Gas and water shut-off tool included
Hard to repack
Lacks a few earthquake-recommended items
From earthquakes to fires and hurricanes to floods, we’ve seen wild and unpredictable weather over the past few years. In fact, I moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, right after the massive Hurricane Sandy flooding, and learned about the real-life trauma and why disaster preparedness is essential from neighbors who survived the storm. That’s why I decided to make my home ready for emergencies with more than a few spare bottles of water. But, with so many disaster options on the market, what’s the best place to start?
The Mayday 13040 Deluxe Emergency Honey Bucket Kit was a good introduction to the world of emergency preparedness kits. This massive kit—which has a bucket case that doubles as a toilet—has everything I could think of (and some things I wouldn’t think of) in one 23-pound pack. I tested out the supplies, gear, tools, and gadgets to analyze the quality and ease of use, then went to my fiancé—an emergency and disaster medicine doctor—to see if he thought they’d work in an earthquake. Here’s how the test run went.
Quality: Most gear is top-notch
The Mayday 13040 has a mix of high-quality and subpar items. The leather palm gloves, for example, are thick, soft on the inside, and coarse on the outside; I’d definitely be comfortable wearing them to hold for debris (other than the fact they’re too big for my relatively small hands). However, on the other end, the ponchos are thinner than a garbage bag, which doesn’t mean they’re not water-resistant—I tested them and they are—but they could easily snag and tear. The same goes for the waste bags, which are flimsy, too; my thumb broke through one without even really pushing.
The Mayday 13040 has a mix of high-quality and subpar items.
Out of curiosity, I tested out the “non-thirst-provoking” food rations, which account for 2,400 calories each (there are four in the kit). The bag feels like a brick, but inside, there’s a dense block of what tastes like a fusion between graham crackers and granola bars. True to its word, it didn’t make me thirsty. Surprisingly, I actually found it tasty! (My fiancé, however, was not impressed.)
Utility: Contains most earthquake essentials
The Mayday 13040 includes most of the CDC-recommended earthquake essentials for a go bag—a wrench to turn off gas and water, a first-aid kit, a dual radio and flashlight (that’s powered by winding, so no need for batteries), 24 pouches of 4.2-ounce water sacks, water purification tablets, packaged food, and waterproof plastic bags for waste. It also has an extra perk I never even thought of—it turns into a toilet you can actually sit on! I’m sure this would come in handy after a few days without power or running water, especially for elderly users or those who may have accessibility troubles.
It turns into a toilet you can actually sit on! I’m sure this would come in handy after a few days without power or running water.
Even still, the Mayday 13040 does lack in a few areas, including a fire extinguisher (which, to be fair, I haven’t seen in most other kits) and a camp stove (again, not in most kits).
Versatility: Helpful during most disasters
This Mayday 13040 kit is great for earthquakes, but with ponchos, food and water, a survival whistle, emergency blankets, dust masks, and a 54-piece first-aid kit, it can really work in any situation that requires emergency supplies and light medical support.
The Mayday 13040 has most of the CDC-recommended earthquake essentials.
I ran the first-aid kit by my fiancé, and he said it has most of the essentials—bandages, gauze pads, ointments, and painkillers—but it does lack some necessities like trauma shears and tweezers, which are important when debris is flying around. He recommends investing in a thorough first-aid kit and adding it to the Mayday.
Weight: 23 pounds of gear
I could hardly lift the Mayday 13040 when I first tested it, but once I realized how much water it holds (24 pouches, each weighing 4.2 fluid ounces) it totally made sense. To avoid heavy lifting (or inability to lift) in an emergency, I’ll keep this kit in an easily accessible location in our go-to emergency spot, the basement.
Size: Compact but hard to pack
The manufacturer’s packing abilities are impressive, because once I took all of the items out, there was no getting them back in—especially the crowbar and wrench that turns off gas and water. (After about four tries I finally got everything back in, but boy, was it a tight squeeze!) In terms of storing it, this kit—basically a five-gallon bucket—easily fits in a bigger basement closet.
Price: This kit’s a steal
The Mayday kit retails for around $110, which is actually a steal when you price out all of the gear included—not to mention the ease of not having to gather it all on your own. I tallied up each item (plus the 5-gallon bucket) and came to around $215 total, which is almost double the price of the actual kit!
Mayday 13040 Deluxe Emergency Honey Bucket Kit vs. Survival Prep Warehouse 4 Person Survival Kit Deluxe
I tested both the Mayday kit and the Survival Prep kit (view on Amazon), and the Survival Prep kit comes out slightly on top, as it has slightly more gear and versatile supplies. The Survival Prep kit comes with an 11-in-1 pocket tool and can opener (which the Mayday kit lacks). It also has 50 feet of nylon rope and a robust hygiene kit with toiletry essentials, which the Mayday kit doesn’t have, either. On the other hand, the Mayday kit does double as a toilet, which is helpful for extreme situations, or for those who are elderly or may need some support. Pricewise, the Mayday kit is about half the price of the Survival Prep kit, so you could easily add lacking items like toiletries and rope and it could even out to about the same (or less, depending on the products you add).
Need some help finding what you’re looking for? Read our list of the best earthquake kits.
- Product Name 13040 Deluxe 4 Person Honey Bucket Emergency Kit
- Product Brand Mayday
- MPN 13040
- Price $107.00
- Weight 23 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 15 x 15 x 30 in.
- Color Yellow
- Material Kit made of plastic
- What’s Included Honey bucket with lid, 2400-calorie food bars (4), solar blankets (4), pouches of water (24), dust masks (4), ponchos (4), 12-pack of liners, wet naps (6), 12-hour light stick, T-5 chemical toilet disinfectant, duct tape, gas, water shut-off tool, 15-inch pry bar, 54-piece first aid kit, Dynamo flashlight/radio, pair of leather palm gloves, utility knife, 5-in-1 whistle, water purification tablets