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Emergency Plan & Go!Bag Checklist

Congratulations on tackling this now. Use our guide to develop your own plan for emergencies so that in the event of an emergency you can move quickly. Use the checklist to make sure your Go!Bag emergency kit is ready when you need it. Our intention is to help you put the most important items you’ll need in, regardless of whether you call it a Go Bag or Bug Out Bag or 72-hour bag, so you can go for up to 72 hours without assistance. You can always add to your kit later.

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We kept it simple so you can get it done, before an emergency. What we aren’t trying is to turn you into an urban survivalist where you’ll be fighting off zombies, foraging for berries and building a hut. We just want to make sure you've got the essentials covered for up to 72 hours.

Like all good things, let’s start with a plan. Use ours.

Please download our FREE Emergency Plan & Go!Bag Checklist. It is a great organizing tool based on best practices from government and organization guidelines. It's designed to help you in putting together the basic information you need to have on hand in an emergency. It takes just a few minutes to fill out your plan, but it does take some thought. There's no time to figure this stuff out while you're on the move.

You've been told you need to evacuate. Now! Assume you are going to be without power and cell phone coverage for a period of time and you need to leave your house. Where will you go? Who will you call? How will you link up with others, how will they find you? What important contact details do you need to know? And since we save all this in our mobile devices these days, we doubt you can remember more than a few. So write them down.

Follow these steps:

  1. Download the Guide and fill it out.
  2. List your emergency contacts with all their contact details.
  3. List your children's names, the name of their school, their age, the grade they are in, and the school address.
  4. List your pet's names, species, how old are they, and if they have an ID chip, the chip number.
  5. If you get separated, where should you plan to meet?
  6. If you get separated, list the main contact person you're all going to check in with.
  • Once you fill it out, print it out. A copy goes in your GoBag. Having your plan printed out on paper is totally useful, because you may not be able to use any of your cool electronic gadgets to access any of this information. Take a copy to work and put it in your office. Stick a copy in your kids' backpacks.
  • Once you print it out, scan it or take a photo of it. Send a copy to your contact people so they know what your plan is. Email yourself a copy. Store a copy in a secure location online. If you’re an Amazon Prime member you get FREE, secure online storage (and if you aren’t, why not?) You can get it here: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial.

Now you can start assembling your Go!Bag:

The 16 Essential Items for Your Go!Bag:

10 things you need to buy:

  1. A backpack to put all this stuff in.
  2. A first aid kit in case of injury.
  3. Light. We recommend you get a headlamp so your hands are free.
  4. Water, or a water purifier.
  5. A dust mask to keep out dust, smoke and other pollution.
  6. A whistle in case you need to alert first responders or locate others.
  7. A survival blanket.
  8. Matches in a waterproof container.
  9. Extra batteries.
  10. Duct tape. So many uses.

6 absolutely essential things you put together at home:

  1. A waterproof bag with important documents. For a list of documents you need to have in your GoBag, read this article.
  2. A ziplock bag with personal care items: toothbrush, medicines, feminine care products, toilet paper. For more on this, read this article.
  3. A spare pair of sunglasses, and prescription glasses or contact lenses and lens solution.
  4. An extra pair of socks, a long-sleeved shirt, a bandana or scarf, and a hat.
  5. A spare set of house and car keys.
  6. A deck of playing cards and a game or two.

A dozen more useful items you'll want in your Go!Bag:

  1. A multi-tool.
  2. Hand wipes.
  3. Baby wipes.
  4. An extra box of latex-free gloves.
  5. A sewing kit.
  6. A charger for your cell phone.
  7. A power pack for your electronic devices.
  8. A poncho.
  9. An umbrella.
  10. Bungee cords.
  11. Glow sticks.
  12. Notebooks, paper, pens and pencils.

For a page full of our recommended products to round out your Go!Bag Go here.

Now get your Go!Bag:

You can order the 10 essential products we recommend here: Basic Go!Bag.

Want to build your own custom Go!Bag?

Go step by step through all our recommended products and build your own custom kit: Build a Kit

What about food and water?

Read our articles on food here, and water here.

Why not just get a pre-made kit?

You can, but in our experience they lack a lot of critical items, and they make up for it with unnecessary filler to bring the total items count higher. We have a collection of some of the better ones on the market in our catalog, and we've done an exhaustive comparison of them. If you like, read our review.

About our methodology

We spent hours reviewing materials from FEMA (the US Federal Emergency Management Agency), the Red Cross, the Humane Society as well as a host of other government and non-governmental organizations to put together the checklist of necessary items. We then spent many more hours reviewing products. We look for quality, completeness without overkill, high customer ratings, and price. We read the customer reviews and note their experience. And of course, these are the items we personally bought.

Go fast. Stay safe.

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