The Checklists

A Basic Emergency Kit

Below you will find a basic checklist of what I feel is a fairly well prepared emergency kit. You should use this only as a guide, and not as "the" definitive list. Your own list should be adjusted to your individual needs and abilities. This one is particularly tailored to low-budget, time-impacted households, and may not include that 10,000 watt portable gasoline generator, or a year's supply of nitrogen packed dehydrated food for a family of six.

When I have listed an item that has a considerable cost associated with it, I have tried to indicate it with the "$" symbol. In general, that means that if you can wing it, it's a worthwhile investment. Please note that a great many of these items may be things that you already have or use day to day. You do not necessarily have to get duplicates of things to store in your "survival pack." In fact, unless your house burns to the ground, you may only need to go down your list once in a while (say once a month) and check to be sure you're current. A rotation system is a good idea to keep your food fresh, the same principle can apply to non-food items as well. Many of the items on these lists come from a number of different sources. Please forgive the lack of citation.

Full Medical Kit

I've tried to put together a list that is practical for the budget-impaired. It's not easy. Medical supplies are big bucks. One thing that was pointed out to me was that your medical kit should be tailored to you and your family. There's not much sense in spending the dough for a full surgical set-up if you can't see yourself performing surgery. The obvious response is, "Better to be prepared and have it if you need it." Yeah, sure, but that same $150 buys a whole lot of food. It's true that I might need to have my appendix removed by my next door neighbor, but it's a lot more likely that I will starve to death while I wait.

This is a modified version of one published by:
Medicine for the Outdoors: A Guide to Emergency Medical Procedures and First-Aid
by Paul S. Auerbach, M.D.

Understand, that I have added and subtracted items, and the good doctor would probably not approve. Even so, Doctor Auerbach probably makes a lot more than I do, and can afford the items in his list. I, on the other hand, have compared his list to many others and have tried to include the items that appear to be the "critical" ones.

Small Medical Kit

Why have a "small" medical kit? Because you might need something that you can throw into a backpack or carry in your car.


I'm still working on this one too... For a general discussion see the section called (surprise!) "food". I have a feeling that this is going to end up as a list of items not to forget rather than a list of my favorite foods. Things like:

Family Task List

  1. Check to make sure everyone is unhurt and accounted for.

  2. Turn off the gas.

  3. Check on your neighbors. If necessary, turn off their gas (especially if they live in the apartment next door!).

  4. Locate the pets, but don't panic if you can't find them. Animals are smart. They may run and hide when things start falling off the walls, but they will be looking for your friendly face as soon as they get hungry again.

  5. Turn off the water, only after the possibility of fire has been taken care of. Why should you turn off your water at all? Because a cracked pipe could be dumping gallons of the stuff all over your livingroom each second. Once you have determined that you don't have a leak, turn your water back on.

  6. When you can, call a relative to let them know you are okay. Have them call anyone else who needs to know. Don't tie up the local phone lines, as everyone else in the area may be trying to do the same thing.

Carry-out Pack List

A carry-out pack is simply emergency "camping" gear that has been neatly stowed into some form of highly portable container that can be grabbed on-the-fly in the event that your house becomes suddenly unsafe.

There are a number of ways to set this up, from a rolled up blanket, all the way to a full hiking pack. Whatever you use, a carry-out pack should be light enough for you to handle with one hand, and not so bulky that you can't get it out of your house in a hurry without knocking things off the shelves and walls.

Where space, weight and budget allow, try to include the following:

If you can think of something that I have missed, then drop me a note at: .

Yup, that's the end alright...