Emergency Grab ‘n Go

Natural catastrophes (hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, blizzards, wildfires, toxic spills… ) are reminders that disaster can strike with little or no warning. No part of the country is immune. It doesn’t matter where you live — in the country, high on a hillside or in the middle of a big city — there is always the possibility you may have to face some type of emergency with little or no time to evacuate. Take some time to be prepared, just in case.

Having an organized ‘grab and go’ bag is paramount to survival. This is a bag with things you will need for the next few days that have already been packed (you just might not have time to run around your house grabbing items).  So start your list now and take the time needed to get your Emergency Kit handy. You want to be in a position to just grab and head out the door.  If you have to stop and begin searching for needed items you lose precious moments in an evacuation event.

Remember, each person in the household (who is old enough) should have their own grab and go bag with the appropriate items. CLICK HERE for examples and pictures of what you might need in your bag — sponsored by the Self-Reliant Sisters, a group dedicated to food storage and emergency preparedness.


Get ready to run at a moment’s notice

A.  Bag – Think small and portable

  • Backpack
  • Lightweight rolling suitcase, tote or duffel bag
  • Any bag that is easy to carry
  • Attach a photo luggage tag to everyone’s bag

B.  Paperwork – Use a sealable waterproof bag to hold copies of the following

  • Birth certificate
  • Driver’s license
  • Social security card
  • Health Insurance cards
  • Immunization certificates
  • Health records
  • Power of Attorney
  • Will
  • Copies and information regarding credit, debit, ATM cards
  • Emergency contact list
  • Copies of other important documents and home inventory either in paper form or on a USB stick

C.  Electronics:

  • Laptop, iPad or Tablet
  • Extra phone charging cord just in case you are fortunate to have electricity
  • Portable charger just in case you do not have electricity
  • LED flashlight, light sticks
  • Hand-cranked or battery-operated radio (bring extra batteries)
  • Always carry pen and paper just in case electronics are not working

D.  Personal Needs

  • Toiletry – travel-size portions
  • Backup glasses and/or hearing aid
  • Camp Towel
  • Toilet Paper (with roll removed)
  • Paper towels (with roll removed)
  • Duct Tape
  • Handy Sacks (or trash bags)
  • First-aid kit
  • Sleeping bag or blanket (these won’t fit in the bag but can attached to the bottom or over handles
  • Hot hands
  • Rope
  • Whistle
  • Multipurpose tool with knife, scissors, and can opener

E.  Clothing

  • Few days’ supply – socks, shoes, undergarments, extra long sleeve shirts…
  • Be frugal – pack old clothing you have on hand that you would not be wearing at home
  • Fleece, sweatshirts,
  • Hat, gloves
  • Rain gear, umbrella or poncho
  • Waterproof boots
  • Depending on climate, heavy outwear for warmth

F.  Medications

  • Pack at least a three-day supply
  • Hand sanitizer or wipes
  • First aid kit

G.  Food and Drink

  • Bottled water
  • Granola or energy bars
  • Sporks for everyone (that is one utensil with a fork, spoon and knife edge)
  • Remember to rotate every 6 months to keep your supply fresh

H.  Cash

  • Enough money for a few days
  • Small bills
  • Quarters to be used in vending machines

I.  Last minute items to grab

  • Prepare a checklist of what you need to grab and where you will find them in your home. You don’t want to forget important items
  • Purse
  • Keys
  • Cellphone

J.  Don’t leave your pets behind

  • Pet food
  • Leash
  • Carrier


Are you ready?

Hopefully you will never need this grab and go bag, but if you do, you will be grateful that the items are handy and ready to go. Being prepared is the best insurance policy for survival.

Let me know how you are doing and what other items you put into your bag. Fill in the form on the left sidebar and stay in touch.


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