It’s September and there should only be one question on your mind: Am I ready for a disaster?
You should ask yourself that because this month is National Preparedness Month, a campaign sponsored by FEMA that encourages Americans to prepare for emergencies.
While you may think it’s silly to prepare for something that will probably never happen like a zombie apocalypse or an alien invasion, some disasters are more common than you might think.
Natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes are no joke. I recently moved to Los Angeles and there’s a complacency that nothing is going to happen, but if that big earthquake does happens, countless people will not have access to resources or basic necessities. Even right now, flooding in Colorado has left more than a 1,000 people missing with many likely stranded.
Now that I have your attention, it’s time to start preparing. One of the most basic things you can do to prepare is create a bug-out bag. A bug-out bag is a lightweight survival kit designed to help you survive up to 72 hours in the event of an evacuation.
These are also useful for disasters that require you to stay indoors, such as a blackout or hurricane, because the contents will help you in nearly any situation. The key, however, is to be as light and compact as possible to make carrying the bug-out bag feasible.
Also, please be aware that while this is a good general guide, there are a ton of great sites out there that cover every single aspect of preparing for when SHTF (“stuff” hits the fan). I may leave out a few good tips or items, but this shouldn’t be your only guide when preparing for an emergency. Use this as a stepping stone for other research and resources.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the 10 essential pieces of gear you should have in your bug-out bag in the event of a disaster.
First and foremost is water. Food usually gets top bill on these lists, but water is far more essential because you can’t survive very long without it. It’s good to have a gallon of water for each person every day. Since that can be a hefty load, many prefer to carry a full water bottle along with a water purification system in case you run out and need to refill on the fly.
The next important thing is food. It may be your inclination to put some of your favorite foods in the bug-out bag, but it’s important to remember that only non-perishable foods should go in the bag. Switch out the food every now and then to prevent it from going bad. Some great food items to pack in your bag include dehydrated food and freeze dried foods. You can find some of these foods for sale at Perfectly Prepared.