What’s in Your Survival Kit?

It’s been a surreal weekend in St. Louis. The weather was stunningly beautiful here, yet I know that so many people in Florida, Mexico, and Houston are struggling from floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Also, by the time most people read this, it’ll be the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

There isn’t a place in the world that is 100% safe from natural and human disasters. So I’ve been thinking about my survival kit: The things I should probably have on hand just in case disaster strikes.

I think the most likely scenario in St. Louis is a devastating earthquake (we’re on a fault line). This would disrupt electricity, water, and internet, as well as potentially food and cell service. The goal of my survival kit would be to live for about a week and keep my cats alive.

All I currently have are some spare bottles of water in the fridge. I would need to expand that inventory to include more water, granola/protein bars, and non-perishable goods. Also, maybe a backup power supply for my cell phone? While I could survive without the cell phone, it would certainly help with a lot of things if I had it. Also, maybe a flashlight and a first-aid kit? Duct tape is almost always useful too.

There are a few kits like this available online, but I’m interested to hear if you’ve created a homebrew kit or have any recommendations. Also, it seems quite possible that I may not even have access to the kit if an earthquake destroyed my building. Perhaps I should bury several kits in various places around St. Louis? (I’m only 99% joking.)

7 thoughts on “What’s in Your Survival Kit?”

  1. A water filtration system (like LifeStraw) would be an essential. One of those foil fold up emergency blankets for each family member. Flashlight/batteries. A crank powered radio, do they still make those? Non perishable foods. A knife and multi tool (like a Leatherman). Merino wool socks. Rain jacket. That’s all I can think of of the top of my head of what I SHOULD put in an emergency kit!

  2. Here’s a couple of good links I like the idea of packing a 5 Gallon Bucket with emergency supplies. Think about water, shelter, warmth, light, signalling, tools, and food. Throw in a deck of cards or a small game – distractions can be welcome in a crisis.
    If you really want to get fancy think about a larger kit in a sterilite container to “shelter in place” in case you can’t leave your home (sudden St. Louis ice storm), a more portable kit to evacuate with – maybe a 5 gallon bucket or a backpack or rolling duffel (Mississippi is rising to flood stage and the levees won’t hold), a smaller kit in a large 2 gallon ziplock bag for your car (car failure, massive traffic jam), and a small kit to throw in your bag when you leave the house. Email me if you have questions. Thanks for raising awareness of this. Never hurts to be prepared, and it might save your life.



  3. From a Hurricane Irma Survivor 🙂

    I live in SWFL right where Hurricane Irma decided to travel to…It’s been a crazy week…from preparing for just tropical storm weather because it was going up the east coast to finding out it was going to hit your area at a Category 4 or even 5 hurricane. What I found out is there is lots of prep time when you are facing a hurricane. I worked right up until I went to the house I would be riding out the storm at because we have residential clients to take care of. At the same time I had to get my condo set. Because they were talking about this crazy storm surge (seriously had no idea that all of the water got sucked out into the ocean and then comes back in like crazy) they had me convinced my ground floor condo would be flooded. I packed everything I owned in plastics tubs and shoved as much stuff as I could into my closest (minus large furniture) in hopes to save it. I also was in the first zone they placed under mandatory evacuation. We ended up staying at a house that wasn’t under mandatory evacuation and by some miracle kept power AND internet service throughout the storm. That will forever be where I go when a hurricane hits. My place and car survived with minimal incidents…my biggest issue is no power with no idea of when it will be restored and losing a fridge full of food. So I am very very grateful.

    Here are somethings I learned or made sure I had with me:
    > Important documents: I had my citizenship paperwork, home/car insurance, medical insurance, social security card AND Penny Lanes updated immunizations. If I would have needed to go to a public shelter Penny could come with me but I needed her records. In fact, we somehow got a last minute vet appointment to update everything and get meds.
    > Cash: most places are working with cash only because they are running off of generators and cell phone and internet service are sporadic.
    > Gas in your car: gas stations were closed and are still not fully up and running. Lines have been ridiculously long. My car has been the only way to charge my phone since work was also without power until yesterday.
    > Pets: For Penny I had time to grab her kennel and anything to make her comfortable. She has been dragged around now for almost a week but has been a trooper. You’ll want to make sure you have an easy way to transport your cats. Medication and records if you have to leave. I bought a life jacket for Penny which came in handy when she didn’t want to move because she was scared…I just picked her up by the straps.
    > Communication Plan: My parents knew where I would be and if my location changed I quickly updated them. I also had local people who knew where I would be. At work we had a plan to communicate with staff and I followed up with all 25 of them after the storm passed to make sure they and their families were safe.
    > Small raft: After seeing Houston and hearing about storm surge and flooding here we quickly purchased a couple of small rafts off of Amazon for $20. They would have been perfect if we needed to use them…thankfully we didn’t.

    Even though we had time to prepare and evacuate (left my house but stayed local due to disaster response) it definitely opens your eyes to what you would need if you had to leave quickly. We are day 3 after the storm and the city is slowly getting back up and running. Lots of people, including me, are still without power but we’re safe and at the end of the day that’s what really matters.

    • Laura: Thank you for the detailed look inside survival prep when you know the storm is coming in the near future. This is a fantastic list, as I hadn’t thought about documents and cash. And pets! I’m glad you and Penny are okay.


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