Category Archives: Emergency Preparedness
What is a bug out bag?
The definition you will read most is that a bug out bag is a portable emergency kit that should last you for 72-hours. They’re also known as 72-hour kits, grab bags or Go Bags.
The idea behind the bag is to be prepared in need of an evacuation or emergency. I am not an extreme prepper but more of a practical prepper meaning I stockpile grocery items I find on sale, keep extra matches, flashlights, water, etc.
I don’t live in a large city that I would need to “bug- out” from. I live in the country and plan to stay in place in an emergency. Why would I need a bug-out bag then? Let me see if I can explain.
Do you have children? Have you ever had a diaper bag? You know, the thing you put supplies in that your baby may need while you are away from home.
Or do you have a container (or not) in your vehicle with juice boxes, Kleenex, change of clothing, or snacks for your kids? Things you kids may need while away form home?
What about for yourself? Do you have a purse or bag that you keep tissue, medicine, phone, comb, or money in? Think of your purse as a small bug-out-bag. You keep things in it that you may need while you are away from home.
A bag is handy (think back to your diaper bag or purse) because it is easy to grab and go. A tub will also work. I keep a tub in the back of my vehicle that contains items such as toilet tissue, flashlight, can food, hair dryer (doesn’t sound practical but has come in handy), maps, batteries, and fix-a-flat. I also keep extra makeup and a small first aid kit.
I have decided to step things up a bit with a “real” bug out bag. Here is what I now have…..
One of the most important steps in being prepared for an emergency is to have a first aid kit. I’m not talking about the band-aids and antibiotic salve in your cabinet but a first aid kit that will help in the event that you can not get medical care and paramedics are unable to get to you.
PREPARE YOU FIRST AID KIT
1. Choose a box, tub, tackle box, etc for your First Aid Kit.
2. Gather your supplies and medication and organize them into your kit, tub, etc.
3. Make a list of medications / supplies and keep in your first aid kit or your emergency binder. If you are unsure what should go in your emergency binder, just do a google search. There is a ton of information on the subject or watch one of the many videos on YouTube.
4. Locate your medical supplies in a easy to reach location.
Not sure what goes into your first aid kit? You will need to decide that for yourself.
After doing extensive searches I realize there is no “one-size-fits-all” list but there are some supplies that seems to be on most lists. I have these items below.
PREPARE YOUR EMERGENCY FOOD SUPPLY
Having been without electricity once for eight days and watching the downhill spiral of our nation on the daily news, I know how important it is to have an emergency food and water supply. You can check out my EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS – FOOD post HERE.
I have been slowing preparing over the past few years but have recently stepped up my efforts. I still have a lot to do, especially on securing clean water but I feel a sense of security as I check each item off my to-do list.
In the event of a disaster in your community, you may not be able to get the store to purchase food and water for several days. Even though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off your food supply for two weeks, consider maintaining a supply that will last at least that long.
GATHER YOUR EMERGENCY FOOD SUPPLY
- You will need at least a 3-day supply of food per family member, including pets. You may want to store more than this amount. Remember, it is better to have extra food that you can share than to run out of food during an emergency.
- Choose foods that last a long time, do not need to be refrigerated, and are easy to make. Also, try to pick items that are high in calories and nutrition.
- Try to use as many familiar foods as possible! These foods can help lift the mood, and provide comfort to your family during stressful times.
- Plan ahead for family members with special diets and allergies, including babies and elderly people. Look for special canned foods, juices, and soups for them. Nursing mothers should have formula, in case they are unable to breastfeed during the emergency.
- Make sure you have a manual can opener and disposable utensils.
What to Keep in Your Pantry
Now that you have a place to store your supplies (see Part 1 – Emergency Preparedness – Storage) You will need to address the subject of food and water. In this post, I’m only going to address WATER.
If disaster strikes your community, you might lose access to clean water. You should begin with a 3 day (72 hours) supply.
We were without electricity for 8 days once due to a snow storm so 3 days is a minimum but I would at least have a minimum of one week’s supply of water.
Water is the most important thing to store and should be first on your list. You can not survive without clean drinking water!
STEP 1: DECIDE HOW MUCH WATER YOUR FAMILY WILL NEED
- According to the CDC, you need at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for 3 days. A normally active person needs to drink at least one-half gallon of water each day. You will also need water to clean yourself and to cook. (This means a family of four needs 12 gallons of water in their emergency supply.) The 3 day suggested supply is only a start, as you build your emergency stockpile, you will want to add more.
- Don’t forget about pets!
- Cats and dogs typically need 1 gallon for 3 days.
STEP 2: GATHER AND STORE YOUR EMERGENCY WATER SUPPLY
There are several options for storing clean water:
- Buy pre-packaged bottled water (the safest, most reliable option).
- Do not open the containers until you’re ready to use them.
- Check expiration dates on store-bought bottled water throughout the year. Replace as needed.
- Fill your own containers of water.
- Use food-grade water storage containers, like those found at surplus or camping supply stores. If you cannot buy this type of container, you can use 2-liter plastic soda bottles.
- Purchase a bathtub storage system. If you are not sure what I am talking about, google “bathtub water storage” and you will see several options and price ranges. You can purchase one for as low as $20 which is cheap for something so important.
Everyone should be prepared for an emergency whether it’s from a natural disaster, storm, power outage, job loss, or something on a larger scale such as an economic collapse or nuclear incidnet. Would you be prepared in any of these situations? Would you have enough water stockpiled if you no longer had access to fresh water? Do you have enough food to get by for a few days or even a few weeks?
I live in the south and even the forecast of snow will clear the store shelves of the basics such as milk, bread, cheese, eggs, butter, and water. I’m not one of those doomsday preppers but I am working on stockpiling enough supplies to get my family through an extended snowstorm or power outage.