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What the Heck is a Bug-Out Bag?

Posted: 10/31/2014 11:32:42 AM by

A bug-out bag comes from the term “bail-out bag” – an emergency kit that military aviators carry. As you probably guessed a bug-out bag is an emergency kit for your home that can be used in emergency situations. However, these bags are created with an evacuation focus instead of survival. Now, what exactly does that mean?

Basically a bug-out bag holds everything one would need in order to evacuate quickly if a disaster hits. According to FEMA a bug-out bag should contain enough supplies for a 72-hour period because it could take that long to reach those affected by the disaster.

While each bag should have essential components, like food and water, they will vary according to location. For example, someone living in an area prone to earthquakes will have different supplies from someone in an area prone to hurricanes. But bug-out bags don’t have to be used just in evacuation purposes; they can also be used in response to other emergencies such as house fires and blackouts.

Some survivalists even suggest having a bug-out bag for your car or office, known as a “get me home kit.”   And as you probably guessed, this kit enables someone to get home from work if an emergency should strike. This pack is specifically designed around personal circumstances, for example if you had to walk 20 miles to get home a pair of comfortable walking shoes , water and a map would be in your pack.

Contents of a bug-out bag will vary by region and each person, but there are certain essentials that every bag must have, at least according to FEMA:
  • Water
    • The Red Cross recommends 1 gallon per person per day in the U.S. which includes drinking, sanitation and cooking.
  • Food
    • Easy-to-prepare and non-perishable items.
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Fire Starting Tool
  • Flashlight
  • Battery operated radioDSC_1811.jpg
  • Solar Panel for charging devices
    • Many believe that should a disaster strike there is a large possibility that the electricity will not be readily available. Having solar panels and rechargable batteries allow you to keep your electronics charged without using an outlet.
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Medications & other Medical Items
  • Multi-Tool
  • Sanitation and person hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (birth certificates, deed/lease to house, proof of address, passports, insurance policies, etc.).
  • Extra cell phone battery/charger
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Space blanket
  • Maps of the area
  • Two-way radio
  • Manual can opener
  • Extra set of house and car keys

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