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July 09, 2019 2 min read

Go bags might sound simple and overrated, however, when life’s little, and not-so-little, emergencies arise they can be literal life savers for you and your family. Everyone in your home needs a go bag of his or her own. Yes, even Fido! There are some things all go bags should include as well as a few personal items (especially for little ones in the household).

What is a “Go Bag?”

A go bag is a bag you can literally grab and go and be prepared for a few days away from home. They are always packed and ready to go and include a few survival essentials to help you get through unexpected emergencies.

Each bag should be suitable for the intended household member to grab and go out the door with (with the exception of very small pets and children who aren’t yet walking). There are packs specifically designed for most medium and large-sized dogs allowing them to carry their own supplies with them if need be.

The idea is that the bags are always packed, and the entire family can be out the door in a matter of minutes, if not seconds if an emergency arises.

What Should Your Go Bag Include?

Ideally, your go bags would include everything you absolutely require to survive for 72 hours. The idea is that within 72 hours you would be able to return home or restock. While everyone will have specific items you feel you and your family can’t live without, it is critical to have these few basics in your bag in sufficient quantities to last 3 days:

  • Non-perishable foods.
  • First aid kit.
  • Hand wipes or hand sanitizer.
  • Can opener if carrying canned foods.
  • Maps (the folding kind).
  • Backup cellphone chargers and batteries.
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications.
  • First aid kit.
  • Infant and pet supplies.
  • Blanket (survival blankets are good to include in your bag as they take up little space).
  • Personal hygiene items (toothbrushes, toothpaste, travel-sized shampoos, etc.).
  • Seasonal changes of clothing for each family member (ideally two).

If you have additional room in your bag, or in your child’s bag, pack a few items to quietly entertain your children while you’re on the move. And never forget the power of a comfortable friend when emergencies happen. If your child has a favorite stuffed animal, it is worth the extra seconds to grab it and the bag before you head out the door (you can probably forget about keeping it in the bag, though).

Why are Go Bags so Important?

Emergencies happen all the time and rarely when we’re prepared for them. Whether it’s a fire in the middle of the night, a wildfire looming large, a hurricane, or even an unexpected family emergency that requires fast travel, these bags are critical. They help to reduce the amount of time it takes you to respond to the emergency, help you save money during the emergency, and provides assurance that no important items are not left behind in haste.

Not sure where to begin? Start with the Valley Food Storage 72-hour Emergency Kit.