14 items recommended by the Red Cross for surviving a natural disaster

When it comes to the threat of natural disasters, it’s easy to see why most people would rather keep the thought of being struck by one completely out of sight and out of mind. But while it may be an unpleasant thing to think about, natural disasters such as tornados, earthquakes and hurricanes can cause severe damage and even take your life if you are not prepared ahead of time.

Recently, Hadley Mendelsohn of My Domaine used information from The Red Cross and other sources to compile a list of the 14 most essential supplies every natural disaster prepper should have in their Go Bag. They are as follows:

A sturdy backpack

In the event of a natural disaster, chances are you’re going to have to get dirty or wet at one point or another. If you care about transporting your items safely from point A to point B – which you should because your supplies will most likely be the key to your survival – then you need to store them in a sturdy, heavy duty backpack.


Water is something that many of us tend to take for granted. When we’re thirsty, all we have to do is fill a glass from the tap or grab a water bottle out of the cabinet. But in a survival situation, water may very well go from plentiful to luxurious in a matter of hours. The Red Cross recommends that you prepare by setting aside one gallon of water per person, per day. (Related: Follow these water storage tips to ensure your family’s survival.)


Like water, food is an essential part of your survival. Stock up on non-perishable and easy to prepare food items so that you will have the energy to carry on day by day. High-energy protein bars are always good to have as well. (Related: Here are 10 affordable and nutritious food items you can stockpile to prepare for a crisis.)


Your Go Bag should contain a flashlight, though more than one is preferable in case one stops working. In the event of a natural disaster, chances are the power will go out and you and your family will be left in the dark. Therefore, having a source of light is essential.


Staying up-to-date with what is going on outside of your shelter is very important. To do this, make sure you have either a battery-powered or a hand-crank radio.

Extra batteries

After a natural disaster, finding sources of power is going to be extremely difficult. Unless all of your items are solar-powered or can generate power via a hand-crank, you’re going to need extra batteries.

First aid kit

Next to food and water, the first aid kit is potentially the most important item on this list. Be sure to stock your first aid kit with aspirin, antibiotic ointment, a cold compass, bandages, gauze, tape, and whatever else you think would help an ill or wounded friend or family member.

Multi-purpose tool

Your multi-purpose tool should be equipped with a screwdriver, corkscrew, blade, and a bottle opener. You never know when you will need it.

Sanitation items

 If you’re going to be going out and getting dirty, then you are going to want to make sure you have the supplies necessary to remain clean and hygienic. Hand sanitizer, soap, tissues, facemasks, and sanitation wipes are all good things to include in your Go Bag.

Copies of personal documents

In the event that you need to leave your home, you need to have important personal documents with you. Make sure you make copies of your medical information, proof of address, the deed or lease to your home, passports, and birth certificates and carry them with you in your Go Bag.

Mobile phone with chargers

Given that you may still have cell phone service after a natural disaster, it’s always a good idea to take your mobile phone with you wherever you go, as well as multiple chargers. Invest in a charging case as well so that your phone’s battery will last twice as long.

Emergency blanket 

In a survival situation, you’re not always going to have a roof over your head when you go to sleep at night. Having a thermal blanket with you can help you stay warm through the night, and it could even mean the difference between life and death.

Extra cash

Having extra cash on hand is always a plus, especially in the event that ATMs go offline and you are unable to withdraw any additional money from the bank.

Map of the area

In the event of a natural disaster, it helps to have a map of the area with you so that you know where you are at all times, as well as where you can go for shelter and security.

by Jayson Veley

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