Bug out bag

Lets be honest, we aren’t Jason Bourne. We don’t need to rely on Bruce Willis to save us from a gigantic asteroid that will devour the Earth. And (hopefully), a Zombie Apocalypse is restricted to a couple of hundred movies.

But there are things that are a lot more likely than we would like to believe. Bush fire. Storm and flood damage. Ferocious winds bringing down trees and cutting power for days. An emergency kit, or as they like to call them in Hollywood, a “Bug out bag” or “Grab bag” can help to prevent you being the person standing in front of a news camera saying that you escaped with just the shirt on your back.

To ensure your safety, and that of your loved ones, the message is that when you need to evacuate your home then you should do that as quickly as safely possible. Sometimes situations develop rapidly and you may have only minutes to get out. We see this almost every fire season where communities are hit with little or no warning. In this situation having some items ready to go can make life a lot more bearable in the hours or days that follow.

Let’s be clear, we are not talking about a suitcase of clothes and reading material, board games and the like. We are talking about the things that will help you to stay alive, safe, and relatively comfortable until you can get to a safer location like an evacuation centre or a relatives house. And just as importantly, some information so that if your house is destroyed you aren’t standing in shock trying to even remember who it was all insured with.

We want to give you an example of a bug out bag that one of our members has been developing for the last year or so. It’s still a work in progress, but his aim is that in the event of an emergency his family can grab that one bag, and with nothing more than the bag and the shirts on their backs, can keep themselves comfortable, deal with minor first aid issues during the evacuation, and get to a location of safety even if that involves hours spent without any further outside assistance. Below are some photos of where the bag is up to at the moment, and also a list that is getting close to a final ‘perfect’ bug out bag. Your list will likely vary depending on where you live and how many people will be using it.

You may choose not to have a bag like this sitting under your bed at all times – but if you don’t, think about gathering some of these things together early when an emergency threatens. Don’t leave it to the last minute where you will be putting your life in danger by delaying. Get in touch if you want to discuss this further, we are happy to talk about these ideas, although the creator of this bag won’t be sharing his survival location for the Zombie Apocalypse.

Bug out bag internal

Some of the contents of a bug out bag

All the contents of the bug out bag fit in a standard duffel bag

Suggested list:
Backpack
Drinking water
Non perishable food – snacks, muesli bars
Battery powered radio with spare batteries
Torch with spare batteries
First aid kit
Whistle
Dust/smoke masks (P2, available at hardware, workwear stores)
Baby wipes, garbage bags and plastic bags for sanitation
If you live in a remote area a means of water purification
Adjustable wrench and multitool to make utilities safe and for basic repairs
Local maps
Chargers for mobile phones
Important Documents and pictures of your family (ie hard drive backups)
Key personal information including copies of passports and drivers licences
Insurance Policy details
Comfortable clothing and blankets/sleeping bags
Medications, infant supplies, spare pair of glasses
Sewing Kit
Ponchos
Matches and candles in a snap lock bag
Lightsticks (glowsticks)
Leather palm protective gloves
50feet nylon paracord
Sunscreen
Toilet paper and toiletries (pack of toothbrushes and paste)
Pen and notepad
Some cash
A list of important phone numbers (USB and or printed)
Extra set of car and house keys
Duct tape, gaffers tape