How To Build an Emergency Prep Kit

February 10, 2021 6 min read

how to build an emergency prep kit

How long should you prepare to be without resources?

No person on this site that hasn't asked that question and for as many people who have asked it, there are that many different answers.

To become the best survivalist you can be, we are tackling the question of “how long you should be prepared for” with exact instructions on how to create an emergency prep kit.

The “Get Home” (Immediate Emergency Prep Kit)

get home emergency kit

The Get Home Bag or "Truck Bag" as we call it in my house is enough stuff to get you home to your supplies on almost any occasion.

My "Get Home" Emergency Prep Kit contains the following:

  • A few bottles of water
  • Freeze-dried, no-cook snacks along with some protein bars
  • First aid (what I put in there would rival many ambulances, but having been a first responder on multiple car accidents, I don't think you can be too prepared)
  • Hunting knife
  • Hatchet Matches, lighter & tinder
  • Paracord
  • Lightweight emergency shelter
  • Flashlight
  • Blankets
  • Hatchet
  • Backup battery bank
  • Zip Ties
  • Physical Map of the area with Family Rally Points marked
  • A printed copy of the family communication plan.

This is the kit that gets you home and the answer to the question in this case of how long do I prep for, well this prep will keep me as long as I need to get home.

In a really bad snowstorm, I’ve had family members stuck on highways for close to 20 hours and I have seen stories of folks up north in Alaska and Montana needing days worth of supplies if you get stuck.

The duration of the prep needs to fit your location and your purpose.

The “Go Bag” (72 Hour Emergency Prep Kit)

long term kit

The purpose of this prep is to get you somewhere other than where your main home is.

This is a Get-Out-Of-Dodge emergency prep kit and it should be packed all the time.

It's not enough to have the stuff laying around, you need to have a kit that you can grab on a moment's notice and get in your car to go.

In fact, I would recommend that you have one for each person in your home.

When I put my list together for this prep, I take into account what I have in my truck already because that is my "Go Vehicle."

Let's start with my bag is meant for just one adult male and my wife and kids (even the dogs) all have their own.

My emergency pre kit is in a medium backpack with shoulder straps, a sternum strap and a light hip-belt in case I need to load it up in a car failure and take on some of my family's load if we need to hump out of somewhere on foot.

My "Go" Emergency Prep Kit contains the following:

  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 underwear
  • 2 socks
  • 1 long-sleeve T-shirt
  • A pair of old jeans that still fit
  • Webbed belt
  • Hat with brim
  • 100' Paracord
  • 2 Carabiners Sunscreen
  • Physical map of the state and of the region
  • Handcrank radio
  • Headlamp
  • Flashlights
  • Chem Lights
  • Pocket Knife
  • One Hot Meal for 5
  • Two no-cook meals (Pouches of tunafish/chicken salad with crackers)
  • Small pot
  • IsoPro stove and fuel
  • Sporks
  • Snacks
  • Backup power bank
  • Personal water bottle

So that is what is in the bag at any time. There is also a laminated card on the bag with a checklist of items that go in the truck.

The tag reads like this:

  • Portable Safe - This contains passports, copies of insurance documents, birth certificates, wills, marriage licenses, deeds, cash, silver, and some family jewelry.
  • 55 Gallon Water Barrel - This is a big blue potable water barrel that I picked up that goes in the back of the truck with a pump and gets filled with water before I pull away if there is time
  • 25 Gallon Fuel - This is 5x5Gal fuel jugs. I use and fill one each month now so I have 12, but depending on space will just grab the most recent 5.
  • Tools - I have a toolbox that I grab that has the most common stuff that I might need to fix up the truck along the way or gain entrance back into my house if it is damaged.
  • Long Term Food Kit - I grab 3 buckets of emergency food supply from Valley Food Storage. It will cover my family for 2 weeks.
  • Cell Phone & Chargers

So now you have a look at my prep and the topic of the day is how long was I planning to survive for with my Go Bag and Bug Out List. The answer is really 2-fold.

First, if I only have time to grab the go bag, then I have 72 hours of survival gear between my go bag and truck bag.

If I needed to use my Truck Bag to get home, I would just plus it up before I bugged out.

If I grab all the rest of the gear that I mentioned on the way out that is on my exfil card, then I now have 2 weeks for 5 people.

For my family of 5, that is the minimum that I feel safe with. Just remember to plan for family members with special dietary needs. If you need a gluten free emergency food supply, it's going to be hard to find in an emergency.

I am sure I can do better in some areas, but the prep I have in place is most likely overkill for getting me to my secondary location.

It will, however, sustain me if I get to my secondary location and it is no longer viable and I need to press on to plan C.

Is 2 Weeks The Sweet Spot for Your Emergency Prep Kit?

If you are bugging out and you have one vehicle with people, it is for me.

However, my secondary location also is already stocked with stuff as well as my relatives also have the same stuff ready to go.

So if I show up and they are the relief that I needed, I am reinforced with their prep.

If I need to hit my contingent (3rd) location, I have also placed 2 weeks of supplies there as well to keep them safe if something happens, but also so that I have it if I show up.

Although I am leaving with 2-weeks of prep, I really have more already in the plan.

Don’t Forget About Sheltering in Place

emergency sheltering in placeThere are times when it is safer to stay in place and not go out.

When that happens we 'Hole Up' in our house and this is historically in the United States and Canada for a period no greater than 2 weeks.

But there are many folks that are planning for a disruption worse than we have seen in the US in over 150 years in which there is a time where Rule of Law is suspended.

We have seen glimpses of this in the wake of Dorian, Katrina, and Sandy, but it has always been isolated and shortly after the ability to evacuate has been possible in the next 10 days.

As we look around the globe - even in what we might think of as developed countries - there are coups and violence from non-government groups that have caused people to need to shelter in place for the part of months.

If you’re a person who believes that your country is next on the list to endure such upheaval, then you are going to need to prep a little harder.

I am ready at my home to hole up for 30 days without stepping foot outside if needed.

With three small children and with everything on my property insured, I am bugging out to somewhere safer every time. Or as we consider it at my house "impromptu vacation."

With all that in mind - it’s up to you to protect your family and to make sure you can live completely independent if you need to.

Here at Valley Food Storage, we offer a ton of different options to you at many different price points.

Our goal is to make you feel as prepared as possible for anything that may come your way. 

We want you to feel ready for anything and be 100% satisfied with our products. 

Hell, I use our products to protect my family and you can tell I take the protection of them very seriously. 

With tons of options for you to select from, we are your one stop shop for all of your food needs. 

Half of the time - I dig into some of my long term food supply simply because it tastes so damn good.

Click here now to check out our vast selections of lunch and dinner options to get your emergency prep kit started today!