What is a survival kit? It is simply a kit that contains necessary items to help you survive. Primarily food and water would be at the top of the list. You can survive five to six days without food, a flashlight or toilet paper, but try to survive without water. In a natural or man-made disaster, each of us has a somewhat different list of priority or essential items. Included in a woman's list, you may find makeup in the top ten items.

There is a much different procedure when preparing for survival through a long term disaster such as a severe earthquake than simply evacuating for a flood or fire. A disaster, such as an earthquake or terrorist attack, may have wiped out communication, utilities, roads, bridges, hospitals, public services such as police and ambulances. In case of a local disaster that affects only a small area of your state, you would not necessarily need a survival kit, but rather a "personal kit" A personal kit (back pack) should not be so large that it is difficult for you to carry it and you may be tempted to discard it.

I would suggest that you not procrastinate any longer, if you have failed thus far to research survival information. For a case in point, how long do you need to boil water in order to kill all bacteria? (Answer: 10 minutes.) What are the symptoms for heat stroke, hypothermia, shock or dehydration and what is more, how would you treat these conditions? Knowledge of answers to questions like these could someday save a life, maybe your own. Knowledge gathering could be equally as important as food and water storage.

Start gathering information today about the skills of survival from your local library, book stores and the internet. In addition to survival books, much survival knowledge can be obtained from specialty books on camping, such as living off the land, starting a fire, and how to build a shelter.

A unique, practical way of determining what may be needed for your survival supplies and tools may be to simply think through an emergency situation or an actual emergency that would require you to leave your home and imagine various possible scenarios of a day's activities.

Try imagining a camping trip, and think about it from the time you arrive and start setting up your tent and camp the first day, straight through to the next night when you crawl back into your sleeping bag. What about how you would cook breakfast, start a fire, uh oh, toilet paper? Imagine all the items needed in each day's activities. Are you making a list and checking it twice?

Do you require prescription medicines? Do your eyes require glasses to see? What if you lost or broke them? Maybe... a second pair for your kit? How far can you walk without shoes? What if you or a companion broke an arm or received a serious laceration? Do you have a first-aid kit and is it adequate for treating serious injuries? Is there more than one of you? Do your companions have first aid or survival supplies of their own or do they need to rely on you?

Think through all the steps involved in surviving through various scenarios. What about food, shelter or firewood. How do you or how will you make a fire to cook on or keep warm at night? What will you sleep on? By imagining various possible situations, you will know what you need in each separate case. You will then know what your survival kit needs to contain.

Survival Hardware
Two basic requirements needed to survive are the ability to cut things and the skills and tools to make a fire. In other words, you will need a good, sturdy knife, some waterproof matches, a lighter and even a fire-starter steel/flint kit.

Your personal kit should contain these items plus a good first-aid kit (should also contain: suture set & antibiotic cream). The personal kit is sometimes referred to as a bug-out bag. The internet has many available free lists of suggested items for this purpose. A Google of "bug-out bag" will result in thousands of search results.

Here is an example of just a few such items:
"Fishing kit (a 35mm film canister); bobbin wrapped with 20lb. test fishing line, 5 bobbers, 9 weights, 6 swivels, 40 hooks, 2 fly lures. A pouch holds the fishing and first aid kits listed above, plus: plastic survival cards, Swiss Army knife, sharpening stone, liquid filled compass, roll of waxed cord (dental floss), roll of 20lb. test monofilament, roll of copper wire (out of a transistor radio), roll of cord, P-38 can opener, vial of multi-vitamins, a heavy Zip-loc bag, flint rod, wire saw, signal mirror, snake bite kit, water purification tablets, waterproof match case (with a flint rod on the bottom), birthday candles (the trick kind that are hard to put out), small disposable lighter."

You must know that in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, the grocery stores will be emptied out in a matter of hours. Many Americans will be left with only what is in their pantries, which in most cases is not much at all. I have a two month's supply of water and a two year supply of food. My food storage contains items like powdered eggs, canned butter, canned cheese, canned meats, tuna, rice and several types of dried beans, canned flour, cornmeal, oatmeal, raisins, dried fruits, etc. These are all items that do not require refrigeration.

A loss of utilities and especially electrical power is common after an earthquake or bad storm. This could also be the result of a terrorist attack on our distribution system, which is a very good possibility in light of all the previous threats. When we lose power, we lose microwaves, ovens, stoves etc. Many people including myself have purchased a solar sun oven for cooking and baking food by the power of the sun.
Another great investment for survival is a hand pump (reverse osmosis) water filter that will purify any water source.

Taking into consideration the world's political climate and the unrest of American citizens over our political climate and the increase worldwide of earthquakes, it would only make sense to get prepared for the worst and pray for the best.

Author's Bio: 

Will you survive in hard times? Free list of links to the #1 most popular items needed in preparation for a natural or man-made disaster (type of food etc.): http://www.survivallist.info. Douglas C. Hoover; CEO of Aquamedia Corp, is a free-lance writer and author. Designed and constructed over 2,000 waterfalls for 30 years in southern California.