With potentially deadly hurricanes in the headlines once again, it’s important to be ready for an emergency, in case you and your family must evacuate quickly.
Whether or not you live in the path of a hurricane or tropical storm, you should pack an emergency Go Bag now so you are ready for stormy weather, fire, or even a personal family emergency that requires immediate travel.
This list of must have items is from the NYC Dept. of Emergency Management, and it applies to anywhere you live that might be in the path of a hurricane, flash flood or tornado, so you can be ready in moment to grab and go.
What to pack in a Grab and Go Emergency Bag
Copies of your important documents in a waterproof container. This should include insurance cards, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.
- Make those copies now, before you need them in an emergency.
Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Ditto, make that spare set of keys now, before you need them in an emergency.
Credit and ATM cards and cash, especially in small denominations.
- We recommend you keep at least $50-$100 on hand.
Bottled water and non-perishable foods such as energy or granola bars, and high-protein foods such as canned sardines.
- Also pack utensils and plates
Flashlight. Traditional flashlight bulbs have limited lifespans, and batteries can be heavy.
- Light Emitting Diode (LED) flashlights are more durable and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs.
Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries
- Fully charge your phone and other electronics before the storm, in case the power goes out.
A list of the medications each member of your household takes, why they take them, and their dosages.
- If you store extra medication in a pre-packed Go Bag, be sure to refill it before it expires.
- Either a store-bought, pre-packaged kit, or one you put together yourself should contain – at the minimum – bandages and gauze, antiseptic lotion or wipes, even bug repellent for those annoying creatures who love humid weather.
Contact and meeting place information for your household, and a small regional map
- Old-fashioned paper maps won’t drain precious juice from your phone or tablet.
Child care supplies or other special care items
- A several-day supply of diapers and baby food, and a change of clothing.
A Go Bag should be packed in a sturdy, easy-to-carry container such as a backpack or suitcase on wheels, and it should be easy to find, grab and go if you have to leave your home in a hurry.
- A Go Bag should be ready to go at all times of the year.
Let’s hope you don’t need it. But it always pays to be prepared.
This article was posted originally in Sept. 2017, when Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria were in the headlines, and has been updated for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 hurricane seasons.