Checklist : Emergency Preparedness for Beginners (Part 3 of 4)

Step 2: Evacuation Bags For Each Family Member

Both urban and rural families have fled bushfires, evacuated the site of earthquakes, and dashed away from floods and hurricanes. When every second counts and every item is critical, skip the emotion, grab your fully stocked go bag, and Get the Hell Out !

A Bug Out Bag (BOB) is basically a backpack that is always packed and ready to go at any time. It comes with a wide array of the basics you need to survive for at least a few days and ideally much longer.

In this article, we will discuss the characteristics and essential features which constitute a good BOB which will correlate with its functions.The account will also later include details of BOBs ideally suited for the younger kids and teen generations.

Example Scenarios for BOB Usage :

  • You are ordered to evacuate because of a storm.
  • You wake up to a forest fire raging near your home.
  • Your neighbor’s house is on fire and you run to help.
  • An abuser comes to your house and you have to leave quickly.
  • Law and order is crumbling and you had better leave the area.
  • Missile attack or terrorist attack is happening nearby and you have to leave town

The key issues to bear in mind when considering investing in a BOB are you have no idea of when exactly you will need it and therefore…

  1. You cannot cover all potential needs.
  2. Weight matters a lot.
  3. You may be on foot for a long time.
  4. You might be in an evacuation or refugee center, in the wilderness, or crouching in buildings.
  5. It could be summer or winter.
  6. The weather could be bad.
  7. You could be alone or with other people.
  8. People around you will be in panic and possibly dangerous.
  9. You could be hurt.
  10. You could be alone for a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, or more.

Keep it simple, always be prepared and use a priority bag system

Things should be simple and easy. 

  • You want to limit the number of important decisions you will have to make or the things you will need to remember in a crisis. 
  • You shouldn’t have to remember where things are, put them together, worry about not having something important, or wasting time while doing work you should have done before. 
  • You shouldn’t be thinking, “Well wait, will I need the camping stove I have in the other bag?”

Survival experts strongly recommend having a bag packed and ready to use at all times. You don’t want to depend on putting things together in a crisis. Part of the value is having peace of mind knowing that if you were to go and survive now, you could. It also emphasizes the need to PRACTICE, PRACTICE and PRACTICE your emergency preparedness plans and drills.

It’s important to also stress the fact that there is nothing wrong with having more than one BOB, just do not have different bags for different scenarios.

The best system for most people is to have a bag that is your priority bag. If you were to leave the house within a minute of warning things around you would be crazy and you have no idea what will happen after you are gone, this is the only thing you take before you go.

You have your main bag # 1, your bag # 2, etc. If a situation arises where you have to evacuate, you can decide in real time how many bags to take. Maybe you stop after # 1 or after # 3.

So,if for example there is a hostage-taking drama, you don’t need to get out in a matter of minutes. You have some time to think calmly, load your car, and drive off. You take your # 1 bag first, then your # 2 bag and so on until you can’t take any more or have to leave.

Maybe the roads are blocked / inaccessible and you have to ditch your car. So you grab your # 1 bag first. If that’s all you can carry and you’ll be on foot, you’re well prepared. If someone is with you, give them your # 2 bag.

Bug Out Bag (BOB) Checklist Summary

SUBJECTComment / Requirements
Backpackthe right bag counts, not too big, not too flashy, good hip support.
watertools for collecting or storing water.
foodMany people carry too much inappropriate food.
fireWindproof matches, fire starter and lighter.
warmthsurvival blankets and an insulated outer layer.
sheltertarpaulin, possibly a hammock or an ultralight tent.
lightflashlight,head-torch, battery and crank lamp, candle.
communicationHam portable radio, signal mirror, whistle, flares.
medicalfirst aid kit, medication, tourniquet, combat pads.
hygienecamp soap, camp toilet paper, wipes, hand sanitizer.
navigationlaminated maps, compass, binoculars.
toolsfield knife, multipurpose knife, ropes, ties, tape, safety pins.
self-defensefirearm, ammunition, knives, according to personal choice.
field guideCompact book with guides on various survival techniques.
documentspassport,birth certificates, medical records.
clotheshat, sunglasses, socks, maybe a full set of weather-appropriate clothing.
miscellaneouscash, small notepad and pen, perhaps an item of psychological comfort.

BOBs For Kids & Teens

As before, this article will only discus the particular characteristics / features which are suitable for BOB usage by these youngsters.

Escape backpack for children and teenagers – do you have a separate bug out bag for your children? 

In a crisis or disaster situation, one of your most important tasks is to help your child feel as safe and secure as possible. Most people underestimate the physical and emotional stress that a catastrophe can put on people, especially young children. With an escape backpack for children and adolescents, you prepare yourself to protect not only the physical but also the mental health of your children in an emergency.

Any Kid or Teen capable of carrying, should have their own bug-out bag — personally designed — that they are familiar with.

We’re a big advocate of something that we believe will help make children feel safe and that is to include them in your contingency planning as much as possible. This means talking to them in an age-appropriate manner about what to expect of them, what to expect during a disaster, and also to include them in exercises and training.

Prepare a special bug out bag for your child. It’s a great way to make them feel like they have a voice and a sense of power in times of crisis is to give them their own bag of survival gear.

A child-sized bug out bag filled with familiar items and food can be a real lifesaver in an emergency. Just remember that a child’s emergency backpack will be very different from the bags you have prepared for you and your family.

With children, depending on their age, you will forego most of the traditional survival equipment you would think of when preparing an adult escape backpack, and instead “comfort items” become a top priority when selecting the items to fill the bag with to have. A backpack filled with comfortable and familiar items can help ensure your overall mental health during a crisis or disaster.

Here is what to put inside your child’s Bug-Out-Bag :

water & a metal container; Lifestraw water filter.metal container allows boiling if required ; filter for purifying water if necessary.
Drink, Food & snacksWater, include protein bars.
Hand warmersWhen no campfire is available.
Head torchessource of fun as well as comfort.
Chewing gum ; hard candycalm kids and provides them with a burst of energy.
Change of clothesloose fitting trousers,T-shirt / Sweat shirts, jacket, underwear, wool socks.
Hygienetoothbrush + paste, dental floss, child-specific sanitizers & wipes.
Light Sleeping bagapprox. 5ft. 11 inches ; waterproof ; max.wt. 1.5lbs.
Rain Ponchoeasily visible (in a crowd).
Pandemic maskA must for 2 years of age and OVER !
Personal sundries.e.g.prescriptions, glasses, diabetic supplies, diapers/wipes for little kids, menstrual pads for teen girls.

Emergency escape with children of all ages adds a challenge to an already difficult situation. However, as you can see, with simple planning, you can overcome these difficulties and help your family evacuate safely.

Think carefully about what items to add in your family’s Bug Out Bags to make things easier for both the child and parents. Include your children in your preparations and plan the “bug out” so that they know what is going to happen when the time comes.

Go camping and hiking and show your children how to survive in nature and how to use all kinds of equipment – this will be invaluable in an emergency.

Now let’s go to the final of beginner emergency preparedness which involves Choosing your return home and EDC bag .Click here to go to PART 4.




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