I've been thinking about assembling a backpack of needed items for emergencies. In the process of doing that I've been intrigued by who recommends what. I found the Smith and Wesson kit somewhat amusing, but not particularly useful (a book about bear attacks?). On the other hand Kim du Toit had some useful ideas, even if he is strangely silent on the subject of fishing line and fishing hooks. The US Army has a great, free manual. But the Red Cross has the most common sense approach.
What it boils down to is the purpose of the bag. If you're looking to fend off ravening zombie hordes then you need the ever popular chainsaw and shotgun. But what I'm anticipating are ice storms, possibly a flood, car wrecks and assorted power outages. Which means less on the long term and more for the short term.
Where I stand convicted on this is how few real medical supplies we have in the house. I do have a one person supply of general use antibiotics. But we are sadly lacking in bandages and antiseptic items.
What I'm going to do is make a bag for each car with some general utility tools, a flare or two, a can of tire inflator (is that stuff great or what), jumper cables, a space blanket, some cord, a couple of power bars and a bottle of water. And then assemble a box full of stuff for the house. Distilled water, first aid supplies, a back up cell phone with charger, a hand crank charger, capacitor flash light or two, candles, jewelers loupe, magnesium flint, rope, etc.
My long term survival will depend upon my trusty .22 and the bricks of ammo I bought for cheap at Wal-Mart. If civilization breaks down and society collapses, I reckon squirrels will start to get mighty scarce in these parts. I hear they taste like chicken.