From our good friends at Survival Cave Food!
Disaster Preparedness Kit for $25
Putting together a kit that is supposed to prepare you for any kind of disaster can seem like a daunting task, but putting together your own kit can be beneficial if you ever do need one. There are many sites offering pre-packed kits, but the best thing to do is to tailor one to your specifications and needs. This will not only provide the supplies that you need for an emergency, but will also give you peace of mind knowing what you have and making sure that you know how to use everything inside.
The essentials for a survival kit include: water, food, flashlight, battery powered radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, multi-purpose tool, sanitary and personal hygiene items, cell phones with chargers, copies of important documents, family and emergency contact information, maps of the area, medications and extra cash. Some of these items will not cost you much, if anything at all and many others you tend to stock around your home anyway. Still, putting a kit like this together for $50 will be a challenge. Start with the free things like your family and emergency information. Take a piece of notebook paper and write down your emergency contacts and family including their phone numbers. It seems now days that nobody really knows phone numbers and addresses because we depend so much on our smart phones. Look up evacuation routes and shelter information online and include this on the paper. Make copies of all of your important papers such as birth certificates, deeds, titles, etc. I would suggest laminating all of these including your emergency contact information.
Next, go around you home and collect extras that you may have lying around, such as a roll or two of toilet paper and other sanitary items, a bar of soap, toothpaste and a toothbrush, even over the counter medication such as aspirin. Your cell phone and charger, as well as prescription medications will be something you grab as you leave, and these are expenses you have budgeted already. You really have a good start now and have not spent any money!
When shopping for the remaining items on your list keep in mind that some things can be found at thrift stores or garage sales, and will work perfectly for what you need. A multi-purpose tool, a flashlight and a battery powered radio are all potentially great yard sale finds! Look in your local paper, or even on Craigslist for garage sales in your area.
Batteries, food and water are new purchases and need to be rotated fairly regularly. The Red-Cross recommends 1 gallon of water per person per day but keep in mind this is for drinking. You will need to allocate much more for washing and sanitation. As for food, cheap foods are usually loaded with carbs and this is a good thing for an emergency situation. Dried noodle meals are good (with a fire source and pot), or you could stock up on dehydrated meals and canned goods. Maps of the area would also be best purchased and updated annually, as roads change frequently. Too many of us now do not even own a map because we depend so much on our digital navigation, but if that goes down, how will we get around? These are relatively inexpensive and easily available online or at a local book store.
Finally, your first aid kit is necessary. These can be purchased at a retail location and are somewhat inexpensive, but I recommend that you assess your needs in a first aid kit and make that decision on your own. It is easy to build your own, and many items may already be around your house.
Of all of these items, food, water and batteries should be your biggest expenses, but if you are only packing for a day or two all of these items can be assembled easily for less than $50. This is a pretty basic bag, and you always want to take into account any special circumstance you may have, such as babies in the house and don’t forget about your pets! That being said, this bag is very inexpensive and a good start to preparing yourself for an emergency situation.