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Surviving a natural disaster can feel difficult, especially in areas that are prone to them.

Not only can a hurricane or a tornado devastate an area, but, often, the after affects will linger.

There may be times when emergency responders cannot reach your area, so being prepared should be your number one priority.

You may have sought information about surviving natural disasters, but haven’t put anything into practice.

The goal of this article is to show you how to choose the right survival kit for your situation.

There is much to consider, especially for those that aren’t sure what to include with their survivalist gear.

Here’s a full list of our Survival Kits.

If you’re looking for the best kits available, check out our Ultimate Survival Kit.

In the meantime, here’s how to choose the best survival kit or survivalist gear.

Survival Kits & Natural Disasters

In the United States, there are many forms of natural disasters, so finding out the most common ones in your area will help you choose the right survival kit for your situation.

The following is a list of the most common natural disasters in the United States.

Heat Waves

Global warming is taking its toll, not just on the United States, but the whole world.

Temperatures have steadily risen since the Industrial Revolution, prompting heat waves to become a common occurrence.

The exact reason behind global warming has been questioned, but, never the less, it is a trend that we all need to contend with.

The problem with global warming is that its effects can be felt anywhere, especially in areas with dry environments where heat waves can become dangerous.

Having the right survival kit designed for a heat wave will ensure you’re prepared to handle the heat.


The United States has seen a fair share of droughts – especially in California.

Though a drought hasn’t produced the devastation the Dust Bowl produced, droughts can still wreak havoc on local environments – especially in farming communities.

While droughts will eventually disappear, chances are good that they will last for a long time.

Stocking up on plenty of water will help you be prepared when a drought strikes.


Floods are a common occurrence and happen quite frequently.

They can strike in mountainous areas, ports, and anywhere that doesn’t see a lot of rain.

When it comes to property damage, few are as devastating as a flood.

Often, the environment may not handle an influx of heavy rain – which leads to flooding.

Other natural disasters, like hurricanes, can produce floods – especially when they dump a lot of rain on one area.

Hurricane Katrina was one of the most devastating hurricanes to hit the United States, and the mass flooding produced by it left a lot of people without homes.


Many people are familiar with California’s infamous earthquakes, which can produce high numbers of casualties.

Though they have become quite dormant in recent years, one of the worst earthquakes to happen within the last 50 years was in 1988 and left a lot of devastation – along with a high casualty count.

One thing to note about earthquakes is that they happen every day, but typically don’t register.

While the earthquake is scary enough by itself, it can produce aftershocks that linger for a long time after the earthquake has stopped.


Not commonly thought of as a natural disaster, thunderstorms can cause a lot of damage.

Though lightning is often thought of as being the most devastating part of a thunderstorm, other elements of it can cause a lot of damage.

High winds can cause damage to buildings and homes.

Hail can damage vehicles and, if the hail stones are large enough, they can penetrate the roofs of homes.

Hail also damages crops and could seriously hurt someone if they are hit by hail.

Don’t forget about the potential of being struck by lightning.

Though it is rare, it still happens enough that you should be prepared.


Smokey the Bear always told us that “only we can prevent forest fires,” but sometimes they are completely out of our control.

Lightning striking a dry forest can cause a wildfire and will help them spread quickly.

Oftentimes, wildfires are a product of dry weather and droughts are a major contributor to wildfires.

The western United States is prone to wildfires and it’s easy to find the reasons behind the occurrences.

Dry air and drought can dry out the underbrush, which allows fires to spread quickly and easily.


The most common natural disaster in the United States is the deadly tornado which strikes the United States more than any other country in the world.

Tornado Alley, the flat area stretching from Kansas to South Dakota is infamous for its devastating tornadoes.

There have been occurrences in areas where tornadoes aren’t normally found, such as Mississippi and Illinois, which means they could strike just about anywhere.

The effects of a tornado can tear up the environment, destroy homes, and create fatalities.

Though we have gotten better at predicting how big a tornado might be, the fact they can strike without much warning makes them quite dangerous.


Volcanos are one of the most interesting natural disasters on this list, only because they happen all the time, often without any effect.

However, when a volcano erupts, it can change the environment, destroy cities, and create its own weather pattern.

Mount Saint Helen’s was one of the most popular volcanic explosions in recent memory.

Ancient civilizations noted the devastation a volcano can create, and Pompeii was actually destroyed when a volcano exploded.

Most volcanos are dormant, but when they erupt, they can heavily destroy the environment around them.

Most of the volcanos in the United States are in the western States and Hawaii.


Hurricanes occur when evaporated water is soaked up by the clouds.

A lot of times, hurricanes form in open water and don’t make landfall.

However, there have been plenty of hurricanes that have made landfall, and created a lot of destruction.

Most of them start to build up in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Atlantic Ocean.

The amount of water that is dropped into an area, along with the high winds, can devastate any buildings in the path of a hurricane.

Often, people will board up their homes and windows, and leave the area until the hurricane has passed.

Winter Weather

Winter weather, the opposite of heat waves, is where extremely cold temperatures and tons of snow can strike an area.

When this happens, people can become stranded in their homes or vehicles, and lose power.

Not only that, the frigid temperatures can make people lose body heat quickly.

Airports can shut down due to extremely cold temperatures, and prevent planes from taking off.

Though many people aren’t affected by extreme winter weather, there have been known cases of people freezing to death because they could not find shelter in time.

Choosing Survival Kits

Survival kits should last you at least 72 hours.

This is the most critical time after a disaster strikes to have everything you need to outlast the disaster.

So, having everything you need will go a long way towards you successfully making it through the disaster.

Though you might think you have everything you need, it never hurts to double check your own survival kits.

Here are the items you should have in your survival kit.

Emergency Food and Water

Making sure you have enough food and water to last you at least 72 hours will go a long way towards keeping you well.

They are the two most essential parts of your survival kit, so maintaining your survival kit is key to preparation.

It’s important to note that bottled water can last for up to two years and canned food up to five years.

You can tell when you have good quality emergency food because it will be U.S. Coast Guard Approved and has the expiration date stamped on the container.

You should check the food out once a year to make sure it is still good to consume.

You don’t want to get sick after a natural disaster hits because you ate expired food.

Emergency Lighting

Lights are necessary – and you can use anything that produces light.

Candles can be ideal because they won’t go bad.

Flashlights are easier to use, but you will need to check them annually to make sure the batteries are still working.

You can find candles available that last up to 30 hours, while using a flashlight that has replaceable batteries to make sure you’re prepared if you lose power.

Make sure you have waterproof matches as well so you can light the candles.

Emergency Communication

When a natural disaster strikes, chances are good that you are going to lose power, and, with that, a way to contact others.

Though our cell phones do a good job of providing location information, the technology is still susceptible to natural disasters.

Using a CB radio, AM/FM radio, or another radio will keep you updated with what is going on in your area.

You should make sure the radio is battery operated, or uses solar power to work.

This way, you can stay on top of what is going on outside, and know if (or when) it is safe to leave your home.

Emergency Sleeping Bag

Though a camping sleeping bag will suffice, they are not completely waterproof and can leave you cold.

Using a “space blanket” is the best way to ensure your body stays warm.

They cover your body completely, and ensure your body heat stays inside the blanket.

You can combine the two items to make sure you stay warm, especially if the weather is cold.

Also, getting a 16-hour body warmer is a good idea since it will help you stay warm if you’re trapped in the cold.

Survival Tools

Make sure you have all the tools you will need to make it through a natural disaster.

You should include a 16-function knife, dust mask, and nylon rope.

The knife’s utility provides everything you need to open cans, cut material, as well as essential functions you need to make it through a disaster.

A dust mask will ensure you’re not breathing in any dust particles that can create long term health problems.

You will have endless possibilities with nylon rope, including a clothes line, anchoring tarps, and other uses.

Having these essential tools allow you to do more with less, which is what you want when natural disasters happen.

Emergency First Aid Kits

You should include a first aid kit in your survival kit.

They can provide excellent protection against diseases, allow you to treat wounds, and have everything you need to prevent infections.

A basic first aid kit should have gauze pads, antibacterial ointment, pain relievers, bandages, and other common emergency items you can use.

Hand sanitizer and gloves will allow you to treat wounds without the fear of spreading infections.

Most first aid kits will have everything you need to make sure someone can be taken care of if they are injured during or after a natural disaster.

Miscellaneous Emergency & Survival Items

There may be some other items you will need to consider putting into your survival kit.

Things like a deck of cards, or books will help stave off boredom, especially if you are stuck for more than 72 hours.

Though you may not need these things if you’re looking to store the bare minimum, having them will help in the long run.

Think of some other items to keep in your survival kit to make sure you’re prepared for the long haul.

Though being stuck for more than 72 hours is a worst-case scenario, these items will help you stay mentally fit.


Natural disasters can be frightening, devastating, and cause a lot of damage.

There are many ways a natural disaster will strike, so being prepared is the best way to make it through one.

Considering the amount of extreme weather we have seen in the last decade, it’s not crazy to think they could become worse with time.

It’s good to have a survival kit to help you make it through a natural disaster relatively unscathed.

Knowing you have the proper items to get through it will go  a long way towards keeping you ready for whatever happens.

Again, check your survival kit at least once a year to make sure it is ready to go.

The Survivalist Gear Team

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