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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Disaster Tip of the Week: Start and Keep a Go Bag Ready At All Times

First let me start off by saying that your Go-Bag or Bug-Out Bag should not be your only, or main source in a survival situation. You should have other supplies ready to keep you and your family sustained for an extended period of time.
The idea of a Go-Bag or Bug-Out Bag is to have supplies ready at a moments notice should you have to leave or evacuate from your home, or other location. These supplies should be packed ahead of time and hopefully placed into a backpack so it is comfortable to carry since you may be traveling a long distance.
In most cases you would not have time to gather the supplies needed during an evacuation, so it is best to have them ready to go at all times. I see many people intending to use a go-Bag as their main source for survival if everything goes south. I can't stress enough how important it is to keep your go-Bag separate from your regular supplies.
In addition, every member of your family, or party if you have one should have their own bag. Even children should have their own bags so long as they can carry one. We'll discuss go-Bags for kids at another time.
Now that we have covered the true purpose of a go-Bag lets discuss what you should put in it. First the bag should be a good solid bag, preferably as mentioned earlier a backpack. If you have to leave on foot, or become stranded a backpack is the easiest bag to carry.
What should you put into your bag? While many people argue about what items and brands are best to carry, we are just going to stick with the basics.
Here is a basic list of items you will want to consider including in your go-Bag:
  1.  Cash - plenty of it because depending on the event credit cards may not be useful. Consider having about $500 in ones (the more the better, and try to make them all singles), that way you never need change. A couple of quarter rolls could come in handy for Public phones, vending machines and laundry. Do not "flash" it around, unless you like being robbed, even assaulted, i.e. mugged. I suggest carrying different amounts in various pockets and keeping several "Throw Away Bills" in case you do get mugged, throw that onto the ground so you can make a fast get away.
  2. First Aid Kit - a decent well-stocked kit, including a couple of weeks' supply of any prescription medications you need.
  3. Sewing Kit. Include in this non-waxed floss and a U-shaped leather needle. Include extra needles, thread, buttons and if you can, fabric.
  4. Clothing - Wool is best as cotton is useless once it gets wet; add thermal wear, underwear, sock and carry extras of everything.
  5. Crank style Flashlight and glow-sticks.
  6. Crank style NOAA weather/AM-FM Radio. If you use one that takes batteries, carry extras.
  7. Food and water -- Carry enough to get you where you want to go plus extra.
  8. Lighter, waterproof matches and another source such as a strike based fire starter. Always best to carry extras here as well.
  9. Hand and feet warmers -- 2 per person if you can.
  10. Good sleeping bag -- can double as a blanket at a shelter.
  11. Good air matress if you can.
  12. Wool blanket, not a must if you have a sleeping bag, but great to have.
  13. Emergency Mylar Space blankets.
  14. Good rain poncho -- one that covers you and your bag is best.
  15. Rope -- Carry several, great for many things, from shelter, to rescue.
  16. Duct Tape.
  17. Tarp -- can double as emergency shelter if you don't have a tent.
  18. Dust Masks carry several per person.
  19. Maps -- local and the location where you want to go.
  20. leather work gloves.
  21. Folding saw.
  22. Hatchet.
  23. Multi-tool.
  24. 2 knives.
  25. Toiletries.
  26. compass/GPS (good to carry 2 compasses if just for reassurance).
  27. Gun and ammo if possible.
  28. Fishing hooks, and fishing wire, a couple of sinkers and floats ill be good too.
  29. Important documents, license, passport, etc.
  30. pen and paper.
This is a great list to get started with and you will have to make adjustments based on what type of load you can carry, and how far you are traveling.
What are some items that you keep in your go-Bag?