Many retail stores and online outlets sell pre-made survival kits, containing the basic supplies for an emergency, priced from $50 to upwards of $200. However, you can save money by making your own kit, which allows you to include specific items for yourself and members of your family.
Since each family member should have their own pack, put together with each person’s specific needs, a fanny pack is often the best type of bag for a fast, grab and go bag. When packed correctly, each bag will contain enough to get the wearer through the first 24 to 48 hours of an emergency.
Choose a fanny pack that fits comfortably. Always wear fanny packs in front of the body. You can find fanny packs online, in retail stores, and in second hand and thrift shops. Prices range from $1 and up to depending on material. If you sew, there are patterns available.
Each survival pack should contain a flashlight. You should include at least one set of replacement batteries. Small inexpensive flashlights are available in most stores. Batteries should be of high quality, but don’t place them in the flashlight until you need to use it. The cost of the flashlight and batteries can be $3 or less, especially if you shop at the dollar store.
First aid supplies should include band-aids, gauze squares, a small roll of gauze, antibiotic cream and a miniature bar of Dial soap. Each pack should have 72- hours’ worth of over-the-counter medications for diarrhea, vomiting, pain relief and fever reduction, in single dose packs. These medications should be age appropriate.
Anyone who takes daily prescription medications should also include 72-hours worth of their medication along with a copy of the doctors’ prescription. Of course, school age children who take their packs to school should never take any type of medications with them.
Add sunscreen, insect repellent or hand warmers, as your climate or region requires. Lip balm is an important item as it soothes chapped skin as well as lips. Adults should include tweezers, small pair of sharp scissors, a small magnifying glass, and a pair of shoestrings. A shoestring will allow you to make slings, splints and many other items. Most people already have these types of supplies at home so the cost is negligible.
Emergency food supplies include power bars, high protein and granola bars; all high-energy items that store well. MRE meals contain the necessary requirements for survival and provide 1200 – 1500 calories each. Dry energy drink mixes are good to include. They provide additional energy and flavor water. Small children and infants will need dry milk powder or formula and clean water with which to mix it. Replacement food bars range from $1 to $3 and mre meals start at $9. You can find dry energy drink mixes in single-serving packages starting at $1. The average cost is around $5 for each survival fanny pack.
Safe drinking water is a must-have item during an emergency. Water purification tablets ensure that questionable water can be safe for drinking. People need one gallon of water per day. Bottled water should be included in or on your fanny pack. Everyone should have a metal cup for boiling water and one bandana for filtering out larger particles from water. Boiling water makes it safe to drink. Adults should keep matches or a lighter in their packs. You can purchase water purification tablets for around $8.
A space blanket will provide warmth when used as a blanket or used to erect a shelter. Ponchos, heavyweight garbage bags, and painters’ tarps will also provide temporary shelter. You can buy space blankets for about $3 each and painters’ tarps start at $1.
Another way to save money is to buy many of the fanny pack items in bulk, especially if you are putting together several survival kits. Being prepared for an emergency is like having car insurance. No one ever expects to use it, but knowing you having it gives peace of mind.