Crisis Supplies and Family Disaster Preparedness

Emergency Items We Cannot Live Without
A group of men and women were asked which items they would be unable to live without in the face of a catastophe. For family preparedness, these important items need to be packed into a survival backpack to grab and go in a disaster situation.

The respondents were men and women of various ages, backgrounds, and professions. They cited more than the obvious food and water for serious disaster survival. This is their finalized emergency preparedness list.

1. Water bottles or pouches
2. Portable water filter
3. Prepackaged food or MREs (meals ready-to-eat and/or protein bars) such as XMRE Meals, Eversafe MREs or MRE Star
4. Pasta and dried beans (to cook over a campfire)
5. Tuna, peanut butter, nuts and oatmeal, plus cheese and crackers
6. Wheat and a hand grinder
7. Sleeping bag and/or blanket
8. First aid kit (including bug repellent)
9. Antibiotics and potassium iodine tablets
10. Prescription medications (including glasses or contacts)
11. Hiking boots and extra socks
12. A warm coat
13. A change of clothes
14. A Bible plus other guide books
15. Soap and wet naps
16. Toothbrush and toothpaste (or box of baking soda)
17. Utility bucket with sawdust or plastic bags (a traveling outhouse)
18. Makeup and feminine products
19. Toilet paper, Kleenex and paper towels
20. Candles and matches
21. Propane or battery operated lantern (and extra propane or batteries)
22. Rain poncho (can also be used to capture rain water)
23. Hand crank or battery operated radio (with extra batteries)
24. Hand crank flashlight (or flashlight with batteries)
25. Maps and hand-held GPS (with extra batteries)
26. Ham radio or walkie-talkies (with extra batteries)
27. A weapon for self-defense
28. Compact barbecue or camp stove
29. Charcoal, lighter fluid and firewood
30. Cooking pot
31. Disposable dishes and utensils
32. Portable generator
33. Pet food (if traveling with pets)
34. Automobile filled with gasoline (and ready to leave at a moment’s notice)

Others suggested spending a couple of days without electricity, water, gas or propane to simulate living conditions through a natural disaster – a trial run without the use of normal utilities.

Every family also needs an emergency plan and a place to meet should disaster strike during the school or work week. Alternative plans with mapped routes into and out of major cities are also advisable.

This is the list of all the items that our respondents could not live without and solutions to the challenges your family could face in the near future. Although this list is surprisingly thorough, you may want to add some of your own emergency needs or backup provisions and implement an alternate course of action to protect your family through the next disaster or crisis.