If you need to evacuate to a shelter, take only your “grab-and-go” bag with essentials such as medication, important documents, prescription eyewear, etc.
Evacuate your home or office only if there is damage to the building or the surrounding area is unsafe. Consider relocating somewhere safer such as a friend’s house or a community shelter. If the building is undamaged, it can be safe to remain inside, even if the power is out. But, you will want to find an alternative location if power is not restored within a few days.
There are companies that provide pre-assembled emergency kits, and chances are they’ll help in a pinch. They’re certainly better than nothing at all. But nothing beats a custom-built kit, personalized for your specific needs.
To help you get started, below we’ve compiled some items for you to use and share with those close to you. With a little bit of time and preparation, we can all be safer don’t get caught unprepared.
GRAB AND GO BAG – CHECKLIST
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
- Water and snacks.
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items (Wet wipes, soap, small towel, travel size toothbrush, toothpaste and other personal hygiene necessities.
- Hand sanitizer.
- First aid kit.
- Prescription medications and glasses.
- Important documents(copies of insurance policies,ID’s and bank account records).
- Cash and change.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket.
- Paper towels/wipes and garbage bags for personal sanitation.
- Paper and pencil.
- Extra cell phone battery or charger.
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
- Whistle to signal for help.
- Dust mask/N95 mask.
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.
- Infant formula and diapers.
- Pet food and water.
- Leash and carrier.
- Vaccination record.
- Non-sparking wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities).
- Multi-function knife.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio that can receive NOAA Weather Radio tone and alerts.
- Local maps.
Tips: Avoid “double dipping” your gear. It’s tempting to pick stuff out of your bug out bag for a camping trip, for example. But then life tends to get in the way, the gear stays scattered, and that creates windows where an emergency might strike and you’re unprepared.