Blog written by Guardline.
You've probably witnessed how everything goes out of order during a natural disaster- desperate people fighting in grocery stores while trying to get hold of the available emergency supplies like bottled water, granola bars, and toilet paper.
This picture isn't pretty at all. That's why having a go bag or an emergency preparedness kit is one of the most crucial parts of disaster preparedness. This guide will help you build a 2022-proof go bag so you and your family will be ready for almost any disaster.
What is a Go Bag?
A Go Bag is a supply kit used for emergencies, especially natural disasters, prepared with basic survival supplies for you and your family. The type and size of your emergency kit depends on the number of people and people depending on it.
While considering your emergency kit, you must know your dependents' specific needs. For instance, an emergency kit for a single young adult is different from an emergency kit for older adults or small children.
When building a Go Bag you should brainstorm the type of disasters you might experience based on where you live. There are different types of emergencies ranging from:
- Chemical spills
- Terrorist attack
- Earthquakes, and so on
Not all emergencies typically require the same types of emergency kits. You may also consider creating a second go bag depending on where you live or the nature of your work. If you're a person who spends most of the time on the road, you probably need a smaller kit that you can store in your car. If you spend most of your time at home and have a home-based shelter, you probably need a more extensive emergency kit that can serve you for a couple of weeks or months.
Why Do You Need an Emergency Preparedness Kit?
An emergency preparedness kit can significantly impact your survival during an emergency. It ensures that you have the right supplies on hand during an emergency. Here are several benefits of having an emergency preparedness kit or Go Bag.
It Helps You Deal with Different Types of Disaster
Having the right emergency Go Bag can help you deal with several types of disasters. It also ensures your preparedness wherever you are. You can be prepared to respond to basic first aid needs or issues. This is particularly important as usually emergency rescue teams might not be available immediately following a disaster. That's why it's advisable to have a kit that will last you for at least 72 hours.
It Includes Crucial Necessities
Go Bags include essential emergency items to ensure that you deal with injuries and illnesses during a disaster. A typical kit should have water, a breathing protective device, and emergency light and tools. It should also include items to keep warm, communications tools, and hygiene materials.
Have an Incredibly Long Shelf-Life
Go Bags are made to last for a long time. When planning your Go Bag everything should be made to have a long shelf-life to last for months or years. You should also audit the contents of your Go Bag quarterly to check for expired or damaged items.
Guarantees Peace of Mind
By having an emergency preparedness Go Bag kit, you can be sure that you’ll have the supplies needed in a survival, or disaster, situation. It's no secret that disasters cut off essentials like food and water. Having the right items with you provides the peace of mind you need, especially when you know that your family is safe until help arrives.
What are the Essential Things that Your Emergency Kit Should Have?
Your emergency Go Bag should have enough things to help you survive an emergency for at least 72 Hours. Prioritize items that will help you meet your family's needs and signal rescuers.
Top 10 Things to Put in Your Go Bag
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is essential for your Go Bag since it allows you to treat possible injuries and avoid infections when there's no immediate access to a hospital or clinic.
An excellent first aid kit should contain band-aids for minor wounds, gauze, and medical tapes for more extensive injuries. It should also have tweezers to remove glass shreds or foreign particles from a wound, alcohol to wipe and sanitize, and an instant ice pack. Include a N95 or other type of mask to prevent yourself from breathing in particles from debris or fire during an emergency.
It's also recommendable to have prescription medicine that can last for at least three days. If you have children, include children's medication like liquid acetaminophen. Ensure that everything is labeled clearly and sealed tightly.
Emergencies can impact your access to a clean water supply. Therefore, you should plan to have at least a gallon of water at hand for your personal use. However, carrying water in a container cannot be suitable for an evacuation or due to limited space or injury. A personal water filter could be the best choice for an evacuation emergency response kit. Personal water filters are small, packable, and lightweight, making them easy to carry. You can also use them to drink from any water source. Be sure to pack enough so that your entire family will have access to clean water.
Again, an emergency can impact your access to food supplies. That's why you should include easy-to-eat foods like jerky, energy or protein bars, and dried foods in your Go Bag emergency survival kit. While it’s tempting to stock up on family favorites, it’s important to consider that the food has to last in storage so it can be safely consumed at any moment.
You can expand your food kit with options like canned food, dried meals, and food ration bars. Adding one or two small treats, like hard candy, can help boost moral and blood sugar levels during an emergency. If you have room in your Go Bag, add some reusable utensils or a cup.
Plan to eat your food supply every six months and replace it to keep the supply fresh. You should also check your food supply at least once a week to ensure that it's in good condition.
Communication and Lighting Supply
Daily sources of communication like the internet, cellphones, and local news stations could be cut off or unreliable during emergencies. You should have reliable communication tools to keep you up-to-date with emergency evacuation measures and other related activities.
A crank radio can be a crucial addition to your emergency kit. While they seem old fashioned, crank radios don’t rely on batteries or outlets to function. Another simple tool to include is a whistle. Whistles are perfect for getting attention during an emergency an will easily fit in your Go Bag.
You should also have an individual and accessible light, like a flashlight or head lamp, for every member of your household. This will ensure that everyone is safe while navigating through the dark and debris.
Shelter and Clothing
After you've confirmed that your Go Bag has food, communication, medical, and lighting essentials, the next thing you should include is shelter and clothing. Your survival Go Bag should have at least an extra set of clothes for every person depending on it.
You should also include a reflective emergency blanket. You can use this type of blanket in an evacuation shelter, but you should use a waterproof tarp to guarantee extra cover.
Essential for Your Daily Hygiene
During an emergency, you should try to maintain hygiene. Include baby wipes, a garbage disposal bag, and personal hygiene items in your survival kit.
You should include evacuation tools in your disaster preparedness Go Bag. The type of tools that you'll choose depends on the place you're living. For instance, a whistle would be suitable to call for help when you're trapped in your house after an earthquake. Other optional tools that you should have include:
- Pocketknife, cutting wires, and a multi-tool
- Screwdrivers, hammer, and wrench
- Axe or wire saw
- Collapsible shovel to clear off debris
- A rope
Check to make sure that the bag you use to pack your Go Bag is waterproof. A waterproof Go Bag is essential should you need to wade through water or expose your emergency kit to rain. This will ensure that all your survival essentials remain dry.
A Map of Your Area
It's difficult to trace your location during a disaster. The traditional map can prove to be reliable in this kind of situation. You can use it to trace your site when you cannot rely on map applications on your smartphone.
Optional Go Bag Items
There are other additional supplies that you should keep at home or in your Go Bag if you have room. Some of the extra essentials that you should include are:
- Rain gear, like a poncho
- Matches, lighter, or other fire starter
- Work gloves or disposable gloves
- Duct tape
- Entertainment items
How Should I Store My Emergency Preparedness Go Bag?
Consider storing your Go Bag near an exit. This will keep everything in one place and make it easy to move during an evacuation. If you choose to build a large, stationary, emergency preparedness kit It's a good idea to have a backpack to grab a few essentials from the emergency kit and go.
When storing the kit, place it in a climate-controlled environment since extreme temperatures can spoil your food and damage your water containers. The equipment should also be in your emergency shelter if you're in a place where hurricanes or tornados are frequent. Store your Go bag in the attic or on a shelf if you live in an area at risk of flooding.
Build Your Go Bag the Right Way
A good emergency preparedness kit should meet your needs during a disaster. Disasters are often unexpected. While natural disasters can impact your the, literal, foundation of your home so too can disasters like home invasions. Consider setting up an outdoor motion alert to be made aware of others approaching your home during a natural disaster or at unexpected times.
Contributing Writer: Amy Kaloydis