When I was living at Northridge, California, where there were frequent small quake shocks about 10 years ago, all we had for emergencies where about 10 5-Gallon water bottles and a few canned foods. Thinking about then we were very inadequate on a real emergency that is why the last few years we been stocking up on water, canned foods, emergency blankets, rations, flash lights, etc. that was purchased from outside vendors for about $100 - $200.
What is so special about buying these kits?
What is good about buying these kits is that it saves you time from gathering each individual item and it might cost a little less. At least there is the basic water, bandaids, and heated blankets. The water packets is suppose to keep the water fresh for 5 years and the rations is also suppose to last for 5 years.
Just because we have emergency supplies, are we sure they really work?
A few months ago while going on a camping trip, I took a few emergency water and ration packets with me. Along the water, one of the little girl was thirsty and needed some water to drink. I gave her an emergency water to drink. She felt less thirsty and told me would not have drank it under any other circumstances. Ok, now I figured to switch out the emergency water with bottle waters. The ration was awefully bad. Would need to switch it out with some rice, Cup O'Noodles, and dried food.
I was thinking of adding a gas powered electricity generator to the back of the house, but worried about the safety hazzard. Occassionally I add in a few items to the emergency kits and switch out the food and water every year. Hopefully that would be enough for an emergency.