With the change of seasons, it’s time to update your Grab & Go Bag—or 72-hour Kit, Bug-out Bag, Emergency Kit, Evac Kit, or whatever you prefer to call it! Update both your personal kit and one for your car.
BABY STEP 1: Update Your Personal Grab and Go Bag
Think about what items you’d be glad to have if you had to leave your home in the spur of the moment with chilly weather waiting to greet you outside. You’ll definitely want things to help you stay warm and dry, right? Depending on your climate, consider adding a few items to each person’s grab and go bag.
- A warm coat, head covering, and gloves
- Boots or warm shoes and socks (extra of both if you have room)
- A wool blanket: switch out summer blankets and clothing for warmer ones, especially for babies and small children.
- An Emergency Bag or Bivvy (a reflective metallized blanket to hold in body heat)
- A poncho for staying dry.
- Hand and body warmers
- Packets of instant soup, hot chocolate, etc., and a lightweight mug for each person
- Hot-Cans of self-heating soups or hot chocolate
- A few MREs for emergency meals and MRE heaters
- Food Ration bars
- Sunglasses (Sun-bright snow is as hard on your eyes as sand and water)
- Glowstick, flashlight, emergency flasher, and whistle
Reminder: have your kids grown enough to need larger disposable diapers or pull-ups? If so, you’ll want to remember those and store them in your grab and go bag.
BABY STEP 2: Update Your Emergency Car Kit
- Light sticks and road flares to alert other motorists if you’re having trouble, and to help people find you if you’re stranded
- Jumper cables
- A stiff wire brush to clean battery terminals
- A battery starter
- Kitty litter (to give traction to tires in icy or muddy conditions)
- A collapsible shovel
- Snow brush/ice scraper
- Antifreeze, oil, funnel
- Stormproof matches
- Good flashlight with batteries (or hand-cranked)
- Drinking water and energy bars (in case you don’t have your personal kit along)
- A way to heat water (perhaps a flat-fold stove) and fuel canister with a small pan)
- A good map if you’re traveling, even if you have a GPS system (sometimes they fail).
Reminder: are your tires and windshield wipers in good condition? If not, consider getting them changed out before winter weather hits.
Like it or not, Old Man Winter is on his way, and knowing that your grab and go bags are ready to go and you’re as prepared as possible will help you sleep when the wind blows—or when the snow falls.