When it comes to surviving in the wake of a natural disaster or other crisis, preparing ahead of time can make all the difference in the world. In this week's blog post, we'll discuss some ideas for an emergency preparedness kit, or "bug-out bag," that you can put together so you'll always be ready for whatever comes your way.

Must-Have Items To Include

In an emergency situation, you'll want to prioritize what things to take with you, and what other things you can afford to leave behind. Here are some of the bare necessities you should definitely have in your bug-out bag.

  • Water

Whether you choose a water purification system, or just stock up on pre-filled water bottles, potable water is going to be your number one priority. 

  • Food

Having some good non-perishable food supplies will also be essential. Rationing will be important, so consider how many people your bug-out bag will need to accomodate, and plan accordingly. It's also a good idea to choose foods that are high in nutritional value, rather than picking foods based on taste or preference. You may also wish to consider common food allergies and avoid things like peanuts - even if no one in your party is allergic, you may meet up with someone else later who does have an allergy.

  • Shelter

You can easily pack a small tent, or even just a tarp and a rope, to provide some basic cover from the elements.

  • Clothing

Make sure to include some protective clothing, like long pants or jeans, long-sleeved shirts, thick socks, some eye protection and/or a hat. Clothing that covers more skin can provide protection from cuts, scrapes, and bug bites.

  • First-Aid Kit

Having even the most basic of first aid kits (even if it's just some bandages and rubbing alcohol) will be crucial if someone is injured and medical services are not available. 

  •  Medications

If you have any prescription medications that you know you would need in a pinch, you can sometimes ask your doctor for a refill so that you can be prepared in emergency situations. Make sure to pay close attention to the expiration dates on all medications!

  • Soap / Hygiene Items

It's always good to stay clean, and sometimes it's necessary to make sure things are sterile. For example, if you need to treat a wound, keeping the area around the wound clean is very important to avoid infection.

  • Survival Tools

Several items come in handy wihle you're roughing it in the wild. For instance, you'll probably want a Swiss Army Knife or other similar utility tool. A hatchet can be useful for chopping branches to make a shelter. Duct tape can be used to secure all sorts of things.

  • Firestarters

Although this might be listed under Survival Tools, having some way to easily start a fire is important enough to mention on its own. This could be a lighter, lighter fluid, flint and steel, or something similar. Waterproof matches are also a good idea.

  • Copies of Important Documents (Waterproof / Burn-Proof Container)

Make copies of your important documents such as your birth certificate, driver's license, passport, social security card, and etc., and keep the copies in a burn-proof and waterproof container inside your bug-out bag. 

  • Perimeter Alarm

You can keep alert by using one or more perimeter alarms around your campsite. You can use the Guardian Stand-Alone Security System from Fortress Security Store to alert you when there is motion nearby. The Guardian runs on batteries, and has a built-in siren, so it's perfect for setting up in a mobile campsite.

Of course, you'll also want to make sure to put your bug-out bag near your door, and don't take things out of your bug-out bag unless it's an emergency!

What other things can you think of to add to your bug-out bag? Share your ideas in the comments!