Editor’s Note: With National Preparedness Month in full swing, those new to preparedness need good, basic guidance. Drew Perry provides important prepper basics for consideration in the following article. – John
When it comes to emergency preparedness you’ve got all your bases covered, not to mention all those shelves in your garage. But what if you had to leave your home at a moment’s notice? Would you have what you need to survive if you literally had to grab one thing and go? If you’re not quite sure how to answer that question, here’s a look at the grab and go essentials for survival.
It all starts with the 72-hour kit, aka BOB or Bug Out Bag. There should be one bag per family member. This kit should have everything you need to survive for 3 days, including:
- Water is something nobody can go without and is necessary in any situation. 1 liter per person per day is the absolute bare minimum needed for survival. Because you can only carry so much water with you, a water purification system is essential to help you create more fresh water for drinking. You can boil water, treat it with iodine, or use a good water filter to create safe drinking water anywhere. The key is not to depend on one source of water alone.
- Food is another essential for your 72-hour bag. Freeze dried ready-to-eat meals (backpack meals), military style MREs, or energy/meal replacement bars will be sufficient for a few days. You could also bring canned goods or other foods that don’t require much preparation, but these can be bulky and will only weigh you down.
- Clothing for cold weather, rain, and other conditions is also a must for your bag. Make sure you have good, lightweight shoes or boots, and extra socks. Depending on conditions you may also want thermal underwear, long sleeved shirts for layering, as well as a hat and a bandana. If you live in a seasonal area, it’s critical that you keep your bag up-to-date with clothing that matches the current climate.
- Shelter is another very important part of survival often overlooked. Your bag should include a tarp or tent for shelter that can be readily assembled. You’ll also need something to sleep on and keep you dry like a sleeping pad, another tarp, and a proper sleeping bag. Thanks to new technologies, sleeping bags and blankets can provide maximum warmth while taking up a minimum of space.
- First aid and medical supplies may also be essential for survival. You’ll want to have the basic items for bandaging and wound care in your bag, and you’ll need to know how to use them in advance. Make sure you include at least a 10-day supply of prescription medications that you or any family members may need for the management of health conditions that could prove serious if left untreated for several days.
With these essential items in your 72-hour bag, you and those you love will be ready to leave at a moment’s notice and stand a much better chance of survival, should the unthinkable occur.
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