Prepare for the worst, hope for the best – Getting Home

In the wake of recent events, Hurricane Irene,  TS Lee, San Diego power outage, terrorism alert, it is in your best interest to prepare for the worst but hope for the best.   Write down a list of possibles and then how you might prepare for them, short term and long term.  Do you have ample food supply, ample water supply, lighting, shelter,  defense, heating/cooling, cooking, communications, first aid, medicines, power supply for medical equipment, a way to get home?


Lets start with the gridlock that occurred in San Diego, one guy in San Diego said he called 20 people to come get him, none of them would, they didn’t want to be anywhere on the road with the possibility of getting stuck.  You would do well to have a “bug out bag” in your vehicle at all times.  A “bug out bag” is just a backpack or like bag to carry emergency supplies, not meant for long term survival but will help you out in an emergency situation.  In this “bug out bag” you should have ……

Extra water, you can carry a few bottles of water or you can buy water in a pouch at Army Surplus stores

Shelf stable food that needs no preparation such as granola bars, power bars, peanuts, peanut butter crackers like Lance etc, make sure to rotate them every 6 months so you’ll always have a fresh supply

Water purifying tablets, you can buy those in the camping section of Walmart

Flashlight and batteries, I prefer the LED flashlights

Cheap rain poncho, available at Dollar Stores and Walmart

Space Blanket for colder weather, available in camping section of Walmart

A knife of some kind, I prefer a Swiss Army knife, multi-tool

Extra socks to replace wet socks, extra underwear

Flint and matches, I prefer strike anywhere matches and waterproof matches

Baggie of dryer lint, makes a wonderful fire starter

Money including change that can be used for vending machines etc

Large heavy duty trash bag or tarp for temporary shelter

Heavy duty nylon rope

Duct tape, many uses from wrapping your shoes to keep them from getting wet to securing your makeshift tent

Fishing kit, I make mine from Altoid tins, large enough to carry some hooks, lures, fishing line etc, I also include some eye hooks to use on branches to make a rod

Sewing kit, also made from an Altoid tin, thread, needles, small scissors, buttons, safety pins

First Aid, also can be made from an Altoid tin or slighly larger hinged tin, bandaids, tape, gauze, neosporin or similar product, tylenol, alcohol swabs, extra medicines that you take regularly, be sure to rotate medicines every couple of months

Whistle, can fit in an Altoid kit

Mirror for signaling, you can buy small mirrors and attach to the inside of one of your Altoid kits

Compass would also fit in the Altoid kit

Map of your area or the area you plan to bug out to with a specific plan on how to get there, preferably off the main road

List of emergency numbers

Pad and paper to leave notes if necessary, magic marker would be ideal

Emergency radio, I use a combo wind up radio/flashlight w different settings/siren/compass, it has a handcrank and solar panel so you don’t have to worry about batteries.

Depending on the size of your bag, you can get a lot more stuff in it, perhaps a change of clothes, a hatchet, a collapsible water container you decide.  Make sure you have enough bags and supplies for every member of your family.  You can make these same bags for your home, they’re called “go bags”, leave them by the front door so you can grab them quickly in an emergency.

You should also carry a 5 gal can of gas, without power gas pumps won’t work.

Consider a collapsible bike for alternate transportation.

Extra blankets if you have to stay in the car.

If you’re anything like me, gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now, consider having a collapsible privy tent and a bucket or for you women, they have contraptions that allow us to “go” standing up.

It will be a stressful time for the kids, make sure their bags are built for them, small travel games, favorite toy, favorite book, coloring books and crayons etc as well as a flashlight, radio and anything from the adult kit that is appropriate for them like the space blanket, extra clothes.



3 comments on “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best – Getting Home

  1. This is a such a comprehensive list of emergency supplies. I’m glad you mentioned packing bags for kids since that’s something I didn’t think about.

    One suggestion is getting a combination emergency wind-up radio/flashlight. The last thing you want is to find dead batteries and the combo radio/flashlight saves space. I recommend the Eton FR160 –

    It’s got a hand crank and a solar panel so you don’t have to worry about batteries dying.

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