Best Disaster First Aid Kit

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Products Updated January 24, 2023
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To help you find the best disaster first aid kit, we spent over 11 hours testing 15 different first aid packs during hiking trips and within our homes. As we tested each first aid kit for disaster preparedness, we looked specifically for a wide availability of emergency items, portability, and durability. We also measured customizability and ease of access to ensure each kit could be accessed quickly and easily to take care of your individualized first aid needs. This is an important part of your survival gear.

After testing and using each kit in real-world situations, we have awarded the top pick spot for the best first aid kits to the Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit because of its high item count, extra mini first aid kit, and overall durability. This was the most well put together kit while still remaining compact and lightweight for easy access. Keep reading to learn more about the Swiss Safe first aid kit and our other top picks.

Top 7 Best Disaster First Aid Kit Compared

 #1  Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit – Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Swiss Safe 2-in-1 first aid kit is a 120-piece kit that features everything you need for quick medical treatment and more. It’s also super compact and durable, making it the best first aid kit for home or for your car.

  • FDA approved
  • 120 piece set + 32 piece mini kit
  • Excellent money back guarantee
  • A bit tight on internal space
  • Doesn’t include a tourniquet
  • No medicine included

With 120 individual pieces, the Swiss Safe 2-in-1 first aid kit is one of the most comprehensive adventure medical kits that we’ve tested. It features plenty of different sizes of bandages to treat any kind of cut, burns, or scrape, along with less common items like a compass, sewing kit, and emergency whistle. It even includes all-weather emergency fire starters that feature the magnesium ferrocerium rod that burns at 5,500°F for the ultimate fire-starting capability.  The Swiss Safe first aid kit is also FDA approved, which is a huge plus. It is also good to know that this is a multi-purpose first aid kit ideal for any event and occasion such as outdoors, family, home, emergencies, hiking, and office. It is also a good survival first aid kit and one of the best adventure medical kits.

Related: Check our comprehensive guide on the best hatchet in the market.

The 2-in-1 aspect of this compact first aid kit comes in the form of a bonus 32-piece mini first aid kit that contains more bandages, alcohol prep pads, sting relief pads, and more. This mini first aid kit is the perfect addition to carry around in your purse, backpack, or laptop bag. The entire kit is a little tight on internal space, so adding your own medical tools may require you to remove some of the repeats in the original kit, but this is an otherwise inconsequential downside when compared to the overall quality of the Swiss Safe 2-in-1 first aid kit. A kit like this is great for outdoor gear, but have one in the house too.

 #2  Surviveware Small First Aid Kit – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Surviveware small first aid kit is a small, compact kit that includes plenty of first aid items to take care of any minor, common injuries you may experience. The kit is easy to access and easy to pack, making it the most user-friendly option and on our list.

  • Very user friendly
  • Extra-durable 600D polyester construction
  • MOLLE compatible straps
  • No medicine or splint
  • Limited quantities

The Surviveware small first aid kit stays true to its name, measuring in at just 5.5 x 7.5 x 3.5 inches, which is small enough to fit into your car’s glove box or in your backpack. However, don’t let that small space fool you. This disaster first aid kit includes 100 pieces, including items like scissors, bandages, emergency blankets and more. The only items lacking that we would have preferred to see in the kit include over-the-counter medicine like aspirin and a splint to stabilize broken bones.

Our favorite thing about the Surviveware kit is found in its overall construction. Made from an extra-durable 600D polyester material, this kit is durable and water resistant. It also features MOLLE-compatible straps that can strap to almost anything, making this the best tactical first aid kit on our list. When you open the kit up, you’ll see an incredibly organized internal pouch, with individual compartments that are clearly labeled so you can keep everything in place. This is an essential pack for your camping and hiking gear and is pretty handy as a family emergency kit and survival first aid kit. It can be purchased on any Red Cross store or on Amazon pending availability.

 #3  Be Smart Get Prepared 10HBC01082 First Aid Kit – Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Be Smart Get Prepared 10HBC01082 first aid kit is the most durable option on our list, with a durable hard plastic case that can withstand drops and bumps with ease.

  • Very durable design
  • Compartmentalized interior
  • Easy slide latches for secure storage
  • Small bandages only
  • Hard case isn’t flexible

The Be Smart Get Prepared 10HBC01082 first aid kit offers a durable solution to treating minor wounds and injuries. With a hard plastic, impact-resistant case, you can rest assured that it won’t get broken when dropped or bumped around. This is one of the factors that makes it great for keeping in your car or taking along with you in your travels. It is ideal for emergency preparedness in many categories such as home, office, outdoors, marine and farm. Unfortunately, this plastic design means that the kit isn’t as flexible as other options when it comes to packing inside backpacks or other tight spaces.

The Be Smart Get Prepared is a 100 piece first aid kit that includes small bandages, trauma pads, cold compress and antiseptic wipes, to name a few. This kit does good both as a medical kit to treat health conditions and a survival first aid kit. We were most impressed with the inclusion of finger splints and a first aid guide, which can teach you what to do in certain medical situations, a very handy addition for anyone who hasn’t had to treat minor wounds before. I would keep this close by my best sleeping bags when camping. The Be Smart Get Prepared first aid kit can be found in the Sporting Goods, Health & Beauty, Auto, Outdoors, and Industrial Hardware sections in the mass market, or on Amazon or any Red Cross store.

 #4  AAA Commuter First Aid Kit – Lightest Weight

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WHY WE LIKE IT: Made by the same trusted automotive industry giant, the AAA Commuter first aid kit delivers brand reliability and quality. This compact kit is perfect for anyone needing extra portability without sacrificing usefulness.

  • Durable, compact case
  • ISO certified
  • Included carabiner for portability
  • Lowest number of pieces on our list
  • Not much internal organization

The AAA Commuter first aid kit is the lightest weight option on our list, weighing in at a mere 1.92 ounces. With such a lightweight design, you’ll be able to carry this kit around with you anywhere you go and not have to worry about being overburdened. The AAA Commuter is ISO certified for quality and FDA compliant, both of which help you feel confident that this kit is of the highest quality standards. This is the best disaster kit to bring along if you don’t feel up to carrying heavy weight for an extended period.

One of our favorite features here is the durable hardshell case that contains all of the medical items within the kit. This protects everything from drops and spills, as well as offering some internal organization. However, the organization comes in the form of two pockets so things can get messy pretty quick. You get 85 individual pieces of equipment in the AA Commuter first aid kit, which isn’t as many as others on our list, but still provides most everything you need. This kit is available on Amazon or in any Red Cross store. You should also have the best water purification tablets for camping on hand.

 #5  Protect Life First Aid Kit – Best Quality

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Protect Life first aid kit is most well designed option on our list, as well as the one that offers the most value and quality over other kits. With a water resistant bag, strong zippers and plenty of items, this kit is perfect for a starter or replacement first aid kit.

  • Excellent water resistant design
  • Strong, high-quality zippers
  • Part of your purchase goes to Red Cross
  • May need to add some of your own items
  • Band-aids could be stronger

As soon as we received the Protect Life first aid kit, we were immediately impressed by its overall design and durable construction. The 600D polyester bag features two convenient carrying handles and strong zippers that don’t get stuck or come off the tracks. It’s also highly water resistant, which keeps all your life-saving equipment safe from the elements. If you want to see the stars on your next camping trip, take a look at the best refracting telescope too.

This kit also provides a whopping 160 pieces of first aid gear, one of the highest on our list. We were surprised and pleased to find a raincoat, emergency blanket, compass and glow stick in the kit, all of which are essentials in any disaster scenario. And while the band-aids could be a little tougher, everything else in the kit was of high quality and durable. The bag is also compact enough to be stored easily in your car or backpack. Now that you have first-aid covered, also have the best water purifiers for camping on hand for clean water.

 #6  Lifeline AAA Premium Road Kit – Best Car Kit

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re worried about car troubles during a disaster, then the Lifeline AA Premium Road Kit is the right choice for you. This first aid kit includes both items to treat minor injuries and jumper cables so you never get stuck on the road.

  • Includes jumper cables
  • Heavy-duty kit design
  • AAA approved
  • Could use more medical supplies
  • Flashlight feels a little cheap

There’s no two ways about it, the Lifeline AAA Premium Road Kit’s biggest selling point is the inclusion of the heavy-duty jumper cables. With 8 feet of cable length, this is perfect for mid-sized cars and even SUVs, making this a real lifesaver if you ever find yourself with a dead battery on the side of the road. You also get a variety of other helpful tools for roadside use, including a 2-in-1 screwdriver and flashlight.

While we do wish the Lifeline road kit came with some more medical supplies, you still get some basic medical items like adhesive bandages, towelettes and a sting relief pad to take care of the minor cuts and scrapes you might experience while fixing your car. We recommend you supplement the kit with additional items as you see fit. You’re also getting a durable, heavy-duty kit design. The bag features two strong carrying handles to account for the weight of the jumper cables. If you need something for the side of the road troubles you may encounter during a disaster, don’t pass up the Lifeline AAA Premium Road Kit. Keep this in your best backpacking tent so you always have it nearby. That also goes for the best disaster food kit.

 #7  Emergency Zone Urban Survival 72-Hour Survival Kit – Best First Aid Kit Prepper

WHY WE LIKE IT: In times of disaster, you don’t have much time to pack things up and head to a safe area, which is where the Emergency Zone Urban Survival 72-hour kit comes into play. Featuring two backpacks packed to the brim with enough to keep four people going, this kit is perfect for those who like to be ultra prepared.

  • Two bags for 4 people
  • Includes disaster-specific items
  • Everything is neatly packaged
  • Expensive
  • Backpack straps could be stronger

There’s nothing wrong about being ultra-prepared for any potential disaster that might come your way and the Urban Emergency Survival Kit is the perfect product to help you get prepared. This is the most comprehensive coverage you can purchase out of all the products on our list. The two bug out bags include enough emergency preparedness supplies to keep four people going for 72 hours. This kit is an extremely helpful addition to your gear during disasters. As is the best sleeping pad.

While the Urban Emergency go bags feature all of the standard first aid items that you should come to expect in any first aid kit, they also feature food rations and water that both have a shelf life of five years. The kit contains an emergency preparedness guidebook, tents and water purification items, too. If you find yourself in a disaster with the Urban Emergency Urban Survival 72-Hour Survival Kit, you’ll be in the best shape possible. It can be purchased on Amazon or any Red Cross store. I would also recommend getting one of the best survival knives for general utility use.

How We Decided

When we first started researching the best disaster first aid kits, we first looked for options that included enough first aid products to cover a broad spectrum of emergency medical situations. This means that the kits on our list include the necessary equipment to treat cuts, scrapes, swelling and minor illnesses. The kits on our pack may also include emergency lighting and weather protection. All of these items will keep you well enough until emergency responder/EMT services can reach you or until you can make it to a hospital. If you’re not sure what survival kit is best for your trip, take a look at the best earthquake kit to compare.

We also only included first aid kids on our list that were easy to store in your home or car and easy to carry when needed. In a natural disaster scenario, you don’t want to be burdened with overly bulky or heavy items. This is why the best disaster first aid kits are compact and lightweight.

Finally, we considered the overall customizability and ease of use that each first aid kit offers. Not everyone’s medical needs are the same, so you should be able to add and remove items from your first aid kit as needed. The best medical kits include plenty of room inside the unit for this kind of customizability. All of these kits can be bought on Amazon or any Red Cross store.

Disaster First Aid Kit Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Items in the First Aid Kit
    A disaster first aid kit isn’t any good to you if it doesn’t include the first aid items you need to take care of the medical problems you might experience. Of course, when looking for the best first aid kits, you can’t expect every first aid kit to include an item for every single situation, so take a look at the items in the kit you’re considering to see if it has what you need or think you’ll need. Some first aid kits are bigger than others and will thus offer more variety in the types of items you’ll get. Obviously the more contents in the kit the better, if you have the storage space.
  2. Portability
    In a disaster scenario, you typically won’t have a lot of room to carry a massive first aid kit around with you. This is why it’s important for you to find a kit that’s portable and compact. We recommend purchasing a first aid kit that’s small enough to store in a backpack or trunk of your car. If you’d like something bigger, we recommend purchasing a bug out or go bag survival kit, which will include more than just first aid items. These packs should still be light and easy to carry or else their usefulness will be diminished.
  3. Shelf Life
    Unfortunately, you won’t be able to predict exactly when a disaster will occur and require you to use your first aid kit. This is why it’s important to purchase disaster kits that offer long shelf lives. On average, the perishable items in a first aid kid have a three to five year shelf life. While you won’t typically need to worry about bandages and band-aids expiring in your kit, things like medicine, antiseptic, and food items will have an expiration date. For proper disaster preparedness, you should be checking your first aid kit regularly to ensure you’re replenishing items you’ve used and replacing items that have expired.

Finally, you might want to consider some first aid training since having a first aid kit is of no use if you don’t know how to use it. The American Red Cross provides an accessible all-inclusive first aid training for disaster preparedness that includes lectures, practical training, and written tests. You also get the American Red Cross certification if you pass the training. Red Cross also has a first aid app that guides and informs about basic care. For more information about this and similar content, check on the Red Cross website or the Red Cross Store.

Disaster First Aid Kit FAQs

What should be in a disaster first aid kit?

There are a multitude of different items you could potentially put in your first aid kit, but there are a few items that should be in every first aid kit you purchase. These items most commonly include, but are not limited to:

  • Bandages and dressings (gauze, adhesive tape, band-aids, etc.)
  • Over-the-counter medicine (pain relievers, antihistamines, corticosteroids, aloe vera, antibiotic cream, etc.)
  • Any prescription medications
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Latex gloves
  • Cold packs
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Safety pins
  • Emergency blanket
  • Compass
  • Flashlight

Do disaster first aid kits expire?

Yes, certain items in first aid kits can expire. As you regularly check on the status of your first aid kit, make sure you check expiration dates on things like medications, sprays, ointments, eyedrops and wipes. On average, these items have a three to five year shelf life.

Are disaster first aid kits worth it?

Disaster first kits are absolutely worth it. Even though you may never find yourself in a disaster and need to use your first kit, you don’t want to be caught without one, especially if you’re ever injured. You can also use emergency kits any time, even when not in a disaster, to take care of any injuries or problems that may happen to you.

Can disaster first aid kits be taken onto an airplane?

Even though first aid kits are extremely helpful for a variety of situations, they often contain items that aren’t allowed on airplanes. For example, you can typically only bring things like bandages, gauze, gloves and scissors with blades less than four inches onto planes. Anything else will need to be cleared with security. If you have a specific medical need that you carry with you as a part of your first aid kit, we recommend you clear those items with security or the airline well before you board your flight.
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