Seven Essentials to Include in your Emergency Bag

It can happen in real life and not just in the movies. There might come a time that you’ll have to evacuate from your home, and  you won’t have the luxury of time and the quick wit to pack all that you will need to survive in the next three days or 72 hours.Why 72 hours? It usually takes 72 hours before organizations responsible for disaster and relief management can help you. Within those 72 hours, you are likely to be on your own – no food, water or any resources.

You may call  it your go-kit, grab-and-go bag, 72-hour kit, a bug out bag or your emergency bag. Wouldn’t it be a relief just to know that in case of emergencies, you have a ready stash that you could just grab and head to safety? You can buy from specialty shops but they could cost a lot, but it would be more convenient if you assemble one yourself. It would be cheaper and you would be more familiar with all the things you’d put in it.

Remember that you’d lug this bag around in case of emergencies. You don’t need to carry all your stuff if you need to evacuate, you just need to bring those that you will need  to survive.  What you need for your survival may be subjective, but here’s a guide:

Food – (non perishable preferred) Store them in “zip-lock” plastic bag and do not rely entirely on the orginal packaging, It can fail and make a mess of your kit. Pop-up easy open cans explode over time so check them from time to time. Incorporate “insulated” bags or construction when practical. Bring protein and granola bars, trail mix, dried fruits, crackers, and cereals.  Avoid easy-melt chocolates.

Drinking water – The easier to carry, the better. Use military type canteen (plastic w/metal cup under its case), sports water bottle(w/belt loop holder) , and water bladders. A gallon (four liters) is the average that a person can consumer in three days.

Bedding and Clothing – Bring comfortable clothes and undergarments that can be easily packed and won’t take so much space in your kit. Bring portable sleeping bags, cloth sheets and emergency heat blankets.

Personal Supplies and Medication – Pack a first aid kit, medicines (ibuprofen, antihistamines, pain reliever) prescription drugs, toiletries and cleaning supplies. Watch out for scented soap as they might flavor food items.

Tools – Bring a Swiss knife, pen and paper, eating utensils, a rope and duct tape.

Fuel and Light – You should have emergency lamps, flashlights, batteries, flares, lighter or water proof matches.

Important Documents and Money – Legal documents such as birth/marriage certificates, wills, passports, credit cards and insurance should be kept in such a way that they can be easily retrieved if you need to evacuate. Place them in water proof containers. Keep cash ready or if you can, keep a folded hidden check in your kit. Place all these items in a water-proof container.

Update your kit every six months to ensure that all food, water, and medication are fresh and have not expired; packed clothing still fits; personal documents and credit cards are up to date; batteries are charged and gadgets are still working. Pack clothing and food item for children who are old enough to carry bags.

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