Whether you are an end-of-the-world prepper or someone who just wants to make it home safe in case of an earthquake, you’ll want to be prepared everywhere and for everyone in your home.
It all comes down to the rule of three. You can survive three weeks without food, three days without water, and three minutes without oxygen. Have you thought about how you’re going to keep warm? Ever wonder about how many pints of blood can you lose before bleeding to death? What if you have to walk home, and it’s over 90 degrees outside? Are you prepared to make that trip? With kids or pets?
So ask yourself, “Am I prepared to handle any type of emergency while in my home, on the road, or at the office?”
WHAT IS A BUG-OUT BAG? (B.O.B.)
According to Wikipedia, A bug-out bag is a portable kit containing items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours when evacuating from a disaster.
Normally a bug out bag is a sizable backpack crammed with a bunch of crap that is mostly worthless when it comes time for a real emergency. So let’s get real and practical about your B.O.B. and make it work for your needs, habits, lifestyle, and level of preparedness for where you might be and for who you are with.
STANDARD B.O.B. FOR HOME & OFFICE
Yes, have two. One at home and one where you spend the other 95% of your life, at work. I guarantee if disaster strikes it most likely won’t be conveniently while you’re watching The Walking Dead. It’ll be rush hour in the middle of a heat-wave.
So let’s get back to the rules of three. Make sure you have enough food, such as protein bars, in your B.O.B. for 72 hours. That’s usually the length of time you’ll be extricated from your safe haven. You may want to have a case of bottled water at your office, in your car, and at home. Be sure to throw a few extra bottles into the side nets of your back-pack. Some people opt for a water filtration devices in case water sources have been contaminated and you need to drink from unknown sources. These are handy little devices that filter out impurities and still help you stay hydrated during the crisis. Oxygen masks or as some people call them, gas masks, may be needed if the air quality is com-promised. You’ll want to have an N95 air filtration mask to wear until the all clear.
Ladies remember your special needs and have that extra stash of pads. They make great compresses to stop bleeding too. Tampons are fantastic fire starters and can be used in many survival situations. One of my favorite things to pack is a roll of toilet paper stuffed with dryer lint. Best fire start-er available and at no additional cost to you.
CAR / AUTO B.O.B.
In case you are stuck in the traffic because the dead have risen and your car just ran out of gas, you’ll need a way to stay safe until rescue. Items in your car bug out bag are similar to a regular B.O.B yet different, and you’ll need the following items for safety: bottled water, roadside flares, protein energy bars, 5-hour energy drink, tool kit, local maps, blankets, duct tape, paper towels, wetnaps, solar power chargers, toiletries, battery powered radio.
You may or may not have children, but if you do or have a lot in your neighborhood, it’s a safe bet to have these special types of bags at home and in your car. Kids can’t carry as much weight as adults, but helping them learn what they need and decide what to take can help in stressful de-cisions when time is of the essence. Be sure to include some entertainment items to help pass long wait times. Example Items: Food bars, water, child size N95 mask, child identification lanyard they can wear with parents’ names and home address with emergency contact numbers. Change of clothes, flashlight, and glow stick. Include small toys, deck of cards, dice, pen & paper.
We can’t forget about our pets in emergencies, and they have special needs, too. Having a quick back-pack for your dog and fanny pack tucked away in a soft-sided kennel for your kitties is an ideal way to make sure they are protected. Example Items: Food, water, bowls, clean up bags, kitty litter, toys, collars, and leashes. Store these items in a small soft-sided carrier for cats to help minimize carrying one more bag.
FIRST AID B.O.B
Just because we packed enough water, protein bars, and underwear doesn’t mean we have supplies for cuts, broken bones, or snake bites. These bags are specially equipped to give you rescue treatments in case your disaster turns into a catastrophe. There are many of these types of BOBs that can be purchased commercially to take the guesswork out of what to pack.
One handy item to have on your phone for this kind of situation is the American Red Cross Emergency App available for Apple and Android. Not sure if it is poison ivy or sunburn? This app will help you self-diagnose until real emergency help can get to you.
COMMON B.O.B MISTAKES
Be sure to take the time to think about the type of bag you need and where you’ll stash it.
One of the biggest mistakes in building your B.O.B. is over packing. Can you truly carry all that weight if you have to hike fifty miles? You might want to take your B.O.B for a test hike one day.
Another common mistake is not packing enough water sources or filtration. Remember the rules of three? You can live three weeks without food, but only three days without water.
Lack of good footwear. Yep! Think about it. You can probably count on needing your B.O.B. while you’re at work or in the car. Unless it’s casual Friday, you might be in dress shoes or heels. Be sure to pack a sol-id pair of supportive shoes or hiking boots with at least 3 pair of clean socks. Keeping your feet dry and clean will go a long way in aiding your route to safety.
Hopefully these ideas will help you build a better bug out bag and be ready for when disaster strikes regardless if it’s an earthquake or the dead have risen. Here’s to getting to safety!
Drinking Water (3 Liters)
Collapsible Water Bottle
Water Filters/ Purification Tablets
- Foods & Stuff
Vitamins/ Protein / Energy Bars
MREs / Dehydrated Meals
Can Opener/ Cutlery
Metal Cooking Pot/ Cup/ Scrubber Cleaner
- Clothes – Fluctuates for Seasons and Climate
Long Sleeve Shirt/ Pants/ Shorts
Underwear/ Socks (3 pair)
Hat / Working Gloves/ Sunglasses
- Shelter and Bedding
Tarp/ Tent/ Sleeping Bag
Mylar Survival Blanket
- Heat Source
Ignition Source/ Tinder
Wet Napkins/ Hand Sanitizer/ Soap
Towel/ Toilet Paper
Travel Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Lip Balm/Sunscreen/ Bug repellent
LED Headlamp/ LED Keychain
Light Glow stick
Crank Power Charger/ Solar Charger
Crank Power Emergency Weather Radio
- Other Items
$500 Minimum in Small Bills/ Quarters
Local Area Map/ Compass/ Binoculars
Small Note Pad / Pencil
Pepper Spray / Other Protection devices
550 Parachute Cord
Cotton Bandana/ Towel
55 Gal. Garbage Bags
Resealable Baggies – Various Sizes
Latex Tubing (3’) Tourniquet
Survival / Snare Wire