What Do You Need for a Go Bag? Here Are 15 Essentials for Your Bug Out Bag
From wildfires to hurricanes, floods to tornados, there seem to be more natural disasters and calamitous events each year, and having a bug out bag at arm’s reach is a smart move, no matter where you live.
But what even is a bug out bag? It’s a bag you can easily grab and transport that has at least 72 hours worth of supplies and go bag essentials loaded and ready to go. From non-perishable food to required medications to tools, flashlights, and electronics, it has the items you’ll need for survival if you’re caught in dramatic circumstances and need to make a run for it as quickly as possible.
This is not a situation anyone wants to face and, hopefully, you never will. But preparation is critical, and knowing that you’ve taken the steps within your own control can alleviate your anxiety if weather reports take a turn or something unthinkable happens.
Dr. Joseph Alton, a survival expert, says, “In the recent past, we’ve seen a massive earthquake in Turkey, chemical emergencies from train derailments, and multiple heat waves, floods, and tornadoes. Disasters can occur anywhere and anytime, and you may have to make a ‘get out of dodge,’ or ‘GOOD,’ decision.”
Ready to make your own emergency survival kit? Here are 15 bug out bag essentials that you should have on hand in case you have to make a quick decision to hit the road and flee to a safer place.
1. Photos of All Household Members
In the chaos of disaster, it’s possible that household members can become separated from one another. Carrying photos of every member of your family, from parents to children and even pets, is critical if you’re put in a position where you need to give rescue personnel something to reference during a search.
“Pack medications, both prescription as needed and over-the-counter like pain meds, cold remedies, and more. Tampons or sanitary pads are also important,” recommends Alton. Because medications can be affected by extreme temperatures, you should keep your bug out bag in your home rather than the car if possible.
7. Appropriate Clothing
You won’t have room in your bug out bag for an extensive wardrobe, but carry one practical set of extra clothing with you. Hiking boots or sneakers and water-resistant clothing are ideal for situations where you don’t know what you will encounter. “Include a good pair of broken-in hiking boots, in case roads turn out to be impassable by car,” recommends Alton.
Keep enough cash in your bug out bag to buy food and other necessary supplies. A power or internet outage could knock out credit card machines and ATMs, and you still want to be able to survive in a cash-only situation. Keep enough cash in your bug out bag to buy food and other necessary supplies.
For a complete list of everything you could need in case of emergency, check out Ready.gov.