Non-Food Items to Keep in Your Emergency Kit

survival kit backpack

Non-Food Items to Keep in Your Emergency Kit

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 50 percent of adults in the U.S. do not have the resources and plans in place to deal with a possible emergency. Preparing a well-rounded emergency kit is an important step to ensuring the safety and well-being of family members should disaster strike. When you are preparing an emergency kit, there are some obvious items such as flashlights, food, and water, but many people forget other important items. Here is a list of essential non-food items organized by 10 categories, encompassing the full age continuum and even Fido. Keep in mind that you’ll need to customize your kit based on your family’s specific needs.

Essential Items

Infants and babies: Diapers, sterilized bottles, medications, baby wipes, diaper rash ointment, rattles, small toys, and pacifiers.

Seniors: Medications, extra hearing aid and batteries, cane, and copies of Social Security and Medicare cards stored either off site or in a fireproof box.

Pets: Food and water bowls, litter, newspapers, scoop, bleach, garbage bags, baking soda, pet medications, flea collars, sprays, flea & tick shampoo, brush, nail trimmer, carriers, leashes, vet health records and vaccination documents, pictures of pets in case they are lost and you need help finding them or proving ownership.

Tool kit: Multi-purpose tool, small saw, hammer, dust masks to protect against contaminated air, plastic sheeting/tarp, duct tape, extra batteries, candles, matches, disposable lighters, garbage bags with plastic ties, pliers or wrench to turn off utilities—and of course, a flashlight.

First-aid kit: Assorted sterile bandages and gauze pads, antiseptic, latex gloves, tweezers, scissors, disposable hand wipes, thermometer, ear plugs, and a 3-day supply of medications. If a family member has a chronic condition such as asthma, it is important to pack an extra inhaler.

Cooking: Paper plates, manual can openers, Ziploc bags, and aluminum foil (for cooking food, boiling water, enhancing antennas, etc.).

Personal care: Bottled hand sanitizer, toothbrushes and travel-size toothpaste, dental floss, travel-size soaps and shampoos, disposable razors, extra pair of contact lenses or eyeglasses, roll or two of toilet paper, pocket-size facial tissue packages, sanitary products for women, and birth control.

Communication: Family and emergency contact information, whistle to signal for help, and battery-operated radio. Save personal account details, log-in information, important phone numbers and emails, and scanned documents ahead of time on a flash drive or hard drive back up. This should either be stored off site or in a fireproof box with your emergency kit.

Entertainment: Battery-operated radio and handheld games, books, book lights, journals, pens and pencils, board games, cards, crossword puzzle books, and balls to play catch with kids and pets.

Miscellaneous: Extra cash, local maps, extra set of car keys and house keys, pocket calendar, wind-up clock, and sewing kit.

There are a wide variety of ready-made survival and emergency kits that can come in handy, saving you quite a bit of time and energy. You can start with these and customize them by adding your own items.


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