8 Unexpected Items to Pack in Your Emergency Kit

You know you need water and food. But you probably haven’t thought about these items.

Emergency kit items laid out on kitchen table.

It’s obvious you need water, food, and a change of clothes in any 72-hour emergency preparedness kit. Most people also keep some sort of blanket and first aid kit, but it’s the unusual items most of us don’t think to add that could make simple differences in the event of an emergency.

Here are eight additional items your emergency kit should include.

1. Duct Tape

It would be easier to list what you won’t need it for. Duct tape does is helpful in many ways, and if it turns out you have no use for it, you can make duct tape crafts and cheer up everyone around you. Here are 33 different crafts to get you started.

Related: How to Prepare for an Earthquake

2. Paper and Pencil

These could be critical items if your phone isn’t working. Maybe you’ll need it to leave notes for people you’re trying to find. Or you may want to write down some of your emotions so you can process better.

3. Storage bags

They can be used to store things in your 72-hour kit that need to be waterproof.

4. Small comfort foods

Small treats can provide comfort in times of stress. Consider things like chocolate, hard candy, or fruit snacks.

5. A deck of cards

A deck of cards is small, inexpensive, and versatile. Like the book, it can help keep your mind off of the disaster, but if you are sheltering with many strangers, it can also help you form friendships. You can start a group card games or choose a single-player game if that’s more appealing.

6. Purse items

You don’t think about adding many of those little things you keep in your purse, but it makes sense to include them. If it’s necessary enough for you to carry around with you at the store, it’s probably important enough to stick in your bag. These might include lip balm, hair ties, gum, or hand sanitizer.

7. Stickers for small kids

If you’re a parent, this is a good option for a tiny toy that offers some entertainment

8. Your favorite book

If you’re evacuating your house and get to the place of shelter (often a school), what do you do while you wait? Emergency kits are focused on your physical safety, and obviously that’s critical, but pack along an enjoyable book to take your mind off the anxieties of what’s going to happen.

Related: How to Be Prepared for a Natural Disaster.

Certainly, most of these items aren’t necessary for survival, but they can bring enough relief during a scary time that it’s worth making a little space for them.

Related Articles