3 Key Principles for Building Emergency Kits

3 Key Principles for Building Emergency Kits

3 Key Principles for Building Emergency Kits


Emergencies can strike at any time, and being prepared is crucial for your survival and the survival of your loved ones. One of the most important steps you can take to ensure your preparedness is to build an emergency kit. Emergency kits are a collection of essential items that can help you survive and navigate through unexpected situations such as natural disasters, power outages, or even a pandemic.

Building an emergency kit might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. By following three key principles, you can create a well-rounded emergency kit that covers all your needs. In this article, we will discuss these principles and provide you with some helpful tips along the way.

1. Assess Your Needs

Before you start gathering items for your emergency kit, it’s essential to assess your specific needs. Consider the following factors:


Where you live plays a significant role in determining the type of emergencies you might face. For example, if you live in an area prone to hurricanes, your emergency kit should include items like waterproof containers, extra batteries, and a portable generator.

Family Members:

Take into account the number of people in your household and their unique needs. Do you have infants or elderly family members? Make sure to include items such as diapers, formula, medications, and any other necessary supplies.


Think about the duration of the emergency you might encounter. Is it a short-term power outage or a long-lasting natural disaster? Your emergency kit should contain enough supplies to sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours. However, it’s always better to be prepared for a longer duration if possible.

Special Considerations:

Do you or anyone in your household have special dietary or medical needs? If so, make sure to include necessary items such as prescription medications, medical devices, or specific food items. Don’t forget about your pets too – include food, water, and any medications they may need.

2. Cover the Basics

Once you have assessed your needs, it’s time to gather the essential items for your emergency kit. Regardless of the specific emergencies you may face, there are some fundamental items that should be included in every kit. These basics will serve as the foundation of your emergency preparedness:


Water is the most crucial component of any emergency kit. Aim to include at least one gallon of water per person per day for a minimum of three days. Remember to rotate your water supply every six months to ensure freshness.


Pack non-perishable food items that require little to no cooking, such as canned goods, granola bars, and dried fruits. Don’t forget to consider special dietary needs and pack accordingly. It’s also essential to include a manual can opener.

First Aid Kit:

A well-stocked first aid kit is vital in any emergency situation. Include bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, prescription medications, and any other necessary medical supplies.

Flashlights and Batteries:

Power outages are common during emergencies, so having a reliable source of light is essential. Pack flashlights with spare batteries or consider using LED flashlights, which consume less energy.


A battery-powered or hand-cranked radio can provide you with crucial information during emergencies without relying on electricity. Stay tuned to your local news stations for updates and instructions.

Emergency Blankets and Clothing:

Include emergency blankets or sleeping bags to keep warm in case of power outages or extreme weather conditions. Pack extra clothing, including sturdy shoes, in case you need to evacuate or face challenging conditions.

3. Tailor Your Kit

While the basics cover the essential items for survival, it’s important to tailor your kit to meet your specific needs and preferences. Here are some additional items you may consider including:

Personal Hygiene Items:

Don’t underestimate the importance of personal hygiene, even during emergencies. Pack items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper.

Cash and Important Documents:

In case of a power outage or electronic failures, it’s crucial to have some cash on hand. Also, store copies of important documents like identification cards, passports, insurance policies, and birth certificates in a waterproof and portable container.

Tools and Supplies:

Include a multi-purpose tool, duct tape, matches, and a whistle in your emergency kit. These items can come in handy for various tasks and serve as valuable tools in survival situations.


During times of crisis, it’s essential to keep morale high. Pack some playing cards, books, or other small entertainment items to keep yourself and your family occupied.

My 2 Cents

Building an emergency kit is a critical step towards ensuring your preparedness for unexpected situations. Remember to assess your needs, cover the basics, and tailor your kit accordingly. Besides the items mentioned, it’s always a good idea to stay informed about your local area and its potential hazards. Consider taking first aid and survival training courses to enhance your skills and knowledge.

Lastly, regularly review and update your emergency kit. Replace expired food and medications, update important documents, and rotate your water supply. Being well-prepared can make all the difference when disaster strikes.

Stay safe, stay prepared, and remember that your survival is in your hands!