A bug-out bag is the kind of thing that no one thinks they need until they need it. You probably don’t have one unless you are a survivalist. You will only ever need one in an emergency. While everyone will have some type of emergency in their lifetime, not everyone will ever have the kind of emergency that necessitates them beating a hasty retreat from home and hearth. Like life insurance, no one even wants to think about the possibility of needing such a thing. Few people will want to contemplate that kind of disaster. It seems like a very remote possibility at best.
Then again, houses burn down all the time. In the worst cases, people happen to be in those houses when it happens. The lucky ones are already awake, fully dressed, and alert. They have the best chance of getting everyone out with minimal injuries. If you and your family are asleep and are awakened by an alarm, the situation is much worse. You have to come instantly awake, grab a robe, wake the kids, and move as fast as you can while leaving everything behind, including your wallet. You have nothing more than what you are wearing. That is when the emergency bag would have come in handy. If you are thinking about putting one together, don’t leave out the following:
Start with a couple of hundred dollars in cash. You are going to need some money. You probably didn’t get a chance to grab your wallet, which means you don’t even have a credit card handy. You should at least have enough cash for a night at a hotel. This kind of disaster can be detrimental to your credit because it will cost you a lot to survive and recover.
Be sure you include a phone number or website that will get you one of those small loans to build credit. After all, you are going to need a loan. So be sure to get the kind of installment loan that can help you build or repair credit, rather than something like a payday loan that tends to make things worse. That information will come in handy because you can often get approval right away. While you’re at it, apply for an extra debit or credit card that you can keep in your bag along with a copy of your ID. If you have access to money, you will have a much easier time.
A Good First Aid Kit
If you are an experienced traveler, there are two things you probably already have: The first is a list of creative ways to pay for travel. The second is a really good first aid kit. You will not always have access to insurance or a hospital. Depending on where you are traveling, a doctor could be a hundred miles away. You don’t want to die from something that just needed a little topical antibiotic.
In the event of an emergency where you will have to quickly bug out, you are very likely to also suffer some minor injuries. You might break a toe in the mad scramble for the door and need to craft an emergency splint. You might need some burn cream for minor burns. You might need gauze and a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. No emergency bag is complete without first aid supplies.
A Charged Battery Pack
You should probably have a burner phone associated with your account. It lives in your emergency bag. You will be able to activate it when the time comes. That said, your emergency phone will have a dead battery when you need to use it. That is why you will need a battery pack to give it some juice; if you do manage to make it out with your main smartphone, that is going to eventually need a charge as well. At such a time, an emergency power station is worth its weight in gold.
No one wants to think about being caught in a fire. But it is far more unthinkable to be caught in a fire unprepared. Keep an emergency bag by the bed or front door and be sure it has money and some way to access more money, a good first aid kit, and a power station for charging your emergency phone. Oh, and a change of clothes for everyone would also be a brilliant idea.