Can you leave your home in an hours notice and take enough with you to last 72-hours?
Have you ever really thought about what you might do if a super-storm, earthquake, fire, pandemic, or flood were to force you to leave your home suddenly?
What would you do that first day away, the third, or even two weeks later?
What would you able to grab and take with you??
What important things would you be forced to leave behind?
The Basic Bug Out Bag aka Go-Bag
Lets start with the primary items needed for survival. Shelter, Clothing, Food and Water. Below is a list of the essentials you need to have ready should you have to leave your house in an emergency, and can only grab a Bug Out Bag before you go.
It provides you with the most basic of provisions to get you through 72-hours away from home. You probably already have most of these things already:
Print out this checklist if it helps you to have a paper copy of the items below.
- Bottle(s) of water
- Pen and notepad
- Snack bars
- Emergency Blanket
- Change of clothes
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant
- Beach Towel
- Dust Mask
- Pocket Knife
- First Aid Kit (band aids, alcohol wipes)
- Work Gloves
- Deck of cards and/or a book
- Cell phone charging cable
- Poncho or umbrella
- Street Map of Local Area
- Sturdy Plastic Cup
- Fork and Spoon
Keep it handy, and easy to find should you need it. If you have a family, have a pack for each person. We will get more in detail with the articles which follow and we will introduce you to The Bug Out Bag Builder Four Part Emergency System.
NOTE: If you only own one of something, and you put it into your emergency kit you will ultimately wind up taking it out of your bag to use elsewhere. This means you should have a second item dedicated for your kit itself. You won't remember to grab it on the way out (or have time to).
If you want to get something TODAY RIGHT NOW that at least gets you some coverage, head over to The Red Cross store and grab their basic Go-Bag. Its $55 and gives you a platform to build on.
This isn't our first choice because think its better to build your own from the ground up, but its better than nothing. You will still need to add to it though.
The next most important step - and the one that will really save your life:
You MUST to know what is going on in the world around you. You may only have a few days notice that a hurricane is going to hit your home, can you get you and your family ready in less than 48 hours?
How much time will you have if you receive a tornado or earthquake warning?
If cell phone service is down do you have other equipment which will help you communicate with the outside world?
You have to have some way to get information delivered to you quickly about local events - especially when a catastrophic one is heading your way. Local TV, AM radio, Emergency officials, are the most obvious, but we've added some below which will also help you get timely and accurate information:
Wireless Emergency Alert System
For those of us in the US with a smart phone made after 2012 the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system automatically sends severe weather, AMBER, and Presidential alerts to your mobile device.
There's nothing you need to do to enable it, its part of all phones made in the last few years. You will hear an alert sound from the phone and see a message on the screen. You can disable the weather and Amber alerts it if you'd like but not the Presidential alerts.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The NOAA is a scientific agency within the US Department of Commerce which runs the National Weather Service (Weather.gov.) Their website has up to the minute weather maps and forecasts.
They also use the NWR System to broadcast 24-7 weather reports. The NWR broadcast can be heard on many walkie-talkies and emergency radios.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has an app for smart-phones which can alert you when there is an event happening in your local area. Download it here.
Their website is also a good resource for educating yourself about disaster planning.
Have a Plan
Say you have to leave home to avoid a giant storm or a tidal surge. Where are you going to go?
Do you have family you can stay with? How far away are they? How are you going to get there?
What if the highways are all jammed shut with traffic - do you have a map in your car so you can find a different route?
We can't give you specific advice about your Emergency Plan, that is going to be up to you and your family.
What we can help you with is how to put together an excellent Emergency Kit that will put you ahead of the curve should you ever need it.