Must Haves For Your Bug-Out Bag

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Planning is critical if you want to be prepared for emergencies. Last time, we made an emergency document binder and now let’s work on an evacuation pack, or bug-out bag. This is another critical preparedness item that you need to make before an emergency hits.

I know what you’re thinking…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. And the emergency won’t wait while you run around the house gathering supplies! You need to be ready now.

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.

Must Have Items For Your Bug-Out Bag:

You don’t need any kind of special backpack–we had a couple left over from college that work just fine. You can get inexpensive backpacks in August during the back-to-school sales, or anytime at a thrift store.

By the way: these bug-out bag tips are 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.

Adult bags contain:

  • Clothes designed for layering. I’m combing the thrift stores for cargo pants for me, and I also have a button-down flannel shirt, t-shirts, bandana, socks, and undies.
  • A mini-first-aid kit with bandages, essential oils, and clearly labeled prescriptions
  • TP, soap, toothbrush, deodorant. Good hygiene is good for morale.
  • Food (energy bars, beef jerky)
  • Water
  • Pocketknife and duct tape
  • Hand-crank radio (this one does just about everything except make you dinner)
  • Hand-crank flashlight
  • Deck of cards
  • Hubby has an old pair of glasses in his. An old prescription is better than none at all!

Kids’ bags:

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; clothes and a blankie.

Extra Supplies

Our camping supplies are stored in a plastic bin that’s easy to toss in the car. The bin has a small cookstove and electric lantern (no propane!), 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. Next, we’ll learn about food preparedness. Stay tuned!

What’s in your bug-out bag?

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

Must Have Items For Your Bug-Out Bag:

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