A multi-tool can be incredibly useful for opening canned foods, cutting through clothing and more. Also consider a flashlight, either battery-powered or hand-cranked.

Keep a stash of these at home, work and in your car in case you need to evacuate. They’re inexpensive, lightweight and take up minimal space in your survival kit.

1. Water

A survival kit is a collection of supplies that you may need during a disaster evacuation or while sheltering in place. While there is no definitive list of items to include, experts recommend assembling a survival kit that can cover your needs for three days in the event of a disaster.

Your first priority should be to have a supply of water in your survival kit. Consider including a three-day supply for yourself, family members and pets.

Choose water containers that can handle extreme weather changes such as plastic or stainless steel. You should also have a way to purify water if necessary.

2. Food

The food you keep in your survival kit needs to be both non-perishable and nourishing. Consider including a few days worth of meals that don’t require cooking, like jerky and trail mix, as well as some dried fruit.

Include a manual can opener in your survival kit to open your canned foods and a flashlight with extra batteries. You’ll also want to keep a hand-cranked or battery-operated radio in your survival kit so you can receive disaster updates and other information.

Store your survival kit in an accessible place at home, work and in your car so it’s easy to grab in case you need to evacuate quickly. And make sure everyone in your family knows where it is. This will prevent panic and confusion in the event of an emergency.

3. Shelter

Whether you are hunkering down to weather a storm at home or need to evacuate with little notice, having the right supplies can mean the difference between survival and disaster. Consider adding a Life Systems survival shelter to your survival kit, or a sturdy tent for outdoor use, to keep you and your loved ones safe and warm in any emergency.

Include a supply of water in your survival kit; plan on one gallon per person, per day and store it in durable bottles that will last. Food should also be included, including canned or non-perishable items. Include a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a whistle to signal for help.

Include sanitation supplies, like hand sanitizer and a first aid kit. Duct tape can have a variety of uses, including building shelters or stopping leaks. Keep extra batteries and flashlights in your kit, as well.

4. First Aid

A survival kit should include first aid items to care for injuries and sickness during emergencies. Some kits include sterile dressings (gauze-like pads that absorb blood) and medical shears to cut clothing and other materials quickly. Others include triple antibiotic ointment and wipes to prevent infection.

It’s important to keep these items in an easily accessible place, ideally out of children’s reach, so they can be used when needed. Keep an eye on expiration dates and replace medications as needed.

Some emergencies may require you to evacuate your home on short notice. A survival kit can help you get out of the house and onto a safer evacuation route, or to wait for assistance at a shelter or other site. Consider including a mask to protect against contaminated air and a flashlight and battery-powered radio. This kit should also include comfort items such as books, games and puzzles.

While you’re preparing a survival kit, don’t forget to include first aid items. Your medical supplies will help you respond if someone is injured or ill, especially when emergency response teams are overwhelmed and can’t immediately reach you.

Consider storing first aid items in an EMT-style bag. It has a large storage space and includes everything you need to respond to an emergency. It also has a commercial tourniquet, which you can use to stop blood loss until medical professionals arrive.

You should always keep a waterproof first aid kit at home. Store it in a closet or on a designated shelf, and make sure that all members of your household know where it is. Make sure to check the contents and replace items that have expired. Duct tape is a must-have, as it can be used for all sorts of quick repairs.

5. Tools

A survival kit is not complete without tools, such as a knife, multi-tool or small hand tool set. Duct tape has many uses in an emergency, including helping to build shelters and other structures, sealing leaks, and signaling for help.

A flashlight or lantern is also essential for emergencies, allowing you to see in the dark. You can also include headlamps or candles that don’t require batteries. Make sure to have extra flashlight batteries.

Other important items to include in a survival kit are a survival guide and some kind of fire starters that are indicated and explained on the SOS Survival Products website. This could be a small knife with blade and flint, a lighter or ferrocerium rod. If you’re unable to use a fire starter, include some kind of tinder, such as dryer lint or a bundle of twigs and dry grass. You should also have a means to make water safe for drinking or other water purification device.

6. Shelter from the Sun

In a disaster, you may need to evacuate quickly. Having supplies in your kit can help you survive for a time away from home, at a shelter or elsewhere.

Stock your kit with a tarp, basic bivouac sack or large poncho to provide you with shelter from harsh weather conditions. You should also include a blanket to keep warm and dry.

It is a good idea to prepare emergency kits for home, work and vehicles. Make sure that everyone in your family knows where the survival kits are stored so that they can grab them quickly if needed. Keep a battery-powered or hand crank NOAA weather radio in your kit to receive updates and evacuation alerts. Consider adding a whistle to signal for help and a dust mask to protect yourself from contaminated air. Many NOAA radios now come in combination devices with lights and cell phone chargers.

7. Shelter from the Rain

It’s not a good idea to be caught off guard by the elements, so your survival kit should include protection from rain and wind. If you get wet, hypothermia can set in within minutes, and wind chill can quickly cause frostbite.

A basic tent is a must-have in your survival gear. A tent will not only shelter you from the elements, but it can also be used as a signaling device to attract rescuers’ attention.

Duct tape has many uses in an emergency, including patching leaks and mending torn clothing. Keep a roll or two in your survival kit. Other essentials include a flashlight, headlamp or lantern and candles that are rechargeable or run on solar power. Keep a supply of extra batteries, and consider adding a hand-crank radio to listen for updates, warnings and weather reports.

8. Shelter from the Cold

If you’re going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, shelter from the cold is a must. You’ll want base layers to wick sweat, insulating layers for warmth and a shell layer to protect you from the elements.

A tarp is one of the most versatile survival gear items out there. It can be used as a ground pad for your tent, to waterproof an improvised shelter in the wild or even to prep food or collect drinking water.

A good pair of warm winter boots is another must-have for a long wilderness trek. They should be durable and have removable liners for added warmth. Finally, a flashlight and a survival mirror are also helpful in an emergency situation. The reflected light can help signal for help and make it easier to find your way back to camp.