Generally speaking, the main difference between an emergency preparedness kit and a bugout bag, is that bugout bags are usually more complex and functional than your typical emergency preparedness kit. Bugout bags are mostly intended for escape(hence the “bugout”), movement and survival until a safe location(usually a pre-established location) is reached. This could be well after the 72 hour mark and it also has the tools to produce and procure essentials like food & water. See our battle proven bugout bag here.
An emergency preparedness kit, would typically include essential equipment and supplies to keep you going for 72-hours if you are caught in the middle of a disaster. This makes this type of kit easier to replicate in multiple locations (Ie, Office, Car, Etc)
Below is a list of out top 10 essentials for your emergency preparedness kit:
"It is never a bad idea to prepare for an emergency. The kinds of things you need to prepare for will change depending on where you live, but everyone needs to have an emergency preparedness kit.
While you can last for several weeks without food, the same is not true for water. If it is cool, 10 days without hydration is considered the limit. Taking that into account, it is a good idea to have one gallon of water per person, per day. The problem with water is that it is relatively heavy. One gallon of water weighs just over eight pounds, but trust us, all that weight is definitely worth it. Read more.
2. Cordage & Tape
Rope is also useful for camping, especially if you find yourself in a survival situation.
I prefer 550 parachute cord. It's lightweight, strong, and takes up little space. I am always wearing a paracord bracelet and usually bring an extra one camping, in addition to a large length of unused paracord. My extra bracelet has a side release buckle which makes it easy to attach to a strap on my pack. (Related: 101 Uses for Paracord) One neat property of 550 paracord is how it lengthens when wet. This is useful when you need a tight hold on something. Get it wet, then secure the object. When the cord dries, it will tighten. This is great for making grips on walking sticks and fixed bladed knives.
- hoisting food to keep away from wildlife
- building emergency shelter
- making splint for broken bones
- lashing poles
- tent repair
- attaching gear to pack
- fishing line
- trap for hunting
How long can you go without food? The most common answer is between 4 to 6 weeks. Though, this depends largely on a person’s initial health. Regarding the emergency preparedness kit, it is a good idea to have a three day supply of food per person. The food shouldn’t need to be refrigerated or cooked. Some good ideas of the food to pack include:
There are two things to keep in mind when packing bedding: staying warm and keeping dry. Even in the driest environment, moisture is likely to form overnight and soak through the fabric of a cloth blanket. Invest in a water-repellent blanket and a tarp to protect yourself from moisture. A space blanket can be an ideal addition to an emergency it. Space blankets help you retain your body temperature, keep out the rain and wind and are compact and light. Read more
Clothing is one of the most difficult items to pack because it takes up space and requires planning for everything. It is a good idea to have two shirts – short and long sleeves – a pair of trousers, a jacket, socks and under garments. And that is just covering the bare essentials since you don’t know what time of year it is going to be. At the very least have a jacket and a change of socks. Having warm, dry feet every night makes it easier to sleep and will keep you warmer overall. Read more
6. Lighting & Fire
There are various ways to get light when the power's out, including flashlights, lamps, flares and candles. Make sure you have spare batteries or matches. There are some flashlights and lamps that are powered either using a solar panel or a crank. These can be a great way to make sure you have light without worrying about corroded batteries.
For fire, always pack water-proof matches so you can start a fire if you need to. The matches should be placed in a water-proof container for extra protection, and they should be kept all together. Read more
7. First Aid Kit
We can’t stress the importance of this one enough. Having a first aid kit is vital in an emergency. Some of the items to included are:
8. Cash & IDs
While they don’t have to stay in the kit at all times, they should be close at hand and be in a water-proof container. During times of disaster it is probably unlikely that you will be able to find a workable ATM, so it is a good idea to have some cash stored in the kit as well. This can be used to purchase supplies or gas if needed. Read more
You never know when you are going to need to dig yourself or your vehicle out of the snow or mud, or when you will need to build a fire pit or a solar still in the wilderness. Either way there is not a good substitute for a sturdy, well made shovel you can rely on.
10. Knife (Full Tang Fixed & Folding).
Knives have so many uses in every day camp activities and life in general. If you find yourself in a survival situation, your chances of survival are infinitely increased with a knife. I always have a pocket knife on me for everyday use and camping.
Fixed blade knives are ideal. They are more durable and resilient than folding knives as they do not have mechanical movement. They are also better for cutting large objects such as branches. Folding knives are great for a backup and less demanding tasks. Read more
- cutting rope
- creating weapons
- opening packages
- boredom relief
- creating fire starters (ie: bow drill)
- building emergency shelters (cutting branches, cutting tarp, etc)
- cutting cloth for bandages (if you don't have a first aid kit)
- cutting bandages
- so much more; you discover many more uses through experience