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  • Writer's pictureCarmen Castro

Emergency Bag: Grab and Go Kit Packing List

Updated: Feb 25

Emergency kit, first aid bag, packing list, grab and go bag, 72 hours survival
Emergency Kit

Disasters can happen at any moment, and although we cannot predict them or control the outcome, there’s always a better chance for survival when we are prepared.

As you might know, Vancouver lies on the Cascadia subduction zone, which makes this region a very active one for earthquakes. Not only that, being close to the coast and forests, floods and forest fires are also threats to consider while living in this city, but of course those aren’t the only disasters Vancouver could face.

Having a grab-and-go bag can make an important difference for survival, whether or not you live in the Greater Vancouver area, and ideally you want enough supplies to help you endure the emergent situation without services for at least 72 hours.

What to pack:

The first thing to consider is the number of people living in your household because you’ll each need to have your own emergency kit.

For one person, you will need:

  • Drinking water - Pack at least one gallon per person per day for at least three days.

  • Emergency ration (non-perishable snacks) - Pack enough for at least three days. Choose items that are easy to prepare and don't require refrigeration, such as canned goods, energy bars, and dried fruits.

  • First Aid Kit - Pack a kit with essential items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.

  • Water purification tablets

  • Whistle

  • Mask

  • Emergency poncho

  • Pocket tool

  • Survival candle

  • Flashlight and batteries (or hand-crank light)

  • Radio and batteries (or hand-crank radio)

  • Extra batteries, phone charger, and battery bank

  • Poly cord

  • Duct tape

  • Waterproof matches or fire starter

  • Work gloves

  • Emergency sleeping bag

  • Emergency tube tent

Also consider having:

  • Personal toiletries - Pack items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer.

  • Personal medications - Pack any necessary prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter medications like pain relievers.

  • Diapers and bottles for milk

  • Baby Formula

  • Important documents in a ziplock bag

  • Small notebook and pencil

  • Cash - Pack some cash in case you need to buy anything along the way.

Important Tip: A crucial step is to talk to your family and make an emergency plan together. Each member can have a copy of said plan and revise it every year in case there are changes to be made. Talk to your kids about the different types of emergencies that can arise and help them understand that preparedness can ease the fear of the unknown.

While you can work on having your emergency kit put together slowly to avoid the burden of the cost, you can also buy them on different sites and find them for a single person up to a three-person bag, which is perfect for small families. You can also purchase only refill items like snacks and water when they expire, which is not often because they usually have a shelf life of up to five years.

Please note that there are other emergency kits you can put together, such as ones for your house, your vehicle, and your pet.This one only reflects a small portion of what you can do to be prepared for the unexpected.

Last but not least, we want to reiterate that when it comes to emergency grab and go kits, it's important to remember that they will vary greatly depending on your individual needs as a family. Factors such as the number of individuals in your family, ages of children, and any specific medical or dietary needs should be considered when creating your kit.

For example, a family with infants will need to pack extra diapers, formula, and baby food. Families with young children may want to include activities or comfort items to help keep them calm during a stressful situation. Individuals with medical conditions may need to pack extra medication or medical supplies.

Remember, your emergency kit should be tailored to your family's specific needs to ensure you are prepared for any situation. Stay safe and be prepared!


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