In creating a go bag – a bag of essentials that you can grab in a hurry – you should ensure that you update the contents regularly, make sure everything is working, and that everyone in the house knows where the bag is kept.
Food and Water
- Pack enough bottled water for drinking and hygiene for three days per person
- The same goes for food – choose non-perishable items with a long shelf life
Sanitation and Medical Items
- First aid kit
- Toilet paper
- Prescriptions and essential medicine
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Personal hygiene items
- Battery powered lantern and extra batteries
- Prepaid phone cards
- Coins for public phones
- Battery powered radio
Footwear and Clothing
- Boots or closed-toe shoes
- Waterproof jacket
Supplies and Tools
- Plastic garbage bags and ties
- Safety glasses
- Utility knife
- Pet food and extra water for pets
- Special items for babies, including formula and diapers
- Special items needed by disabled or elderly family members
- Spare car keys and house keys
Keep either certified copies or original documents in your emergency go bag, and ensure you keep copies on a USB memory stick. Documents to include:
- Insurance policies
- Inventory of household belongings
- Marriage certificates
- Birth certificates
- Mortgage documents
- Credit card and bank details
- Immunization records
- Emergency contact numbers
Looking After Your Bag
Once you have put your bag together, remember to look after it so that it is ready to go in an emergency.
- Replace expired items when needed
- Keep canned food in a dry, cool place
- Rethink your family’s requirements once a year and update the bag as necessary
- Store boxed food in metal or tightly closed plastic containers
Where to Keep Your Emergency Kit
You may have no idea where you will be when a storm hits, so prepare supplies for your cars, your home, and your workplace.
- Cars – keep an emergency bag in your car in case you are stranded during a storm
- Home – keep your kit in a designated place in the house and have it ready to go. Make sure everyone in your household knows where to find the bag.
- Workplace – you need to be prepared for disaster striking when you are at work, too. Include water, food, medication, and comfortable shoes in your go bag at work.
Don’t get caught out in an emergency. Prepare yourself and your family with an emergency kit that you can each grab if you have to evacuate, or even if you have to stay put and ride out the storm at home.