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Chapter 2: Leveling Up Your Emergency Kit

We covered the essentials in the last chapter - items Redfora knows you’ll need to survive in an emergency, no matter who or where you are. But, depending on your location, personal needs, and household needs, we know you may need more.

Here is Redfora’s list of commonly overlooked, but crucial items that could mean the difference between surviving and thriving for you and your household. Consider whether these tools may be essential for survival. Anything taking up space in and adding weight to your emergency kit should be something imperative for you and your family.

Emergency Storage

  • Ziploc bags to organize smaller items and keep items dry

Emergency Food

In addition to MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) bars, there are a couple other food options, both of which require extra preparation and add to the weight of your bag.

  • Canned food
    • Requires manual can opener
  • Cook-in-pouch meals
    • Requires fire or camping stove

Emergency First Aid and Hygiene

  • Glasses
    • These can be great for both eyesight and eye protection
  • Contacts and contact solution
    • Keep in mind contacts catch dust and debris much more easily, so we recommend spare glasses in addition to extra contacts
  • Feminine hygiene products
    • These have many uses beyond their design (i.e., helping cover wounds or stop bloody noses)
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • Deodorant
  • Prescription medication

Emergency Shelter & Warmth

  • Sturdy shoes
    • Sturdy shoes that you can wear over debris are essential. Pack hiking boots or sturdy sneakers, and forgo anything with a flimsy sole or open toe.
  • Wool socks
  • Mylar or wool blankets
    • Emergency blankets are heat-reflective and the lightest weight; specifically designed for emergencies
    • Fleece blankets are ideal for extra protection against the cold
  • Extra clothing
    • Pack at least one warm, dry outfit per person to keep in your packs.

Emergency Power & Communication

  • Solar panel
  • Solar-powered light and battery packs
    • Generators, like the River Mobile Power Station, are hard working tools that provide both light and power. You can charge anything from your phone to a drone. An item like this could help your, your family, and even your neighborhood.

Emergency Equipment

  • Gas shut off tool
    • If you use gas utilities in your home, this tool can save you and your family from potential carbon monoxide poisoning and fire hazards by shutting off your gas line immediately following an emergency
  • Pry bar
  • Hatchet
  • Fire flint starter
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Compact shovel
  • Compact saw
  • Dry bag
  • Duct tape
    • Duct tape is excellent for sealing windows, repairing tears, stopping leaks, and even waterproofing shoes.
  • Headlamps
    • Flashlights require a free hand, which simply won’t cut it in the worst of emergencies. A headlamp is a hands-free alternative that will make everything from building a shelter to cooking at nighttime easier.

Emergency Supplies for Dependents and Pets

For those of us caring for babies and children, elders of our families, our four-legged friends, consider the following items as they pertain to your household.

  • Medical supplies for those with differing abilities, wheelchair users, and elderly adults
  • Infant formula and/or manual breast pump
  • Diapers, wipes, and infectious waste bags
  • Comfort item or toy for children
  • Deck of cards or travel-size games
    • Once the chaos settles, there is quite a bit of downtime following a major disaster. Keep yourself and your family occupied with a deck of cards, books, or travel-size board games.
  • Pet food
  • Pet carrier and/or harness
  • Leash

Many of these items will feel like luxuries in a true emergency situation. Whether it’s a tool that makes a difficult task a little bit easier, or a game for your family to connect over while waiting out a tenuous situation, this list can bring you relief, comfort, and peace of mind that will give you more mental space to stay safe, calm, and better help others.