Create a Shoebox Emergency Kit for $144
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No one ever thinks an emergency will strike them... until it does. That's why it's good to be prepared just in case your find yourself in a blizzard, a tornado, or a state-wide blackout (all of which I have lived through, and trust me, it's better to be prepared).
I live in a super small house though (600 sq ft), so my emergency kit can't take up too much space. I mean, I don't even have enough space for a kitchen table! So that's how this Shoebox Emergency Kit was born. And it takes no more than $150! No excuses, let's get to it.
Disclaimer: This kit should in no way replace an actual emergency kit. This kit will last you 72 hours at best. However, it is better to have something rather than nothing.
A shoebox-sized bin will be needed to store all of your items. It can easily be kept under your bed, under the sink, or in the closet.
Access to clean water may be hard to come by in the middle of an emergency. The CDC recommends every person have 1 gallon of water per day stocked away for emergencies. Every time I try to do this though, the water ends up leaking after a few months, ruining everything in my pantry. So instead, I found this water filter. It removes 99.99999% of bacteria, harmful heavy metals, iodine, chlorine, and bad odors.
Buy: Membrane Solutions Water Filter Straw, $12.99
When you only have a shoebox-sized emergency bin, you will need to find a multipurpose pocket knife. This pocket knife includes a 9 piece screwdriver, 3" knife blade, pliers, a can opener, and a bottle opener! It's a great tool that can also be used for self defense.
Buy: RoverTac Pocket Knife, $21.99
You will need a lighter for multiple reasons should you find yourself in an emergency situation. They are essential for starting fires to cook/keep warm, as well as for lighting candles. If you don't have candles or logs, you can always use the lighter itself as a source of light. I recommend stashing one or two new lighters so they aren't all used up should you need to use them one day.
Buy: REIDEA Electronic Candle Lighter, $13.99
Much like clean water, you need clean air. If you're in the middle of a true emergency, the air may not be the best quality. Especially if there was a fire involved. This mask will filter out most of the bad stuff, and it's reusable!
Buy: Elipse P100 Dust Half Mask Respirator, $29.88
Instead of stuffing your box with spare batteries, get yourself a solar-powered flashlight. This flashlight is not only solar-powered, but also provides additional tools that your pocket knife may be missing!
Buy: Unicumoo Multi-Function Car Safety Hammer Flashlight, $15.99
You will need to keep your energy up. So stock up with some high calorie, protein bars. This will provide you with the boost of energy you'll desperately need, while also providing you with a feeling of fullness. During emergencies, you need to be on high alert and strong enough to fight off danger.
Emergency Survival Blanket
No matter where you are in the world, an emergency blanket is needed in your emergency bin. This blanket will provide heat if you need, is waterproof, windproof, and can also be used as a signal for help (when place with the reflective side up).
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit that can be small enough to fit in your shoebox should be fine as long as it includes gauze, gloves, wipes, tweezers and bandages. An extra pouch of sanitizing wipes would also be a good idea to include in your box.
Buy: SuccorWare Small First Aid Kit, $9.99
Solar-Powered Phone Charger
Now, it's not guaranteed that the cell towers will be up and working, but they most likely will be. And even if they're not, it's good to have a charged phone for when things are back up and running. If you decided to get the flashlight listed up above, you're covered! That flashlight is equipped with a solar-powered phone charger. However, if you're looking for something specifically geared toward charging, this is another favorite (that also includes a flashlight so you'll really only need either or).
Buy: Solar Power Bank Portable Charger, $23.99
It may sound weird, but plastic wrap is multi-functional in times of emergency. You can use it to keep items dry in times of a flood or rain, you can use it to cover up air gaps in windows or walls, and you can even use it to wrap wounds. It's a versatile staple that may come in handy when you're forced to think outside the box.
Buy: Stretch-Tite Premium Plastic Food Wrap, $9.49
I would recommend having at least $300 on hand. When the power is out, you likely won't be able to access the ATM and the credit card machines probably won't work. Stash some cash just in case you need it; preferably in smaller bills.
Grand total for the Shoebox Emergency Stash: $144 (+ cash)