Are you and your family prepared for an emergency? How long would it take you to pack and get out of the house if needed? One of the most important steps you can take is to prepare a "go bag."

As we saw with hurricane Michael in Florida,  weather can change, Overnight literally , it went from a category 2 to an almost category 5 hurricane. When people woke up they were caught off guard and had to pack up quickly to evacuate.

 We are in the midst of hurricane season right now. Imagine having to leave in a hurry and pack up a bag while you are in a panic. With a home fire it can even be worse since we literally have only a few minutes to escape. Wouldn’t it be better to have a bag already packed with important essentials?

That’s why we should have an emergency supply kit or “go bag” so we can leave quickly and get ourselves our family to safety.  A change of clothes, water and medication are just a few of many items recommended by the federal emergency management association, or FEMA.  

Here are the top 10 items you should have in your go bag, because the time to prepare for an emergency is before it happens.

 

  • 1

    Basic Electronics

    Pack an extra phone charger in case you’re fortunate enough to have electricity, and a portable battery pack in case you’re not. Also stash a long-lasting LED flashlight. Pack a small hand-cranked or battery-operated AM/FM radio (with extra batteries).

  • 2

    Personal Needs

    While getting ready for a typical day, list every toiletry you use, then buy a travel-size version of each. Pack backup eyeglasses, as well as a first-aid kit, baby wipes and a multipurpose tool with a knife and can opener.

  • 3

    Clothing

    Pack a few days’ worth. Include layers you can add or remove, plus lightweight rain gear and waterproof boots.

  • 4

    Medications

    Pack about three days’ worth of each of your prescriptions, which should last until you can get to a pharmacy that’s open. If you need larger items, such as an oxygen tank, make sure you have a portable version.

     

  • 5

    Paperwork

    Fill a zip-top waterproof bag with photocopies of your birth certificate; driver’s license; Social Security and Medicare cards; power of attorney and will; any marriage, adoption or naturalization certificates; proof of address; insurance, medical and immunization records; and information about your credit and ATM cards.

  • 6

    Food and Drink

    Bottled water is essential. Granola or energy bars are great because they are small and filling, and they come in a variety of flavors.

  • 7

    Cash

    In addition to enough money for a few days, include small bills and a roll of quarters. If you need to buy something out of a vending machine, you don’t want to start asking equally desperate strangers for change. Plus, credit card machines could be down, so cash is always important.

     

  • 8

    First Aid Kit

    There may be an emergency within your emergency.If you have kids, they might need something as simple as a band-aid. However big or small the medical issue might be, a first aid kit can go a long way.  Make sure it has sanitizing wipes, band-aids of all sizes, a CPR mask, emergency blanket, and more.

  • 9

    Activities For Children

    It may not be the first thing you put in an emergency bag, but it is still important.  If your family is evacuated, there may not be much to do. You want the kids to feel at ease as much as possible so even bringing a deck of cards, a small board game, or a handheld device will keep them occupied.

  • 10

    Emergency Contact Information

    Not everyone has their immediate family’s contact information memorized with how easy it is to store on your cell phone.  If your cell phone is not working, you’ll want to have a short list of people you may need to contact in the area either to call for help or keep your loved ones updated on your situation.