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Make Your Own Emergency Car Kit And 72 Hour Pack

January 31, 2011 by  

Make Your Own Emergency Car Kit And 72 Hour Pack

Emergency kits are very important because they can save your life.

To be properly prepared you should make two kits, one goes in your car and the other goes in your house to be kept somewhere handy, so you could grab it and go if necessary. These kits are a challenge to make because you want to pack everything necessary for survival, yet make it as lightweight as possible so it is easy to carry.

The Car Kit
I got stranded one time in the middle of the night on a freeway. My friend and I had to walk about a mile. We found a flashlight that was very weak. It was frightening to walk that far in the dark, and it was very cold. At that moment I decided that I would get a car kit and be prepared in case that ever happened again.

A car kit can be put together with items from around the house, or you can purchase the items needed. Gather in one place all items that you have and place them in a container that can be kept in the trunk of the vehicle or the back of a truck. A container with a tight-fitting lid is important so no moisture gets into the kit. You will need to add to this list for personal items that you and your family may need.

The following items should be in a car kit. It contains a list of items to get you started, but the list should be tailored to fit your needs:

  • Three-day supply of water.
  • Lightweight wool blanket and emergency reflective blanket
  • Three-day supply of emergency food and snacks for several people.
  • A small stove such as a Jetboil® with fuel if your kit contains meals that need to be cooked. (Such as the eFoods meals I talk about in the article.) Mountain House® pre-packaged meals and MRE’s (meals ready to eat) are good for the kit.
  • Waterproof matches.
  • Sharp pocket or multipurpose knife.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • 100-Hour Candle.
  • Road flares or light sticks.
  • Reflectors.
  • Extra car fuses.
  • Tire chains (if you live in a region that sees snow).
  • Tools and a small shovel.
  • Hand and body warmers.
  • First aid kit.
  • Waterproof ponchos.
  • Toilet paper and baby wipes.
  • Emergency Money — $20 in quarters and small change.
  • Extra money in small bills like $10s, $5s and $1s.

Tip: Did you know that if you get stranded in a snowstorm or stuck somewhere cold, you can cut up the seats in your vehicle and take out the foam padding and wrap it around your feet, hands, head and other places that lose most body heat the fastest? You can then tie it up the wraps with a shoelace or other fabric of some sort. It could save your life.

72-Hour Emergency Kit
A 72-hour emergency kit is designed to contain the items that you would need to survive for a three-day period. This kit should be tailored to fit your families’ needs.

Each family member should have his own kit. This could also be called a “Bugout Kit” or a “Grab and Go Kit.” During many types of disasters it is common to ask people to evacuate their homes quickly. Many times people live in temporary quarters such as public schools or emergency evacuation sites. You may only have one minute to grab your belongings and go. You need to think very seriously about what you would need. Store the 72-hour kits so you can get to them quickly and easily.

You can purchase a pre-made 72-hour kit with a lot of great products in it at my Website or you can make your own kit by going around your house and accumulating the items that would be most helpful in an emergency. In many instances you already have these items in your home. It’s just a matter of collecting them into a plastic tote, suitcase with rollers or a backpack.

Think about an emergency situation in your community. If you were left without water, lights or heat and no way to cook or stay warm, what would you need to survive in your home? If you were forced to evacuate your home, what would you need to take with you? Make your list. What you choose must be easy to carry and as lightweight as possible in case you have to walk.

As you make your list, you might be surprised that you have most of what’s needed. All you have to do is get it together, put it in a plastic tote, suitcase with rollers or backpack and keep it in a closet or somewhere easy to get to in an emergency. You must tailor make this 72-hour kit for each individual person. Don’t forget important medications, warm socks, hats, gloves, warm clothing, a coat and a lightweight blanket. These things are all on the list. Having this 72-hour kit ready will give you a great deal of peace of mind. The following list will give you ideas. Assemble one kit per person:

  • Backpack, suitcase with rollers or plastic tote (to put the kit in).
  • Personal medication (extra supply).
  • One gallon of water per person or 12 water pouches.
  • Water purification tablets or ION water treatment.
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio.
  • Lightweight wool blanket or space blanket.
  • Waterproof matches.
  • Can opener (if needed).
  • Flashlight with batteries.
  • Multipurpose pocket knife.
  • 50 feet of nylon cord.
  • Tube tent shelter.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Small first aid kit.
  • Candles.
  • Emergency light source or light stick.
  • Warm socks and clothing.
  • Warm gloves and hat.
  • Warm coat.
  • Paper plates and cups.
  • Plastic utensils.
  • Small cook stove with fuel (Preferably the Jetboil®).
  • Pens and small notebook.
  • Money in coins and small bills (enough for three days).
  • Hand warmers.
  • Personal sanitary items.
  • Lightweight poncho.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Two (at least) plastic garbage bags.
  • Whistle.
  • Hard tack candy.
  • Food that is easy to cook or ready to eat, non-perishable and lightweight, three days per person. I especially like the eFoods Global meals because they are ready to go. Just add water, boil for 15 minutes and eat. These foods can be purchased here.

Tailor the kits for each person. If you are making it for an elderly person, child or animal, you need to really think it through and add all necessary items that that are needed.

I like to keep a bottle of ION water treatment in my 72-hour pack and my purse at all times. If food or water is questionable, it can be treated with eight drops of ION per cup. It will kill all harmful bacteria.

For Children, add these extra things to a child’s pack

  • Books to read.
  • Games or puzzles.
  • Coloring book.
  • Small stuffed animal.
  • Comfort foods.
  • Warm clothing, hats, gloves and a warm coat.
  • Warm blanket (lightweight)

For Babies, add these extra things:

  • Baby carrier, such as a backpack or front pack.
  • Diapers.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Water.
  • Juices.
  • Formula.
  • Baby food.
  • Rice cereal.
  • Bottles.
  • Toys.
  • Spoon.
  • Blanket.
  • Extra clothing
  • Warm coat, hat and gloves

For the family pet, add these things:

  • Pet carrier if necessary.
  • Pet food for three days.
  • Water.
  • Warm Blanket.

The most difficult thing to carry is water because of its weight. Purified water pouches are available and easy to carry in a backpack (12 per person) or a heavy plastic bottle full of water can be easily carried (the 2-liter soda bottles are the best).

Space blankets are lightweight and will keep you warm. A lightweight wool blanket is the best.

Making your own 72-hour kit or car kit can save you money because it is just a matter of gathering supplies into one location. Take an inventory of what you have and what you need. Purchase the items that you need and keep your 72-hour kit in a place where you can grab it and go if necessary. All of the information in this article was taken from my book, Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook.

If you need pre-made 72-hour kits or other preparedness supplies, and books on the subject of food storage and survival you can visit my website here.

Emergency Food For Short Term And Long Term Storage

If you need food that is easy to prepare by just adding water, click here and watch the three-minute video. Then you can purchase the food online in two different packages: A Variety Pack or an Essentials Package. The variety pack has 72 servings of 18 different soups, entrees, and breakfasts. The Essentials package includes three cartons of the prepackaged meals which includes 380 servings of 27 soups, 24 entrees, six breakfasts, and four baked goods. You can also sign up for the once a month Variety Pack.

This will auto-ship food to you each month. After one year you will have a stockpile of 15 boxes with 1,152 servings of good quality food. That comes out to about .91 cents per serving. If you can boil water, you can make an eFoods meal. They were designed to be simple enough for a child to make.

I am very impressed with their food. It is dehydrated, not freeze-dried, so the prices are very reasonable. Each package of food is ready to go with everything except the water. It only takes 15-20 minutes to cook and it’s done. The food is delicious. The packages feed two to four people and come packed in Mylar® bags for long-term storage of up to 15 years. The cooking instructions are on each package.

I use this food every day and it really helps me save money at the grocery store because I don’t impulse-buy any more. You can use it every day, store it for an emergency or share it with others.

Please call me if you have any questions about the program. I can be reached at 435-835-0311 or cell 435-851-0777 in Utah. The Website explains the entire program and has photos of the food. To check it out, simply click here. Email me here. To purchase my books or any of the other preparedness items I sell go to my website.

Peggy Layton

a home economist and licensed nutritionist, holds a B.S. in Home Economics Education with a minor in Food Science and Nutrition from Brigham Young University. Peggy lives in Manti, Utah with her husband Scott. Together they have raised seven children. Peggy owns and operates two businesses: One called "The Therapy Center", where she is a licensed massage therapist and hypnotherapist, and the other an online cookbook and preparedness products business. She is nationally known for publishing a series of seven books on the subject of food storage and also lectures and teaches seminars about preparedness and using food storage products. Peggy practices what she preaches, has no debt, grows a huge garden, lives off the land, raises chickens, bottles and dehydrates food and has time left over to operate her businesses. To check out Peggy's cookbooks and self sufficiency products go to her website To get a free sample of three different storable meals that have a 15-year shelf life go here.

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  • Charles

    Thank you! I have alreaady started to do so, but will be adding to the list. Thanks again!!!

    • Granny Mae

      All of this sounds real good and I have always had an emergency kit in my car but to have everything listed I would have to carry a small trailer with me all the time just to be safe!!! First of all to carry extra meds. with me in my car it wouldn’t take long before they would not be good to take. In my area it gets very hot in my car every day, so to leave medicine and fuel for cooking etc. is very dangerous. Now if I were planning a long distant trip I would and have taken my bug out back pack. But to keep most of these things in my car everyday is not something I will do for safety sake ! I have had temps. inside my car regester over 100 degrees just sitting in my carport! Candles would melt long before I could use them. Food would go bad in a couple month if not a couple weeks. Have you ever drank water that has been sitting in your car for several months? YUK! Candy that has been left in the heat gets all stuck together, even the hard kind. I have already done all of this and took most of it out of my car unless I am going out of town or out of state. Then I will put things in the car for my safety but to carry all of this stuff all the time in my car is just rediculas. I can see some of this stuff especially in the winter time up north but in the south it goes bad. I had coats fade in color on the sides that were exposed to the air and color stay dark in the areas that were folded under. Most of this stuf would only be usable if you stayed with your car but who in the heck is going to carry all this stuff if you have to get out and walk? Most people are in such poor shape they would be lucky to carry themselves not to mention a back pack with food and water and a tent and candles and toilet paper and so forth. I think when it comes to your safety kit in the car you should adhere to the KISS formula. Keep it simple stupid ! If I’m bugging out that is a different storry but just for safety in the car everyday KISS it !

      • MNNorth

        Good for you Granny Mae. Right on. If I bug out and can’t use the car, I will have to walk 15 miles to get to a relative. I have 2 animals and they would not be left behind so I’m already pulling 20# with one hand and have a backpack strapped on my shoulders. I’m not sure how far one can walk (even if it’s good weather) at my age but I will try. Today it’s 15 below zero in the wind so walking is not an option. Weather man says exposed flesh will freeze in 15 minutes. Should it be necessary for me to leave in a hurry, I pray it’s in better weather and my car will work.

        • Granny Mae


          Boy you folks have sure been getting hit hard up there ! I pray you don’t have to bug out in the winter time too ! Just make sure you have a good set of tire chains! With my luck I would have to bug out in the middle of the summer when it is so hot you can’t take a breath ! There is one thing I think everyone should carry in the car and with them everywhere and that is an umbrella. Believe it or not it can give you a form of shelter in any kind of weather. After Hurricane Katrina I saw so many of those poor people on the over pass with no shelter from the sun or the rain or even the dew at night. With an umbrella they could have at least had a little bit of comfort from the sun and heat ! Even in the winter it can give some relief from the snow as long as the wind isn’t blowing real hard ! I live out in the country and if things get ruff this is where I’m staying. I don’t want to be out on the roads trying to get to a hide away in the mountains or woods etc. I may have to contend with some towns people if they come out this far but we will do what we have to do. I can’t travel with 5 cats and a bunch of chickens and rabbits and so on, so here is where we will stay ! Besides this is where my family know to look for me, and I have a few neighbors close by that may need to be taken care of. I don’t think they have prepared and they have little ones ! I was watching the news about Egypt and there is a good example of what could take place here if it came to civil unrest ! Those people havent been paid in over a week and the stores are closed and the banks are closed. Some of the people have been approached by others asking them to go and make trouble in the town and if they do they will recieve $100.00 and a bag of groceries! Most said no to begin with but then the moms said that they would have to do it so they could feed the children. The kids were starving and needed to eat ! This is something to think about and prepare for among other things. All I know is I’m doing a lot of praying these days. Also still canning everyday. I try to put up something a couple times a week. Even if it is just to make a big pot of soup and can that ! Tomorrow I will be making summer sausage from deer meat and on the week-end I will be making pork sausage from a wild pig my oldest son got while hunting last week-end. It will all get canned. There will be plenty for us and a few extras too !
          God Bless !

        • http://?? Joe H.

          granny Mae,
          Hope I can still catch you. Do you check your levels?? If you get strips in the little plastic container, put some matches in those. the lid is full of dessicant and the matches will stay dry!!! I have two of them full in my car!

          • Granny Mae

            Joe H.

            Very good advice ! I never thought of that ! Good advice ! Thanks !

  • John GrosVenor

    A brief note>
    Instead of matches, I went to a “quality” tobacco
    Store and bought a butane PIPE LIGHTER .

    The flame comes out of the side thus, you don’t burn your fingers
    I paid about $12.00

    Also, I bought a can of butane to re-fill the lighter for
    about $5.00

    • Richard Pawley

      Great for convenience but don’t forget matches for trading. When Yugoslavia broke up into several smaller countries matches were one of the major things that were in demand. The chaos they had lasted for years and I will not be surprised if, when they kill the dollar, it will take years to straighten out the mess we are in. I heat and cook with propane, and I use empty fire starters which still spark for a long time to light the stove. Not familiar with a pipe lighter but will look into it. Sounds expensive unless you can get a lot of lights. The fire starters I use are usually a 1.50 each and sometimes can be found for a dollar, although I haven’t kept track how many times they light.

  • Tom Proctor

    Don’t forget 2 or 3 rolls of duct tape!!! It can be used for just about anything. A can of WD40 or two would not hurt either.

    • bob wire

      I was wondering if duct tapes was going to be left out Tom. You are a very wise man. Three rolls is some serious make do for sure.

      Don’t be caught without at least one roll.

      I can think of only one other item that I have found useful in a pinch and that is a bandanna. A large red one preferably.

      They are great for so many things, keeping a cold draft from going down your collar. Protecting the neck or head in summer and winter, protecting wounds and sprangs. Keeping yourself clean, protecting the hands, marking trails, and along with the duct tapes, wrapping water hoses. A good piece of fabric has endless uses when you are in a pinch and caught out.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      you can even spray your lures with WD40 as an attractant!! Try it, it works!

      • Granny Mae

        Joe H.

        I have heard that for years but wonderd if it really did work, now you are the third person to have said that this week so I bet it does really work !

        • http://?? Joe H.

          Granny Mae,
          I have caught Bass and Trout on lures sprayed with WD40.

          • Granny Mae

            I’m going to make my husband try that ! He is the only person I know of that can go fishing over and over and not catch anything ! LOL !
            WD40 here I come !

  • Dale

    I know that its not politically correct but, a firearm is an important part of a kit. One simple reason is that if you have these items in an emergency someone may want to take them from you, because they have nothing. Also if stranded in certain areas there is wildlife that would like to use you for their food. Several firearm companys make their own survival kits, Smith & Wesson has handguns in their kits, and Mossberg has a 12 gauge shotgun in a kit. There is also a couple of .22 rifles that come apart and are packed in a carry case, the Henry AR 7 and the Marlin Papoose come to mind. With a .22, 12 gauage, and a handgun you can protect yourself from man or beast and feed your self too. A good lock blade or fixed blade hunting knife would also be invaluable

    • Grey Wolf

      Dale, you’re right about having firearms. In this day & age you may actually have to defend yourself & loved ones in the event of an allout emergency which would include both natural disasters & civil uprisings. A good choice of “heat” when the inevitable strikes!

  • Cribster

    Pardon me if I overlooked it but a roll of fishing line can come in handy for all sorts of uses.

    • bob wire

      yea and a few small hooks, ~ I’ve found them most difficult to duplicate in a pinch, leaving you to make traps or spear fish. A lot of hard work.

  • MAC10



    • Richard Pawley

      Ha ha! A word of wisdom, and a question the entire class missed when the professor in political science asked the class I was in more then 40 years ago, “What is the most important thing that the Pilgrims brought with them?” No one said “an axe” and the professor pointed out that without it they could have done none of the things you mentioned.

      • Granny Mae

        Richard Pawley,

        That is so true! The trouble with most of these city slickers today is they may not know how to use an ax ! Some are going to find life real difficult at first because they are not in shape for that kind of activity ! Maybe we should tell them to make sure they have a big jar of icy hot on hand ! My husband cleared about another two acres for garden this last year and had to cut down about 7 big trees ! It has taken months to take care of the wood and now he is working on the stumps and roots ! Wow, that is quite a job for a 75 year old man ! He is hand digging down around the stumps and hosing the dirt off the roots so they don’t ruin the chain on the chain saw so fast and then he gets a big chain around the stump and roots and then hooks the whole thing up to our big old truck and pulls them out ! It has taken him about two weeks but it is starting to look real good ! However my grandson that is in his early 20′s said he couldn’t do all the work grandpa does ! When his truck needs working on though he is the first one over here to ask grandpa to fix it for him ! I think I’m going to have a talk with him. He could have been out there swinging an ax for grandpa several times but he was no where around ! Me thinks it is shades of things to come !

        • libertytrain

          Granny Mae – you may be right about the young ones – I don’t know many or any that can do what we have done – I mean the physical work. Always wanting to hire someone or ask someone to do it for them. I guess some of it is our fault for not making them do what we all did as young ones.

          • Granny Mae


            It is true, like you said. We can blame ourselves for not getting the kids to do for themselves as we did. That may all correct itself here soon though. They will learn the hard way. There is one thing good about learning things the hard way, You don’t soon forget it !

          • http://?? Joe H.

            I split all my firewood, and occaisonally I get help from my kids and their friends. Well this summer I was having trouble with my back so I sat in a lawn chair and used a small 2# sledge and a wedge. well, the kid helping me was about twice my size using a maul and a 8# sledge. He looked over at me and said I’ll just be damned, Here the old man is sitting down and he splits more wood than me!! I can “read” a log to see where it will split most times. He can’t!

          • libertytrain

            You’re right, Granny and Joe, I know we have taught ours to do things as well. But I see them rely more on hiring – probably because it is easier for them in this way too busy world. I can’t because I can do it myself and I just can’t bring myself to hire someone to do something I can do.

          • Granny Mae


            I know what you mean. My husband is always saying the same thing. It may take us longer now but we can still get the job done. He just can bring himself to hire someone to do what he can do , and sometimes do it better. I will never forget when I first learned that lesson. We had a car that was a couple years old and there was a recall on something on the car. My husband said he could take care of it himself and didn’t want to take it to the shop because he didn’t like other guys working on his cars !!! Well I finally talked him into taking it in and we drove 45 miles to the shop to get it fixed. Took it in early in the morning and picked it up later that afternoon. Drove all the way home and when we got there the first thing Jim did was look under the hood ! YIKES ! He let a yell out of him and several good cuss words and I went running. There under the hood was all the tools the mechanic used to fix the car and the motor was full of greasy oil ! Jim was livid ! We got back in the car and drove all the way back to the dealership shop and pulled in. From then on for the next half hour there were words flying and the boss of the shop knew exactly who had worked on the car and even that this wasn’t the first time he had done something like this. By the time we left there the tools were put in their proper place and the engine was steam cleaned and the guy that did the dead was fired ! Needles to say my husband gave me strict orders to never try and talk him into having anyone else work on his cars ever again ! I promised it would never happen again and it never has ! LOL ! When it comes to his cars he is touchy, touchy, touchy !

  • Richard Pawley

    Some good advice Peggy. Wal-Mart sells a small LED lantern for $5 that I have used for a couple of years. Dropped the first one and it broke after a year or so but they have two levels of light, and an emergency red flasher, so they are great to keep in a car and by the bedstand (not the same as a good LED flashlight however). Good rechargeable batteries are recommended. I’ve been recharging my alkaline batteries for more than a dozen years (with a special charger just for that use. An ordinary charger will cause alkaline batteries to blow up). There is a difference in batteries too. Alkaline batteries, the kind you are NOT supposed to charge, need to be topped off before they are run down (only on a special charger designed to recharge alkaline batteries – in fact it’s a good idea to top them off before they lose 50%). Rechargeable batteries can be and apparently should be run down almost to empty before recharging. Whether this is for all rechargeable batteries I do not know. I have used a good quality alkaline batteries that I kept topped off for years past the expiration date. In fact I am charging some as I write. I am also in the market for a quality solar charging battery recharger if anyone makes one.

    Another consideration it that since many of us know that ‘really’ hard times are coming, and as I said in both my books, they will make “the Great Depression look like a walk in the park,” it would be a good idea to prepare for the time when the inflation caused by the virtual (and maybe the actual) destruction of the dollar (and all paper currencies) comes about. Some smarter men than I beleive this will be evident to all within two years. (The money congress has squandered on the banks in the past two and a half years is already going to cause prices to at least triple). If you cannot leave the city until the chaos occurs then that is one thing but you can be thinking about this (and praying for guidance and direction – remember the Bible says that “God is no respecter of persons” so all can seek His help no matter what church they attend), well it is He who has warned us of what is coming and it becomes more evident every day. One could move to a smaller town in some cases, away from the masses in preparation for what is coming, but gasoline will be rapidly increasing in price too so if you have to commute 100 miles a day like many in this area then that is a consideration as well. Just got an email from the brother of some people in Cairo. They sound almost American. (Cairo is a really big city, about 100 times the size of the biggest city near you (Salt Lake City) with a population of 18,000,000 and they were able to buy a weeks worth of food – imagine a weeks worth! Of course they are elderly and that is all they could carry). Sadly most Americans are the same way, run to the store to buy things. Not only will you pay more but you will get less nutritionally what with all the genetically engineered foods in our food supply. Well, you can’t go wrong praying about everything, and having a mix of dehydrated as well as freeze dried foods for the long run is a good idea. Just don’t forget that you need fresh foods with living enzymes in them so sprouts are good it you can’t get locally grown vegetables and fruits. Someone has been apparently buying up all the dried whole eggs for months now and whether it’s the Chinese or someone preparing for 2012 I do not know. By the way the world didn’t end the last time this once in 25,000 year alignment happened so why should it end this time, but there are those in the government and elsewhere who do not consider these things or realize that many things have to happen before the end of the world (according to Bible, the temple being rebuilt in Jerusalem, a new one world money system, a world leader – one man – with, apparently, a robotic sidekick – the Bible calls it a statue that comes to life, and more). The important thing is not to let a spirit of fear overwhelm you, but to also use common sense in preparing for food shortages and other things that we are all likely to need. Of course there could be stellar outbursts from our sun that could cause some havoc more than most in the next few years – if we had one like the one in 1859, it would set our civilization back 50 years or more, of course as crazy as our modern era has become that wouldn’t necessarily be to bad a thing. In any event being prepared makes sense, and since food is going up in price faster than most things…well, everyone has to do what they think best. Just know that God is always there and there is nothing you can do to make Him love you more than He already does. All you can do is draw near to Him and you will find He is there. I’ve written about that in both my books as well. Dum spiro spero!

    • http://?? Joe H.

      don’t know if anybody is still on this thread but we have a harbor freight tools here and they were giving away free 9 bulb led flashlights with any purchase. since I go there quite regularly, I amassed about 30 of them!! they take three AAA batteries and they last almost forever!! They now sell them for 1.99 a piece but i venture they are worth it! they are about 1 1/4 in diameter and three inches long w/ a lanyard! seem to be water proof and made from aluminum. Unfortunately they are from China! For free what the hell!

  • Billy

    Discounted emergency kits are being promoted on A great marketing site in Atlanta.

  •; MB

    Where can I get info on your comment “ once in 25000 year alignment happened“What are you referring to?

    • sbr

      It’s called Precession and is a change in the orientation of the axis of the earth. It takes 26,000 years to make a full circle.

  • Grey Wolf

    One Suggestion. Obtain an amateur radio license. The Technician Class thru Extra Class licenses can now be earned without knowing Morse Code. The q/a handbooks may be obtained from the American Radio Relay League’s website: All you really need is the Technician Class License & it’s good for 10 years. Purchase a good hand held 2 meter transceiver. They’re advertised in the amateur radio magazines
    “CQ” & “QST” or visit an amateur radio store near you. Also, there is a plethora of information about amateur radio equipment on the internet. A radio transceiver of this magnitude will come in handy during any emergency, especially if cell phone towers become inoperable! There are several books & plenty of information on using amateur radio during emergency conditions. As a matter of fact, that is one of the chief reasons for this exciting hobby. Make sure you keep your radio charged & have backup batteries! Also, you’ll find many experienced amateurs & clubs out there willing to help you get started.
    P.S. If you live in a city, FCC amateur radio license tests are given virtually every week. If you live in a small town or rural area, test dates maybe limited. Consult the ARRL web site again at for times & dates in your specific part of the country.

  • JimH

    A pair of leather work gloves. Even for a short term emergency like a flat tire they can come in handy. Jumper cables have been in my car since I was 16 years old. They can get you, or someone else you come upon back on the road.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      Have kept both in my car since I started driving and I’m 60 now!! I also keep abut a dozen shop rags in my car as well. If you look, you will be able to find an area under your hood that will store a quart of oil. Comes in handy and under the hood it doesn’t take up space in the trunk!

      • Granny Mae

        Joe H.

        Good thinking !

  • E M

    Is there any good dehydrated or freeze dried packaged food out there that doesn’t have soy or hydrolyzed yeast in them?

    • Granny Mae

      E M,

      Sure there is and you can make it yourself ! Get a dehydrator and a seal-a-meal and make your own. It is so easy and simple and with a good dehydrating book like the one from Excaliber, you can make most anything. They even tell you how to dehydrate shrimp ! You can dehydrate speghetti sauce, frozen vegetables, most anything you want! All you have to do is get off your butt and get started ! It is simple ! To make your own is a lot less expensive than buying it from a company. I will say though that there are some things I purchase from Mountain House and Provident Pantry. Like freeze dried egg, Cheese and some freeze dried meats ! Other than that I dehydrate everything myself and I home can most of my foods. Just this last week I canned 12 qts. Italian meatballs, 12qts. sloppy joes, 4 jars of Italian sausage, 6 qts. veg. beef soup and three qts. broth. Now if I can do this sitting in a mobility chair I know that those of you with good health can do even more for yourself and your families ! E M I can recommend Mountain House and Provedent Pantry for very good freeze dried foods and meals ! I have them and have used them and my family has liked them, give them a try from .

      • Granny Mae

        I might suggest that you buy the individual foods and make the meals yourself in order to be free of the additives. The meals will most likely have something in them but I’m not sure.

  • Bert Cundle

    Gee My Emergency Kit; fits in my Shirt Pocket!
    Working Cell Phone & A.A.A.+ CARD!

  • Bert Cundle

    Gee My Emergency Kit; fits in my Shirt Pocket!
    Working Cell Phone & A.A.A.+ CARD! I’ Love them!

    • Granny Mae

      Bert Cundle,

      Good luck with that cell phone , AAA and Card when the banks are closed and no-one is open for business and the government has shut down the cell phone towers. Take a good look at Egypt this past week or two and tell me how much good your emergency kit would do you in those circumstances ! Better get your head screwed on right before you need to use it or it won’t work right either ! Good luck with your emergency kit ! Oh by the way most of us out here have that same kit but we are smart enough to know that when things get really tuff, you are going to have to rely on other measures !

  • JimH

    Bert, Out west on alot of mountain roads there are still places with no cell reception. You may want to expand that emergency kit, if you plan to travel.

  • Tim

    I live and travel through some arid country. Most things have been discussed but two things I note not on the list. A picture of your family is great for moral. Secondly practice. The best bug out bags operated by incompetence is really not cool.

    I am an ex Zimbabwean and worked in many parts of Africa including Nigeria and Burundi. Things can go from normal to disaster in a very short period of time. And in all sorts of interesting ways. Working in South Africa the floods have been a disaster I was nearly stranded on a section of road. You need to pack a pocket kit that you carry to your desk etc. This enables you to get to your kit in your car. An SAK and a Minimag are good first stop tools that I have in my day pack at work.

    Too bulky and you may leave things behind when you need them.

    • Granny Mae


      Very good advice !

  • Pete

    Thanks for the advice Peggy ! I’m bookmarking your webpage …

  • Hedgehog

    Did I miss something? Nobody mentioned an RV! You can stock an RV with all the comforts of home. Keep it packed and keep rotating the stock so nothing spoils. You’ve got a bathroom, bedrooms, kitchen, fridge, at a bare minimum. My current one is an old, 20 foot 1980 Class C. The only thing it lacks is a genset, but I have a 1KW portable. Disaster near home, stay home live in the RV with all the comforts. Have to evacuate, collect up the people and animals, start her up and go. Think of it as a big bug out box on wheels or a small mobile home that you can live in indefinitely. My wife and I are thinking of getting a Class A, 33 to 37 feet long, sell the house, and buy a small piece of land with a septic tank and a well and call it home!


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