How to Use Your Disaster Survival Kit

by Shop PFA

This article originally appeared as a members-only email to Pacific First Aid subscribers. Subscribers get exclusive access to my best First Aid resources as well as monthly promotions. 


One thing I really leaned into during the pandemic is the importance of being prepared for something that is beyond my control.


(Who would have thought that this pandemic would last so long?!)


And it seems like being more prepared is top of mind for many people I have talked to in the past year.


I received a lot more queries from clients, students, friends, family, and coworkers on how to prepare and how to prepare better.


And because it’s the easiest thing to check off on any disaster preparedness plan, I always first ask them: Do you have a 72-hour Survival Kit?


Most of the time, the answer is: No...


Followed by (uneasy) silence.


And after some digging, I found that one of the biggest reasons people don’t invest in a Survival Kit (also known as a Disaster Kit) is…


…They don’t know how to use it!


So I want to share with you a list of what is in our Emergency 72-hour Survival Kits (carefully packed by our wonderful team) and what each item is used for:


1 - Emergency Food Rations: Eat over 72 hours (Change out rations every 5 years)

6 - 125 mL Emergency Water Pouches: Drink over 72 hours (Change out every 5 years)

1 - Radio with Batteries: Scroll through the stations until you find one that works to keep you posted with the current news and what roads are open and safe to drive on. All stations in your area will be switched to emergency response. (Change batteries once per year)

2 - Tarps (48" x 72"): Use one for the ground and one to shelter against the weather.

1 - Emergency Whistle: Summon outside help.

1 – Twine: Tie your tarps in place.

3 - 12 Hour Emergency Glow Sticks: Use as you would use a flashlight.

1 - Safety Vest: Wear this for higher visibility, especially if you need to go back inside your house to rescue someone or walk down the street.

1 - Waterproof Matches: Light fires to cook or keep warm.

1 - Rain Poncho: Keeps you dry in case it rains.

1 - Emergency Foil Blanket: Keeps you warm.

1 - Emergency Preparedness Guide: A booklet of how-to’s to be used with this First Aid kit.

1 - Personal First Aid Kit*: Included with this Survival Kit. You can also upgrade to a Home and Vehicle (H&V) First Aid Kit.

1 - First Aid Backpack: Stores all items in your kit.

Optional add on - H&V: Also known as a Home and Vehicle First Aid Kit, this can be upgraded from the Personal First Aid Kit that is included in this Survival Kit.

Optional add on - Hand crank radio: This is a hand crank radio/flashlight/siren three-in-one and can be used in case you run out of batteries from the radio included with your Survival Kit.

Optional add on - LifeStraw: Use as a water filtration system if you are worried about having clean water or are in a remote area.


For every additional person you add to your kit, you get additional food rations, water pouches, glow sticks, rain poncho, and emergency foil blanket.


And if you’re interested, you can buy our done-for-you, ready-made Emergency 72-hour Survival Kits for your home, the 72-Hour Enhanced Survival Kit for your car, and emergency essential items to build your own kit.