Every person should have a disaster-preparedness bag in their home – for more reasons than one. If you should need to evacuate your house for any reason, your disaster preparedness-bag can help keep you alive.
That being said, you can still rely on your bag even when you are at home during a disaster. You could also keep one in your car to help you get back to your home as well.
Here are the top items that you need in your disaster-preparedness bag:
A personal water filter such as the LifeStraw will allow you to drink directly from any water source (besides water that has been contaminated by chemicals) and drink safely. That being said, to be on the safe side you would be wise to avoid water that is very murky or clearly contaminated with animal droppings.
In addition to the water filter, you should also carry water purification tablets.
The next thing you’re going to need is a fire starter. A lighter is the simplest fire-starting device available, and you can also carry either matches or a magnesium flint striker as a backup option. You could also include a candle or two to help you get a small fire going quickly.
Having at least one or two energy bars can help keep your energy levels up when you get hungry and help you ward off hunger to begin with.
A small but portable LED flashlight and an extra set of batteries are also must-haves to help you see in the darkness. Don’t just rely on your smartphone flashlight because it could become damaged or run out of battery.
A fighting knife with a folding, serrated blade that can be locked into place is a must-have survival item for defense and for general utility use.
A multi-tool is a more superior utility tool to a knife, especially one that already comes with a knife blade in it as well as a pair of pliers.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is an important part of any disaster-preparedness bag. As your bag may need to be small and portable, it’s fine if your first aid kit is rather minimalistic as well. Examples of what it should have within it include prescription meds, ibuprofen or Tylenol, antibiotics, bandages, gauze pads, tweezers, and a tourniquet.
Paracord can be used as a tourniquet, for building shelters, to rappel down steep cliffs, and many other things. It’s not at all something that you want to neglect to include. Having a mere one hundred feet of paracord should be sufficient.
Keeping yourself dry when it rains should also be of utmost importance to you, not only because wet clothes will be unpleasant but because they can potentially lead to hypothermia as well.
Basic fishing line, hooks, and lures would be good to have in your bag, as fish can be an excellent source of protein. Dig into the ground to find earthworms to use as bait.
Map and Compass
Don’t just rely on GPS because your phone can become damaged or run out of battery life. A map of your area and a high-quality compass are absolute must-haves.
Pen and Paper
This will be for simply taking notes or for sending messages to people. A small, pocket-sized notepad and a regular pen are sufficient.
Have around $100 worth of cash in your bag, divided into smaller bills. This can be used for bartering purposes or for buying things at convenience stores that you come across.
Feel free to add or subtract anything from your disaster-preparedness bag as you see fit, but the above list should give you a firm idea of what your bag will need to have in it in order for it to actually be useful to you in a survival situation.