Every family should have grab-and-go emergency bags for potential emergencies. Even young children can help pack a go bag and store it in an easy-to-access place. Make grabbing the survival bags part of your emergency drills with your family.
What to Include in a Smart Bag or Survival Pack?
The emergency grab-and-go bag is designed to be mobile and something that can be carried by each member of the family, even children if necessary. Separate from a week-long emergency kit that might be stored in a large Rubber-Maid type tote or plastic box to be hauled in the car for evacuations, etc. this article focuses more on the smaller, personal-sized packs. The ones that can be packed in a backpack.
Obviously each family’s emergency needs will vary but here are some items to consider packing for various members of the family.
Adult Go Bags for Emergency Situations
- Filtering Water Bottle – try to include one those water bottles that will filter water for you to minimize the amount you have to carry on your back!
- ID Papers – Copy of passport, driver’s license and other important ID.
- First Aid Kit – Probably only one adult would need to carry a first-aid kit.
- Tools – Needle and thread, tweezers, scissors, portable can opener and any other tools you might need for survival.
- Fire Starter – If this is in the form of matches, be sure you place them in a waterproof container or zip lock. One person I know vacuum seals their matches for their emergency bags.
- Change of clothes – Be sure to include light-weight but warm and durable coat.
- Blanket or Sleeping Bag
- Flashlight and Spare Batteries – Some people prefer the flashlights that wind up and don’t require batteries. Consider carrying a couple of the night glow sticks as well.
- Medications – Tylenol, benydryl, pepto-bismol or bismuth tablets, etc. Again use waterproof containers or bags to protect the medication from the elements.
- Communication devices – If cell phones could be down, consider including 2 way radios, even simple walkie talkies in the backpacks. This is especially important for families to help parents connect with children and find eachother in case of natural disaster. Each bag can have a walkie talkie or handheld radio.
- Food Supplies – energy bars, beef jerky, trail mix, dehydrated fruit, peanut butter, canned meat, vegetables or juice, etc.
Children Emergency Pack Considerations
In addition to clothes and light, food and water bottle for a child’s bag consider some of these unique items.
- Diversion – Easy-to-pack diversions can be invaluable in creating a pleasant distraction for a child. Choose something that doesn’t require batteries like a deck of cards, flash cards, or favorite book.
- Children’s medications – The unique dosage size means you’ll want to indivudualize any medications for babies and children.
- Guardian name and information – If your child gets separated from you, or is a young child, you want to have not only YOUR name and contact information included, but you want to have the name and information of an emergency contact as well. Try to include two or three safe families for your child, and at least one out-of-state contact in case of a localized natural disaster.
- Allergy and special needs information – Include allergy information and any special dietary needs.
Most families may never need to use their emergency go bags, but if you’re ever in an emergency situation where you need to, you will be glad that you have it! Whether you purchase a pre-assembled survival pack, or create your own, you can personalize some of the contents based on individual needs.
Here’s a fun giveaway to help you get started creating your own kit!
What are you doing to get your family ready for emergency situations?