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15 Must Haves for Your “To Go” Bag ~ 2013-0927


We have all heard time and time and again to have “to go” bags ready in our home, in our car, and at our work in case of emergencies. So here are three questions:

1. Do you have a “to go” bag ready at home? At work? In your car?

2. If no, why not? This is good advice that could save your life some day or at least make an emergent situation better. Why don’t you have these placed somewhere accessible just in case?

3. If yes, what do you have your “to go” bags?

There are many companies selling emergency bags already filled with supplies. You can purchase any of those. However, if you would like to create your own, below are 15 suggestions that should be included in them:

1.  Non-perishable food for 3 days
2.  Water for 3 days (1 gallon per person per day)
3.  Change of clothes for 3 days and a good pair of walking shoes and walking socks
4.  Filled first-aid kit and back-up medicines for 3 days
5.  Extra toothbrushes and toothpaste for each person
6.  Non-electric can opener
7.  Whistle
8.  Flashlight and extra batteries
9.  Cell phone and charger
10.  Radio and extra batteries or an emergency wind-up one
11.  Collapsible knife such as a pocket knife
12.  Moist towelettes
13.  Garbage bags and ties
14.  Local maps in hard copy format
15.  Small tin or plastic bag of cash in small denominations such as $1s and $5s as well as emergency contact information, photos of identified family members and pets, and photo copies of all your insurance cards, list of medical conditions such as allergies, diseases, etc. and drug prescriptions (Cookie or tea tins are great for this and do not take up much room)
16.  OPTION: An extra set of eye glasses or contacts, if applicable
17.  BONUS: If you can find it, a foil thermal blanket for each person

Garbage bags can be used in a multitude of ways: to keep water out of areas or to wrap items to keep them water resistant, to stuff around a door edge in case of fire to keep smoke out while you await rescue, or to temporarily store your waste in extreme situations.

Local maps can be ones purchased at most drug stores or gas stations, or you can download them from your computer. Either way it is a good idea to highlight emergency services places such as police station, fire department, hospitals, or shelter-in-place facilities within walking distances of your home, your work, and where you go most often.

Many state that emergency cash amount should be $500. Your amount should be determined by your locale and typical needs. Just a reminder to keep the denominations low. Do you really want to hand over a $100 bill for a loaf of bread because the other person does not have any change because the electricity is out, and he or she cannot open the cash register?

If you don’t have an available extra set of eye glasses or contacts, save the last set. Though the prescription will not be perfect, they will still be helpful.

Finally, create an expiration list of all items that need to be replaced, example water, packaged food, medicines. Rotate the older ones out for consumption and replace with new ones. Remember to update your list of expiration dates.

What do you think? Will you do this?



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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