One of the key tools for making it through the next big disaster is an emergency survival kit — and it’s important not only to store one at home, but to keep one in your car, because that’s where you might be when chaos erupts. Pre-packaged kits are available from a variety of retailers, but if you want to assemble your own, here is the minimum you should have in it, according to the American Red Cross. For the car, the gear is best packed tightly into a small backpack, to save space. At home, a basic outdoor garbage can works best for storage.
• Water: A three-day supply amounting to 1 gallon per person per day. (For the car kit, you’ll need to keep this outside the backpack in your vehicle’s trunk. Because 3 gallons of water can be bulky for the car, some people prefer to store as little as a quart a day, which is bare survival mode. Each quart can be stored in the backpack in small foil packets, available at disaster-supply sites or stores.