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Bug Out Bags

April 5th, 2009 at 09:38 pm

I've been casually looking into Bug Out Bags (BOBs for short) lately. The basic idea of a BOB is, in the event of an emergency, you can grab this one bag and, as the name implies, bug out.

Although it's unlikely to run into an emergency like a house fire, if a fire should occur, can you honestly say that you know, in the heat of the situation (haha, punny), exactly what to get and can get to it quickly? I certainly don't. Yet.

Not that it's actually advisable to be sifting through your drawers and closet during a fire in the first place, but what if most of your essential belongings are already gathered up into one easy, convenient carrier, ready for you to grab on your way out? That's what a BOB is for, and I think it's something everyone should consider....

Unlike some survivalists out there, I don't really have a hard and fast rule on what should or should not go into a BOB. I think it should depend on what emergencies each household believes they may run into, and how far they want to take this.

I do think all BOBs should have a small amount of cash, for one thing. Nowadays, it should also contain your flash drive of important documents (which can and probably should be encrypted). It should also contain at least a pen and a sturdy note pad of some sort.

Of course, one can expand to other things such as flashlights, multi-tool, first-aid kit, fire starter, water decon tablets, solar charger, spare cellphone charger, hand crank radio, etc etc. Here's an example of a wilderness survival BOB that I think is fairly well-thought out.

But for most of us? We don't need to go too far with it (unless you want to). The upside to keeping ours minimal is that we can also store most of the items in a fairly small pouch that will not be too cumbersome. For women, it could be as simple as a small purse, and for men, maybe a fanny pack. Keeping it small also makes a bit easier to hide, since a BOB is not something you want a burglar to easily find in plain sight.

Other containers that are worth considering are bookbags, vest or jacket, and brief-cases.

So, do you have a BOB? What else do you think is important or you already have in your BOB?

7 Responses to “Bug Out Bags”

  1. whitestripe Says:

    hmmm that is interesting, i have never really thought of having one.
    i guess if i were to have one, it would contain also contain a spare car key.

  2. HouseHopeful Says:

    Not a bad idea. Definately worth thinking about.

  3. Aleta Says:

    There are women who have bags packed in case they are in an abusive situation and have to leave the house immediately. In it they have to have clothing and maybe things like formula for children, etc.

    Suze Orman also has a blue box shaped like a briefcase that will float in water (in case of a flood) and it has a blinking light on it in case you're in the dark. It's for all of your important papers, wills, financial account #'s, addresses. So, there are different bags. I also keep a copy of my credit cards (front and back) just in case I lose them and information on that sheet of who to contact in case of loss or stolen.

    The BOB's are a smart way to think proactivity at a time when you're ability to think about and rememberimportant things is limited.

  4. Sunshine Suz Says:

    I made an "ICE" (in case of emergency) folder a couple years ago when Hurricane Rita was headed our way. In mine are my house and auto insurance policy's, a list of all my banking and investments accounts and their 800 #, plus my dog's rabies certificate. All I would have to do is grab the folder, load up the doggies and leave. I probably do need to put some cash in it also.

  5. debtfreeme Says:

    we grew up with the grab and go bags alwasy stocked and ready if we needed them.

    little cash, little food, come clothes (socks, undies etc.) important papoers and information.

    everyone in my family has one along with their emergency stocks (a few days food and water.) the fed gov now says to expect to be alone a minimum of 4-7 days and be self sufficient for everyone in your house. and include lots of water.

    I work in the emergency management and plannign field and have often thought of writing an article on how to prepare your family in the event of an emergency inexpensively.

  6. whitestripe Says:

    you know, ever since you posted this i have been thinking about it - which goes to show i should make one very soon! it's amazing how something so simple doesn't even enter your mind to make. i wonder how many other things there are i havent thought of...

  7. scfr Says:

    My sister has a "go bag" ... she lives in NYC and assembled it right after 9/11.

    I have a Red Cross backpack that used to be kept in my hall closet by the door, and will go in the same spot once we are in our house. (Note to self: Change the ancient water & power bars.) Got it right after the Kobe earthquake. My financial papers are in a rubbermaid tote with handles; with the idea being that I can grab it and go.

    When I had cats, I used to keep my emergency supplies in the back of their carrier. One night the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night, and the first thing I went for was the kitties and the carrier ... relized that would be the ideal place to stash essentials.

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