This seminar focuses on creating a variety of emergency preparedness kits and Bugout Bag Basics (B.O.B.B.). You should have a kit at home, one in each car, one for hiking, and a Bugout Bag. If you make your kits modular you can share components between kits. You can also use your hiking kit or Bugout Bag as part of your vehicle kit. The Bugout Bag section includes practical details for how to assemble, pack, and use the bag.
Emergency preparedness is everyone’s job. Everyone should be prepared when life does not go as planned. Essential services may not be available during the first few hours or days following a disaster. You cannot rely on the government to immediately come to your aid because essential services could be completely overwhelmed. Emergencies can take many forms including:
- Storm, heavy snow, or flooding
- Hiking or outdoor accident
- Vehicle accident or breakdown
- Emergency evacuation due to gas leak, chemical spill, etc.
You may find yourself in an emergency situation or you may be required to help someone in need. Being prepared does NOT need to be difficult or expensive. You can create kits for home, vehicle, hiking, and general disasters. You have insurance to protect your car, health, and home. Emergency supplies are just another type of insurance.
Most people WANT to have emergency supplies ready but few people do. The key is start today, make the mental commitment to continue, and expand your supplies over time. Getting started does NOT have to be expensive or elaborate.
- Do NOT just talk about preparedness — get started today!
- You can start with simple, inexpensive basics and add more over time
- Starting does NOT have to be expensive
- Use small poly zip bags for storing and organizing
- Use sturdy containers so that you can find and access your supplies quickly
- Be creative and look for items with multiple uses and common components such as tarps, paracord, tape, batteries, etc.
You probably have many preparedness items already. Start with what you have, get items organized, and then build from there. For example, you probably have some canned and packaged food that could be used in an emergency. You may have sleeping bags, camp stove, first aid kits, and flashlights. Take inventory of what you have and have those items easy to access. You could repurpose items such as old backpacks and containers if you are on a budget. The key is to get started NOW!
Different Emergency Plans
Different types of emergencies require different plans and supplies. Ideally you should be prepared for a variety of emergency scenarios and have plans for each. Some scenarios include:
- Local Evacuation where you need to leave immediately. This could include a chemical spill, gas leak, flood, etc. You must be able to relocate quickly. Do you have a place where you go and stay until the danger passes?
- Local Damage Disaster such as an earthquake where you must remain in your location and ride-out the danger. In this case you need food, warmth, shelter (your main structure may be damaged), water, etc.
- Civil Unrest or War is worst possible scenario. This is entirely different level of prepping that requires advanced skills, remote sites for living, hunting skills, and the ability to protect your assets. This seminar and website do not address this scenario.
When creating your emergency plans you must be practical and make realistic plans that match your supplies and skills. For example, you many say that in an emergency situation you will evacuate and live in the wilderness somewhere. Is this a realistic expectation even if yo have some decent backpacking equipment. First, where would you go? If you are going to live somewhere then where will that be. The generic “head for the hills” mentality sounds good but has little chance of success. If you have a place to go do you have the means to get there. The evacuation scenario would normally be for war, extreme civil unrest, or earthquake. If the roads are damaged and bridges have collapsed do you have a vehicle that can get you there. If there is extreme civil unrest or war can you get through the crowds and mobs? If you did get to some remote place do you have enough food, water, fuel, and protection to survive.
Create a plan that fits with your expertise and with your supplies. You cannot become a SEAL team survivalist by reading online articles and buying equipment. Also realize that equipment can substitute for some survival skills. That is, as your knowledge and experience in survival skills increase your need for supplies and equipment generally decrease. For example, a skilled survivalist can find ways to make cordage. I do not have these skills (yet) but I can carry a roll of paracord.
Why Have Kits
Kits allow you to organize your equipment and resources so that you know what you have and can access items quickly. Keeping a manifest for each kit helps ensure that your kit is complete and makes it easier when restocking items. A manifest also makes it easy to share your knowledge and plans with family and friends.
When building kits I like to take a modular approach. I start with small poly zip bags in different sizes. These waterproof bags are very inexpensive (about $3 per 100 at Hobby Lobby), allow you to organize items, and protect your other items. Some items like batteries can leak and isolating them in a waterproof poly bag protects the rest of your kit should the batteries leak. Modular kits also allow you to easily move items between kits. I have one main first aid kit that I move between my hiking kit and my Bugout Bag.
Modular mini-kits also make items easier to organize and much easier to find. One goal of my kits is to make items easy to find for me and for someone else. If I am in need of treatment I want someone else to be able to find and use the items in my bag. I may not be able to direct the other person so I want the kit to be organized with items easy to find and access.
When building your kits look for items that can have more than one function. Also, look for items that can be repurposed. In my kit I have a number of tubes for sunscreen, repair glue, etc. I found a rigid case used for goggles and it is lightweight and protects the tubes from being squished. You can also find useful items at dollar stores including travel toothpaste and brush, microfiber towels, first aid items, etc.
There are different kits for different purposes. You will need to adjust the items in your kits depending on your specific needs. If you have pets, infants, elderly then you will need to adjust your kits accordingly. Include enough medication to last for several weeks. With infant some of your long-term freeze-dried foods can easily be powdered and converted to baby food.
- A Home Kit is your most complete kit and includes long-term food and water, warmth, illumination, etc.
- A Vehicle Kit is designed to protect you and your vehicle while on the road
- An Office Kit is designed to help protect workers in the event that they are stranded in the office
- A Hiking Kit is meant to help if needs arrive on a trail or in the outdoors
- A Bugout Bag is a 72-hour emergency grab-and-go bag
Preparedness is NOT just for the doomsdayer who is prepared for a zombie apocalypse or complete government meltdown. It is good to be prepared for emergencies and to be able to live without services for at least a few weeks. Most people say that they want to be prepared but few actually prepare. You purchase insurance for your home and vehicle and basic preparedness is merely another form of insurance. If you are on a budget then start slow and let your kits grow over time. Learn to improvise and repurpose items. You will be amazed at what you can find around the house, in dollar stores, and in thrift stores. Stay safe everyone!