Hagana Ezrahit is a common sense resources guide about
Civilian Defense and Emergency Preparedness in Israel


An Emergency Survival Kit is just what it sounds like. In the event of a disaster, this kit could mean the difference between life and death.


When an emergency occurs, you have to assume that you will not have access to any of the normal resources or supplies that you will need in order to survive, for at least 72 hours. This is the amount of time it may take for relief workers to get to you.


An Emergency Survival Kit should be prepared for each member of the family. It should be easily accessible and ready to be moved quickly in the event that you must evacuate your home.

Basic Minimum Contents of your Emergency Survival Kit


  • 4 liters of bottled water per person per day.
  • Food – canned and freeze dried are best, they keep the longest and need no refrigeration
  • Can opener
  • Plastic/disposable eating utensils and dishes
  • Personal items such as toothbrush/ toothpaste, waterless hand cleaner, sanitary napkins, toilet paper, baby wipes, etc.
  • Baby supplies if needed, such as diapers, etc.
  • Special medications, extra eyeglasses, hearing aid batteries, matches
  • Chemical toilet
  • Flashlight
  • Portable radio
  • Communications radios
  • Batteries (alkaline have the longest shelf life, NOT rechargeable!)
  • First aid kit and supplies
  • Pocket knife or multi-tool such as a Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman
  • Rope and duct tape
  • At least one complete set of clothing for each member of the family, including extra underwear, socks and hats. Wool is better than cotton, it dries faster and provides better insulation.
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Money – at least NIS 200 in cash for each person
  • Copies of important documents such as Teudat Zehut, passports, insurance policies, etc.
  • A written list of important phone numbers. How many of us can remember all the numbers in our cell phone speed dial list?

Pointers about your Emergency Survival Kit

  • The kit should be stored where it can be accessed quickly near an exit to your home, NOT in the back of a closet behind heavy objects, or in the attic.
  • The kit should be packed in a wheeled shopping cart or day pack/back pack or duffle bag that can be grabbed quickly when you have to run.
  • Inspect your kit at least twice a year and refresh food, water, medicines and batteries.
  • Customize the kits for each member of the family to include special items needed for handicapped family members, etc.
  • Religious items – don’t rely on gathering your tefillin, tallit, siddur, etc. at the last moment. YOU MAY NOT HAVE TIME! Keep an old pair of tefillin, an extra tallit and siddur, etc. in your emergency survival kit.
  • A kit should also be prepared and kept in your car(s). If you happen to be driving when an emergency occurs, your car could be your only shelter. Keep in mind that it can get quite hot in you car in the summertime, so the contents of this emergency survival kit should be customized so there is nothing in it that can get ruined by the heat, or the cold in the wintertime.
  • Being stranded in your home or where ever you may be when disaster strikes can be incredibly boring while waiting for help to arrive. In addition to first aid items, and so on, you need to pay attention to your mental health. Have a book and some games for the kids!
  • While the hope is that this Emergency Survival Kit is never needed, keep in mind that having it updated and ready to go could very well save your life!