15 items everyone should have in their at-home emergency kit

  • Emergencies can happen at any time, so it’s imperative to have an at-home emergency kit ready should disaster strike.
  • Experts have suggested creating two kits for unexpected situations: a stationary and mobile emergency kit for your home.
  • Due to fears of coronavirus, we’re doing our best to ensure the products are in stock and are at a standard retail price.

When an emergency strikes, it’s almost always unexpected, whether it’s a natural disaster, a family member falling ill, losing power for multiple days, or something else. We don’t always immediately know what to do, but it’s wise to have the supplies readily available should you ever find yourself in the midst of an urgent situation.

Creating a personalised at-home emergency kit isn’t difficult if you know what to put it in. All you need to do is grab a large tub (like this one) and fill it with basic necessities like a first aid kit, water, flashlight, and any medical supplies that are specific to your needs, or your household and pet’s needs. You could even create multiple bins based on the supplies inside (e.g., food bin, medical bin, hardware bin).

You should create two kits: one that’s meant for use at home if you’re required to stay put, and an emergency kit that’s on-the-go ready should you need to mobilise.

How you choose to set up your at-home emergency kit is up to you, but we’ve rounded up a list of basic items you might want to include.

Here are 15 items to include in your at-home emergency kit:

A hand-crank/solar-powered NOAA radio and charging device


RunningSnail Emergency Solar Crank Radio, available on Amazon for A$49.67

This multi-use radio, flashlight, and SOS alarm is a must-have emergency kit item. No matter the situation, this radio will work. It can be charged four different ways: solar, hand crank, AAA batteries (3), and 2,000mAh power bank. Not only do you have access to AM/FM radio, but you have access to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) emergency broadcasts. On top of that, the RunningSnail radio has a USB port for device charging. Buy it on Amazon here.

A battery-free flashlight


VADIV Hand Crank Flashlight, available on Amazon for A$12.11

No batteries are needed with this three-LED bulb flashlight that’s powered by solar energy and hand-crank technology. One minute of cranking will get you 10 minutes of light, so you’ll need to crank for six minutes for a full hour of power. Additionally, the VADIV flashlight has a built-in carabiner clip, so you can attach it to the outside of a backpack for easy access and solar charging. Buy it on Amazon here.

A set of weather-resistant blankets


Swiss Safe Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (4-pack), available on Amazon for $36.08

These Mylar thermal blankets are designed to retain to up 90% of body heat and are waterproof, windproof, and moisture-proof. They can also be converted into emergency shelter tents if need be. Swiss Safe emergency blankets are also extremely lightweight, so they’re perfect for your mobile emergency kit. Buy it on Amazon here.

A first aid kit

Foshan Flying Medical Productions Travelling First Aid Kit, available on Amazon for A$23.33

This 210-piece first aid kit comes in a compact, portable pack that’s practical for home or on the go. Clear and mesh pockets leave everything visible for quick and easy access to whatever you’re looking for, like an instant cold pack, emergency blanket, a mouth-to-mouth breath mask, 2-piece sterile eye pack, non-adherent wound pads, adhesive bandages and more. You’ll be set with all of your basic medical needs in this compact kit. Buy it on Amazon here.

A portable water filter


LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, available on BCF for A$41.99

If you run out of clean water or find yourself without it, LifeStraws uses a microfiltration membrane to remove 99.9% of waterborne bacteria, parasites, and microplastics (as small as 1 micron). With proper use and maintenance, a LifeStraw can filter through 4,000 litres of water. Buy it from BCF here.

A multi-tool army knife


Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp Pocket Knife, available on Amazon for A$101.63

This stainless steel army knife can be used to serve 33 different functions, including but not limited to, scissors, bottle opener, blade, screwdriver, and pliers. This compact tool can easily be carried in a backpack or pocket if you’re on the go. Buy it at Amazon here.

A bracelet designed to help if you’re lost

A2S Protection Paracord Bracelet, available on Amazon for A$17.22

These paracord bracelets have several key features that will come in handy if you find yourself lost in an unfamiliar area. It includes a compass, emergency whistle (noice levels up to 100db) and knife, flint fire starter, fire scrapper and more. Buy it at Amazon here.

A two-way radio

SOCOTRAN Adults Walkie Talkies Rechargeable Two-Way Radios, available on Amazon for A$44.86

Various emergencies can knock out power and telephone lines making it hard to communicate with members of your party should you need to separate for any reason. These two-way walkie talkies utilise 22 channels to communicate with one another for up to 8km. Its batteries can last on standby for up to 72 hours and can be recharged with any USB-compatible device. Buy it at Amazon here.

A supply of batteries


Energizer AA MAX Batteries, Alkaline, 20-Pack, available on Amazon for A$17

Energizer batteries are one of the longest-lasting alkaline batteries on the market. They have a shelf-life of 10 years and are leak-resistant for up to two years after being fully used. You can add these to your at-home survival kit and be confident that they will be ready should an emergency strike. Buy it at Amazon here.

A roll of heavy-duty duct tape


Gorilla Tape – Black Duct Tape (2-pack), available on Amazon from A$33.65

This double-thick adhesive tape is heavy-duty enough to stick to rough and uneven surfaces, yet workable enough that it can be ripped by hand. Gorilla Tape is also weather-resistant and can withstand moisture, UV rays, and extreme temperatures. Buy it at Amazon here.

A pack of waterproof matches


Coghlan’s Waterproof Matches (4-Pack), available on Anaconda for A$11.99

It’s always a good idea to carry waterproof matches with you in case you need to start a fire in a damp area. Each box contains 40 matches and they’re sold in a 10-pack for a total of 400 matches. Though they’re great for use in the rain or in humid conditions, some users have had trouble getting them to light if they have been submerged in water. Consider storing them in a waterproof container for extra peace of mind. Buy it at Anaconda here.

A package of N95 respirator masks


3M Particulate N95 Respirator with Valve

This respirator is designed to protect you from breathing in non-oil-based particles like fibreglass and sanding debris. A valve attached to the front of the mask makes for easy breathing, as well as heat and moisture reduction. A simple mask like this could help protect your respiratory system if you’re in a situation where you’re surrounded by significant debris.

Note: As of 15/3/2021, respirators and face masks are still hard to find online due to fears of coronavirus. We will update this article with purchase links when they are back in stock.

An emergency food kit

Outdoor Gourmet Company Beef Bourguignon Freeze Dried Food 2 Serves, available on BCF for A$17.99

It’s always a good idea to keep non-perishables like canned food that doesn’t require cooking in your kit. A three-day supply for each member in your group is a good starting point.

Ready-to-go food options have extended shelf lives for emergency situations. Outdoor Gourmet Company and Back Country cuisine are popular outdoor options, lasting 3-4 years and only needing boiling water to create. From Thai Chicken to Country Beef Mince and Mediterranean Lamb, they’re ready in just 10 minutes. Buy the range from BCF here.

A manual can opener


TOPLUS Stainless Steel Opener, available on Amazon for A$15.99

To accompany your non-perishable foods, the TOPLUS can opener has a 4-in-1 design that’ll open all cans and bottles, integrating a can opener, can lifter / lever and bottle opener, jar opener, beer and soft drink can opener all in one. It’s simple and doesn’t require electricity, so it’s ideal for emergency situations.

If you’re looking for something even more compact for on-the-go can opening, check out the P-38 Can Opener. It’s a bit more difficult to use, but fits on a keyring and can be used as a cutting blade or even a screwdriver in a pinch. Buy at Amazon here.

A supply of clean drinking water

Mount Franklin Pure Spring Water 500ml x20 case, available on Woolworths for A$9.20

Although we previously recommended adding LifeStraws to your at-home survival kit, you should always be prepared with clean drinking water. Stock up on litres of water or pre-packaged bottles like this in your at-home kit. Don’t forget to recycle the bottles afterward, if you can. Buy at Woolworths here.

Additional reporting by Chantelle Schmidt.

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