Chris Chmura

What Goes in A ‘Go Bag’ During an Emergency?


Emergency managers say a "Go Bag" is vital for families. It's useful for when a home is evacuated due to fire, flood, earthquake, mudslide, or any other natural disaster that strikes with little or no warning.

First aid kit: A decent well-stocked kit, including a couple of weeks' supply of any prescription medications you need. Also include pharmaceutical grade crazy (skin) glue.

Cash:  Plenty of it because depending on the event credit cards may not be useful. Consider having about $100-$200 in ones, that way you never need change. A couple of quarter rolls could come in handy.

One set of clothing: Think layers.

A blanket: To keep you warm; consider a Mylar emergency blanket, which is lightweight and packs up small.

Crank-style flashlight: Or snap lights such as glow-sticks.

Whistle: Good for locating people in a crowd, at night or in low visibility conditions.

Crank style or battery operated radio: Broadcasters might be available, even if cellular networks fail.

Nonperishable food: Energy bars are good and take up little space.


Goggles: Protect your eyes.

Hand and feet warmers: Get the carbon activated kind; they work great.

Rope: It has endless uses. Choose various sizes (rubber bands, too).

Big black trash bags: For use as a poncho, or cut open to make a tent.

Multi-use knife.

Dust masks (two per person) Best if they're heavy-duty respirator-type masks.

Duct tape.

Plastic sheeting.

Copies of documents: Passport, driver's license, insurance, and any other important documents.

Paper street map: GPS might go down.


Maxi Pads: Can also be used as a bandage if needed.

Copy of your ID.

Sticky pad, pen and pencil: In case you need to leave a note for family to let them know where you went or where to meet. Also, keep at least one wallet size photo of your immediate family, children, or pets. This is crucial in case you get separated and need to enlist the help of others to find your loved ones.

Antibacterial hand wash: Available at any pharmacy and most supermarkets and convenience stores, for cleaning hands and even wounds in a pinch. You never know what you may have to touch in an emergency.

Comfortable sturdy pair of shoes.

A pair of leather work gloves: Again, think rescue and retrieval.

Three underwear, three pairs of socks.

Pet care products.