It seems simple, but the ability to light a fire for cooking, warmth, light and protection is essential in any disaster scenario. More than all other human innovations, our mastery of fire is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom, leading to advances in civilization throughout history.
Since the Iron Age, flint and steel have been used for fire lighting. Modern flints, or artificial flints, are small metal rods that generate a heat-intensive spark when scraped with either a supplied metal tool, a piece of hacksaw blade, or a knife.
Matches and butane lighters are unreliable in weather, and at best only provide a temporary solution. By contrast, artificial flints are inexpensive, long lasting, and much more effective than their historical equivalent. A single $5 rod can provide the lighting power of 12,000 matches, and works just as well when dry or wet.
Anyone serious about surviving future natural disasters, social unrest, or a full-scale zombie pandemic should own a reliable fire kit. Check out FireSteel.com for more information, and to purchase yours.