What we recommend for a DIY emergency grab bag

You can create an emergency grab bag for less than $150 – a lot cheaper than what some commercial ones cost.

Contents of $150 DIY emergency survival kit.

The recent coronavirus outbreak has seen face masks, hand sanitiser and long-life food fly off the shelves in supermarkets. Now’s a good time to update or put together an emergency grab bag in case a non-viral disaster also strikes.

We were able to construct a kit of decent quality for $150, significantly less than some of the commercial kits. It’s likely you can build a comparable kit for even less than this, as many of us already have spare backpacks, torches, radios and drink bottles.

Our kit contains*:

*Items available and prices correct as of 04 March 2020.

But remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Think about where you’re most likely to be when disaster strikes, and build your kit accordingly. If you work a short walk from home, chances are you won’t need a kit as comprehensive as this. But if you commute for an hour each day from an outlying suburb you’ll need enough supplies for a long walk home, including sturdy shoes, water and snacks for energy.

Have you got a plan?

The most important part of emergency preparedness is making a plan for you and your family that covers the following:

  • Where will you meet if you can’t get home, and a backup plan if you can’t pick-up the kids
  • The name and contact details of someone to check in with out of town in case the phones go down, and other emergency contact details
  • Family and friends who may require your assistance
  • Plans for if you’re stuck at home, including three days’ worth of food and water
  • Plans for how you’ll stay warm at night and cook food if there’s no power
  • Getaway kits for if you need to leave in a hurry. Note that relying on a getaway bag for 72 hours is an extreme scenario. In most cases, your getaway kit will just need to get you from where you are when disaster strikes to where you need to go.


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30 Jan 2020
Important Thing to have in your grab bag

After being in all of the CHCH quakes the most important thing to have firstly is cash as if ATM's go down and banks are shut then you can't buy petrol, or supplies. If you can spare it put in your grab bag about $200 - luckily we had done this and used all of it over a week.