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The Ultimate Get Home Bag: Your Disaster Preparedness Toolkit

Disasters can strike unexpectedly, leaving us vulnerable and scrambling for safety. A well-packed "Get Home Bag" (and the smaller "Yoyo" bag you carry every day) can be the difference between struggling and surviving the initial chaotic period. In this blog post, we'll break down everything you need to create these lifelines.




What is the purpose of a get home bag?


A "get home bag" (often called a Bug-out bag) is a collection of essential items that you might need if you find yourself in a situation where you're away from home and need to travel back during an emergency or unexpected event.


Section 1: Everyday Essentials

  • Why "Yoyo"? Think of this mini-kit like a yoyo – always with you. In an emergency, it gives you the tools to navigate chaos, signal for help, and address immediate needs.

  • Pocket Essentials:

  • Whistle: Loud signaling device

  • Multi-tool: Compact problem-solver (pliers, screwdrivers, knife)

  • Mini Flashlight: See in the dark, signal for help.

  • Survival Bracelet: Can be unraveled for rope, fire-starting material, etc.

  • Pepper Spray: Non-lethal defense tool

  • Mask: Protection from dust, smoke, or airborne illness

  • Alcohol: Pocket-sized for quick sanitation

Section 2: The Get Home Bag

  • The Core: This bag is for those times you're not directly at home when disaster strikes. It helps you travel back safely.

  • Key Items

  • Hydration: Water bottle(s), Life Straw (water filter)

  • Navigation: Compass

  • Protection: Gloves, poncho, space blanket

  • Sustenance: Powerbars, MREs (if space allows)

  • Communication/Signaling: Mirror, solar-powered lights

  • Utilities: Headlamp, powerbank, solar charger, spork, duct tape

  • Documentation: Waterproof notebook, sharpie

  • Hygiene: Wash kit (small toiletries), napkins


Section 3: The Go Bag - For Longer Evacuations

  • The "Just In Case" Upgrade: If you must leave home for an extended period, the Go Bag holds more supplies. Think shelter, sustenance, and advanced first-aid.

  • Essential Additions:

  • First Aid: Extensive IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit – military-style preferred)

  • Water: Minimum 1 gallon/person/day, camelback

  • Cooking: Compact stove, pan, fire starter, matches

  • Tools: Swiss knife, larger hunting knife, axe, folding shovel, rope

  • Sanitation: Expanded hygiene kit


Section 4: Beyond the Basics (Optional)

  • Comfort & Morale: Small items like playing cards, drawing books can be invaluable during stressful situations.

  • Communications: Consider FRS radios, AM/FM radio for news updates

  • Personalization: Tailor your kits with medications, pet essentials, or specific comfort items.


Building these bags isn't just about the gear, it's about peace of mind. Take the time to assemble yours, and remember to periodically check for expired items and changing needs.


Additional Tips

  • Labeling: Organize with clear labels

  • Practice: Know where every item is and how to use it.

  • Family Planning: Involve everyone, ensuring they know about the bags and their purpose.


Let me know if you'd like me to add more sections or expand on any of the points mentioned above!


Big thanks to Benjo Ramos of RDT-HART for preparing this list for us!!



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