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For most of us, an elaborate doomsday bunker is overkill. But, when facing down a tornado, hurricane, blizzard, or whatever Mother Nature flings at you, a little preparation can save you from a real-life version of the grocery store frenzy in an end time zombie flick. Start with basics, like a three-day supply of water (ready.gov recommends one gallon per person per day), batteries, and the infinitely versatile duct tape. Then store these other essentials in a waterproof bucket. There—no fighting over Manwich.
A good first-aid kit includes more than just antacids, latex gloves, and Band-Aids. The Backpacker Extended First Aid Kit by REI includes sponges for bleeding, a moldable splint for bone breaks, and a bandage for making a sling. $55
Step one: Explain to any nearby children what playing cards are. Step two: Enjoy games like Go Fish or Slap Jack with the Hoyle Clear waterproof deck. It will be a welcome distraction once the iPad batteries inevitably give out. $8
The 7-foot SOL Emergency Blanket uses a shiny-silver aluminum coating to reflect 90 percent of your body heat back to you. Unlike other space blankies, its flip side is bright orange, making you easier to spot in an emergency. $6
Listen to tunes or local news on the battery-powered WR400 Midland Weather Alert Radio via the AM/FM bands. It’ll automatically interrupt with National Weather Service emergency alerts affecting your county. $58
Don’t risk dropping your light. The Black Diamond Storm Headlamp works in 3.3 feet of water, so it’ll keep shining in a deluge. The beam reaches over 260 feet, and you can squeeze up to 160 hours of light out of four AAA batteries. $38
A whistle is the best way to help rescuers find you when things go sideways. The multi-chamber Whistles for Life can reach up to 120 decibels (as loud as a thunderclap). Two side chambers send tones in opposite directions, maximizing range. $7
The Gerber Center-Drive’s bit driver (one of eight appendages, including pliers and blades) lines up nicely with the device’s center, making it easier to hold, and providing better leverage and torque during tough tasks. $90
Each Meal Kit Supply MRE pouch provides a two-course meal that cooks itself. Water triggers a chemical reaction that warms up grub in about 15 minutes. Entrees have a five-year shelf life thanks to a steaming process that kills bacteria. $45 (box of 6)
This article originally appeared in the Extreme Weather issue of Popular Science.