A "Go Bag" is a bag which is prepacked for use in case the worst happens. Let’s say there is a wild fire, an earthquake, a tornado, etc., and you have to evacuate your house on short notice. You only have moments to vacate - what do you take, how long will it take you to gather it up, where is everything? This is where your Go Bag comes into play, because it already has all the essentials you will need. The idea is to be able to just pick it up and get out.
Here are some suggestions of what to put into a Go Bag:
- Important documents such as deeds, marriage and birth certificates, social security cards, medical records (including vaccination records), insurance documents, passports, etc. (Optional: a lock box/briefcase that is kept with the Go Bag so both can be grabbed at once.)
- CDs with photos on them
- Water and food (military MRS’s - meals ready to eat - are great for this purpose)
- Extra clothes
- First aid kit
- Money - keep a stash of cash. If the power is out, there’s no way to run a credit card machine or an atm, so credit/debit cards will be useless.
- Laptop, tablet, cell
- Pets, pet food, pet documents
- Extra batteries: have an extra set for each battery-operated item you have packed and keep the batteries in a ziplock bag to prevent corrosion
You will notice this list has many of the same elements as a survival kit; this is because you never know where you will end up or what the circumstances will be - thus in my book you can't be over prepared. In fact the better prepared you are the easier things may be on you and your family. There is no reason to make a bad situation worse by not being prepared.
You can of course make your own kit easily, but if you prefer to buy one I suggest checking out our friends at Camping Survival and their selection of pre-made kits. Use the code "insanescouter" and save 5% at time of purchase.
God forbid that you will ever need to use such a kit. But if the situation arises time will be short, stress will be high and I bet someone in your family will panic. I doubt you will need or want the extra stress of trying to figure out what to grab. If you are prepared you can just grab your Go Bag, calm the family down and get them into the car and have a moment to take a deep breath before zooming off with time to spare.
To coin a phrase from credit card commercials, "Go Bag" - a few extra moments to escape the devils wrath and an extra moment to breath – priceless.