The emergency alert sounded on my phone and it said “take shelter now”. And I did immediately as they were listing where the Tornado was headed in my area, by grabbing my emergency stuff: 72 hour bag; big quilt; purse with devices; whistle around my neck; my puppy and sheltered.
Yes, I have my own emergency bag and plans all set and packed. Do not be unprepared – it is easy to have your “bug out bag” near you to grab and use when needed. Here is how I started to prepare after the TN Tornado touched down in my back yard in 2011. We all hope it won’t happen to us, but it does. Put the prep “to dos” on your daily notes to get done, piece by piece, and you will be prepared in no time at all.
There are a couple of common terms for emergency bags: bug out bag and 72 hour bag. Best ever start to your emergency bag is a backpack. Nothing fancy and not expensive. Make sure it fits you on your back and start filling it. If you really want to go all the way, get contrasting colors so everyone in your home knows which bag is which. It is easy to grab and go with a backpack.
In my office, since the Tornado, I have a whistle hanging from a hook right near my desk. If and when I hear another shelter signal or know I need to get going out of my office, I immediately put the whistle around my neck. If things really do get bad, you can blow your whistle and people will know where you are and that you need help.
Water is the best supply you can have. Water bottles are good in your backpack and easy to take with you. Also have a small case of water in your car and kitchen.
Whatever electronics you decide are important to you, make sure you have back up batteries in your bug out bag. You might also want to get an inexpensive crank radio so you can listen to local news and know what is going on in your area during and after the emergency.
Check your 72 emergency bag quarterly to make sure you need what is in there…refresh what new is needed and add what you now know you want to take along also.
The bare minimum to have in your bug out bag is: matches, flashlight and batteries, 3 days of food and water, change of clothes and blankets for warmth and tarps for protection.
Keep any extra medicines you might need as you do not know how long the emergency will last.
Remember, it can happen to you and your family. Just knowing my emergency backpack is loaded and ready helps me feel confident that I can be prepared when life gets really scary.
“Remember; when disaster strikes, the time to prepare has passed.” Steven Cyros