years ago by Niven with the title, "Lucifer's Hammer"?

    The gist of it was that a comet hit the earth and caused a worldwide disaster that almost destroyed civilization.

    Because of the extensive warning the earth had, a number of the characters in the book had "bug out bags" prepared. However... Niven made the very clear point in the novel that those with guns and no bug out bags very easily took the bug out bags away from people with no guns.

    Just something to keep in mind as you prepare your survival kit.

  • andrews profile image


    13 years ago

    Good Article! Its always best to be prepared


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