Most go bag or bug out bag lists assume that you’re going to be using them to get out of Dodge in the event of a major civil disturbance or disaster-type survival situation. The emphasis is often on packing everything you could possibly need to survive on your own for days or weeks at a time. But what if you don’t need a bag that’s so thoroughly provisioned? Or what if you already have that big bug out bag but want something smaller that’s useful for more mundane or more likely situations like a house fire or severe flooding? Then it’s necessary to change up the contents of your bag to fit your needs. Here are the five categories of items you’ll need to keep in your go bag to make sure that you’re prepared for any eventuality.
1. Important Documentation
Social Security cards, birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc. are vital documents without which it’s almost impossible to get government identification, open bank accounts, get a job, etc. A fire at home can destroy these vital documents very quickly, so make sure they’re all together and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
2. First Aid
In the rush to get out to safety there are likely to be some boo-boos. Whether it’s cuts and scrapes, a sprained ankle, or just an adrenaline dump, make sure that you have proper first aid gear to take care of any situation.
While you may be able to get a hotel room in the case of a house fire, more widespread problems such as flooding may affect more people in a larger area. That can result in packed hotels or, in a really bad scenario, flooded hotels for miles around. You may have to rough it for a night, so be sure to back survival blankets, tarps, paracord, and any other materials that can help you make it through the night in warmth and safety.
You can’t survive more than a few days without water, and it’s a very precious commodity in the aftermath of floods or hurricanes. Make sure you have several bottles in your go bag, as well as empty bottles or collapsible bladders to fill with additional water that you can purify later.
Chances are you’re going to be hungry once you get out of your house and get acclimated to your new situation. Whether it’s granola bars, freeze-dried camping food, or MREs, making sure you have at least a few meals in your go bag can mean the difference between comfort and misery.