Even Ready.gov recommends that every American should have a go bag packed and ready to leave at a moment’s notice if told to evacuate.
Why would you ever have to evacuate?
Consider what we have seen on the national news just in the last three months: Wild fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, neighborhood natural gas explosions, hazardous waste truck and train accidents, floods, industry and warehouse fires. This pack is meant for you, and your family, to survive on your own for 3 days. It could happen to you!
Every BOB is individual. It could be a backpack, a carry bag, or a small rolling suitcase with handle. It must be easy for you to carry! And it should be set next to the doorway or at least near it so that if police or National Guard comes to your door you can just grab and go.
What it contains should also be individualized for you, your family and your pets. Essentially it should have food, water and supplies to allow you to survive for at least 72 hours.
Here is a basic list for you to consider:
- Prescription medications and spare glasses
- Copies of important family documents like identification (copy of your driver’s license or birth certificate and social security card), insurance policy declaration pages, and bank account records. Family phone numbers and emails. Put these in a waterproof container or bag.
- Enough cash and change to pay for gasoline, tolls, motel and food for three days.
- A small first aid kit.
- A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. If in a cold climate especially, consider adding the Mylar emergency blankets.
- One complete change of utilitarian clothing, including sturdy shoes, per person. Rotate seasonally for appropriate wear.
- Water AND a portable water filter—like a Life Straw.
- A survival whistle (compass, waterproof match holder with matches and flint, signal mirror). SOS in Morse code simplified version: short/long/short.
- A pack of wet wipes, antiseptic wipes, and zip lock baggies for personal hygiene.
- Paper and pencil/pen for leaving notes.
- Food: Consider energy bars or MREs (meals ready to eat). It has to be portable and you can eat it without cooking it.
- Children or Infants?
- Formula and infant food.
- Disposable diapers.
- Entertainment for the kids and food they will eat.
- Toddlers plus can carry their own backpacks.
- Pet food, water, and portable dishes.
- Pet carrier (cats and small pets).
- Leash and muzzle (Even for the most well behaved dog to protect the dog! Some people fear dogs and if you encounter an aggressive dog yours is less likely to be shot if muzzled).
- Doggie potty bags and scooper.
- A dog can carry its own pack as well. Practice with the dog!
This is a VERY BASIC list! So much can be added. But if you have this minimum and shelter, you can SURVIVE! Practice with your family at least twice a year!