Are You Ready for An Emergency? Emergency Kit Essentials

by SSF | Last Updated Apr. 2nd, 2012

No one wants to ponder the worst, but it is necessary in order to be prepared for it, and one should be rest assured that being ready and having the emergency kit essentials can make the difference between life and death when a disaster does hit.


Emergency kits consist of any number of items necessary for survival in dire situations. These items, if chosen wisely, must reflect some form of necessity as to sustain human health and everyday life, which means that the list of items collected takes on virtually endless variances, depending on who one is, where one lives, the type and size of one’s family, the type and the extent of the trouble that has incurred and where one is at the time the disaster strikes. For these reasons, putting together a workable emergency kit is an extremely time-consuming and contemplative process.



Home Emergency Kit Essentials


Home emergency kits in particular are probably the most common, the most complex and the most crucial because they typically involve the livelihood of more than one person.


The first and probably the most important consideration is the composition of one’s family. How many family members are there? How old are they? How many males and how many females? Are there any special needs and, if so, what are they?


Believe it or not, the answers to all of these questions must be established before anyone can begin to devise a home emergency kit.


That leads to the next consideration: drawing up an item list based on the answers to the questions above. The family uses this list to maintain and periodically monitor the inventory to make sure that the kit is appropriately stocked at all times. Of course, as time passes, circumstances change and so will the stock; if the bare essentials are the focus, however, that change should be minimal.


Below is a detailed list of basic essentials for any home emergency kit. Readers can determine which items are applicable to their particular situation and which aren’t.


Food and Drink


-Canned, boxed and jar-sealed foods.

-Dried and powdered foods.

-Condiments and spices.

-Canned/bottled water and beverages.

-Instant coffee/tea bags/cocoa.

-Vitamins/health supplements.

-Animal foods for pets.



Medical Supplies


-First Aid manual.

-Sterile band aids/bandages.

-Medical tape.

-Scissors and/or tweezers.

-Cotton balls/Q-tips.

-Hydrogen Peroxide/Isopropyl Alcohol.



-Sunscreen lotion.


-Rubber gloves.

-Vaseline/burn alleviants.

-Medicine: Prescription/non-prescription drugs.



Personal Hygiene


-Soap and detergent.


-Towels/wash cloths.

-Toilet paper.

-Tooth brushes/paste.


-Female-oriented supplies.



Weather/Environmental Concerns


-Warm cloths.



-Rain gear.

-Sleeping bags.

-Hats/masks and gloves.



Tools and Guidance Implements


-Everyday tools, such as screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers.

-Wire clippers, utility knives, soldering iron, axe, shovel and saw.

-Lighter with fuel and/or matches in waterproof case.

-Masking, electrical and duct tape.

-Radio with extra batteries.

-Communication devices.

-Whistle/flare signals.

-Flashlight with extra batteries.

-Camping supplies, including portable stove or grille.

-Maps/GPS device.



Important Documents


-Birth certificates.

-IDs/Drivers licenses.

-Mortgage/insurance Forms.

-Medical Information.

-Bank statements.



Whatever one needs for a home emergency kit, these items are certain to be the priority in ever case. Beyond that, as long as the family’s survival needs are met, anything is possible. Being prepared for emergencies is no small matter.


The information above came from the following sites:


Colorado state government. “Are You Ready? Emergency Preparedness Kit Calculator.”

Emergency Preparedness Center.Inc. “Welcome to the Emergency Preparedness Center.”

Growing . “Emergency Essentials.”



For more information, please visit:


Government Sites:


Center of Disease Control and Prevention



Other Authoritative Sites:





  • Add your comment