Editor’s Note: There’s an abundance of info online and in books about what to include in a bug out bag. Nonetheless, people still have questions. Just the other day I saw an inquiry on Facebook about what to put in a bug out bag. With that in mind, I present the following helpful guidelines from the good people at Food Insurance.
Long term food storage plans help us stay prepared for self-survival after a man-made or natural disaster occurs. They’re even great during a financial crisis when you have limited funds to purchase fresh foods.
But, true emergency preparedness is also about short term survival after an evacuation. It’s during these times that you need to have an on-the-go, portable kit. Your kit needs to supply you and your family with the necessary essentials needed for 72 hours. These 3-day portable emergency kits are called Bug-Out-Bags.
Characteristics of a Good Bug-Out-Bag
- Easy-to-Tote – It must be portable, and easy to carry. Good ideas include backpacks, bags on wheels, or anything else that’s easy to tote.
- Lightweight – There’s no telling how far you may have to carry your bug-out-bag. During an evacuation, you may have to stand in lines, hike… who knows? You need your bug-out-bag to be as light as possible.
- Durable – Make sure you purchase a bug-out-bag made of high quality fabric. Who knows what type of weather and other conditions it will have to get you through? So, also make sure your straps, zippers and wheels are all in good working order.
10 Essentials Every Bug-Out-Bag Should Contain
Here are ten essential items that should be in every bug-out-bag.
- Water – Expert recommendation: one gallon of water, per person, per day. But, that is way too much weight to carry around during an evacuation. Here are some lightweight options for your emergency water supply:
- Water purifier
- Water filter straw
- Water bottle with filter
- Water pump with filter
- Non-Perishable Foods – Here are three of the most popular choices for emergency food storage:
- Canned Foods – Can eat right out of the can, but very heavy to carry around
- Dehydrated Foods – Very lightweight to tote, but require boiled water to prepare
- Freeze Dried Foods – Lightweight, convenient packaging, only need hot water to rehydrate
- First Aid Kit – To keep it lightweight, only pack the essentials:
- Antibiotics (just in case)
- Sam Splint
- Wound-closure strips
- Burn ointment
- Triple-antibiotic ointment
- OTC pain-killers
- OTC anti-inflammatory meds
- Suture kit
- Adhesive bandages
- 4. Clothing – You should have enough clean clothing for three days.
- 5. Shelter – Fly, tent, tarp, hammock with rain fly, large poncho, etc… to make emergency shelter.
- 6. Important Documents – This includes items such as copies of IDs, birth certificates, passports, important phone numbers and addresses, maps, etc…
- 7. Cash – You probably won’t be able to use your credit cards or debit cards after the crisis strikes.
- 8. Battery Operated Radio – Your radio may be your only way to stay connected with the rest of the world. Remember that cell phone services may be down.
- 9. Battery Operated Flashlight – Don’t be caught without it. The stress of being in the dark all night could actually make things even worse during a crisis.
- 10. Survival Kit – This should include:
- · Extra batteries
- · Whistle
- · Small folding knife
- · Compass
- Waterproof matches or refillable butane lighter
Is there something you must have in your bug out bag that’s not mentioned above? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.