Emergency Kit

It’s been on our todo list for a long time to put together some kind of emergency kit (in case of earthquakes or other natural disasters). It all started with a trip to the Container Store a few weeks ago. While we were there, we decided to buy an extra 41.2qt watertight tote for that emergency kit we’d always been talking about.

Watertight Tote from the Container Store

I figured I’d find a list on one of those emergency prep websites, pick up a few things, and be done with it. Turns out it was a little more challenging than that. They all basically say the same thing: “In an emergency it could be several days before basic services are restored. A good rule of thumb is to have supplies for about 3 days, or 72 hours.” Think about that for a second. Imagine all the food you’re going to eat over the next 3 days. Now make it all non-perishable. Multiple that by two or more if you’re a couple or have kids. Yikes!

The ah-ha moment was when I realized that staying alive for 72 hours is kind of like camping—which is something I have experience with! Which meant instead of buying a bunch of canned goods and a can opener, we got a bucket of Mountain House meals, a pot, a stove, and a gas tank. Hot chocolate, tea, and instant espresso were our treats. Of course there’s the usual array of toiletries and first-aid items. The most exciting purchase (and something I’ve never bought before) was a fire extinguisher. In fact I ended up buying two: one for the kitchen and one for the kit.

After several weeks, we finally picked up everything on our list. Figure this might be helpful, informative, and/or amusing to someone else out there thinking about doing the same thing.


Great idea! I’d throw a radio in there. One that includes shortwave if you’re getting spendy. Cell phone/internet services can be (and sometimes are) shut down pretty easily but radio seems to endure. I’d probably throw in a thumb drive of document scans, too, planning for internet to go down and various laptop problems.

Great suggestion. I just ordered one of these: Eton FRX1 Radio.

“Test drove” the instant espresso on our Thanksgiving camping trip and discovered we’d omitted one key item: sugar! Added two packets per person per day to the list.


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