Emergencies can happen when you least expect them. Everything can go from being perfectly fine in one moment to an utter disaster the next. How can you be prepared for your family and yourself in the event that an emergency was to take place?
Whether you've heard the term "bug out bag" or "go bag" you should be fairly familiar with having a bag at the ready in the case of an emergency. These bags are your preparation in the event of a disaster. They have everything you need such as essential medications and water bottles.
Still not sure what is essential for you to include in your bug out bag? Keep reading along to find out which items are the most important items to remember to keep you and your family safe.
Your Bag Matters
One of the integral decisions you should be making first is the size of your bag. This will highly depend on the number of people who are in your group. If it is just you, choosing a bag that is on the smaller side can help for easy transport. For a large group, a bag that is big enough and sturdy enough for all family members is imperative.
Be sure you choose a bag that is not going to become too heavy to carry or one that will easily dampen and ruin the items within the bag. The bag should be one that every family member or party of the group thinks to remember in the event of an emergency.
Depending on what your needs for a bug out bag are exactly, you may want to look into one that has reflective straps so that it can be easily located in the dark.
Water Is Most Important
Did you know that human life cannot be sustained for more than three days without water? While humans can go up to three weeks without food, they cannot go nearly as long without water. Water is one of the most important substances to the body and every system in the body.
This means that within your bug out bag having water is essential. Three liters per individual in the group will carry you for a short period.
Your water bottle should be filled and ready to go at all times. Keep a spare bottle near your bag and make sure that filling it becomes a priority before setting out on any outdoor adventure or when the warning of any type of emergency may be near.
Nonperishable Food Items
The reason this bag has been put together in the first place is in the event of an emergency where other people and stores are not easily accessible. Having a stock of food in the event of this emergency is just as important. Again, you will want to have enough sustenance for roughly three days.
These food items can contain things such as MREs. MREs are full means that have been dehydrated and typically come with their own ways of pressure cooking. Many of these can either be found at a specialty store or even your local box store.
Some other items that are just as important and beneficial can be jerky which will keep for an extended time. Even protein bars can be a longer-lasting food source if they are needed for a long-term setting.
Don’t Forget Bandaids
Preparing for an emergency should always include having a first aid kit handy. This first aid kit should be well stocked with basic items such as bandages and alcohol swabs. These items should be just as important as keeping water in your bug out bag.
Your first aid kit should be tailored to everyone's needs. Have simple bandages along with insect repellent, medications, a trauma kit, and feminine hygiene products. Those simple first-aid kits that can be purchased commercially do not always have all of the needed products for the entire family.
Make a checklist of what your group believes they would need in a first aid kit in the event of an emergency and go from there with assembling everything within the first aid portion of your bug out bag. Remember, prioritize the necessities for medical items.
Going right along with having a first-aid kit is remembering all of those important medications and documentation of any medications that those in your group may be on. Listing out medications and keeping a detailed and well-organized document is great in the case of an emergency taking place. This will help you to quickly locate it if a doctor or medical personnel were to need more information.
Those important medications should be stored carefully in a waterproof bag within your first aid kit. Keep this bag away from children at all times and have several days' worth of medicine if you and your group are not able to get home.
Essential medication includes things such as anything prescribed by a medical professional. It can also include items such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Always have these medications on the go in the event of an emergency.
See in the Dark
Being stranded and the sun going down should not be one of your biggest worries in the event of an emergency. Things like your cell phone are only going to last so long and are going to be needed if you need to call for help. Having a mini flashlight and other flashlights should be a no-brainer to pack in your kit.
Make sure that your bag includes a large flashlight and a couple of smaller pocket flashlights in case of faulty use.
One of the things you want to make sure your bag includes are batteries to support your flashlights. Have backup batteries easily accessible and in abundance if you and your group are stranded for longer than you expect.
Form of Communication
Your personal cell phone is not going to last as long as you might be hoping it will. The last thing you need is to be in the middle of an emergency and for your battery to die. Portable chargers should be charged and ready to be placed in your bug bag the moment you're getting ready to go.
However, your cell phone shouldn't be the only form of communication that is stored within your emergency kit. If possible, have items such as a ham radio or a tablet for when you're cell phone ultimately dies.
Keeping in communication and checking in with loved ones for as long as possible will reassure you that they're alright and that you're alright. This is the reason that those batteries being charged and remembered is such an important part of your go kit.
The last thing you want to do is find yourself stranded with no way to open items or defend yourself. Having a small pocket knife can be a great idea and will fit easily into your bug bag. A pocket knife will come in handy for a whole host of reasons if you and your group are stranded.
Your survival knife can be used to open bottles and can or cut through smaller branches and debris.
Always keep that knife as part of your kit if you're going to be alone or if you suspect danger may also be in the area. You never know what you'll need a pocket knife for in a pinch.
Important Documentation File
In the event of an emergency, your bug bag should have a place in it to locate all of the important documents that you and your party may need. This should include identification, a list of medications and medical conditions, and anything else that would be of identifying purposes. This will come in handy if your group has an emergency and is located unconscious or unresponsive.
These documents should be sealed in a waterproof file and placed in an easy-to-find section of your bag. Make sure that these documents can be found by law enforcement or other personnel if they need to be located and you do not have the ability to tell them where it is.
Your Bug Out Bag Is Important
Keeping a bug out bag if there is an emergency can be a life-saving device. You should have all items stored and ready to go at a moment's notice in the event that there is an emergency. Plenty of other items can also be kept within your go kit or bug out bag as well.
Looking for more important things to keep in mind or the items you should be picking up? We're here to help you set up and prepare for both the adventures you plan and the ones you don't. Let us know if there is anything specific you're looking for that you have yet to locate on our page.