When a disaster strikes the first 72 hours is crucial. You may have to leave your home in a hurry. If this happens you want to be able to grab the necessary’s items you would need because help may not be able to get to you for at least three days and you may not be able return to your home. The objective is to make sure you can survive the first 72 hours. Therefore, you must be prepared to take care of yourself and your family. That’s where having a grab-and-go bag comes in.
Your bag or kit should be easy to carry, including those carried by other family members. If you have small children, they can carry a bag too, it just has to be light enough for them. Their bags could possible hold items that aren’t life sustaining, but emotionally sustaining. For example, coloring books and crayons, paper and pencils, a favorite stuff toy, candy, and whatever else that may be calming for them in a bad situation.
When putting together a kit remember it must be light enough to carry, but heavy enough to have everything you need to survive the first three days of a disaster. Whatever is in your bag should be easy to use and you should know how to use the item. You can use a sturdy backpack or duffel bag or anything that is easy to carry. Put the bag in a place that is easy to get to. Maybe you could put it in a closet next to your front door.
Inside the Kit
The following items are suggestions of what you should have in your kit. Pick food you would eat, but remember you want your pack light. Everything should last you for at least 3 days.
- MREs for 3 days
- Instant Cereal
- Instant Hot Chocolate
- Food Bars
- Tube Tent
- Rain Poncho
- Space Blanket (emergency reflective blanket)
- Wool Blanket and/or Sleeping Bag
- Water Purification
- First Aid Kit with Burn Gel and Dressing
- Water for 3 days
- Toilet Paper
- Sanitary Napkins
- Pocket Hand and Body Warmers
- Matches (windproof/waterproof)
- Light-weight Stove and Fuel
- Fire Starter Kit (and a second method to start a fire)
- Light Sticks
- Extra Clothing
- Extra set of Car Keys
- Credit Cards and Case
- List of Family Physicians
- Special Items for Infants, Elderly or Disabled Family Members
- Money (at least $50 in small bills and include coins)
- Copies of Important Documents (birth certificates, wills, etc)
- Stress Relievers (games, candy, book, etc.)
- Prescription Medications
- Battery Powered Radio with alternative power source
- Extra Batteries
- Whistle with Neck Cord
- Hatchet or Ax
- Sewing Kit
- 50 ft Nylon Rope
Remember, the objective is to survive until help comes.