The thought of having to evacuate your home due to a sudden and imminent threat is not at all unrealistic. The reality is that sudden and uncontrollable events of nature and man do happen. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, storms, earthquakes, floods and volcanic explosions can strike fast and hard–wreaking havoc on homes, vehicles, roads, medical facilities and resource supply chains such as food, water, fuel, and electricity. When Hurricane Katrina struck the Southern US Coast just a few years ago, tens of thousands of people had to evacuate their homes with little warning. Unprepared and with no emergency plan, many of these people were completely dependent on scavenging and hand-outs while living in make-shift shelters–fending for themselves in a time of complete chaos and disorder. A 72-Hour Emergency Kit packed with survival essentials would have been an invaluable and priceless resource. In our unstable and unpredictable world economy, we would be foolish to think there is also no chance of a terrorist or military attack from forces domestic or foreign that could possibly force us to evacuate our own home. An act of war is not the only threat from man. Dams burst, power plants go down, pipelines explode, oil spills occur, and other man-made structures and facilities can fail, resulting in disaster. Outbreaks of sickness and disease could also warrant an evacuation.
We cannot control when, where, or how disasters strike. But we can control how prepared we are to deal with a disaster. There is a fine line between order and chaos and sometimes that line can be measured in seconds. When every second counts, having a plan and the tools to see that plan through are crucial to survival. The Bug Out Bag is your #1 resource in your overall Bug Out Plan and may very well be your key to survival one day.
There are 10 supply categories that need to be considered when assembling your Bug Out Bag. Before we dig into each of these categories it is important that I discuss the bag (or pack rather) itself. Your Bug Out Bag needs to be a backpack. It needs to be large enough and sturdy enough to contain the gear necessary to get you through 72 hours of independent survival. You need to be comfortable carrying it for extended periods of time. And, in my opinion, you don’t want to Appear To Be Prepared and Stocked with gear. A ‘tricked-out-pack’ can make you a target of people who want the supplies that you have. Try not to let your pack send the message that you are stocked to the brim with all kinds of survival necessities. Keep it basic. I personally use a SnugPak Rocket Pack as my Bug Out Bag.
Because water is so critical to survival, I highly recommended also packing at least 2 water purification options. Boiling water for 10 minutes is an option but is not always the most convenient. I suggest packing 1 water filtration system and also some water purification tablets. I personally pack a Katadyn Hiker Pro Filtration System, an Aquamira Survival Straw (as a backup) and sodium chlorite water purification tablets. The 3 options of boiling, filtering, and chemical treatment will give you more flexibility in securing one of your most basic survival needs.