Duration: 1 week or More
Long-Term Catastrophic Emergencies: House Fire, Tsunami, Earthquake, Hurricane, Super Storm, Military Strife
Must Have Gear:
Water, Food, Clothing, Tents, Tarps, Stove, Tables, Chairs, Sleeping Gear, Batteries, Lights, Tools, Cordage
The "I'm Never Coming Home" INCH acronym is hopefully not as bad as it sounds: eventually you should be going home. But what will you be facing in the weeks or months before? What will your house look like when you finally do get back? Is it a tornado that just ripped through your neighborhood? An earthquake or fire? Worse?
If you lived in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and powers been out for MONTHS would you stick around? Do you even have the choice to leave?
So in the event you aren't going to be able to use your house for a while, you should consider your long term needs - for periods lasting from 3 days or 3 weeks or even months. This is a bag or kit(s) that you will keep packed and ready in the garage or in a high and dry spot to be recovered after a flood.
SHTF = INCH
Most of our emergency planning revolves around those events we see happening often: house fires, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes. Once you've gotten yourself set for those events, which tend to be short term disruptions of a few days or so, then it's time to step up your game and get a longer term plan in place.
That's where the INCH Bags step in. If things have really gone south for you then having a kit that keeps you going for several months will be required.
Don't be a Mule
If you haven't already guessed, you will have quite a bit of supplies to carry about, in addition to your Bug Out Bag and any others you may have made. This may make your INCH kit very heavy. Some people can handle a 75lb bag but that's not the norm by any stretch, most people can only comfortably carry 20lbs on their backs comfortably all day.
Keeping that in mind, consider how you plan to lug this thing around. Hopefully you'll have a functioning car, but that is very often a luxury not available to most...just look at pictures from Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and how many cars were sitting underwater in peoples driveways.
It's up to you how far you want to take it and what to include. Some folks prefer low-drag low-weight options. Do what's best for you, but use the list below as a guide to make sure you have each of the main categories covered. We don't include everything under the sun because we are assuming that you are using the other kits described in The BOBB Four Part Emergency System.
Another option, and probably the best one for this type of kit is to have something with wheels. We discuss that idea in-depth in our blog post about building a rolling bug out bag.
What goes in one:
Keep in mind: You will have to recreate your home with this kit. You will live out of it. So in many ways it's similar to what you would need for a camping or hunting trip of several days or more.
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- Propane and Electric Camping Lights
- Chairs and Tables
- Sleeping Pads
- Wool Blankets and bed sheets
- Toilet Paper (Vacuum Sealed)
- Paracord, Gorilla Tape, and Clothes Clips
- Multipurpose Axe and/or Machete
- Lansky Dual Grit Sharpener
- SOG Entrenching Tool
INCH Carrying Solutions:
Here are some ideas of bags and container boxes you could use for an INCH kit. They also illustrate what we are talking about.
Typical Price: $46
Specs: Sturdy canvas bag with a waterproof bottom, padded shoulder straps, 3-zippered outside pockets, an inside security pouch, vinyl reinforced carry handles, and lashing gear rings. 34"(L) x 12"(H) x 15"(W).
Typical Price: $275
Specs: This bag features HD over-sized wheels and bottom skids, rugged corner guards on all corners, double self retracing handles, a MOLLE/ALICE-compatible interior, adjustable inside loop-sided dividers, reinforced, rigid ends and bottom, lockable YKK¨ zippers, name tape and flag holders, mark-able name strips, foot studs with lashing pass-through, and a business card holder and document pocket. 40"(L) x 15"(H) x 15.5"(W).
Typical Price: $130
Specs: If being stuck outside for a long period of time is something you want to plan for, then having a waterproof duffel may make a lot of sense for you. Especially if you live in an area where precipitation is common and sudden or if flooding is an issue you may face. These bags can take short term drops into the water and can keep your stuff nice and dry. An added upside is increased insect protection as well. 26.5"(L) x 12.6"(H) x 10.5"(W).
Typical Price: $30 to $130
Size: 8 - 48 Gallon
Specs: These are perfect if you have a pickup truck, trailer, or cargo shelf on your vehicle. Very tough, not the flimsy stuff that will fall apart in a month, designed by Rubbermaid to last. Weather resistant, stackable, lockable. Has divots on the bottom where you can drill in attachment bolts for semi-permanent attachment. Easy to store in the garage then toss into your Bug Out Vehicle.
Typical Price: $70
Size: 53 Gallon
Specs: Much loved and well deserved, for these are true workhorses. Very rugged and weather resistant. Great to sit and stand on as well. Can be locked with 2 padlocks.
Typical Price: $45
Size: 108 qt
Specs: Not as durable as the Action Packer, but it is half the price and it has wheels. If you aren't planning on moving it around non-stop it should be more than adequate for your INCH needs.