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A disaster can happen at any moment, anywhere, to anyone. Whether a fire, earthquake, flood or even a terrorist attack – such an event can trigger a situation in which you are forced to evacuate your home in mere minutes.
Because no one is immune to this potential threat, it is vital to prepare in advance for such a situation. And one of the key elements of emergency preparedness that disaster management agencies recommend is having an emergency grab bag ready.
If local authorities order you to evacuate, do not delay. It could literally mean your life. Conversely, they may tell you to remain at home, effectively sheltering in place, perhaps not even going outside. In either case, it is vital to your survival and comfort to have a properly prepared and stocked go bag for each family member. Here are a few practical tips to get you started.
When To Prepare An Emergency Grab Bag
In a word – NOW. Once a disaster hits, it may be too late to get needed supplies. Find out what the potential threats of disaster are for your area and then plan accordingly. Prepare emergency grab bag using a simple backpack or duffel bag, it does not have to break the bank, as most items are inexpensive, and you already have them right at home.
What To Have In An Emergency Grab Bag
- It’s recommended to have 3 days worth of water and food for each person. Think three: 3 days, 3 gallons of water, 3 nonperishable foods per day
- Eating utensils, can opener, and a way to heat food and boil water
- First-aid kit, dust mask
- Flashlight, radio, extra batteries, phone charger
- Credit cards and cash
- Prescription medications (3 day supply), child-care supplies (i.e. nappies, wipes, baby food)
- Toiletries, toilet paper, towels
- Comfortable, warm clothing, walking shoes, blanket
- Waterproof container for important document copies and a list of emergency contacts (if your cell phone dies, all your contact information for family or friends may be impossible to find)
- Pet’s food and medications
This list contains recommended items, but it is not comprehensive nor does it represent your individual family’s needs. So, make it a fun family project – have each member make a list of what they would put in their emergency grab bag and why it is important.
Get everyone involved in the exercise. A word of caution: Avoid creating undue anxiety in your children by keeping the conversation positive. Lovingly, patiently, and clearly explain why advance preparation is so important, but that it does not mean that a disaster will strike.
The good news is that you will probably never have to use your emergency grab bag. It may sit in the hall or cupboard completely ignored and almost forgotten about (except when you check it annually for expired supplies and refresh the water bottles, hint, hint…).
But, if the day arrives when you suddenly realize you need it, just imagine the relief and comfort you will experience knowing your family is ready to go!
Grab Bags For Sale
Emergency grab bags can be bought with all the essential survival items included. If you don’t want to start from scratch and buy everything separately, buying one of these emergency grabs bags and adding any other essentials can make the process of sorting out a grab bag easier.