With the recent flooding, fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters, I starting thinking about the planning needed to have the resources to sustain comfortably in the event of a natural or man-made disaster that would leave me without electricity and water for about a week.  I realized I did not even have a weather radio or first aid kit handy or a week water and food supply in the event something happened.  This started my research in this area, and it closely coinsides with camping and long-term planning.

The first thing in planning any event, whether expected or not, is to make a list.  The most basic needs of course are food and water, but you must also prepare for other areas that branch out from planning the basic need of sustanance.  This includes sanitation, prevention of intruders/looters, the ability to access news and weather information and a back up energy plan. 

Your food source is completely up to you, but I suggest something easy to store with a long expiration date.  I buy canned goods about once a month to add to my collection.  When the canned goods get close to expiration I will donate them to the homeless shelter, therefore I do not have a complete supply of food that will expire at the same time.  Other packaged foods with a long shelf life are pastas, potatoes, etc. that will keep until you add hot water.  I purchased a case of Ramen noodles for relatively cheap that will last a long time stored.

There are also many freeze dried foods out there to test and explore.  They are relatively cheap per serving and have an extremely long shelf life if stored properly.  
  • Canned goods (check the expiration date)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Dehydrated foods
  • Can opener
  • Emergen-C packets
  • Vitamins
  • Pain relievers (Ibuprofen, asprin, etc)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Portable butane camping stove
  • Portable butane heater
  • Butane gas
  • Water (either fill up bathtub and pots once emergency strikes or have stored gallons of water from store)
  • Weather Radio
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Candles
  • First aid kit
  • Pet food if you have pets
  • Toilet paper
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Personal cleansing cloths
  • Battery power pack (to charge cell phone, tv, radio or laptop)


A bug-out bag is a portable kit that contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours when evacuating from a disaster. It is also known as a 72-hour kit, a grab bag, a battle box, and other popular names include "Personal Emergency Relocation Kits" (PERKs) GO Bag and GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge), bag. The focus is on evacuation, rather than long-term survival, distinguishing the bug-out bag from a survival kit, a boating or aviation emergency kit, or a fixed-site disaster supplies kit. The kits are also popular in the survivalism subculture.

The term "bug-out bag" is related to, and possibly derived from, the "bail-out bag" emergency kit many military aviators carry. The concept passed into wide usage among other military and law enforcement personnel, though the "bail-out bag" is as likely to include emergency gear for going into an emergency situation as for escaping an emergency. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


For my Bug-out-bag, I started with the Grab N’ Go 2 Person 3 Day Emergency Kit with Backpack order for $47 from

and then customized it as per below to keep in my truck in case of an emergency.  You can modify your bag depending on your location, your traveling companions, your food preferences, etc. This list should give you a starting point to build your own bag.

The Grab N’ Go Bag contained:

  • Glow-sticks
  • 3 day supply of emergency block food rations (yuck) for 2 people
  • 3 day supply of water packets for 2 people
  • 2 Ponchos
  • 2 Emergency Blankets
  • Small first aid kit
  • Dust Masks
  • Emergency Whistle
  • Pocket tissue

ADDITIONS TO BAG (found at Academy or Walmart in the Camping section):

  • Larger Backpack Bag from Academy (the one that came with the Grab N’ Go Kit was too small with the additions)
  • Travel Toilet paper
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Antibacterial hand gel
  • Flashlight - 200 hour
  • Crank radio and flashlight
  • Extra water
  • Water purifying tablets
  • Knife
  • Mace
  • Nuts and beef jerky
  • 2 Cliff bars
  • Updated paper map
  • Bug spray
  • Waterproof matches
  • 2 MRE's
  • Lighters 
  • Dog Food
  • Collapsible water container
  • You will also want to pack some spare clothes

My completed Bug-Out-Bag:

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