Statistically speaking, you’re not going to find yourself in a situation where you will have to use your emergency preparedness kit. However you would be a fool if you did not prepare in case you do. A disaster can strike in many different forms and it could put you in real danger. Danger where the only person to save you is you.
Think about it, imagine a major storm destroys the electricity lines and you have to go days without electricity. An earthquake could turn the city upside down or civil unrest could cause absolute chaos. Look at the global pandemic of 2020, Covid 19 has got to be a good enough reason to convince you to prepare.
Not many people saw this coming and those who did got in early and started stockpiling goods. This started a chain reaction and cases of civil unrest started to rise. Thankfully it died down but it was a scary thing to see because if something like that spiralled out of control, it could be a disaster.
Enough stories, this article is your guide to choosing an emergency survival kit. This survival kit could be the difference between life or death so we have carefully chosen the top 10 best survival kits for you. It’s something to keep you and your family safe in times of crisis. Below you’ll find a list of essential items to look out for and why you need them.
[Best 3 Picks]
Top 10 Emergency Survival Kits
So what do you actually need in a survival kit. Well your survival kit should have everything from reducing pain from blisters to having a flashlight in case the lights go out.
1. Person Deluxe Survival Kit I
I would say this is a “backup” kit. Something to buy to store in the office at work or something. Its clearly been built with a specific scenario in mind. Created with expert advice from survivalists, the red cross and military officials, this kit gives you a good bang for your buck AND provides essential items to keep you alive.
Every single survival kit needs to provide two electronic items. The first one is an LED Flashlight because there’s a very good chance the power will be down and you’re going to be requiring some illumination. You’ll need to navigate through a potentially dangerous area, prep food or look for survivors.
The second item that is an absolute must is a radio. If you’re stranded for a while, the likelihood of your mobile phone running out of charge is pretty high. You will need some way of getting information from the outside world.
Let’s say it’s a tornado, you need to know when help is coming, where to go after the storms calmed down, is there still any danger etc.
This kit comes with both a flashlight and a radio.
Food & Water
Now obviously you’re not going to have access to a kitchen and food / water is essential. The kit provides you with a single 2400 calorie food bar. You could probably make this last 3 days.
Next up is water, the kit comes with 12 pouches of datrex water. Ideally you’d want more. You will be doing a lot of exercise, be stressed out and the air quality could be dusty / poor which will cause you to be more thirsty. Either way, 12 pouches is better than 0 pouches.
Again with any disaster your chances of being hurt go through the roof. This kit comes with a first aid kit.
The kit includes a pocket knife which can come in very handy. You’ve no idea what you’ll run into so having something sharp that can cut can be a great asset.
You’re also getting a pair of leather working gloves with this kit. This is a nice addition because you’re going to be out in the cold and keeping your hands warm is always a plus. You also may run into objects that have to be moved. The gloves will prevent you from minor injuries etc.
Remember I mentioned the poor air quality? Well the guys behind this kit planned this kit out well and have included a protective face mask. This will help filter out the bad particles in the air.
Other items that are included in this kit are a light stick, 5 in 1 emergency whistle and a hygiene kit.
The hygiene kit includes soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, wipes, pocket tissues and an infectious waste bag.
I’m not sure what kind of shelter you can find but its always handy to have an emergency blanket, a body warmer and a poncho. There’s also a tent that’s included.
I must say I’m a big fan of this kit they have everything covered it seems. The addition of the blanket, face mask and knife make this kit lucrative. You will however need to supplement this kit with some extra food.
2. The Seventy2 Survival System
The Seventy2 Survival system has been carefully designed to provide you with warmth, food, light and the essential items needed for survival. The total weight of the kit is 11lbs – all tucked inside a 48 litre backpack.
The backpack is made of lightweight waterproof tarpaulin. In fact the bag can actually be used as a floatation device. It doesn’t take you long to realise the guys at Uncharted Supply have invested a lot of time and thinking into this design.
The grey exterior helps you blend into urban environments. 92% of survival situations are resolved within 72 hours, so the SEVENTY2 Survival System has been designed around that. Hence the name.
There are two primary devices that you will want in every survival kit. A radio and a flashlight. This kit includes a 3-in-1 radio which consists of a flashlight, a radio and a smartphone charger.
You’ve also got a flashlight that is waterproof.
Air & Vision
The kit also includes an M5 Air Filtration mask. This mask has carbon filters that will eliminate all airborne contaminants. There are also Goggles for protecting your eyes. If the environment is dusty from fallen debris – these are good things to have.
Food & Water
The kit comes with Datrex Calorie bars. These are 5 year shelf life, 200 calorie bars. They are trusted by the USCG and you’ll get 12! You will also get a collapsible water bottle to help you store water.
It comes with a Nalgene Water Bottle too. If you need to filter water, there is a mini water filter included that can filter up to 100,000 gallons. AND there is a water syringe to help clean the water filter or clean wounds.
The kit comes with a first aid kit that includes bandages, disinfectant wipes, gauze, and more. There is also some sunscreen and a splint.
It has some basic items that you may need. These include a stainless steel multi-tool that includes a knife, file, wire snips, pliers and a bottle opener. It includes duct tape and a 100 foot roll of paracord. There’s also a shovel / pick axe, fire starter, chem lights and some matches.
The kit comes with some basic items for warmth like gloves, a hat and a thermal space blanket. You’ll also get a heat pack and a thermal survival tent. We feel like the kit could include a basic poncho in case you need to venture outdoors.
This is a very comprehensive survival system that includes a number of useful tools. The survival kit has seen itself featured on places like TIME, Huffington Post and more. This is a kit designed for one person.
It includes everything you would need to survive for 72 hours but we feel like it’s missing a good survival knife. Other than that it’s a very fair priced kit and we recommend you buy one ASAP!
3. Pups & Peeps Emergency Survival Kits
No man gets left behind, right? If you’re an animal lover you’ll know the bond between a dog and a man is strong. This is a unique kit designed to help you and your loved ones get out of critical situations. It’s a 72 hour kit tailored that includes the safety of your pets.
So if you’ve ever been worried about what you’ll do if an emergency situation presents itself and how you’ll cope with your dogs, this is the kit for you.
The kit includes a 4 mode LED headlamp which is fantastic as you’re going to need your hands for other things, like holding your dog’s leashes.
There is also a LED Red Spot Collar light included for your dog.
Air & Vision
The kit comes with a bandana but nothing else.
Food & Water
A collapsible water bowl is included in the kit and a treat pouch to keep your dog happy.
You’ll be glad to know there’s a 46 piece first aid kit included for humans but also a first aid kit designed for pets.
A windshield breaker / seatbelt cutter is included in the kit. This makes the kit perfect for people going long drives with their dog. Perhaps you drive to hiking destinations quite frequently? Imagine being stuck in a snowstorm with your dog.
The kit has 1 mylar blanket, 8 hour hand warmers, a body warmer, poncho and a tubular bandana.
This is a great kit for people who travel
4. The Complete Earthquake Bag – Emergency kit for Earthquakes, Hurricanes, floods + Other disasters
This comprehensive kit contains the essential items for 72 hours. This is just what you need for something like a hurricane or earthquake. The bag
There is a hand-cranked flashlight included. This is an essential item when there’s little to no illumination if the power goes out. There is also a radio included to help you get information. This is not a NOAA radio though, which would have been significantly better.
There’s also a phone charger that will allow you to keep your mobile devices connected.
Food & Water
This kit comes with 2 3600 calorie food bars. There are 24 water pouches included providing you enough hydration. There is also a hydration bag with a straw. And if that’s not enough there’s 20 water purification tablets included too.
The survival kit comes with a 107 piece first aid kit. There is also 2 pocket tissues packs and a couple of waste bags too.
The Complete Earthquake Bag comes with 50 feet of Nylon Rope, Goggles, Sewing Kit, Gloves, a 5-in-1 whistle and a pen / notepad.
It would not be a survival kit if it didn’t provide you with some warmth / protection from outside elements. There are two mylar sleeping bags and a 2 person tent included.
And to prevent you from getting wet there are 2 emergency ponchos too.
This is marketed as the Complete Earthquake Kit. While it contains some essential items, I would recommend you do your research and add in some of your own too. This does provide a good baseline but it is missing some vital items.
The kit comes smartly packed and gives you a good amount of items for your money but I still think you could do better by shopping around or building your own kit.
Look at our guide below on how to build your own emergency survival kit.
How To Choose A Survival Kit – Buying Guide
Now I know I have previously said you have to be prepared for the unknown but there are some events that are more likely to happen than others. I.e if you live in Atlanta, your odds of facing a tornado are high. If you stay in Nevada you have to protect yourself from flash flooding. Los Angelos has been waiting for a massive earthquake for decades. You get the point?
So you should tailor your kit towards the most obvious dangers you will face. You couldn’t possibly carry everything. Now you also need to consider who you’re packing for. Unfortunately you can’t prepare for the whole family. But you can look after your immediate family.
If you do have a large family, it’s a team effort and you should plan your kit more carefully.
Size is a crucial factor in buying an emergency survival kit. Are you looking for a survival kit that you can store inside your bunker? Is it an emergency survival kit to carry? How long will you be prepping for, is it 48 hrs? 72?
Look, it’s hard to prepare for every scenario. The point of this section was to get you to think about the weight of your kit and the mobility issues it causes.
Now if disaster does strike you’re going to want to have the appropriate items to deal with it. For example if you’re facing a tornado there is no point in having hunting equipment to catch food.
You would need rations instead, enough for 72 hours. Some other items for a tornado focused survival kit could be a torch, a first aid kit and a radio.
Let’s say you have a survival kit for going hiking, you would want to carry a lighter kit and wouldn’t need to bring such a large food reserve either.
If disaster does strike you do not want to find yourself carrying items that you have no use for. One of the biggest decisions people have to make is whether or not they want to carry water.
You might find that’s a silly statement but water weighs a lot and if you’re going to be carrying it for a long distance it is going to fatigue you faster and slow you down. Which will only make you want more water.
I’m not saying don’t take any water but seriously consider how much you’re taking.
Anyway, so are the packs above worth the money? It seriously depends on you. Personally I’d look at all of the other blogs on this website and use them to figure out what the best items are when they’re standing on their own.
When it comes to survival items the prices of items seem to be all over the place. Once you filter it down you can find items valued at a fair price.
The survival industry is very lucrative for anybody who likes to make money. People will spend a lot of money to keep their lives and their families’ lives safe.
So there are a lot of cheap products on the market that you need to watch out for.
How do you do this? Well compare the specifications, build quality, materials used and user reviews. This will allow you to filter out the noise. Checking user reviews is a great idea as it will tell you if the product is overrated or actually worth the money.
Click on the Amazon links and look at the customer reviews there.
Must-Have Items For An Emergency
First Aid Kit
If you’re needing medical attention and there’s no way of you getting it, a first aid kit can literally save your life.
The next item is water, the Red Cross recommends you have at least 1 gallon per person, per day. They recommend a 72 hour supply if you’re going to be bugging out however they recommend a 2 week supply if you’re planning on staying.
I recommend you storing food that takes a while to expire. You’re also going to be looking for items that aren’t hard to prep.
It is very very important to have a flashlight, there is a good chance the electricity will be down. I would recommend you have a few and store enough batteries too. Your flashlight can be used as a tool to help spot more danger, it can be used to signal for help or you can use it to help prep food in the dark.
We recommend buying a few as you really do not want to be sitting in a dark bunker for days.
Check out our article on choosing the best survival flashlights.
Hand Cranked NOAA Weather Radio
Most of these NOAA Weather Radios are built with disaster in mind. There effectively a swiss army knife type radio now that has a light built into them too. Information is very important. This is the only way you’ll be able to get informed of tornado warnings, weather warnings etc.
You’ll be able to get some information on where you can shelter or get help. Staying in the loop is very important.
Cell Phone Charging Facility
Yes, the cellular towers will likely be damaged but the ones further afield will still work fine or be repaired very fast. The network teams are very good at getting things back up and running.
Having your mobile is very good too as it allows you to chat to the outside world but we all know what smartphones are like with losing charge. And with no power outlets available you should look at buying some portable chargers.
Now I’ve mentioned this above but you should be storing extra batteries for your radio and your flashlight. Alkaline batteries can be found anywhere in the world but they don’t perform as well as lithium batteries. Purchase products that can use both types and store your lithium ones for emergencies instead.
If you’re someone who takes medication every single day you’re obviously not going to be able to refill that prescription if disaster strikes. So try to stay stocked up, this is something where you need to be listening to the warnings so that you can prepare in advance.
Store a good multi-tool in your emergency survival kit. This tool can be used to open cans, start a fire, cut fabric, trim bandages and much more. It’s a good tool to have.
Click this link for a guide to choosing the Best Survival Knife.
Being stuck for days without access to a shower will cause you all to feel a bit icky and probably smell. Store some deodorant, baby wipes and other things that are relatively small. It will make you all more comfortable and help boost morale.
This might not seem obvious but ATMs will go down and there will be no access to the internet so card payments won’t work. I.e apple pay etc. Bring cash in case you have to evacuate.
It’s going to get cold and you’ll need something to stay warm. DO not use cotton blankets. Cotton loves to soak up moisture so while it’s good for short term warmth they will be a killer over the course of a few days.
Instead, look for polyester blankets. They are a lot better than plain old cotton.
Q: Where Should I Keep My Survival Kit?
A: This totally depends on the danger you’re preparing for. For example, if tornados are a big worry then I would make sure my survival kit was stored in the basement. It’s cold and dry down there and will help your good last.
If hurricanes and flooding are a concern then the basement would be a bad idea. You’re likely going to evacuate if a hurricane is coming so you will want your emergency kit to be in an easy to grab place. Somewhere like the kitchen would be a good storage place.
If you’re going hiking then you’ll obviously be carrying the kit. You just need to make sure that the kit is easy to get to, make sure it’s accessible!
Q: What Is Most Important To My Survival?
A: If you’ve found yourself in a position where you need to survive you have to ensure you can get to a safe, secure place where there’s no imminent danger. The next priority is food and water. You need these to function.
After that you’re going to want to look at things such as shelter, warmth and ways of calling for help. Even if your kit doesn’t have food in it, it should still contain items to help you get food. Things like filtration systems or fire starters are essential.
Q: What Do People mean when they refer to ‘SHTF’?
A: SHTF means “Sh*T hits the fan*. It refers to the apocalyptic point where everything goes to sh*t and you have to try and survive. The majority of people out there don’t believe that this moment will ever happen. Those that do consider it to potentially happen, prepare. It is always a wise decision to prepare for something that could take your life.