Don’t Bug Out Over the Bug Out Bag
We’re now half way through our National Preparedness Month Challenge and you’re probably surprised that we haven’t gotten to the infamous bug out bag yet. This is the speed bump on the road to preparedness, or for most the pot hole that causes a flat tire. Not today! We’re going to carry you forward and clear the way to better feelings between you and the bug out bag.
The bug out bag, survival kit, or 72 hour kit, is the next big step in getting prepared. Most disasters will have you either evacuated or without your normal living quarters. Having a home you can carry with you, (admit it you thought of a turtle too) means that you have a place to start over again.
A survival kit should meet your basic needs for at least 72 hours. What to put in your bug out bag can be a little tricky. We don’t normally think about all the trivial things that make our lives run smoothly, they’re just there. Start by asking yourself these simple questions:
What will I wear? Remember you’ll be getting dirty and cleaning up debris, so pack accordingly.
What will I eat and drink? Not what can you eat, cause you can eat a lot of things but it doesn’t mean you’ll want to. And don’t forget you may not want to drink the water from the tap, if it even turns on. Plan your menu for at least 3 days.
What will I do? All work and no play in post disaster recovery makes for a CRAZY Jane. Include items for entertainment and relaxation to promote healthy coping.
How will I stay warm and dry? The need for shelter is the whole reason you have to use your kit, so provide items that can be used for shelter and warmth.
Who’s the nurse? Since the ambulance is most likely going to be a little busy, having a quality first aid kit is a good idea.
How will you cook? Camp fires may sound like a reliable cooking method, but you may want to include a backup plan. Don’t forget you also need the equipment for cooking and eating your meals.
How many people? Each person’s kit needs to be tailored to their needs, especially if you have infants, children, special needs, or pregnancy.
Putting together a bug out kit is just like packing for a vacation, one that you hope you’ll never have to take. For starters write everything down. Then gather what you already have around your house that’s on your list.
Then hit the store, remember you can get a little at a time. Even partially prepared is better then totally unprepared. Once you have your gear together you can pack your bags. They can be backpacks, vests, tubs, or suitcases. Which ever fits your family and needs best.
Having your family work on this as a team is a huge psychological plus in their favor, especially for children.
Now is as good a time as any to start your kit. We may not know when the next big disaster will occur, but we can set a deadline to be ready by a certain date. If you already have a kit ready then set a date for when you’ll rotate it.
You now have a finished bug out bag, and a greater peace of mind.
What did you put in your bug out bag?
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Tyra Baird from Oregon simply lives a lifestyle of preparedness and has a passion for sharing it. She received a Bachelors from BYU-Idaho in Child and family studies, and Home and family living. As a stay at home mom of 6 children under the age of 10, she considers herself an expert in man-made disasters and daily coping. Emergency preparedness and self reliance has been a way of life since she was a child (her mom was in the Teton Dam flood as a teen and her dad’s just paranoid). Tyra and her husband have embraced preparedness wholeheartedly. She’s been in a tornado, tropical storm, flooding, snowed in twice, severe storms, and slept through a few minor earthquakes. All of them were pretty mild. Tyra is a self proclaimed nerd who simply enjoys reading, researching, writing, teaching, and public speaking.