Do you have an emergency go bag ready in case you must leave your home quickly? Having the right supplies on hand can alleviate some of the stress involved when a disaster happens close to home. It is another prepping skill you can notch on your belt too!
But what are the contents that should be in your emergency go bag? Well, that depends on the type of emergency you are preparing for and how long you will need your kit to last.
We prepare for hurricane season here in central Florida so our DIY emergency kit includes the items that we would need if a hurricane causes havoc on my homestead. There are other types of DIY emergency kits that may include different supplies. One example would be a 2-week emergency food supply.
For this post, I will share with you how we make an emergency go tote instead of using a bag in the case that we are evacuated from our home. I have included not only the supplies that we place in my kit but the reasoning for those supplies are there as well. I hope that this will guide you to become better prepared in the future for a disaster that may affect your home. Feel free to eliminate or add additional supplies to fit your situation.
My Hurricane Evacuation DIY Emergency Kit
My DIY emergency kit starts with a large tote. You can purchase 4 30-gallon totes from Amazon for under $100. If you are packing for a family you may want to grab an extra-large one or even two. Just make sure if you pack more than one that they both fit in your vehicle.
Inside the tote, I place the following items:
- Blanket – for warmth and to cushion the bottom of the tote.
- Newspapers – to start a fire with, to use as toilet paper in an emergency.
- Water – 1 gallon per person per day. (if you have more than two people you may have to carry the water separately for space.
- Garbage and Grocery Bags – For gathering trash and picking up pet waste.
- Clothing/Shoes – Either a change of clothing for each of us, or at least a hoodie or a coat.
- Hygiene Bag – Things like toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant etc.
- Tools – Wrench, pliers, flashlight, waterproof matches, etc.
- Canned food – Soups, tuna
- Drink mixes
- Snacks – peanut butter, crackers, chips
- Small bottle of Olive Oil for cooking
- Pot and a Pan
- Utensils – spatula, slotted spoon, regular spoon, can opener. plastic cutlery
- Foil and Paper Towels
- Paper plates and plastic cups
- First Aid Survival Kit
Where to Keep Your Emergency Go Bag or Kit
Our emergency kit stays in the back of our bedroom closet. Any perishable products are checked monthly and replaced as needed. You can use a shelf on your pantry, under a bed, or wherever you can put it out of the way but easily accessible.
If and when an emergency may occur and I know I may need to open my DIY emergency kit I will then add any of the following items:
- financial papers (Grab and Go Binder)
- collapsable pet’s food and water dishes and their food
- my cell phone charger
- cash and change
- a fire extinguisher
Obviously, what doesn’t fit into my tote will be placed into another tote or a large bucket. The fire extinguisher will fit under the seat of the car.
Other Useful Items for your Kit:
You may want to include some or all of the following items:
- Gallon of bleach for sanitizing
- Dust Mask
- Plastic Sheathing
- Zip Ties
- Waterproof Windless Lighters
- Swiss Army Knife
- Food Grade Bucket with a tight fitting lid
- Gloves, Hat
Specialty DIY Emergency Go Bags or Kits
Pets Emergency Go Bag
Don’t forget your pets when an emergency occurs. Having things like an extra bag or two of food doesn’t hurt! You can always pack a small tote or a duffel bag for them in most cases.
Things to include for your pet(s) may include:
- food and water dishes
- any meds they are taking
- collar and id
- veterinarian records
- crate and blanket
- plastic bags for waste
Kit for the Children
In an emergency, children could potentially be scared and confused. Besides the obvious things make sure to pack things to keep them entertained and busy. This will make for a less stressful situation for not only them but you too.
Include these items in their kit:
- diapers, wipes
- baby food
- bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers
- toys, busy stuff (crayons, coloring books, handheld games)
- medical records
- any medication they are on
- bath supplies
Final Thoughts on Making an Emergency Go Bag
Usually, when an emergency or a disaster of some sort occurs, you may not be enough time to gather supplies or make an emergency go bag. Always try to have a kit on hand and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
I always go through my emergency kit to check expiration dates on foods or medicine. I then replace any items that are out of date. Also, try to remember that water is not perishable but the plastic bottles it comes in does go bad. Keeping your water supply fresh is important.
Keeping your emergency kit safe and out of the way, yet easily accessible is important too. You can keep a tote in your home, a shed, or even your car. Just make sure it is somewhere that you can get to quickly during an emergency or a disaster.
If you do not want to make your own, there are many resources available to purchase emergency kits. I have included some links for you:
Do you have a DIY emergency kit ready? Are there items you include in your kit that I have not mentioned? Feel free to share any suggestions or comments you may have.
Remember that in an emergency there may not be enough time to gather supplies or even think for that matter. Always try to have an emergency kit prepared. It may mean the difference in surviving.