Emergency kits don't have to be pricey


Retailers sell emergency kits all pre-packaged and ready to go. It's a great start but a couple of things: For one, they are not customized for your family and number two they are pricey. So we found another alternative to stretch your dollar.

To say Cathy Young is addicted to the 99 Cents Only Store is an understatement. She is in the store at least three times a week. From household goods to food, she finds it all.

"It's just amazing, like the other day I wanted to make lasagna, I got the ricotta cheese, I got everything except the meat here at the 99 Cents Only Store to make my lasagna," she said.

And now you can get your emergency kit here too. The Red Cross has partnered with the 99 Cents Only Store to make building your emergency kit easy and affordable with a list.

"They are thinking ahead for us. Someone needs too that's for sure," Young said.

We found several kits online that have all the essentials. At walmart.com, a 34-piece kit costs $129. At redcrossstore.org, their deluxe emergency preparedness kit, good for one adult for three days, is $80.

"It's also important that you just have the materials if you want to do it yourself, go for it," American Red Cross Spokesman Cameron Ballantyne said.

The Red Cross worked with the 99 Cents Only Store to compile this list with all the necessary supplies. Red Cross officials hope people build their kits without having to worry about spending a lot of money.

"The most important things is that you have one gallon of water per person per day, so as you are going through the grocery store, pick up extra gallons of water for your family," Ballantyne said.

Here at the dollar store, they made it easy with a one stop shopping end cap that has almost everything you need to make your kit. Bandages, batteries and baby wipes are all on the Red Cross list.

"The 99 Cents Only Store is the best value for your dollar," shopper Russ Roddy said.

The store also carries first aid kits, toiletries, flashlights and non- perishable food with pop tops for easy access.

After shopping the store and building our kit with all the supplies, we ended paying $25 for our kit and got almost everything we needed. That's less than half the price of a ready made emergency kit.

The American Red Cross also has a free iPhone or Android app that you can use to learn more about any emergencies. You can also find a complete list of what you should have in your kit.

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