Evacuation Kit Necessities: When You Need to Leave in a Hurry


Putting together an evacuation kit may not sound like any fun, but it can be an important way to protect yourself and your family if a natural disaster like a hurricane, flood, or wildfire should strike your area. But what should you put in your kit, and what can you leave out? Where should you store that kit, and how can you keep it up to date? There are a lot of issues to consider, which is part of the reason why taking the time to put together a proper kit matters so much. Here are the necessities you will want to put in your evacuation kit, so you can feel more prepared and have peace of mind.

Focus on the Basic Supplies First

The first thing you need to consider are the basic supplies that your emergency kit needs. If you don't have the absolute necessities, you're really going to have a hard time if a disaster strikes. There are a lot of things you can do without for a period of time, even if it's inconvenient, but some things you really need to have in order to stay healthy and safe. Your basics should include:

  • •  Non-perishable food (enough for three days for each person)
  • •  Water (one gallon per day per person)
  • •  A hand-crank or battery powered radio and NOAA weather radio
  • •  A whistle (to call for help)
  • •  A flashlight
  • •  Extra batteries for everything in your kit
  • •  A first aid kit
  • •  Duct tape, dust masks, and plastic sheeting
  • •  Plastic ties, garbage bags, and moist towelettes or wet wipes
  • •  A manual can opener
  • •  Simple tools (wrench, pliers, etc)
  • •  Cell phone, charger, and a back-up battery (if your phone's battery can be changed)
  • •  Local maps of the area

All of that may sound like a lot, but it's extremely important to have what you need to survive. Basic needs like food and water have to be met, but so does sanitiation, safety, and determining what comes next. When you have all of those basics met, you'll be able to do more and get focused on what to do after the immediate danger has passed and the cleanup and rebuilding begins.

Consider Additional Items That Are Specific to You

Depending on your particular situation, you may want to consider some other items being added to your kit. Your prescription medications, along with over-the-counter meds, are a good choice. Cash, baby formula if you have an infant, contact lenses or glasses, and any important family documents are good ideas, too. The more of those things you have in one place, the better off you will be. Here are some other items to add to your kit:

  • •  Warm blanket or sleeping bag
  • •  Fire extinguisher
  • •  Feminine and personal hygiene supplies
  • •  Paper and pencil
  • •  Books, games, or puzzles
  • •  Waterproof matches
  • •  Mess kit or paper/plastic utensils

There are some other items you could include, but these are the most common ones that get added to the list of essentials. With that in mind, be aware that some of the items in the kit will be for a quick evacuation, and others will be more commonly used to shelter in place. Have everything in one location, but also have all of the true essentials packed into something you can load into a vehicle without taking too much time. Then you'll have the best of both worlds when it comes to being as safe and healthy as possible in an emergency situation.

Make Sure Your Kit Stays Current

The last thing to remember is that your kit needs to be current. You want to periodically check the expiration dates on the items you have in that kit, and change them out so they are still good. That includes food and water, but also medications and anything that could go bad. Hopefully you'll never need your kit, but if you do, you'll be ready.

Evacuation Kits


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