Emergency Go Bag

What to pack in your 'Go Bag'

If you have sufficient time to pack up, here is a more thorough list of what to pack in preparation of having to evacuate in an emergency.

The term go bag came from the idea that in an emergency such as an evacuation or home fire etc, you don't have the time to get your things together so you grab it and go. Here is a list of suggested items that can be carried in a backpack.

  • First Aid Kit - a decent well-stocked kit, including a couple of weeks' supply of any prescription medications you need. Also include pharmaceutical grade crazy (skin) glue.
  • Cash - plenty of it because depending on the event, credit cards may not be useful. Consider having about $100-200 in ones, that way you never need change. A couple quarter rolls could come in handy. Do not "flash" it around.
  • Clothing - At least 1 set of clothes, think layers. 3 pairs of underwear and 3 pairs of socks.
  • A blanket - to keep you warm. Consider a Mylar emergency blanket, which is lightweight and packs up small.
  • Flashlight - crank style flashlight and snap lights such as glow-sticks.
  • Whistle - good for locating people in a crowd, at night, or in low visibility conditions
  • Radio - crank style or battery operated NOAA weather AM-FM radio.
  • Food - non-perishable food; energy bars are good and take up little space
  • Water - store at least 1 gallon per person per day for three days.
  • Goggles - protect your eyes!
  • Hand and feet warmers - get the carbon activated kind, they work great.
  • Rope - has endless uses, choose various sizes (rubber bands, too).
  • Trash bags - big black trash bags; they can also be used as a poncho or to cut open to make a tent
  • Multi-use Knife
  • Dust masks -  2 per person; best if heavy-duty respirator type masks
  • Duct Tape
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Important Documents - Copies of passport, driver's license, insurance, and any other important documents
  • Map - a map of the area you plan to go; don't rely on the internet, which might go down.
  • Toiletries
  • Maxi Pads - can also be used as a bandage, if needed.
  • Stationery - Sticky pad and a pen and pencil in case you need to leave a note for family to let them know where you went or where to meet. Also, keep at least one wallet size photo of your immediate family, children, or pets. This is crucial in case you get separated and need to enlist the help of others to find your loved ones.
  • Hand sanitizer - gel anti-bacterial hand wash/sanitizer (non rinse), available at any pharmacy and most supermarkets and convenience stores, for cleaning hands and even wounds in a pinch. You never know what you may have to touch in an emergency.
  • Shoes - a comfortable and sturdy pair of shoes.
  • Gloves - a pair of leather work gloves. Again, think rescue and retrieval.
  • Pets - pet care products (litter, leash, etc.) and food.
list of what to pack in a go bag
what to grab in an evacuation