Guide to Selecting Items You Need at Home for Emergency Situations

No matter how safe our home is, there will be moments when disaster strikes and makes our home feel unsafe and less comfortable to live in. The disasters that can happen at home are usually natural occurrences, like tornadoes, earthquakes, and storms. 

So, we must always be prepared if a disaster does strike our home, even if the town or city where we live doesn’t really experience a lot of storms, tornadoes, or earthquakes. One of the best ways to be prepared for disasters or emergency situations is to have an emergency kit, which will have everything you need to survive for a couple of days or weeks before help arrives in your area.

Items to Add to an Emergency Kit

Items to Add to an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit is a container that has items that can help during emergencies or in situations where you need to survive for long periods of time without getting help from authorities, rescue teams, or medical experts. An emergency kit can be as large as you want it to be, as long as it is still easy to carry by hand or by your shoulders. Here are the items that you need to have at home for emergency situations.

First Aid Kit

large first aid kit

An important item to have at home during emergencies is the first aid kit, which would provide aid to heal wounds or at least prevent them from worsening. Band-aids are essential items to have inside first-aid kits to treat small wounds, but for larger wounds or cuts, the kit should also have medical tape and gauze. In order to cut the tape and gauze, you would need to have a pair of medical scissors in the kit.  [1]

Antiseptic liquid and alcohol are also items that you should have in the first aid kit, as they are effective in disinfecting wounds. Then, a set of medicines is also important, and this set should include pills for headaches, fever, and colds. Here are three pre-made first aid kits that you can customize and add more items on:

  • First Aid Only 298-Piece Kit – a very popular first aid kit that has fabric and plastic bandages, as well as BZK antiseptic towelettes to prevent or reduce infection on wounds.
  • Be Smart Get Prepared 85-Piece First Aid Kit – a much smaller first aid kit that is compact and more suitable for people that want to bring a first aid kit to outdoor trips and events. The case of this kit is made from high-density plastic for extra durability.
  • All Health 100+ Pieces First Aid Kit – another portable first aid kit with a heavy-duty plastic case. However, this kit has more items inside it, and these items can be used or applied to anyone, from kids to adults.

Personal Hygiene Products

personal hygiene products

Another set of products you need to have is for personal hygiene, which includes tissue rolls, wet wipes, alcohol, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. Personal hygiene is very important, even during emergency situations where you have to survive for days without help. The reason why it is important is that it allows us to have a much cleaner body, which would enable us to have better protection and prevention against harmful bacteria and viruses. [1] Take a look at these three sets that have everything you need for personal hygiene:


glow sticks

After a natural or man-made disaster occurs, it is more likely for your home to not have any source of electricity. Without electricity, the lights of the house wouldn’t really work unless you have a generator. If you don’t have a generator, one of the best ways to get lights for your home is by lighting candles, although ordinary candles can only last for about an hour before they are completely depleted.

So, you would need special candles that can last for hours so that your stocks of them will also last. If you don’t want to use candles, you can also use glow sticks that can usually last for up to 12 hours, and they can sometimes provide better illumination than candles. Here are three items that are great sources of light during emergency situations:


canned goods

Food is a basic necessity for humans, which is why emergency kits and bags should always have food products inside them so that you and your loved ones would still have stocks of food even in times of disaster or calamity. [2] If you are going to need to survive for a couple of days or weeks, you will need to have food that can last for more than double the said time period.

Canned goods and dried goods are two types of food products that can last long. Canned fruits and vegetables can usually last for one year or more, while dried fruits and vegetables have a shelf life of six months to one year. So, these kinds of foods are great to store in your pantry or emergency kit so that they can serve as an emergency source of food in unfortunate situations.

Here are two canned goods that you can keep as emergency stock in your pantry:

Next, here are two dried goods that you can consume during emergency situations where you can’t prepare or cook full meals:


Filtering Water

Besides food, water is also another basic necessity that you should always have and consume in order to survive. [2] While tap water is relatively safe to drink in some towns or cities, most people generally assume that tap water isn’t really drinkable. When filtration systems don’t work in water distribution centers due to a natural disaster or calamity, then tap water becomes very unsafe to drink since the bacteria, viruses, and parasites in the water aren’t filtered out.

However, you can filter the tap water or any kind of dirty water from ponds and lakes and turn it into drinkable water on your own. This is possible through a compact water filtration system, which is an important item to have for emergencies, especially when you run out of clean water to drink at home. 

In order to store more clean or drinkable water so that your supply can last for days or weeks, you can also get multiple water flasks, which are usually made of durable stainless steel. Even though plastic bottles are more common and more affordable to use for storing drinking water, they are not really great containers for storing water, as they don’t prevent the water from being contaminated. Here are three water flasks that are highly rated online:

  • Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle – this incredibly popular water flask features TempShield insulation that keeps water hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours.
  • Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle – this water flask is leak proof and is vacuum insulated so that the original temperature of the water will remain for hours. The exterior of the flask is made of durable and corrosion-resistant stainless steel.
  • Iron Flask Kids Water Bottle – this bottle has the same features and qualities as the original Iron Flask bottle, but the difference is that this one is made for kids. This bottle is smaller and has a cool design that will surely attract kids and encourage them to drink water from the bottle.

Emergency Clothing

tourist traveling in the forest

Our home provides us with warmth during colder seasons, but after a natural disaster occurs, those things that our home normally offers to us and our loved ones may be gone, as the air conditioning or heating system in the house may malfunction or get damaged. So, we will have to provide warmth for ourselves during that situation, and the best way to get warm is to wear thick clothes that are specifically made for colder weather.

So, in case of emergencies, you should have a set of clothing that you can use for warmth, like down jackets, sweaters, thick wool socks, and durable pants. This set of clothing will also be useful once you need to leave or evacuate your home. Besides clothes, you will also need to have footwear that can provide not only warmth but also protection against rough terrain, which can be caused by disasters and calamities.

Emergency Shelter

tent and sleeping bags

In situations where you need to evacuate your home because it might be dangerous to stay there for long, you would need to have items that can serve as an emergency shelter if you can’t find a temporary home or a shed where you and your loved ones can rest or sleep. Emergency shelters can come in a variety of forms, but one of the most popular is the survival tent, which is a small tent that is foldable and can be set up in just a matter of minutes. 

However, a tent usually isn’t enough to provide warmth and comfort for most people, so you may also need to get sleeping bags that have thermal properties to keep you warm and comfortable at night. So, whenever you are preparing an emergency kit, don’t forget to add emergency shelter items. These are sleeping bags and survival tents that you may want to prepare in case of emergencies.

  • LYN Instant Emergency Shelter Tent – this survival tent is waterproof and fireproof, so it is safe and durable. In addition, it can also be set up in just a few minutes and can accommodate up to two people.
  • Go Time Gear Life Tent – this compact survival tent can fit in most emergency kits and bags easily because of its small size when folded. Besides being a tent that can fit two people, this product also has a survival whistle that you can use to alert people nearby of your presence.
  • HiHiker Camping Sleeping Bag – this sleeping bag is suitable for both warm and cold temperatures because it retains your normal body temperature while also having double-sided zippers that you can open for extra breathability whenever it is too warm inside the bag.


a heavy-duty multi-tool

Tools are already essential items that you should have at home, but they will become more important for you during emergency situations, as they can be used to fix various damages on items or on specific areas of your home. [1] There are different kinds of tools that you need to have, and these include hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, scissors, and drills.

But, for survival purposes, you will need a survival knife, a survival hatchet (also called a compact axe), and a multi-tool. These tools will provide you with almost everything you need for survival, as they can repair and destroy things while also helping make simple tasks like cutting wood and other materials easier.

Fire-Making Items

Fire-Making Items

In situations where your stove cannot produce fire anymore due to damage or the propane tank or gas line not providing enough to generate fire, you will need to make fire on your own. Fortunately, there are plenty of fire-making items that you can buy online and in DIY stores. A lighter is arguably one of the easiest fire-making items to buy and use, but its longevity relies on how much liquid it still has inside.

On the other hand, there is a specific fire-making item that you can use without the need for oil or gas, and this item is called a “firesteel” or “fire starter.” The firesteel is an item made of a material that can easily generate sparks, and when these sparks come in contact with tinder or wood chips, they can then create fire. In order to generate sparks, the firesteel should be scraped with a knife or scraper, which usually comes with the firesteel. You need to scrape the firesteel multiple times with sufficient pressure at a 30 to a 45-degree angle while it is placed directly above the tinder.

A firesteel and tinder are enough to create a campfire, and this campfire can then be utilized to illuminate the area or to heat up or cook different kinds of food. So, if your primary source of fire and heat doesn’t work anymore, a firesteel and a bag of tinder will be quite handy. Here is a firesteel and a set of tinder that you can use to start a fire for emergency purposes:

  • Bayite 4-Inch Drilled Flint Fire Starter – this simple fire starter already comes with a scraper, so you don’t need a knife anymore to scrape the firesteel and generate sparks. Both the firesteel and the scraper are attached to a paracord so that you can easily use them as a keychain for bags so that you won’t lose them easily.
  • 5col Survival Supply TinderQuick Tabs – these fire-starting tabs are designed to be used with a firesteel. The tabs are made of compressed cotton that can easily generate fire once it comes in contact with the sparks of the firesteel.

Tips for Making an Emergency Kit for Your Home

Tips for Making an Emergency Kit for Your Home

Now that we have finished discussing the different items you should have in your home emergency kit, we can now talk about how to properly store those items so that they are much more organized. Here are tips for making a well-organized emergency kit for your home.

Prepare a Large Bag for Storage

large hiking bag

We have said that an emergency kit can be any size, but it is recommended that it should be large enough to fit a lot of the items we have mentioned above. One of the best forms of storage that you can use for your emergency kit is a hiking bag, which is large enough to fit plenty of items while still being light enough for you to easily carry it during emergency evacuations.

So, if you want to carry emergency items with you quickly after a disaster or calamity strikes, you should store some of them inside a hiking bag. The hiking bag should be made from high-quality materials so that it can carry a lot of weight and last long.

The Emergency Items Should Be Easy to Reach

The emergency items you will store in the pantry or in the hiking bag should always be easy to reach so that you can quickly grab them during or after a natural or man-made disaster. Emergency items that are difficult to reach would just take too much time and effort, especially when you need them immediately or if you want to evacuate your home as quickly as possible.

A trick to easily grab these emergency items is to store them in batches inside plastic containers so that you can just carry those containers with you once you leave home. You can also put a label on these containers so that you can easily identify what items are inside them.

Store Enough Food and Water for Survival

food for survival

You should store enough food and water in your pantry or emergency kit so that you and your loved one will be able to survive for a few days without receiving help after a disaster or calamity occurs. The food and water you store should last for at least one week to one month, although storing water can be much more difficult since it can easily get contaminated.

Once you run out of clean water, you can just use a portable water filtration system so that you can turn dirty water from nearby ponds, lakes, and rivers into drinkable water. Then, as we mentioned earlier, you can store that drinking water in water flasks so that it remains clean for longer, and you can keep them at your desired temperature for hours.

Check the Quality of the Items

Even while surviving for days at home after a disaster or calamity, we shouldn’t settle for subpar items or products in our emergency kit. The tools and other items we need for survival should be made from durable materials so that they can last longer and they won’t break easily.

For food products, you should make sure that they have a long expiration date and that they are actually edible in terms of flavor and taste. The taste of the food usually isn’t necessary when you are just trying to survive, but if you have kids in your family that can be quite picky, you would need canned and dried goods that at least taste good for children.

Read or Watch Reviews of Various Emergency Items and Products

In order for us to have a much easier and faster time checking the quality of different items and products for survival and emergencies, we should read and watch reviews. It is through reviews that we will be able to know more about different products and items, from their pros and cons to their unique features that make them stand out above the rest. So, if an item has bad reviews, then it is most likely that the item isn’t really high-quality and made with care.

Checking products one by one can be very time-consuming, so reviews are great to read or watch since it will only take a few minutes for you to read them, and they will save you a lot of time finding the items you need for your emergency kit. If you don’t have a lot of time to visit stores and find different survival items for sale, you can just check out reviews and buy items online.

And this is the guide to selecting items for emergency situations at home. Create a checklist of the survival items we have mentioned above so that you won’t forget one or two of them. Make a complete emergency kit so that you will be ready for any disaster or calamity that might happen at home or in the area you live in.


[1] The Good Store Blog. 10 Things that Should Be in Your Emergency Kit. The Good Store. Retrieved November 24, 2022, from

[2] Tross, K. (2022, August 10). Emergency Kits 101: How to Be Prepared for Anything. SafeWise. Retrieved November 25, 2022 from