Welcome to our final week of our Emergency Preparedness series. Our final post is going to be covering the go bag. These handy kits have gained a lot of popularity in the last few years, and for a good reason. Imagine there’s a flash flood in your area and you’re forced to evacuate. You have a very short time to get the belongings you need and leave your home. What do you pack?
Did that take a minute to figure out? Of course! Now imagine you also have small children to pack for, and someone in your family has special needs, allergies, or dietary restrictions. If I was to take off in an emergency and forget my inhaler at home, I might not survive.
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Go bags traditionally contain 48-72 hours of provisions, medications, first aid, and a few changes of clothing. With some advanced planning, these are some of the easiest and quickest kits to put together. These are also easily customized and can be carried by every member of the family.
What kind of bag?
A go bag should be easy to carry and very durable. Look for something light, comfortable to carry, and water resistant. I found this nice, simple backpack on Amazon for $11. It’s light, has plenty of space, and resists the elements. Any backpack you have around the house will work.
What to include?
Food: You’ll want to include 48-72 hours of steady energy foods. Think pre-packaged emergency foods (light weight and dehydrated), protein bars, and beef jerky.
Water: I’m a huge fan of the portable water packs for these kits because they’re light and easy to pack. You can find them here. I also recommend packing a filtered water bottle for filling up on the go.
Shelter: Even in the summer, adverse weather can lead to cold temperatures at night. Make sure you have a sleeping back or warm blanket packed.
Clothing: Include a couple of changes of clothes, and make sure to include some layering items in the event of cool temps. Also make sure to include a warm, lightweight coat.
First aid: Include a small first aid kit. I bought a pre-packaged one for $9 at Target that includes all the basics and comes in a small, bright pink pouch. Be sure you have bandages, antibiotic ointment, gauze, and pain medication.
Gear: Include some basics like a flashlight (battery or crank), matches or a lighter, a hand radio, a pocket or hunting knife, and some duct tape.
Medications: Always be sure to include any medications you’ll require. Because so many people are getting into prepping, many doctors will give you extra scripts if you let them know it’s for an emergency. My doctor was nice enough to give me an extra 30 days of my allergy medications and an extra inhaler for my kit. Be sure to separate medications into individual doses for children, as dosing can vary so much.
Information: This is especially important with small children. Be sure to include your address and contact information, as well as the information for at least 3 emergency contacts, including at least 1 out of state in the event of a local natural disaster. Also be sure to detail any allergies, dietary restrictions, or other special needs. You may also consider having someone in the family carry photo copies of passports, drivers licenses, and social security cards.
Again, this is your go bag and can be easily customized to fit your needs. Let me know in the comments below if you make any additions to your go bag!
Missed a week? Check out all of our Emergency Preparedness Series below.
Why I Prep: A Guide to Practical Preparedness
Practical Preparedness: 3 Tips to Budget Your Preps
Practical Preparedness: Creating a Storm Kit
Practical Preparedness: Creating an Emergency Car Kit
Practical Preparedness: Creating an Emergency Pet Kit