Basic Survival Items: What You Need to Know
Natural disasters, extreme weather conditions, and unforeseeable emergencies can happen at any time. During these times, it is important to have basic survival items ready and available. These survival items are essential for your safety, well-being, and survival. In this article, we will discuss the top 10 basic survival items you should have in your emergency kit.
During emergencies, you may not have access to the basic necessities such as shelter, food, and water. This is why it's crucial to have these items ready and stored in a safe place. Here are the top 10 basic survival items that you should have to ensure your safety and survival during an emergency situation:
- First Aid Kit
- Multi-Purpose Tools
- Communication Devices
In the following sections, we will explain each of these items in detail, including why they are important, how much you should store, and how to use them. By the end of this article, you'll be well-prepared for any emergency situation that may arise.
Water: The Most Essential Basic Survival Item
Water is the most essential item for survival and should be the first item on your list. According to Ready.gov, a human can only survive for three to five days without water. It is important to store enough water for each member of your family, including your pets. Here's what you should know about water for emergency situations:
How Much Water to Store
The general rule of thumb, according to Red Cross, is to store one gallon of water per person per day. This amount should be enough for drinking, cooking, and basic hygiene. For example, a family of four should store at least 12 gallons of water for a three-day emergency situation. It's better to store more water than less, as you never know how long an emergency situation may last.
Ways to Store Water
There are several ways to store water, including:
- Bottled water: Store commercially bottled water in a cool, dark place away from sunlight and chemicals.
- Water containers: Store water in clean, food-grade containers such as plastic bottles, jugs, or drums, according to More Prepared. Make sure to clean and sanitize the containers before storing water.
- Water bags: Water bags are portable and easy to store. They are designed to be filled with water and can be hung on hooks or nails, according to Montem Life.
Other Sources of Water
In addition to storing water, it's important to know other sources of water during an emergency situation. These sources include:
- Rainwater: Collect rainwater using a tarp or a plastic sheet and store it in a clean container.
- Rivers and streams: Boil or purify water from rivers and streams before drinking.
- Water heaters and toilet tanks: Use the water from your water heater or toilet tank (not the bowl) if there is no other source of water available, according to NY Mag.
First Aid Kit: Be Prepared for Emergencies
A first aid kit is one of the most important items to have in an emergency situation. It can help you treat injuries and illnesses until medical help arrives. Here's what you need to know about first aid kits:
Importance of Having a First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is essential for treating minor injuries such as cuts, burns, and bruises. It can also be used to treat more serious injuries such as fractures, sprains, and dislocations. In addition, a first aid kit can help you manage medical conditions such as allergies and asthma.
Items to Include in a First Aid Kit
According to Red Cross, here are some of the essential items to include in a first aid kit:
- Adhesive bandages in various sizes
- Sterile gauze pads and rolls
- Adhesive tape
- Antiseptic wipes
- Antibiotic ointment
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Disposable gloves
- Instant cold compress
- First aid manual
How to Use the Items in a First Aid Kit
It's important to know how to use the items in a first aid kit before an emergency situation arises. Here are some tips on how to use some of the items in a first aid kit:
- Adhesive bandages: Clean the wound with an antiseptic wipe and apply the appropriate size of adhesive bandage.
- Sterile gauze pads and rolls: Use these to cover and protect wounds. Secure them in place with adhesive tape.
- Antiseptic wipes: Use these to clean wounds and prevent infection.
- Tweezers: Use these to remove splinters, debris, or ticks from the skin. Sterilize the tweezers with alcohol before and after use.
- Instant cold compress: Use this to reduce swelling or pain from sprains, strains, or bruises. Activate the cold compress by squeezing or shaking it, then apply it to the affected area.
By having a first aid kit and knowing how to use it, you can be better prepared for emergency situations and provide medical care until help arrives.
Food: Stock Up on Non-Perishable Items
Food is an essential item for survival, and it's important to stock up on non-perishable items that can last for several days. Here's what you need to know about food for emergency situations:
Types of Non-Perishable Foods
According to Ready.gov, non-perishable items are foods that can last for a long time without refrigeration. They include:
- Canned foods: Canned fruits, vegetables, and meats can last for several years. Make sure to have a manual can opener available.
- Dry goods: Dry goods such as rice, pasta, and cereal can last for several years if stored in a cool, dry place.
- Snacks: Snacks such as crackers, granola bars, and nuts can provide energy and nutrition during an emergency situation.
- Freeze-dried foods: Freeze-dried foods such as fruits, vegetables, and meats can last for several years and can be rehydrated with water.
How Much Food to Store
The amount of food to store depends on the number of people in your household and the length of the emergency situation. According to Red Cross, you should store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food per person. Make sure to store foods that you and your family like and will eat.
Here are some other considerations when it comes to food for emergency situations:
- Dietary restrictions: If you or a family member has dietary restrictions, make sure to store foods that meet those requirements.
- Pet food: Don't forget to store food for your pets.
- Cooking and eating utensils: Have cooking and eating utensils available, such as a portable stove, fuel, and disposable plates and utensils.
- Water: Make sure to store enough water for cooking and rehydrating freeze-dried foods.
By stocking up on non-perishable foods and considering these other factors, you can be better prepared for emergency situations and ensure that you and your family have enough to eat.
Tools: Be Prepared for Any Situation
Tools are essential items for emergency situations, as they can help you perform a variety of tasks. Here are some of the tools you should consider including in your emergency kit:
A multi-tool is a compact and versatile tool that can perform a variety of functions such as cutting, sawing, and opening bottles and cans. According to Montem Life, a multi-tool is a must-have item for any survival kit. Some of the things you can use a multi-tool for include:
- Cutting rope or cords
- Opening cans and bottles
- Sawing wood
- Prying open doors or windows
- Repairing equipment
A knife is another essential tool for emergency situations. It can be used for a variety of tasks such as cutting rope, preparing food, and making shelter. According to Red Cross, a knife should be at least 2.5 inches long and have a fixed blade.
Duct tape is a versatile and durable tool that can be used for a variety of purposes. It can be used to repair equipment, secure shelter, and even treat injuries. According to Ready.gov, duct tape can be used for:
- Patching holes in tents, tarps, and clothing
- Securing splints
- Marking trails or signaling for help
- Covering blisters or preventing blisters from forming
Here are some other tools you may want to consider including in your emergency kit:
- Flashlight: A flashlight can provide light during power outages or when traveling at night.
- Whistle: A whistle can be used to signal for help or alert others to your location.
- Work gloves: Work gloves can protect your hands when performing tasks such as moving debris or building shelter.
- Pry bar: A pry bar can help you open doors or windows that are stuck.
By including these tools in your emergency kit, you can be better prepared for any situation and perform a variety of tasks that may be necessary for survival.
Communication: Stay Connected During Emergencies
Communication is important during emergencies, as it can help you stay informed and connected with others. Here are some ways to stay connected during emergency situations:
A cell phone is one of the most important communication tools during emergency situations. Make sure to keep your cell phone charged and have a portable charger available. According to Ready.gov, it's also important to have a list of emergency phone numbers saved in your phone such as:
- Local emergency services
- Family and friends
- Work or school
- Medical providers
A two-way radio is another communication tool that can be useful during emergencies. It can help you communicate with others who are nearby and may not have cell phone service. According to NY Mag, a two-way radio should have a range of at least 20 miles and be weather-resistant.
A whistle is a simple communication tool that can be used to signal for help or alert others to your location. According to Red Cross, a whistle is a good backup communication tool in case your cell phone or two-way radio isn't working.
Other Communication Tools
Here are some other communication tools you may want to consider including in your emergency kit:
- Signal mirror: A signal mirror can be used to reflect sunlight and signal for help.
- Flares: Flares can be used to signal for help and alert others to your location.
- AM/FM radio: An AM/FM radio can provide you with information and updates during an emergency situation.
By including these communication tools in your emergency kit, you can be better prepared for emergency situations and stay informed and connected with others.
Hygiene: Stay Clean and Healthy
Hygiene is important during emergency situations, as it can help prevent the spread of germs and keep you healthy. Here are some hygiene items you should include in your emergency kit:
Hand sanitizer is a convenient way to clean your hands when soap and water aren't available. According to Ready.gov, hand sanitizer should be at least 60% alcohol.
Soap and Water
Soap and water is still the best way to clean your hands and prevent the spread of germs. Make sure to have liquid soap and water available in case there is no running water. You can use a portable water filter to filter water from natural sources such as rivers or lakes.
Personal Hygiene Items
Here are some personal hygiene items you should consider including in your emergency kit:
- Toothbrush and toothpaste: Keeping your teeth clean is important for overall health.
- Feminine hygiene products: If applicable.
- Diapers and wipes: If applicable.
- Toilet paper: Make sure to have enough toilet paper for several days.
- Trash bags: Use trash bags to dispose of waste and keep your area clean.
Here are some other hygiene considerations you should keep in mind during emergency situations:
- Water: Make sure to have enough water for washing your hands and personal hygiene.
- First aid: Keeping cuts and wounds clean is important for preventing infection.
- Clothing: Make sure to have extra clothing available in case your clothes become wet or dirty.
By including these hygiene items in your emergency kit, you can be better prepared for emergency situations and stay clean and healthy.
Cash and Documents: Be Prepared for Financial Emergencies
Cash and important documents are important to have on hand during emergency situations, as they can help you access money and important information. Here are some things to consider including in your emergency kit:
Cash is important to have on hand during emergency situations, as ATMs and credit card machines may not be working. Make sure to have small bills and coins available for things like gas, food, and supplies. According to More Prepared, it's recommended to have at least $100 in cash.
Important documents are also important to have on hand during emergency situations, as they can help you access important information and prove your identity. Here are some documents to consider including in your emergency kit:
- Identification: This includes your driver's license, passport, and any other forms of identification.
- Insurance: This includes your health insurance, car insurance, and any other types of insurance you may have.
- Financial: This includes your credit card information, bank account information, and any other financial information you may need.
- Property: This includes deeds, titles, and any other important property documents.
Make sure to store these documents in a waterproof and fireproof container.
Here are some other things to consider including in your emergency kit:
- Spare keys: Make sure to have spare keys for your home, car, and any other important locks.
- List of important numbers: This includes the numbers for your family members, friends, and any other important contacts.
By including these cash and document items in your emergency kit, you can be better prepared for financial emergencies and access important information and money when you need it the most.
Entertainment: Keep Your Mind Occupied
During emergency situations, it's important to keep your mind occupied and avoid boredom. Here are some entertainment items you should consider including in your emergency kit:
Books and Magazines
Books and magazines are a great way to pass the time and keep your mind occupied during emergency situations. Make sure to choose books and magazines that you enjoy and that will keep your interest.
Board Games and Playing Cards
Board games and playing cards are another great way to pass the time and keep your mind occupied. According to Montem Life, some popular games to include in your emergency kit are:
- Playing cards
Other Entertainment Items
Here are some other entertainment items you should consider including in your emergency kit:
- Coloring books and crayons: Coloring is a great way to relax and reduce stress.
- Journals and pens: Writing in a journal can help you process your thoughts and feelings.
- Musical instruments: If you play a musical instrument, consider including it in your emergency kit.
By including these entertainment items in your emergency kit, you can be better prepared for emergency situations and keep your mind occupied and stress levels low.
Be Prepared and Stay Safe
By following these tips and including these basic survival items in your emergency kit, you can be better prepared for unforeseen emergency situations. Remember to customize your kit based on your needs and the potential emergencies you may face.
Here are some final tips to keep in mind:
Keep Your Kit Up to Date
Make sure to check your emergency kit regularly and replace any expired items or items that have been used. According to the American Red Cross, it's recommended to check your kit every six months.
Have a Plan
Having a plan is important during emergency situations. Make sure to discuss emergency plans with your family and friends, and practice emergency drills. According to NYMag, it's important to have a designated meeting place and to know how to turn off your utilities.
Staying informed is important during emergency situations. Make sure to have a battery-powered or hand-crank radio available to listen to news and updates. According to Ready.gov, it's also important to follow local officials and emergency management agencies on social media.
Thank you for reading our article on basic survival items. Check out our website for more great content on emergency preparedness and survival tips. Stay safe!
What are basic survival items?
Basic survival items are essential supplies needed to survive during emergency situations.
Who needs basic survival items?
Everyone should have basic survival items in case of unforeseen emergency situations.
How do I choose basic survival items?
Choose basic survival items based on your needs and the potential emergencies you may face.
What if I can't afford basic survival items?
Start with the essentials, such as water, food, and first aid supplies. You can build your kit over time.
How often should I update my basic survival items?
It's recommended to check and update your emergency kit every six months.
What if I don't have space for basic survival items?
Consider using multi-purpose items and storing your emergency kit in an efficient container. A small kit is better than no kit.