Emergency preparedness has become a big concern for many house holds. Whether you live in a zombie hot zone, earthquake prone region, flash floods, brush fire, hurricane or a flood area. The peace of mind that a fully stocked emergency bag 'to go', can be well worth the effort to compile.
Consider this: you hear a police siren outside your home. A loud speaker from an emergency vehicle instructing all residents that you have 5 minutes to evacuate your home. Sound a little far fetched? Not at all. This is actually a common occurrence in disaster scenarios.
So what would you be able to gather together in those 5 minutes? a few important papers and documents? family photos and keepsakes? do you have pets? ...how's that 5 minutes going so far?
Wouldn't it be far easier to have a carefully thought out and well stocked bag? Just grab it, throw it in the car and spend those extra precious few minutes making sure you and your family are safely evacuated?
So, what would you put in the bag? Well, hat's really up to you. But here are a few of my suggestions
A general rule of thumb is to have a bag that could sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours until emergency help can arrive. (Think hurricane Katrina)
Non-perishable food: MRE's (meals ready to eat) are best because they take up little room and contain a reasonable balance of nutrients. But tinned goods are also fine. (Just don't forget a can opener).
2 liters of water per person per day to drink (minimum)
Water purification system or kit
First aid kit
A reasonable supply of medicine. This is separate from the general things found in a first aid kit. This is YOUR families medicines. Enough to last several days.
Printed maps of the area. GPS and the internet will probably be sporadic at best. so it is not wise to rely on them solely for information.
Cash and change, as ATM's also may not be available during the initial period following an emergency
Battery or crank-operated radio (although in most situations you will be close to your car and able to use it's radio)
Short range walkie talkies so that you and other family members will not get separated.
Lighter(s) to make fires. Waterproof matches (in waterproof container)
An assortment of batteries (all major sizes)
Flash lights and Coleman camping lamp
Spare dry clothes (socks, poncho, hat etc)
Heavy duty work gloves to search through debris without injury to yourself
Multi function knife such as Swiss army knife
Duct tape and rope
Wire - very handy in general, also good for snares
Fishing wire and fly's
Plastic tarps for shelter
Camping gear/cooking utensils
Particle mask/waterless hand sanitizer
Small easily assembled tent
Gas valve shut off tool (for earthquake scenarios)
Machete and/or hunting knife
Fire Arms (if permissible in your area)
There are of course, many variations on these items listed. this is merely a starter kit. It is surprising what things you may miss or forget to add. So have fun and compile your own. It may just save your life one day.