Be Ready for a Disaster: What to Pack in an Emergency Preparedness Bag

Are you ready? Now is the time to pack what you need.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that health and safety can turn on a dime. HIkers and outdoors-enthusiasts, as well as our military and first responders, take this to heart. A significant portion of time and resources is spent on preparedness: training and supplies to stay safe in a disaster.

They know it’s a matter of “when,” not “if,” and they’re ready for it.

Private, ordinary citizens have the same wherewithal to do the same. You can take responsibility for your safety and well-being to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your family. You do this by thinking ahead about potential disaster situations and what preparedness supplies you’d need to survive.

You should keep an Emergency Preparedness Bag ready at all times

Ideally, you’ll keep your emergency supplies in a single location, such as a bag that’s easy to grab, pack on trips, or identify in a crisis. These situations change quickly, obscure clear thought (and clear vision at times as well.) One thing is nearly guaranteed: when disaster strikes, you can’t spare time to hunt down supplies or deliberate on what you need.

Think about your basic bodily needs: hydration, nutrition, and protection from the elements. Emergency preparedness isn’t the same as long-term prepping. It’s about urgent survival until a more stable situation can be secured.

Make sure you are safe before, during, and after an emergency or natural disaster.

A solid preparedness plan starts by thinking ahead.

Preparedness refers to a very concrete research-based set of actions taken as precautionary measures in the face of potential disasters. It refers to a state of readiness for anything. War, pandemics, natural disasters all make the list of situations that become worse when we’re caught off guard. Any event that disrupts your secure access to a safe food supply, healthcare, and safety should signal the need for preparedness.

Emergency preparedness allows you to take matters into your own hands and possibly prevent the most unimaginable of losses. On some level, most families have essential emergency preparedness items within reach: small first aid kits and fire extinguishers, for example. But when thinking about the potential duration of long-term disasters, emergency preparedness expands to include supplies for significant injury or survival in the elements.

Preparedness Bag Checklist

How many people are you covering?

What natural exposure is your highest risk? Floods, earthquakes, fires, violent conflict, hiking injuries: each of these situations bring unique preparedness challenges.

How will you obtain potable water?

What’s the most efficient way to pack sustainable food?

Are you prepared for wet conditions? The dark? The cold?

An emergency preparedness first aid kit should include more than bandages and antiseptic. What about hemostatic clotting products to help staunch heavier bleeding? Ice packs to reduce swelling?

How you store your supplies is as important as what you gather. Packaging should be waterproof, clearly labeled, and brightly colored for quick and easy identification. Think bright orange, red, and yellow, like most other safety and emergency-signally equipment. Visibility can be the difference between life and death.

Because you’ll want to have easy access to emergency supplies in various settings, consider keeping multiple preparedness bags. It’s a good idea to have one in your car at all times, as well as in your house, and with you on trips.

A vitality lifestyle includes preparing for the worst. When you’re ready for anything, you’re freer to relax and enjoy your surroundings with peace-of-mind.

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