USB Sticks are very cheap and can get much more data than a CD or DVD and it's much faster to crate a rescue USB stick. The right tool on LInux is unetbootin. Just download a LiveISO and copy it with the tool on the USB stick. Voila.
 
A nice LiveISOs is provided by Linux Mint or Linux LiveCDs from other Linux distros ( List of Linux liveCD Distros ) or SystemRescueCD  (German, English, French and Spanish Website). Last one doesn't need unetbootin and is very small (512 MB).
 
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