When we moved to New Delhi, I attended a briefing at the Embassy about emergency preparedness. Part of that was talking about emergency supplies in your safe room and having a stocked evacuation bag. We’ll talk about the safe room later, but today I’ll show you my evacuation bag.
Some evacuations, whether in the US or abroad, provide you with plenty of time to pack suitcases, load items into a car, or leisurely make your way to an airport and fly out. But some evacuations happen quickly and sometimes your original transportation methods fail. Maybe you’re at the airport, but flights are grounded. Maybe you’re trying to leave by boat and you get on board only to discover the boat can’t leave the port (bad weather? acts of war or terrorism nearby?) and you can’t leave the boat. Maybe you have to flee your home on foot and aren’t sure where you are headed or when you will get there. This bag is my “survive on my own in potentially unsanitary or unusual circumstances” bag.
We’re a family of four, but I packed my bag assuming I’d be on my own with my 2 little kids-neither whom are big enough to carry their own bag consistently. Hubby has his own bag. If we evacuated together-great! If not, I’ll be prepared.
At the bottom of this post, I’ll link a pdf with my list of items. Below are pictures of what I’ve packed. I’m currently updating my bag in preparation for Cairo and needed to add in some new items and verify I had what I needed.
Above: large scarf for protecting head or face from dust or sun, my change of clothes (pants, short sleeved shirt, underwear, bra, socks), kid’s change of clothes, light zip jacket, small bag of entertainment (playing cards, playdoh, 2 matchbox cars), tampons, tissues, eye mask, earplugs, compact hair brush, hair ties, toothbrush, nasal aspirator, stretchy laundry hanging cord with hooks (to dry clothes if we are someplace long enough I have to wash). Airline flights can be a great place to get travel toothbrushes, tissues, earplugs, eyemasks, etc that are already wrapped and ready.
Above: close up of the little things from photo 1
Above: quick drying towel, water bottle with duct tape wrapped around it, no rinse shampoo and body wash, camp suds for washing dishes and clothes, water purification tablets, gum, sunblock, hand sanitizer, spoon and fork, chapstick, toothpaste, bathing wipes, toilet paper (remove inner tube and put in ziploc), dust masks (1 per person)
Above: close up of little items from photo 3
Above: waterproof container with pen, pencil, paper (would add money, passports, credit cards to it later), 6’x8′ tarp, whistle with compass, bag with cotton balls in vasaline (fire starter), light sticks, hand warmers, 100′ paracord, twin sheet (use as a blanket or a sun shade), emergency reflective blanket, zip ties
Above: garbage bag, grocery bags, ziplocs, a few paper towels, lantern, rain cover for backpack
Above: Wounds kit-first aid guide, gauze, sterile pads, tape, wrap, cold pack, antiseptic, gloves, bandaids, alcohol wipes, purell wipes. Not pictured: medication bag
Above: All the items packed up. I use a lot of ziplocs to store items that have similar use. All liquids are in one bag to limit spillage. Not pictured: waterproof matches and emergency food (on order) or my multipurpose knife.
Above: All packed up! Plan is I’d wear the backpack on my back, my toddler on my front in a baby carrier and then hold my preschooler’s hand. I would also have a small bag I could hand carry with diapers, wipes, a few treats or favorite foods (gummy bears, granola bars, fruit pouches, etc). These I’d toss in last minute to keep them current.