Blog: Emergency Go-Bag – Summer Edition

WHAT YA GONNA DO WITH ALL THAT JUNK – ALL THAT JUNK INSIDE YOUR TRUNK? …….I’m gonna survive in the event of being stranded on the road in a survival situation, that’s what I’m gonna do.

Okay, so this remix might not be as catchy, but I’m pretty sure it’s time for you to stop, collaborate and listen….cause Mike is back with a brand new edition – of OPS Security Group’s safety tips! Ok, I’m done.

Today’s topic, a good 72 hour bag, what to put in it, where to store it, and when to access it.  At the time of writing this, it is summer, in the city, back of my neck feeling tired and…….ok now I really promise I’m done with the cheesy song lyrics. But seriously, it is crazy hot and humid out there. A lot of times when we hear of stranded motorists having to survive, we immediately think of the family trapped in a snow storm, or stuck in fast moving water somewhere. There is, however, a definite danger to motorists when the weather is this hot and humid. If you’re on the highway, traveling for vacation, or even just headed out for a day trip, you may be faced with a situation in which you are stranded with a dead vehicle, and help is a long time from coming. Also, there is a myriad of threats that can occur without warning i.e. natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or civil unrest just to name a few. And for those of you with existing medical conditions, children, pets, or elderly in your care, this danger becomes exponentially worse. Having an emergency bag of supplies in your car that is easy to access and easily portable can offer the advantage in dealing with and surviving these situations.  

Let’s note that no, I am not a doomsday prepper, although I find the tv show very entertaining. The purpose of this article is not to prepare you to go “off grid” and survive indefinitely. It is to prepare you for the Murphy’s Law type of moments that can occur, when you will ultimately say “man, I wish I had that right now!” So let’s pack a bag you hopefully never have to open.

Note: This is not a sponsored article, so you will not see any product name, and any product mentioned will be generic in nature.  Also, many of the items listed require knowledge on how to use. It is recommended that you seek proper training in the use of such items, and this article has purposefully left out any description of the items and use specifically for that reason.

  1. The bag:  I would recommend a medium to large backpack. It doesn’t need to be expensive, you could even pick one up at the dollar store or Goodwill. Remember, this is an emergency bag designed for 72 hours of use if you ever have to use it. If you can pick it up and sling it on your back, you are good to go. In my opinion though, I would refrain from carry bags and opt for backpacks or messenger type bags for their ease of ability to carry. Additionally, I would get one that has a separate smaller compartment / compartments to be able to organize everything more easily.
  2. What to put in it:  I will be breaking this down by the greatest needs.
    1. Hydration:  It is recommended that an average adult consume 64 oz of water a day, but in a hot and/or humid survival situation, that amount is more realistically a gallon. If it is just you, this means three gallons of water in your vehicle is ideal.  I would include a water purification straw or tablets as well. You can find these at any camping or sporting goods store.
    2. Food: Protein bars can be good enough, just make sure to pack enough for three days for everyone involved. On the extreme end you can purchase military type MREs (meals ready to eat).
    3. First Aid:  There are many prepackaged medical first aid kits out there, but if you are going to pack your own here is a suggested list of items to have in your IFAK (individual first aid kit)
        1. 3” x 3” Sterile Pads (Gauze pads)
        2. Adhesive Bandages
        3. Sterile Conforming Bandage
        4. 1/2 ” Adhesive Tape
        5. Antimicrobial Hand Wipes
        6. Triple Antibiotic Ointment
        7. Sting Swabs
        8. Ammonia Inhalants
        9. Latex Gloves
        10. Trauma Scissor
        11. CPR face shield
        12. Tourniquet and Hemorrhagic control chemical dressing
        13. Any medications you or your family currently require. At least a three day supply.
    4. Survival equipment:
        1. Flashlight
        2. Batteries
        3. Portable radio (hand crank or solar powered preferably)
        4. NOAA weather radio with tone alert
        5. Solar power cell phone charger
        6. Portable shovel or entrenching tool
        7. Knife
        8. Multi-tool
        9. Whistle for signaling for help
        10. Large waterproof tarp, preferably brightly colored
        11. Colored chalk or permanent marker
        12. Chem lights (glow sticks)
        13. Dust mask (recommend OSHA and NIOSH approved N95 rated)
        14. Duct Tape (you can wrap a good amount around a credit card or    water bottle to reduce space)
        15. Hand sanitizer and wipes
        16. Change of clothes/jacket
        17. Survival blanket
        18. Evaporative cooling towel

This is a solid 72 hour emergency bag that can help you in a worst case scenario type of situation.  But again, the tool is only as good as the person using it, so make sure you are familiar and well trained in the use of all the equipment inside the bag, before you have to use it in a real world scenario. The ideal set up will prepare you for all seasons, however if you stay on top of what goes into your bag and check on it at the change of every season, you can make it specific to that time of year, ensure the freshness and serviceability of each item inside, and keep the bag lighter and more mobile.

I also suggest you check out the Government’s recommendations at the FEMA website.  https://www.ready.gov/heat

That about does it for the 72 hour bag, but don’t worry I will follow this article up with specific emergency type situations, and tips on what you can do to keep yourself out of harm’s way.  But for now, I’m gonna go grab a lemonade and hang out at the pool!  Until next time, stay cool out there and check out www.opssecuritygroup.com/blog for more hot tips……see what I did there?