You just do not know what things you will need to survive during a disaster until it is too late and you need it. Those that have gone through a natural disaster like a tornado, earthquake, or severe power outage usually learn too late what they should have had at hand. It is a good idea to make a survival bag and put it in a place that you will be able to grab it on the way to a safe area.
Some say that a survival bag must contain supplies for 72 hours to one week. But, how many people have the resources and the place to put a bag that could hold a weeks worth of supplies. If you do have the room then go ahead and plan for that long. If not there are a few essentials you will need.
Get a back pack because in an emergency you can sling that over your shoulder and carry it on your back so it will not be separated from you. You might even consider having a back pack for each person in the family. Just be sure everyone knows where they are and make sure to do drills, especially if you have children. Drills make it so there is no panic when an emergency actually does arise. It will be automatic for everyone to quickly stop and grab their survival bag and proceed to a designated safe area.
There are several things that a disaster bag should contain and one of the most important is a battery operated flashlight with extra batteries. There are crank flashlights that can be purchased, these can be more practical if you are going to have to go several hours without lights. You just crank them for a minute or two and they will give you several hours of light. Once it stops you just crank it again so batteries are never needed. You should also have a radio that runs on batteries or a crank radio that works the same way as the crank flashlight.
A first aid kit with antiseptic and bandages is essential. Put in some aspirin or other medication for pain along with antacids. If you have to take regular medication every day put a pill bottle in with a few doses. Remember to always rotate your medication. If you take insulin or other medication that needs to be refrigerated, place it in a small bag inside the refrigerator. If you can safely stop and grab the bag on your way out, do so. Do not try to get to it if it is too dangerous because emergency responders should have supplies of various medications.
People that wear contacts may want to put a contact case and solution in the survival bag so they can clean their contacts and take them out for a period of time. You might want to throw in your old glasses too. If you are a woman you might want to include a few feminine products just in case the disaster happens when you need them.
Copy your drivers license, ID card, insurance documentation, social security card and other important documents. You might need them following the emergency and not be able to get to the originals. Do not put the originals in the bag however, just use copies. Put in a small amount of money so you can purchase things if needed or available. You probably will not find too many ATM machines working during a disaster.
You need water and food in your survival bag so put in some bottled water and rotate it every once in awhile. Put in some food that does not require cooking. You might also want to put in a pocket knife as well. Include a book of matches or two. If you can fit a change of clothing or several including socks and underwear you should include them. You can also get pocket-sized survival blankets that have a silver side and will either retain heat if it is cold or help to shield you from heat if it is hot. You may want to include family photos just in case you get separated. This will help in searching for the lost family member. Include a loud whistle to signal those around you.
A survival bag is a necessity to keep you and your family safe during an extended power outage or natural disaster. This bag can be a link to your safety and survival in a hard situation. Be sure to keep it where you can get to it fast and take it with you if needed.