Survival Essentials: What You Need To Survive a Disaster

Survival Essentials: What You Need To Survive a Disaster

If the U.S. were subject to an EMP attack, a possible catastrophic event in our future, it could wipe out 90% of the population.

Wow. To say that’s terrifying is an understatement. It’s easy to forget how dependent we are on modern services in day-to-day life. But in the event of a major disaster, everything would change.

The best thing you can be in this situation is prepared. What are the survival essentials you need to be sure that you and your family aren’t a casualty?

If SHTF, whether it be an EMP attack, disease outbreak, natural disaster, or civil unrest, what should be in your doomsday survival kit to weather the storm? Read on to find out.


It probably doesn’t surprise you that water is number one on our doomsday prepping list. But in a world where it comes effortlessly out of the tap on demand, it’s easy to forget just how precious this resource is.

You’ll not only need water for drinking, but also for washing dishes, washing hands, and cooking food. The general rule of thumb is one gallon per person per day.

Make sure you have containers for storing water and purification tablets. If disaster strikes, fill up the bathtub and any and all containers you have before losing water pressure.

Set up a rainwater catchment system so you can harvest water from the sky. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with local natural water sources ahead of time, so you can turn to them in if need be.


Storing adequate food supplies is also essential for your doomsday prepping list. You’ll want to have at least a seven-to-ten day supply, but the more the better. Canned foods, dehydrated foods, and freeze-dried foods are all great things to stock up on.

Another great way to hedge against the potential of food becoming scarce is to start growing your own. In the event of a catastrophic disaster, not only will farms potentially stop producing food, but trucks will stop delivering it.

Having a garden and learning to can and preserve your produce could be a lifesaver if a catastrophic event occurred.


The ability to make fire is a critical tool in a disaster scenario. With fire you can boil water, cook food, keep warm, and see at night.

Keeping a store of lighters and waterproof matches is a good start, but it’s also worth having flint and magnesium. You may also want to learn how to build a fire from scratch, just in case.


Make sure you’re stocked up on appropriate clothing for the outdoor conditions in your region. In the winter you’ll want adequate layers and in the summer you’ll want breathable garments.

Also be sure to keep warm hats, gloves, and socks on hand. You should be sure to have a pair of heavy-duty work boots that are comfortable and rugged.


If a disaster struck, we’d all prefer to stay in the safety of our own home. If you prepare your house adequately, then depending on the circumstances you may be able to stick it out at the homestead for a while.

Most likely, though, you’ll eventually have to leave. Having materials for temporary shelter like a tent or a tarp with rope is essential.

It’s also a good idea to have a propane heater and stores of fuel.  Shelter is good, but warm shelter is best.

Bug Out Bag

If you’ve got to leave your home in a hurry, you’ll thank yourself if you’ve prepared a bug out bag. Bug out bags are prepping essentials, backpacks already packed with the most necessary items in case of an emergency.

Be sure to have one prepared for every member of your family.

First-Aid Kit

Items like rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, a suture kit, gauze, and bandages could be a lifesaver in a disaster event. Be sure to also include Benadryl, ibuprofen, and any prescription medications you or your family may rely on. If all hell breaks loose, it may be impossible to obtain more.

Cleaning Supplies

Something often overlooked when we imagine a catastrophic disaster is sanitation. Sanitation is so streamlined and second nature in modern society, we don’t realize how quickly things could go sour without the usual amenities.

Be sure to have toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer, trash bags, and disposable gloves in case of an emergency.

You may have to dig a latrine for yourself.  Keep a shovel on hand to make this task easier than it could be otherwise. Make sure it’s far from your water source and not uphill from it, and fill it in before you leave the area.


If a catastrophic event happens, chances are you won’t have GPS signal. Make sure to have a compass and maps, and know how to use them.


If the world were to change in an instant, communication becomes an incredibly valuable tool. You’ll want to have a hand-crank or solar-powered radio to try and learn what the heck is going on.

In the case of an EMP attack, your electronics may get fried. Consider keeping them in a Faraday bag to protect them from a devastating electromagnetic pulse.


In addition to the prepper essentials I’ve listed here, you’ll also want to consider having self-protective weapons on hand. If you’re protecting a homestead you can have heavy-duty weaponry, but if you’re mobile you’ll want something more lightweight.

A Plan

One of the most essential things you need to survive a disaster is a plan.

Create both a short term (2-3 days) and a long term (weeks or months) plan so that you can make important decisions now rather than in the heat of stressful and chaotic moments.

Decide on a meetup spot with your entire family and make sure it’s ingrained in everyone’s mind. Without this, confusion is likely to create even more trouble in the chaos. You don’t want to have to go looking for someone when everyone could gather in the same spot in a predetermined plan.


Another great tool to have in your arsenal is knowledge.

In a disaster situation, there likely won’t be the internet, and you will probably have a lot on your plate. Even so, it wouldn’t be the best time to be googling how-tos on basic survival skills.

Get friendly with your multitool (another prepper essential) and use your free time to brush up on rusty outdoors skills or learn new ones. It could save your life.

Prepare for the Worst by Storing These Survival Essentials

It’s impossible to know when disaster could strike.

The best thing you can do is, as they say, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

With this list of survival essentials, you’re well on your way to riding out a catastrophic event. Check out the rest of our blog to learn more about prepping essentials and the specific dangers of an EMP attack.