How a Survival Kit Can Save Your Life

How a Survival Kit Can Save Your Life.

In an unpredictable world full of natural disasters and life-threatening emergencies we often think that help is really only a phone call away. What we don’t always comprehend is that help might be a phone call away but how long before the help shows up?

Having a 72-hour survival kit could mean the difference between merely surviving a disaster and thriving during a disaster.

What is the Difference Between an Emergency Kit and a Survival Kit?

An emergency kit and a survival kit are basically the same thing but called by different names. The biggest difference between them is that an emergency kit usually has a direct focus on providing first aid to the sick and injured.

Survival kits are kind of like an emergency kit on steroids. They usually have everything that your basic emergency kit would have but they also have things that will help you survive and find sources of fire, water, and food, should you be trapped without them.  

What Should Be in My 72 hour Kit?

  • A first aid kit that included everything you need to address small injuries or illnesses. Bandaging, gauze, tape, a thermometer, fever-reducing tablets such as ibuprofen. 
  • Food and water, usually high-calorie food bars and some water purification tablets capable of purifying 1 liter of water per tablet. These should have at least a 5-year shelf life so if you need to change them out make sure you set a reminder. 
  • A source of light, like a flashlight or emergency flares that could come in handy if you get stuck somewhere away from home.
  • Having an emergency beacon if you are in the wilderness, but it is not necessary for every kit. 
  • A way to provide shelter and warmth like emergency blankets and a tube tent. It can get very cold in the Midwest in the winter and your car breaks down so having the emergency blankets in your kit will keep you from getting frostbite waiting to be towed out of the ditch.
  • Navigation tools such as a compass can prove handy and get your back on the right path to avoiding an emergency.
  • Safety goggles and gloves are important to have because if you have to cut wood you don’t want to end up with an eye injury that could become a bigger problem as you wait for help. 
  • Proper hygiene and sanitation supplies, staying clean will help to protect you from infection and disease. Proper hygiene also helps combat depression which can also be dangerous. 

How Many People Will My Kit Help?

Kits that you purchase from the internet will usually say how many people the kit can provide for. If you are making your kit at home then pack the supplies you would need for yourself and times that by the number of people you would expect to be caring for in the event of a disaster. Also, add a knife and some waterproof matches to your home kit. 


Having a 72-hour survival kit can mean the difference between life and death in some situations. Last year we had a large storm come through rural Iowa where I live. It wiped out the power for about a week. Due to a mad rush as the stores, there were not any generators available within a 100-mile radius. So we made due using our family’s emergency survival kit.

While I was never in danger of starvation or dehydration, I was thankful for the extra water and food as well as the flashlight. Having the proper hygiene and sanitation supplies saved the whole family from my pungent teenage son.