The Best Emergency Survival Kits To Stock Up On In 2022
Emergency survival summons scary images of stumbling deep in the forest, navigating by compass, and building a shelter from tree branches, all while rain whips through the air. However, survival doesn’t always mean you’re lost; survival can happen next to a busy highway, or even in your own home. To prepare for the worst, you can invest in the best emergency survival kits to make any transition from normal life to an abject apocalyptic disaster far more comfortable. Whether you’re looking for a kit for yourself, the whole family, or even the entire office, these emergency survival kits will provide everything you may need to plan for the unexpected.
Along the coasts, hurricane season is May through November and tornadoes roll through the Midwest and south in spring and fall. Hurricane and tornado kits must be extensive as you could be without power, water, food, or shelter for up to several weeks. These kits should have food, water, tools, radios, a first aid kit, and more. Often you can shelter in place, but sometimes you may need to move to safer locations. Fire season often means bug out bags and owning a mini survival kit that you can take anywhere fast as soon as you hear about a fire or see smoke. In winter, a roadside kit is a must anytime you are driving in snow or mountainous terrain, just in case you become stranded in your vehicle.
The best survival kits don’t have one particular shape or a strict list of contents, they depend on your family, personal needs, where you live, what disasters exist in your area and so much more. You should use these suggestions below as a base and customize them to suit your personal needs. Keep in mind, the best emergency kits don’t merely get you through the first 72 hours but should have materials that can support your survival for potentially weeks.
- Top Choice: Sustain Supply Co. Premium Emergency Survival Kit
- Great for Four People: Emergency Zone 4 Person 72-Hour Emergency Survival Kit
- Compact and Lightweight: EVERLIT 250 Pieces Survival First Aid Kit
- Best for Earthquakes: Redfora Complete Earthquake Bag
- Loaded & Compact Kit for One Person: Luxmom Emergency Survival Kit
- Best for Couples: Emergency Zone The Essentials Survival 72-Hour Kit
- Best for Families and Large Groups: ER Emergency Ready 10 Person Ultimate Deluxe Survival Kit
- Good Base Kit: First My Family All-in-One 2 Person Survival Kit
The Best Emergency Survival Kit
Boasting a variety of dependable and ingenious emergency supplies, the Sustain Supply Co. Premium Emergency Survival Kit is our choice for the best emergency kit. Packed with 72-hour sustainability to keep you and your family safe, this pack is designed for the crucial aftermath of any disaster or wilderness emergency. The kit covers all your bases, especially when it comes to staying hydrated as it comes with four water filtration straws. Most might not think about the cleanliness of the water in an emergency situation, but it’s one of the biggest concerns in survival situations. This water-purifying set will provide a clean hydration source for as long as you’re out there. (Seriously — it’s designed to last a lifetime!)
This large survival backpack holds a range of materials including 24 servings of food, water, lights, first aid kit, emergency blankets, portable stove and kitchen equipment, knives, whistles, firestarters, and hygienic supplies. These items make it a fantastic choice for serious emergency demands or for larger groups, but they may feel like overkill for some. While surviving the first few days after a disaster is key, staying clean, disease and injury free, fed, and hydrated are what keep you alive in the weeks following a disaster. The supplies boast an impressive five-year shelf life, and you can easily replace anything that expires. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it, but if the need ever arises, this pack won’t let you down.
72-hour supply of water, food, and gear for two people
4 sustain survival water filtration straws
Portable stove, 2 bowls, and utensils
Light and heating equipment
First aid survival kit
- BrandSustain Supply Co.
- Weight28.6 Pounds
Large backpack but comfortable to carry
High-quality cooking equipment
5-year item shelf life
May be too expensive for ‘casual’ demands
If you’re serious about being ready for any disaster, the Emergency Zone 4 Person 72-Hour Survival Kit is the survival kit for you and your family. As a premium emergency kit, it comes with all the essentials you’ll need for a variety of survival scenarios, giving you peace of mind that you can overcome whatever the world throws at you. All the supplies are contained in a durable and nondescript heavy-duty backpack. It’s big enough and tough enough to carry all of your first aid supplies, water, meal replacement bars, food and more through any situation.
Even if you don’t feel entirely ready for a disaster, you can read up and learn more with the provided Emergency Guidebook. This guide will walk you through the best ways to survive, so you can share this knowledge and plan with friends and family. The kit includes a range of food and water supplies, as well as water purification, shelter, and first aid. This makes it suitable for a variety of disasters. However, some of the equipment may feel a little basic, especially if you are experienced with survival scenarios. This may be one of the best emergency kits, but we recommend customizing it for your needs and upgrading items as needed so you feel confident and prepared for any scenario. For some more must-have products like this, check out our list of the top paracord survival bracelets on the market right now.
72-hour survival kit for 4 people
The emergency preparedness guidebook included
Food and water supplies
Water purification system
Hygiene and sanitation products
Light and communication
Weather protection and survival gear
Shelter and first aid
- BrandEmergency Zone
- Weight25 Pounds
Suitable for a range of disasters
Includes lots of hygiene products
Breathable mesh back
Some items feel a little cheap and basic for a survival kit
A perfect choice for hunting, outdoor survival, and staying alive inside the house, the EVERLIT 250 Pieces Survival First Aid Kit delivers high-quality equipment and supplies time and again. It is one of the most comprehensive options on our list, with a wide range of essentials that have been specially selected by US veterans. The waterproof backpack makes it ideal for all conditions. This kit also includes a fire starter, a crucial addition that will make it easy to get through the night and warm up a group. There are also high-lumen tactical flashlights that give you an edge once the sun goes down.
Its intuitive and organized design is also one of the best we have come across. Everything has its place and packs in perfectly to make whatever you need easy to retrieve. Even though it is so densely packed, it’s still lightweight. Plus the compactness makes this kit easy to store as well as easy to carry over long distances. Other helpful materials in this kit are a first aid kit, glow sticks, a multi tool, a paracord bracelet with a compass, a knife, and one thermal survival blanket. As with many emergency survival kits, it may only be suitable for one-time use. Plan to check for expired goods or replacement needs every year.
High lumen tactical flashlight
First aid equipment
Quick-release rip-away EMT pouch
Comprehensive interior organization
- Weight1.92 Pounds
Customized by US veterans
Compact and lightweight
Only suitable for one-time use
As the Redfora Complete Earthquake Bag is available in a wide range of sizes, it is the most versatile option around – great for a single person as well as the entire family of five. As for the equipment, it comes with everything you would expect from a comprehensive kit. You have your food and water, as well as a hand crank flashlight, so you eliminate the reliance on batteries. It is also suitable for charging devices such as your iPhone, should you need to get in touch with someone. There are also shelter and warming supplies to keep safe from the elements if you should need to spend the night outdoors or the integrity of your home is compromised.
The multi-tool is an excellent addition, but this is just one good option out of a variety of other useful equipment you can use for survival. A full hygiene kit will keep people healthy, while sleeping bags and emergency ponchos will keep everyone warm at night. The backpack also includes supplies you never considered including items like a sewing kit, glow sticks, gloves, and goggles. All of these supplies add up, though, and this kit is heavier than other options of the same size. This is a far cry from a compact kit but is more likely to provide a comfortable and safe living until help is attained. The added weight means it may not be ideal for cross-country travel on foot, but if you are sheltering in place during natural disasters like a hurricane, can split the weight, or are hunkering down during a tornado, there’s no better kit than this. This kit has almost everything you could need to comfortably survive in an emergency situation from food and water to first aid supplies, hygiene, and more.
Designed for 2 people for a 3-day period
Food and water, purification tablets
Hand crank flashlight
Shelter and warmth supplies
Full hygiene kit
Radio and phone charger
Range of sizes available
- Weight16 Pounds
Radio included in the kit
A comprehensive list of supplies
Suitable for charging smartphones
Heavier than other options
Compact and comprehensive, the Luxmom Emergency Survival Kit is an ideal companion for any survival gear you may already stock. It is also entirely compiled by survival experts, making it something you can rely on in states of emergency to ensure the safety of you and your family. While small, it packs plenty of useful tools that could mean the difference between survival and disaster. These tools include essentials like a 3-mode flashlight, a first aid kit, fire starting tools, a military knife and multitool axe, safety pins, a safety whistle and even a fishing kit — all of which could be highly beneficial should you find yourself lost in the wilderness or needing to call for rescue.
All of these components are constructed from high-quality materials, so you can trust each and every tool to perform well. With its compact size, this kit is missing out on a few items that would be useful for larger families or groups, like water and food rations. You may only use this as an additional survival kit on top of something you already own and the first aid kit could use some additions. However, if you’re a lone-wolf type who wants to be prepared when exploring the great outdoors or in case of unpredictable emergencies, then you are unlikely to find anything that matches the convenience and portability of this survival kit.
Compact MOLLE pouch
21 multipurpose survival tools
Extensive first aid kit
4 fire-starting sticks
- Weight3.88 Pounds
Packed with gear and tools but compact
High-quality parts and equipment
Suitable for a range of emergencies
Not as comprehensive as other emergency survival kits
One of the best home emergency kits is the Emergency Zone The Essentials Survival 72-Hour Kit. It is available for either 2 or 4 people, although you could buy multiple products to suit larger households. If you’re single and worried about surviving longer, this is a great option for twice the amount of survival gear.
Inside, there is a range of repair and construction tools, including a multi-tool knife, safety goggles, and even a pack of cards to pass the time. There’s also a first aid kit to treat any injuries, while the shelter equipment is useful if you’re ever forced from your home. However, these medical supplies are not as plentiful as other options, so it’s worth creating a backup plan just in case or adding an additional first aid kit. You’ll also be happy with the food and water, including the water purification tablets. The hygiene gear will keep you feeling fresh during the apocalypse. It comes in a neatly arranged backpack that’s easily portable, providing a versatile kit suitable for just about any emergency you could encounter.
Range of repair and construction tools
Food and water plus purification
First aid kit
2 or 4-person sizes
- BrandEmergency Zone
- Weight12.08 Pounds
Batteries and radio included
A versatile kit for any situation
Neat and compact arrangement
Medical supplies are not as plentiful as other options
If you’re after the very best survival kit for your home or office, the ER Emergency Ready 10 Person Ultimate Deluxe Survival Kit provides everything you could need. It comes in a range of sizes, whether you need it for two people, four people, five people, or even ten people. This variety makes it ideal for a range of demands, including families, schools, and offices, among plenty of others.
As a complete survival kit, there’s nothing that you won’t find here: there are food bars to keep your stomachs filled and energy levels up, as well as water purification tablets and survival tools. What’s more, there’s also a clip-on toilet seat should you require one, and let’s be real, everybody poops. Despite such a wide range of items, some of them are not as high quality as we’d like, but with the expanse of useful tools, we can look past that. It’s OSHA-approved, so you can trust that the kit is safe to use in any workplace. In case the power goes out, the USB charging port will keep you connected to the world for a little longer. This also makes for a perfect survival gift for your adventurer friend.
3-day water and food supply for 10 people
Durable plastic containers
Snap-on toilet seat
Water purification tablets
- BrandER Emergency Ready
- Weight2.2 Pounds
Suitable for home and office
USB charging port and radio
Some items are not the best quality
For the Family First crowd, this First My Family All-in-One 2-Person Survival Kit is a great base kit to start your emergency kit. Even if you live in a smaller household, there’s plenty here for you to enjoy in case of an emergency. There are several sizes available, ranging from a 1-person to a 4-person kit; the 4-person kit is also available with a life straw to filter water.
This kit comes with 72 hours’ worth of clean drinking water for one to four people, and there are also food rations to stop those rumbling stomachs. The shelter equipment will be useful should you find yourself outside, but you can also use it in the home if you encounter a broken window and can’t get outside to find a better place to stay. It’s easily portable thanks to the brightly-visible red backpack and holds enough to make it a good starter kit. However, if you’re serious about survival, it is best to add to this kit to tailor it to your needs. For more useful products like this, check out our selection of the best survival food kits.
Supply for 2 people for up to 3 days
Waterproof and compact backpack
2 ponchos and Mylar space blankets
Multi-function camping tool
30-piece first aid kit
- BrandFirst My Family
- Weight8.8 Pounds
Great value emergency backpack
Comes with a LED flashlight
Decent starter kit but not suitable for more demanding survival requirements
Why Trust Us
I grew up on the hurricane-prone Gulf Coast. The areas surrounding Houston, Texas were home for much of my life and therefore severe thunderstorms, occasional tornadoes, and yearly hurricanes and tropical storms were the norm. When hurricanes kick up, you only get a few days to prepare, if that, and with tornadoes you may only have minutes. That's why it's so crucial to have hurricane kits or emergency kits, emergency supplies and enough food and water for several weeks. It wasn't uncommon to be without power for up to two weeks in the wake of a hurricane and downed trees on roads can make traveling to a store impossible. I know the necessity of having enough supplies on hand May through November but generally year round because you never know when disaster strikes. I spent almost 20 years of my life living with almost annual natural disasters, and you gain quite a bit of expertise after you live through enough hurricanes.
Who This Is For
This guide is for anyone looking into an emergency preparedness kit for natural disasters or otherwise. Everyone should have an emergency preparedness kit, even if only at certain times of the year like hurricane season or fire season. An extended unexpected power outage or especially strong thunderstorm can still be enough to have to break out a few emergency essentials. Especially if anyone in your family has delicate health care needs.
How We Picked
When selecting the best emergency kits, we wanted to ensure that each one had positive reviews and materials for all kinds of situations. Each kit needed to have first aid kit materials, a fire starter kit, and other survival essentials. Other key items include water and food rations. The best survival kits have a little bit of everything and can be tweaked to better serve your needs. We ensured best sellers were represented too.
Features To Look For In Emergency Survival Kits
With such a vast array of survival kits, we know it can be a challenge to choose which one is best for you. However, these key features should make your decision a little easier.
Batteries - If your survival kit comes with a flashlight, then batteries may be essential unless it's a hand-crank flashlight. Most kits will provide batteries to fit into the flashlight, but not all do. Before purchasing, make sure you know if it includes batteries, and if not, stock up.
Durability - Durability is an essential component of a survival kit. You want to guarantee the backpack or case can survive whatever you put it through. This means looking for options with excellent stitching or durable materials. Otherwise, you may end up losing items or even needing to carry everything by hand — not ideal during an emergency.
First aid kit - First aid kits will help you and your family overcome illness or injuries early on. There’s no telling what could happen in the event of an emergency, but small wounds (such as cuts or scrapes) could risk infection. While first aid kits won’t allow you to perform surgery, they are still useful, although it might be helpful to take a first aid course in preparation.
Food and drink - Food and drink are vital in a survival situation. It saves you needing to live off the land and eating potentially deadly shrubs or plants. When at home, you’ll likely have food in the fridge and cupboards, so you may not need to use this food and drink, but when supplies run out and water gets cut off, they could be crucial. To put yourself in an even better position, look for water purification tablets, or water filter straws.
Portability - While these survival kits are ideal for use at home if needed, emergencies can happen anywhere. Because of this, it’s vital that the kit is portable, either as a backpack with straps or compact enough that you can slip it into a pocket without hindrance.
Shelf-life - The shelf life of survival items is crucial, but it’s something not everyone thinks about. Most food and drink are perishable, so look for long shelf lives on the products you purchase. The general rule is 5 years, but anything less than that should be replenished as needed.
Shelter - Shelter equipment, including blankets and ponchos, will make surviving outside much more comfortable for everybody involved. You’ll also need a tarp, as well as a paracord, to stay dry, warm, or protected. You can also use this shelter equipment to make small repairs around the house or other building where you take shelter, such as covering windows or doors in a storm.
Size - It might seem like size and portability are similar, but while portability refers to how easy it is to carry the survival kit, the size concerns how much gear comes in the kit. You need to find an option that provides enough food and drink for everyone in your group, whether that’s a one-person, two-person, or even family-sized survival kit. Don't risk skimping on the essentials for everyone involved.
Survival tools - From multi-tools to tactical pens, and even firestarters, a pack filled with survival tools is a must. However, you don’t want something that takes up too much space, so a versatile tool is key. To get the best results, look for sturdy and dependable tools.
Waterproofing - There is nothing worse than finding your entire survival kit drenched and ruined. A waterproof option will prevent such problems, especially if you live in an area prone to flooding. This waterproofing will also keep the kit safe when moving and will ensure everything remains usable while you are striving to survive.
Types Of Emergency Survival Kits
1 Person - A one-person kit is suitable for just one person. It will only have enough gear to protect an individual from a range of survival needs and is therefore not suitable for more than one person.
2 Person - Two-person kits can also be used for one person if they want to maximize their survival gear, for additional peace of mind. Typically, these are backpacks with enough supplies for 3 days, but you can add more if you need them.
4 Person - Emergency survival kits for 4 people are ideal for families and should be easily identifiable in times of disaster. Often, they come with more gear compared to smaller options, including items you might not realize, such as dust masks and water purification.
5+ Person - Ideal for offices, schools, and large families. Any kit that is appropriate for 5 or more people will provide plenty of survival gear, including food and drink. However, because of the size, they may not be as portable as you’d like them to be. Switching the contents to your own backpack might be a better option in that case.
Emergency Survival Kit FAQ
Q: What is an emergency survival kit?
A: An emergency survival kit is a collection of items and tools that can help to keep you safe and, well, alive during a disaster scenario. They contain many essentials that you would need, and will often provide enough to keep everybody alive for at least three days following a disaster. They come in many shapes and sizes, from compact one-person options to bigger family versions. Purchase an appropriate kit depending on your needs.
Key items to look for include: multi-tools, knives, first aid kits, food, and drinks. Safety blankets are also useful. However, there is a wide range of potential items you might find in a survival kit. You can often combine the contents of a survival kit with items around your home to make a comprehensive survival kit for a variety of scenarios.
Q: Why do I need a survival kit?
A: A survival kit is a key part of emergency preparedness. Whether or not you have experienced natural disasters, there are chances of them occurring almost anywhere in the world and it's important to be prepared. Even in a situation like a global pandemic where almost overnight supply chains were interrupted, emergency kits came in handy.
Q: What should a survival kit include?
A: A survival kit should include a first aid kit, a multi-tool, cutting implements, a first aid kit and other medical supplies, sleeping bags or other sleeping materials, emergency food, a radio, and ideally an emergency power station. If any members of your family rely on medical devices or medications, extra stores of those are a good call.
Q: Where should you store an emergency kit?
A: An emergency kit should be stored in a secure, safe location that is accessible to all family members. Think about vulnerable areas of your home that could become damaged and which areas might be most accessible if parts of your home are damaged. Bathrooms are a great choice for tornadoes, as are basements.
Q: How long should a survival kit last?
A: A high-quality survival kit should last long enough and have enough supplies to keep several people alive (or your family unit) for several days, if not weeks. You should know what disasters your area is prone to. If you live in a hurricane-prone area and are often without power for up to two weeks at a time, you should have essential items and what you need on hand for up to two weeks. If you live somewhere like Portland Oregon like me, where tornadoes or hurricanes are unlikely, you may think you're in the clear, but that's not true. We all need to have an earthquake kit on hand. I live on the west side of Portland, which in the event of a severe earthquake, would be separated from the rest of the city for several weeks if not longer.
Q: Does my survival kit need to be waterproof?
A: Ideally, yes. The container your survival kit is contained in should be waterproof. Whether it's protection from spills, snow, humidity or rain, a waterproof housing is a perfect start to the best emergency kits.
- Build A Kit - Ready.Gov
- Survival Kit Supplies - American Red Cross
- Dealing With Emergencies - University Of Michigan
- Emergency Essentials: Putting Together A Survival Kit - Mayo Clinic