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Don’t Wait for Local Emergency to Prepare | Are You Ready to Evacuate Your Home?


Prepare your family for an emergency today!

Sunday morning I awoke to a concerned email from a friend. I hadn’t turned on the television and the first thing I saw online was this email.

There was a devastating explosion in a neighborhood on another side of town the night before that killed several people and injured more. The entire neighborhood was evacuated in the middle of the night.

13 WTHR Indianapolis Explosion Video

Prepping for Emergencies

It’s chilling, right? All I kept thinking of what it must have been like for those neighbors, children, to be awakened that way and then forced to leave their homes immediately–no time to gather thoughts, let alone anything personal.

Ironically, that very day, I had completed getting our family’s “Grab-n-Go” emergency bags together. I’ve said it on here before, prepping for my family isn’t about the “Zombie Apocalypse.” For us, it’s about being ready for just these kind of emergencies–whether it be weather-related or forced to leave our homes for the kind of scenario that happened in Indianapolis.

If officials came to your house in the middle of the night and you had to evacuate on a moment’s notice what would you do? They aren’t going to wait while you pack a bag and gather your keepsakes. You’ll have to leave immediately. Here’s how to be prepared.

Create Emergency Grab-and-Go Bags TODAY

In some cases, preparedness means that you are ready to evacuate your home (due to flooding, weather, chemical spills, danger, or a number of other things) at a moment’s notice, without preparation. Therefore, your emergency preparedness should include grab-and-go bags (also called 72 hour bags)for each member of your family (including your pets).

Grab-and-go bags are usually backpacks (or other easy-to-carry bags) filled with items you find necessary to live away from home for a few days in a shelter or another home. At a minimum, pack for 72 hours of needs.

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Make sure each grab-and-go bag includes:

  • One change of clothing
  • Multiple pairs of socks and underwear (including long underwear)
  • Photos of family members and pets
  • Copies of passports, driver’s licenses, school IDs, immunity records, marriage license, credit cards, bank numbers, list of family phone numbers, etc.
  • Bottled water and juice in bags (think Capri Sun-type drinks)
  • Flashlights
  • Easy to carry snacks and food like granola bars, chocolate bars, packs of dried fruit and nuts, protein bars, etc.
  • Manual can opener
  • Sterno can and matches
  • Extra batteries
  • Rolled sleeping bag and/or blanket
  • Plastic baggies (to keep items dry)
  • Small pad of paper, pens and permanent marker
  • Single packs of moist towelettes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Dust mask
  • Feminine hygiene products (if needed)
  • Work gloves
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Health needs (prescription medications, prescription glasses, contacts, OTC pain medications, etc.)
  • Easy-to-carry entertainment items like decks of cards, magazines, crossword puzzle books, etc.
  • Extra sets of keys to your house, car

During severe emergencies in your area, you may not be able to make it home to your grab-n-go bag, stockpiled food or other emergency items. Consider keeping an emergency bag in the car, separate from your at-home grab-and-go bag.


Do you and your family have grab-and-go bags for emergencies? If not, won’t you take a moment this week and gather one for each of your family members and pets? It may just be the best time you’ve ever spent on something.


Image: Nokhoog Buchachon

Along with being a contributor to, Jacqueline Wilson is: Appalachia Advocate~Supporter of Women~Writer~Accidental Pit Bull Advocate.


  1. Christin

    November 12, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Great info…I need to do this!

  2. Wade

    November 12, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Great post. Great info. I have a friend whose home was damaged but not destroyed in that disaster. Thoughts and prayers are with all effected.

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