Be prepared for any emergency with an emergency ‘to go’ kit. Typically, kits should be packed to last up to 72 hours. Though your specific needs may vary, here are a few things that may be a good idea to include your pack:
Food and Water
The essentials start with food and water. Ideally, you should have enough supplies to last three full days (72 hours). Include clean water, enough for each person in your group for three days. You can also include purification tablets to create clear water. Non-perishable food that requires no water or cooking will be the most sustainable option. You’ll also want to include any needed silverware, plates, and possibly a manual can opener (if you have any canned food in your pack).
A change of clothing and some sturdy walking shoes will certainly come in handy. It may also be a good idea to include jackets or even winter coats depending on where you live. Disaster can strike any time, including during the cold months of the year. Hats may also come in handy if you are in a particularly sunny area.
Some basic personal needs you should consider having in your emergency kit include moist towelettes, hygiene items, feminine supplies, medications, sunscreen, bug repellant, etc. There are some other items you may need depending on your situation—such as glasses, contact solution, diapers, baby food, and formula.
One of the most valuable things to have your ‘to go’ bag is a first aid kit. Make sure your first aid kit is completely stocked and up to date. A flashlight with extra batteries should also be included. And as an extra precaution, matches. An emergency whistle will also be a good thing to pack, in case you need to reveal your location. You may also want to include a few tools and duct tape.
Paperwork and Cash
Including a little security, cash is always a good idea. You may want to include copies of birth certificates, IDs, insurance policies, prescriptions, and any other important documents. A map of the surrounding areas would also be a good idea, considering you may not have access to a GPS. Printing out a list of important phone numbers is also a good idea in case you can’t access your contact list—include numbers of family members, friends, and anyone that you may need to contact in an emergency.
In the event of an emergency, you likely won’t have access to your cell phone—take precautions by packing a battery operated or hand crank radio. In case power is available or restored, include cell phones, chargers, and back up batteries as well.
Other Things to Consider
Though they may not be completely essential, there are other items that might make your dire situation a little more comfortable in an emergency. If you have a pet, you may want to include pet food, a water bowl, and a leash. Adding some games, a deck of cards, a book, or other entertainment may help lighten an otherwise heavy situation. Taking pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, and other comforts will also make your time in an emergency situation a little easier.