Pack Your Survival Kit for Evacuation


At our neighborhood CERT meeting yesterday, the question came up about the best emergency supplies kit.

Whatever kit you have is better than none.

If you are forced to leave home (or work) in a big hurry, you’ll only have time to grab “the kit,” and hopefully a bottle of water. Whatever is in the kit is what you’ll have to work with. You won’t have time to do any packing!

If you don’t have a kit, you’ll be worse than useless – you’ll be a burden on others.

Assume you have to manage your kit yourself.

Here in California nearly every trip I take is in my car, so I have several types of emergency stuff packed in the trunk. But what if roads are impassible, or the car is disabled, or we are asked to evacuate ON FOOT?

The only solution: ONE bag that I can carry myself.

Can you carry your kit?

At our meeting, several people stated flat out, “I can’t carry anything.” These were people who need a cane or a walker, who have back problems, or who are simply not very strong.

How many people in your family or your team at work would have trouble carrying a bag?

Which survival kit option would work best for you?

The best option . . .

for a survival kit is a backpack that will leave both your hands free.

When Joe and I decided to put together our kit  we looked for a backpack that was light, flexible and NOT TOO BIG. (Our build-it-yourself kit, shown in the image with its accompanying book, has sold out at Amazon.)

If you’re a hiker, you’ll be familiar with much larger and sturdier backpacks, with many more features. Maybe you even have one you can use for a survival kit. But we looked for a pack that the ordinary person could (1) afford and (2) be able to manage.

Because your backpack needs to be compact, you have to be deliberate in selecting what needs to be in it. It’s easy to lay out too much stuff!

Second best option . . .

in my opinion is a rolling cart. You can select something as sturdy as a rolling suitcase, but for emergency, infrequent use you likely will want something simpler, smaller and lighter. Here’s what looks like an excellent choice. This one’s called the  California Pak The Big Eazy 20 Inch, Navy Blue, One Size
and it comes in various sizes and colors.


Some things to consider about a rolling cart:

  • Does the cart/bag have a handle so it can be carried by hand if necessary?
  • Could you fit it on your lap in a bus?
  • Does it zip up or otherwise close completely?
  • Is the handle long enough for you?

Each person needs a kit, and each kit will be different.

What you think is important and are willing to carry is up to you. Your 10-year-old child, though, probably needs a few different items (including snack food!). And your 79-year-old grandmother needs other items altogether.

Action Item: Build a basic kit for each person, and then add those individual items to customize the kit to its owner.

Store the kit near the exit door, so you can grab it on the way out. You’ll only have minutes – but you’ll feel a lot more secure heading out if you have your survival kit in your hands.

It’s always back to basics, right?!

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

P.S. Your pet needs an evacuation kit, too. Here’s a link to more about your pet’s survival kit.


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