To assemble a kit that's perfectly customized for you, just scroll through our recommended products below and choose the ones that are right for you. You can click on each item to see a more complete listing along with a mini product review and why we chose these, or simply add it to your cart and checkout on Amazon.
Now let's get to it:
1. Choose a backpack:
You'll want a solid, well-built backpack roomy enough to hold the things you'll need , and you want one for each adult and one for the kids. We recommend having one in your car as well.
2. Now select the right First Aid Kit:
Each of these kits come with the essential items without adding useless extras. We like one for your main Go!Bag and others for your car or dorm or office, but all of these are great choices.
3. Let there be light:
We absolutely recommend this LED headlamp. Get one for each member of the family. The are bright, long-lasting, and let you work hands-free. But we also recommend this set of 4 aluminum flashlights (or torches). They're inexpensive and can come in handy in a lot of places. Finally, we recommend this set of glow sticks, another great source of long-lasting light.
4. Speaking of water:
You should have a supply of drinking water on hand, and 2 liters a day will do it. Keeping a big bottle of water next to your Go!Bag is good. People worry that bottled water won't keep, but properly sealed it should last at least a year, or longer. We recommend having some purification ability just in case. Read our complete article on water here.
5. Keeping warm and dry:
One thing for sure, you can't count on good weather in a emergency.
6. Useful tools:
We like having a multi-tool on hand as well as duct tape, which has a million uses. We like the 24-1 multitool in our main Go!Bag and the stainless one in our car kit. And a set of bungees can perform miracles from bundling things together to making shelter with your poncho.
7. Personal Care:
An N-95 rated dust mask is a must. A box of wipes can wash hands, faces and other places to keep you fresh. Most of the items in your personal care kit you assemble at home. These just make it easy. Read our article on making a great personal care kit here.
- Personal Care
8. Stay Charged:
Extra AAA batteries to help keep your headlamp and flashlights powered up. But we think it's a real necessity to include a wall charger for your phones and tablets, as well as a universal connector so you keep your critical communication devices charged. The power bank can charge 2 devices at once, and if you really want to be able to function off-grid, the folding solar panel will help.
You can go days without food and we don't subscribe to the hype of "emergency" food. Read our article on Food here. That said, a handful of nuts and raisins and some peanut butter can keep you going for days.
About our methodology
We spent hours reviewing materials from FEMA (the US Federal Emergency Management Agency), the Red Cross, the Humane Society as well as a host of other government and non-governmental organizations to put together the checklist of necessary items. We then spent many more hours reviewing products. We look for quality, completeness without overkill, high customer ratings, and price. We read the customer reviews and note their experience. And of course, these are the items we personally bought.