When an emergency arises, you want to make sure that you and your family are safe, but you also want to try to save as many of your valuables as possible. Sometimes during a time of crisis, you only have seconds to react in order for you and your loved ones to escape danger.

That’s why it’s important to have a survival kit handy at all times. Also known as a “bug-out bag,” this kit should contain anything that you would need in the off chance that you lose power or need to leave home for an undetermined amount of time.

Here are the 13 essential items you should put into any survival kit.

During an emergency, the first thing you need to ensure is your safety and the safety of your loved ones. But, if you need to leave your home for an extended period of time, you also want to make sure you have some essential items that will help make the transition easier. Survival kits, also known as “bug-out bags,” are vital in times of crisis. These are 13 must-have items to include in your kit.


1. Important documents: Items such as tax statements, passports and social security cards are things you don’t want destroyed; it can be a huge hassle trying to get replacements. Keep them all in one place so you never have to worry about searching for them.

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2. Prescription medication: When doctors prescribe you medication, it’s crucial to your health that you take it. In some instances, depending on what the medication is for, not having it readily available can be the difference between life and death.


3. First aid kit: These are always good to have because they contain the basic items used for treating wounds or bruises. If someone suffers a minor injury during an emergency, this kit will come in handy to alleviate some of the pain.

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4. Money: If you need to flee your home for some reason, having cash will allow you to buy food, find temporary shelter and purchase anything else you might need. Don’t leave home without at least several hundred dollars in your survival kit.


5. Pre-paid phone card: One of the first things you want to do after an emergency is call your friends or family. This is impossible if your cellphone is destroyed. But, having a phone card with money already on it will allow you to call anyone from anywhere in a timely manner.


6. Matches in a waterproof container: If you happen to find yourself in a situation where you need to make a fire to either cook or warm yourself up, there is no easier way to do it than with matches. But, make sure you keep them in a waterproof container because if they get wet, they’re useless. 


7. Flashlight: Once night rolls around after the electricity goes out, you’re stuck in the dark. But, if you have a flashlight handy, you can give yourself enough visibility to do things like cook, look for food, or locate shelter. A flashlight is a staple of any survival kit.


8. Cables and chargers for phones and personal electronics: We’ve all experienced our phone battery dying when we needed it most. It’s a helpless feeling, but one that’s avoidable if you bring all the necessary power cords to make sure your electronics stay fully charged!


9. Whistle: During a natural disaster, you may have to wait days for help to arrive. And when it does, you want to make sure that rescuers can locate you without wasting any precious time. The piercing sound of a whistle is louder than most people can scream, and it can alert authorities of your whereabouts.


10. Weather radio: Knowing what the weather is going to be like is very helpful so you can make the necessary preparations for it. You always want to be one step ahead of Mother Nature or else a bad situation can get much worse.


11. Food and bottled water: This one seems obvious, but during an emergency, you’re thinking of so many things at once that you may very well forget about these necessities. Don’t overdo it, but definitely have items like granola bars and water at your disposal in case food is temporarily unavailable elsewhere.


12. Extra sets of keys: Misplacing your home or car keys is such a hassle. But, making copies of them at your local hardware store is cheap, and it will help alleviate the stress of not being able to take shelter in your house or operate your motor vehicle if you need to drive to safety.


13. Baby supplies: Obviously, if you don’t have children, this one doesn’t apply to you. But if you do, their well-being needs to be your number one concern. Keep diapers and baby food on hand so your little ones stay healthy and safe.


As long as you keep these 13 items in your survival kit, you’ll be ready for any emergency that comes your way.

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