Emergency preparedness: the bug-out bag

emergency preparedness, bug-out bag, BrownThumbMama.com

September is National Preparedness Month, and there’s a lot for us to talk about. A few weeks ago, we made an emergency binder and now let’s work on an evacuation pack, or bug-out bag.

You’ll use this if you need to leave quickly due to an emergency. Remember, even if your area doesn’t have hurricanes, floods, or earthquakes you could be affected by a house fire, gas leak, or extended power outage.

By the way—am I the only one who gets anxious thinking about these “all heck breaks loose” situations? The reason I’m focusing on this uncomfortable topic is that if things go sideways, the government/police/fire departments can’t and won’t be able to go everywhere and help everybody. We need to be responsible for ourselves.

That said, here’s what is in my bag. This is designed for evacuation to a shelter, relative’s house, etc. I’m no expert in wilderness survival, so we aren’t going to talk about weaving a hut out of wild grasses, catching rodents for food, or anything like that. (If you want to learn about that, read When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes.)

Papa and I each have a bag with:

Jackjack’s pack has a similar assortment of clothes, a flashlight, whistle, emergency contact info, and snacks.

Little Peanut’s pack is her diaper bag on steroids. It has formula, bottles, diapers, and wipes; Cheerios; baby Tylenol and Hyland’s; clothes and a blankie.

Our camping supplies are stored in a plastic bin that’s easy to toss in the car. The bin has a small cookstove and lantern, biodegradable soap, emergency blankets, matches, and so on. These camping supplies are great to have for an extended power outage, too. 

Speaking of your car, you already have a paper map of your area, jumper cables and a few basic tools (screwdrivers, pliers, crescent wrench) in your car, right? Good. I knew you did.

I hope that having this stuff ready will help you feel prepared and not scared. Later this month, we’ll learn about food preparedness from my friend Katie. Stay tuned!

emergency preparedness, bug-out bag, BrownThumbMama.com
Little Peanut was quite interested in our colorful backpacks.

What’s in your bag? Anything missing from ours? Share with us in the comments!

To learn more:
Emergency preparedness part 1: Document Binder
Emergency preparedness part 3: Food Storage

Disclosure: affiliate links.

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  1. says

    Since you have small children I would put your contact information into their bags plus see how you can tag them as well= a card in a pocket or an engraved bracelet/necklace just in case you were ever separated during an emergency.

  2. says

    I saw a great idea elsewhere (don’t remember where) – for little kids, put clothes one size too big in the bag – then rotate them into their wardrobe as they grow. That way you don’t have to “waste” a good outfit. (I keep a bag for little one in the car lots of times- just for “everyday” emergencies)

  3. sharon m says

    i would put some crayons/coloring books etc in the kids bag, somthing that they could do to keep htem busy for a lil while, you cna go to dlollar stor and hook up on som e cool books/coloring books for htem to pass the time either with mom and dad or withouth hugs

  4. says

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  5. Kari says

    military grade glow sticks are a must they are about a $1 each and last 8-12 hours. They come in an array of colors. Red is for night when you don’t want to lose your night vision but need some light. For the small kids I saw on another post they put a family picture in the pack to help keep kids calm and to help them get back with there family if they got separated. I would laminate it though for better wear.

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