Be it a natural disaster or one caused by man, there is no telling when, how, and where an emergency situation will happen. Our only defense is to be adequately prepared for such events. One important and effective way you can prepare yourself and your family is by putting together a “bug-out bag.” A bug-out bag or 72-hour bag, is a pack that you construct by collecting various items that will allow you to survive for at least 72 hours following an emergency. For instance, when hurricane Katrina hit, many people had to evacuate their homes with little warning. It is not impossible for anyone to be put in a situation where emergency supplies are needed for imminent survival. This is just a brief overview of some key elements to include in a bug-out bag, there are many other online resources that will go into more specific detail. The point of this article is to plant an idea of preparedness in your head. The contents of the pack can be broken down into the following categories:
A minimum of one liter of water per day is advised, so for three days you should have at least three liters of water per person. It’s it recommended to supplement the water with forms of water purification, be it a filtration system or water purification tablets.
Although a person can go without eating for more than three days, it is unpleasant. A simple mess kit and canned goods are a must for simple nutrition. Energy or candy bars should be brought along for when you need that extra kick to travel long distances to safety. The mess kit doesn’t need to be too fancy, just a spork, plate and a metal pot for heating food or boiling water as purification are needed.
A disaster can strike anytime with any weather, making it key to pack both warm and waterproof clothing. With your chosen clothes, it is recommended to have a military poncho. These can be picked up at most Army/Navy Surplus stores and can be used with paracord to make a makeshift tent shelter. Practice a couple times before packing it!
First Aid and Lighting
Caused by the disaster itself or events to follow, it is important to have a first aid kit; many if not all have instructions on how to use the items included. Being ready for anything includes being ready at night. If a disaster strikes after dark, the power may go out, therefore you’ll need hand crank flashlights and plenty of candles.
Fire is life, almost everything we do to survive involves fire; cooking, staying warm, signaling for help, and countless other things. Pack some waterproof matches, a few flick lighters, and some tinder to ensure you can create flame at a moment’s notice.
Communication and keeping yourself informed and updated is important, so it is helpful to have a backup cell phone, compass, maps of your area and a crank radio. A means of protection is recommended be it a shotgun or a machete. In a disaster it may be chaos and people may want to take the things you’ve prepared and you need a way of stopping that. Last but not least, a multi-tool is key to have in your pack, if not the glove box of your car. A multi-tool has endless uses.
After the flood waters have subsided and it is safe to return to your home, please contact Dry Experts for all your water damage needs. The professionals at Dry Experts will ensure that you are back on the path to normalcy after your (hopefully) brief time roughing it.