Rationale for a "Go Bag"
The primary purpose of a bug-out bag is to allow one to evacuate quickly if a disaster should strike. It is therefore prudent to gather all of the materials and supplies that might be required to do this into a single place, such as a bag or a few storage containers. The recommendation that a bug-out bag contain enough supplies for seventy-two hours arises from advice from organizations responsible for disaster relief and management that it may take them up to seventy-two hours to reach people affected by a disaster and offer help. The bag's contents may vary according to the region of the user, as someone evacuating from the path of a hurricane may have different supplies from someone who lives in an area prone to blizzards, tornadoes or wildfires.
In addition to allowing one to survive a disaster evacuation, a bug-out bag may also be used when sheltering in place as a response to emergencies such as house fires, blackouts, tornadoes, and other severe natural disasters.
Some survivalists also recommend keeping a 'get me home' kit in the car and/or at work. This is a kit to enable a person to get back home from work in an emergency where all transport cars and public transport have broken down. It is designed around personal circumstances where, for example, a walk of 25 kilometres might be required from work to home. The 'get me home' kit can include, for example, enough water to get home, suitable walking shoes, a map (not electronic), enough food for 12 hours, clothing for adverse weather, etc.
Standard Red Cross "Go Bag"
What is a "Go Bag, or Bug-Out-Bag?"
And Why Do I Need One?
A bug-out bag is a portable kit that normally contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours when evacuating from a disaster.
City of Sunbury Office of Emergency Management
Daniel E. Saxton, Coordinator 225 Market Street Sunbury, PA 17801
570-286-7820 ( office ) 570-286-3060 ( fax ) 570-274-5010 ( cell ) email: email@example.com
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The suggested contents of a bug-out bag vary, but most of the following are usually included:
> Enough food and water to last for at least 72 hours. This includes:
Water for washing, drinking and cooking. The US recommends 1 gallon (3.78 litres) per person per day. If you have pets then include extra water for them.
> Non-perishable food.
> Water purification supplies.
> Cooking supplies.
> A first aid kit.
> Fire starting tool (e.g., matches, ferrocerium rod, lighter, 9 volt battery, etc.).
> A disaster plan including location of emergency centers, rallying points, possible evacuation routes, etc.
> Professional emergency literature explaining what to do in various types of disaster, studied and understood before the actual disaster but kept for reference.
> Maps and travel information.
> Standard camping equipment, including sanitation supplies.
> Weather appropriate clothing and UV protection (e.g., poncho, golf umbrella headwear, gloves, etc.).
> Bedding items such as sleeping bags and blankets. If you have to sleep on the ground then a thick plastic or oilcloth tarp under the sleeping bags will keep ground moisture out of your bedding. A second one suspended on a rope between two trees or other supports can be used to form a tarp tent shelter from the morning dew or a rainstorm.
> Enough medicine to last an extended evacuation period.
> Copies of medical records for each person in the family.
> Pet, child, and elderly care needs.
> Battery or crank-operated radio.
> Lighting (battery or crank operated flashlight, glow sticks).
> Cash and change, as electronic banking transactions may not be available during the initial period following an emergency or evacuation.
> Positive identification, such as drivers license, state I.D. card, or social security card, plus any medical ID cards if you have them. Those with allergies should have a MedicAlert or similar ID.
> Birth certificate or passport.
> Fixed-blade and folding knife
> Swiss Army Knife
> Multi-tool, like a Leatherman
> Duct tape and rope or paracord
> Tarpaulins for shelter and water collection
> Wire for binding and animal traps
> Firearms and extra ammunition
> Slingshot, pellet gun, blowgun or other small game hunting equipment
> Small fishing kit
> Signal mirror
> Emergency whistle
> Rubber tubing
> Digestion care medicine for indigestion, stomach ache, nausea, and diarrhea
> Trash bags
> Super glue