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The 33$ Emergency Preparedness Kit

Being prepared can be the difference between having control over your own destiny - and your destiny being at the mercy of circumstances, the elements, or others.

An emergency bag is a good thing to have on hand either in the house, or in the trunk of a vehicle - especially if you are leaving on a trip.

I have read about people who died when their car went down, or they got lost. A little preparation may have helped save them and their loved ones. As is said - when disaster strikes there is no longer time to prepare.

This bag cost me 33$, mostly in items purchased at the dollar store. Although, I admit that's being a little creative - I had a few items on hand which I didn't need to buy.

I provided my own:

  • Paperback book

  • Multifunction Knife (i.e. multitool)

  • Food (food bars and long shelf-life meat snacks)

  • Water bottles

  • A few water purifier tablets

  • Good ziplock bags (freezer bags, not the sandwich ones - they are weak and not waterproof)

  • Heavy duty garbage bags

  • Survival guide reference book (The SAS Survival Handbook, if you're curious.)

  • Bag to hold it all

With the exception of the stuff I already had on hand, I got it all from the 1$ store. In fact, I made it a point to get as much as possible from the dollar store.

Kit Contents

This bag is not as compact as some commercial ones I have seen advertised, and it has a couple inadequacies (the radio for example is FM only, but really should be AM/FM ideally) but it has a couple extras too, and I think overall it's pretty damn good, considering. It all fits in a normal-size backpack.

I went for something that could be suitable for either being stranded in a car, or being more seriously lost or otherwise screwed. If you're mostly sitting around you don't need as much food and water. If you think you might need to do work, you should include more food and water.

Also, I live in the Great White North, so naturally keeping warm gets some extra attention in my packlist. For someone in, say, Arizona or Texas it's probably not as much of a concern.

The kit contains:

  • Long lasting candles (can even help heat a car interior - just remember to have ventilation!)

  • Radio and spare batteries (should be AM/FM but my radio is FM only)

  • Bottled water (6 bottles is minimum for 2 people I think)

  • Food (granola/breakfast bars, and some meat snacks for variety)

  • Water purifier tablets (they are tiny, so why not)

  • Sanitary napkins (I read that these are sterile and also make serviceable compression bandages in a medical emergency)

  • Hand/body warmers

  • Toilet paper

  • Firestarters

  • Matches in a waterproof container (two packs also in a ziplock to be extra safe)

  • 2 toothbrush/toothpaste combos

  • Little first aid kit (bandaids, tape, gauze, that sort of thing)

  • Ziplock of tylenol in a waterproof case

  • Latex gloves

  • Scissors, Tweezers

  • Wet-naps

  • Multifunction knife

  • Flashlight, batteries

  • 2 heavy duty garbage bags

  • 3 heavy duty ziplocks

  • Nylon rope

  • LED keychain light

  • Tarp

  • Crowbar (yes, this was 1$!)

  • Leather work gloves

  • Waterproof work gloves

  • Duct tape

  • 2 Bug head nets

  • 2 emergency rain ponchos

  • 2 emergency blankets

  • Deck of cards

  • Book

And of course, a bag or backpack to pack this all in.


As mentioned above, I included sanitary napkins because I read that they are individually packed, sterile, and make serviceable compression bandages in a medical emergency.

Well, I received an email from a fellow who was kind enough to confirm that for me. He told me that, as a police officer in the 70's, they were also first responders and they carried sanitary napkins in their kits for exactly this purpose.

"I can't tell you how many times I used [them] to stop major bleeding," he wrote.

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