There may come a time when someone knocks or your door an announcement is made over the radio or television telling you to get out. While this only happens rarely, it was a reality for people affected by Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Harvey. They had a very short period of time to react. These people had to grab whatever they had and find somewhere to stay safe. What are the things you should get? Do you have a pre-packed bag for everyone or a list of things you need to bring? Here is a list of important items you need to have in your emergency bag.
1. A bag to store the item
It is important for the bag to be functional. The bag should be large, waterproof, lightweight, and heavy duty. Since it should be filled with everything you need to survive for a few days or weeks, it should be reliable and durable. The bag should have a waterproof liner and with a lot of pockets. It should also have storage compartments and different ways for you to carry it. The bag should have an adjustable strap, padded shoulder straps, and handles.
You can check out survival or camping stores. Army surplus stores can also provide bags that are suitable for use by the Marines. There are also bags with solar panels, integrated chargers, and other technological accessories. These are good options to have.
2. Ready Cash
Cash is something that you will need when you are evacuating. You may need more than emergency supply and food bags. It will be necessary for you to restock when your supplies run out. This is also necessary if your supply does not contain everything you need. If there is a blackout, you will not be able to get money from the ATM. While there may be some working machines, you may not reach them due to barricades, extreme weather, or flooding. If there are some stores that are operational, their point-of-sale systems will not be working. In massive blackouts, paper money and coins will be more useful than credit cards.
You can keep several hundred dollars inside a waterproof pouch in you emergency supplies bag. You should have different denominations. Pack $1s, $5, $10, and $20, rather than $100 bills. It is also important to have loose change available.
3. Several clothing items.
In emergencies, you may be out of the house for a few days or weeks. But, when people have the tendency to overestimate the things they need when they pack a bag. It is important to be sensible when you pack your bag. You can pack a good supply of socks and clean underwear since they take up less space and are lightweight. A lightweight jacket and a few shirts may also be necessary. Jogging pants and a foldable plastic raincoat are also useful. Everything should be packed inside waterproof bags. You do not have to worry about the condition of the clothing. It is fine for them to have wrinkles, small tears, and stains. You should consider practicality rather than appearance.
4. Nonperishable food items and potable water
Your main consideration should be survival rather than comfort. Meals Ready-To-Eat are good options. You can also get oatmeal packets, nuts and dried fruits, freeze-dried food items, protein bars, and canned goods. While canned products can be heavy, you should try to keep it as light as possible. An emergency food kit is also useful. It should be stored close to your emergency supply bag. You can purchase these items from Amazon. They are also available on specialist “prepper” websites. Their prices can range from around $30 up to hundreds of dollars. You can also look for Datrex 2400 Emergency Food Bars if you are on a budget. They may not be culinary treats, but they allow you to survive for 72 hours. These items also have a shelf life of five years.
Since it is not practical to have bottled water in your emergency supply bag, you can get a Lifestraw for hydration. You can also get water purification tablets. It can be stored in the emergency supply bag so you can have it ready when you need to go out fast.
5. First aid kids with your prescription medicine
You first aid kit may not be big, but it should have something to teat scrapes and cuts. It should also have lotions, pain relievers, allergy medication, tools, and ointments. The kit should also have your prescription medication. It is not good to leave the house without the medication that is needed to keep you healthy. You will not easily find a doctor in this situation. The pharmacies will likely have no power as well. You can put a note on your bag to remind you about your medication. The note may keep you healthy enough until everything goes back to normal.
6. Sanitation and hygiene products
Since you will not be able to take a bath or hot shower for a long time, you should have something to keep yourself clean. An emergency supplies bag should have a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, washcloth, baby wipes, mouthwash, and hand sanitizer. Ladies can also pack feminine hygiene products. You may have to do without deodorants, cosmetics, conditioners, after shaves, and perfumes. It is important to focus on staying germ-free and clean while you are not at home.
7. Mylar blankets
NASA developed Mylar blankets as part of the US space program in 1964. They are also called space blankets. These blankets can keep heat in or reflect it. This depends on the current situation. They are thin and keep you protected from the wind. These blankets are used for covering athletes after they finish a marathon. They can also be found in backpacks of athletes competing in extreme sports. They are small, dependable, and inexpensive.
8. Portable source of power
A mobile phone will be one of the first things you will bring when you leave the house. But, it will become useless after its power runs out. You can bring a charged power bank that you can bring with you. But, it will not last long. These devices will end up useless after some time. You should bring a source of power that can be replenished. You can get Dynamo power banks, which can charge your phone through manual winding. There are also models with a solar charging option. It lets you use solar energy and let you rest your hand.
9. A multi-tool
The Swiss Army Knife was the multi-tool in the past, and is a good tool to have with you. The multi-tool has six handy tools in a single case. It can last a long time if it was manufactured by Victorinox. But, the past few years saw an increase in the popularity of the Leatherman multi-tool. It is designed to look like a pair of pliers, which makes it a good alternative. The multi-tool has fourteen tools. It is also priced similar to the Victorinox. These tools are built to last a long time. You can get either of these multi-tools if you find yourself away from home for a long time.
It is ideal for you to bring your wallet or a purse when you leave your home. But, it may be possible that you will not have enough time to get them. They may be in a place you cannot access easily. Due to this, you may have a problem when it comes to official identification. Government and rescue workers will need to know who you are during an evacuation. Telling your name may not be enough. A passport may allow you to identify yourself. The passport can be placed close to your emergency bag. If you need to leave, you can easily put it inside. You will also have an idea where it is in case you have to travel. Another option is an official state ID.
A hand-cranked flashlight should also be stored inside the bag. These flashlights are better options compared to a flashlight that uses batteries. It is also useful if the batteries are dead when you are going to evacuate. You may also not be in your element. Due to this, the bag should have a reliable light source. There are a number of options when it comes to all-in-one units. You can also find similar items, such as power banks, hazard lights, and radios. These items are practical to allow you to see where you are going.
12. Fire starters
When you evacuate you will find out that starting a fire is not easy. It is challenging as shown on Survivorman or Man vs Wild. You can keep your body warm with fire. It will also make cooking your food easy. Due to this, you should have something to use to start a fire. A flint and stone is useful and can last long. But, you have to practice so you can use it. Waterproof matches and disposable lighters are also good alternatives.
13. A tent
A small tent for two or three persons should also be packed inside the bag. It is especially useful if you go to a place where accommodations are hard to come by. These are lightweight and small. They can be assembled easily. You can either choose to bring a heavier bag or sleep under the rain. In this situation, the first option is the best one.