FIRST - A FEW COMMENTS
Normally one of the first questions I am asked regarding preparedness is what
to put in a survival pack in case one must flee the city. There are as many
right answers to this question. The "Bug Out Bag" must be personalized
to meet your individual needs. Below are some suggestions.
Where to store your bag, or as we will teach, bags, is important. I suggest
storing them in your car. If disaster hits and you cannot return home, you
will probably be in your car or close to it.
Remember this statement: "If you don't have it, you don't have it!"
What this means is that if you own a flashlight, knife, lighter or any other
needed item, andit is not within a reasonable grasp, then you do not have it.
Example: The power goes out in the middle of the night. Your flashlight is
in the car with dead batteries. You are in your bedroom. You do not HAVE a
When buying supplies, buy the best you can. These are tools for your survival
and comfort. Buy items as you can afford them. Many items you will already
have in your home and just need to organize them. Look for sales, but watch
gimmicks and cheap quality. Spend the extra for quality; your life may depend
on it. If you do not know which brand are the best, ask someone who does know.
Do not buy flashy designer labels. You want to blend in, not stand out. During
a disaster you want to be like a chameleon. Take your backpack out and get
it dirty, wear clothes that do not attract attention. Try to look like the
invisible man. This is not the right time to be driving a yellow Hummer H2!
Ladies, dress down a bit. Do not draw attention to yourself.
THE THREE PACKS
ON YOUR PERSON
Your first level of preparedness is what you carry on your body or ladies,
in your purse. Remember ladies, purses are great for storing who knows what,
but can be taken from you if not guarded, leaving you with nothing.
What should you carry on your person at all times?
KNIFE - If you begin to carry a knife, even a small one, you will be surprised
at the daily uses.
MULTI-TOOL Sometimes referred to by the brand name, Leatherman. These handy
gadgets have everything from screwdrivers to saws on them. They are easily
attached to your belt and you do not even know it is there until needed. Buy
PEN OR PENCIL - You never know when you may need to write down a phone number
or license plate.
LIGHTER - You do not need to smoke to carry a lighter. Repairing shoelace
ends or lighting a fire is much easier with a lighter than rubbing sticks
EXTRA CASH - Take a few bills and laminate them. This way you will not be
so tempted to use them. Carry them just like you would a credit card. Your
knife can be used to cut the laminate if they are needed.
CONTACT INFORMATION - Record pertinent information such as your name, address,
phone number and medical information on a card, laminate it and place it in
your wallet. For kids, do the same and place it under the insoles of their
CELL PHONE - No one should be without a cell phone these days. If you do not
want to pay the monthly charges, buy the phone that comes with prepaid minutes.
Keep it charged! Camera phones are suggested.
FLASHLIGHT - You may not carry this all the time, but think about where you
are going that day. If you will be in a large building, motel or maybe out
after dark, it may be a good idea. Remember, if you do not have it, you do
not have it!
BUG OUT BAGS
We teach the use of two bags. The first being a small or medium size backpack,
which you can grab, and go. The next can be a large backpack or duffle bag
which contains a larger quantity of items for longer time and more comfort.
Compare these with the items under auto preparedness.
THE GRAB AND GO BAG
Headlight or flashlight with batteries PAL
Fire starter and/or lighter LIGHT MY FIRE
Square of Aluminum Foil
Knife sharpener Recommendation: SPEEDY
Large Trash Bags
Pencil and note pad
Signaling mirror or CD
High energy bars / Jar of Peanut Butter / Survival
Battery Powered Radio w/batteries
First Aid Kit (Discussed below)
Toothbrush and paste
Liquid multi purpose soap
Sponge or quick dry washcloth
Eye and Ear protection
Brush or comb
The above items can be categorized and placed into zip lock bags. Freezer
bags are more durable. You will be surprised how small a backpack this will
fit into. Approximate weight is under 15 pounds.
As stated earlier, this can be a backpack, but does not have to be. A duffle
bag or any other durable bag will do. Add or subtract from the following list
to meet personal needs.
Larger First Aid Kit
Heavy Duty Rain Gear
Extra Space Blankets
Camp Stove and Fuel
Extra Clothing and Warm Socks
Thermal Underwear / Stocking Cap / Warm Gloves
Six Days Food Supplies
Quick Dry Towels
Small Solar Oven
Lighters and Matches
Large Knife or Machete
Trash Bags and Zip Locks
Fishing and/or Hunting Gear
Extra Water and Beverages
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Playing cards or games which do not use batteries. This list can go on and
on depending on your needs, your family size and other factors such as climate
and surroundings. Spend time to think it through. Make it a game with the
kids. See who can name the most items in the bug out bags. Visit your packs
often so as to remind yourself what is there and where it is. Rotate water
and food. Take out or put in items as needed.
FIRST AID KIT
As with the Bug Out Bags, First Aid kits must be personalized to individual
needs. Begin with a commercially available kit from the local department store,
then add the items to meet your needs. Below are listed items for a basic
Sterile Pads for larger wounds
Alcohol Pads for sterilization
Various Aspirin and Pain Medication
Moleskin for blisters on feet
Needle and Thread
Lighter for sterilization
Iodine Tablets for water purification
Super Glue (Great for cuts)
Emer'gen-C Vitamin and Mineral Packets
It is suggested that you attend a course on First Aid. These are given by
many agencies. Also a basic First Aid book should be in your pack.