Even if nothing really bad ever actually happens, being prepared for every eventuality is never a bad thing. There are so many things that could potentially threaten our society – storms, megavolcano eruptions, terrorist attacks, zombies – that having a plan to “bug out” with your family just makes sense.
If you agree, you might be ready to pack up a go bag and stash it in an easily accessible location, but first comes the tough question: what should you put inside it?
Well, we’ve got some experts weighing in to make sure that you don’t leave out any essentials. [Side note: If you want to tailor yours to zombies, you might want to stash a katana or two as well.]
First off, you want to keep in mind that if the worst happens, there’s a good chance you’ll be on foot, so you don’t want to weigh yourself down with too much stuff. You’ll want non-perishable food items like canned tuna, granola bars, and canned beans, but experts recommend packing no more than three days’ worth of food ahead of time.
Prepackaged nuts, peanut butter, and beef jerky are also good options because they’re chock full of protein, and therefore energy.
Water is also a necessity, but instead of weighing yourself down with bottles or gallon jugs, toss in some water-purifying tablets or, even better, a mini-filter that will allow you to drink what water you find along the way.
You’ll also want to include a well stocked first aid kid and an emergency tool kit with a wrench, pliers, a flashlight, batteries, a battery-powered radio, and a weather radio. A dust mask could also come in handy, along with wet wipes, trash bags, and plastic ties. If you take medications, do you best to get an extra bottle and pack it (if it has an expiration date, just make sure you keep up to date).
Go ahead and bring your phone, along with extra chargers and/or batteries, but pack old-fashioned maps, too.
The bag itself should ideally be durable but lightweight, bonus points if it’s waterproof – at the very least, grab a waterproof pouch to store money, identification, and any other legal documents that might come in handy. If you have pets, make sure and pack things for them, too, and if your children are young, adjust your items to include diapers and formula, etc.
Oh, and you should have more than one – it’s best to stash one in your house, one at your work, and another in your car because you’ll never know where you’ll be when disaster strikes.