Thursday, December 1, 2011

2 Essential items for your bugout bag

Ahh…the Bug Out Bag…packed and prepped for when you inevitably have to bug out. Some call it a GOOD bag (Get Out Of Dodge) and FEMA calls it a 72hr kit. Composed of everything a citizen should need to survive for 72 hours in the event aid cannot be provided by emergency personnel. Whether you’re the idiot with a 100lb ruck sack filled with soda, sandwiches, and asthma medicine or the high speed low drag operator who operates in operations with just a fanny sack full of band-aids…here are 2 essential items everyone should have in their emergency grab kit.

Current photos of loved ones

Important Documentation

Let’s be practical. I know…I know…when the zombie apocalypse happens, neither of the above will be important. So let us discuss natural events everyone can wrap their head around, and of minimal magnitude…like an earthquake.

Its 3:30 pm on a random Tuesday, earthquake hits where you live. Maybe a 5.0 on the Richter scale. Several fissures have broken out on the main streets throughout town. Instantly all landline phones are down, cell phones can’t call or text because of the influx of traffic and/or the repeater towers are damaged. Internet will be spotty. Even if your electricity is on, within moments the power company will turn it off to prevent fires. Your car is worthless; from your office/job/station you can see gridlocked traffic and people sitting frustrated waiting in panic.

You may have to walk to reunite with your loved ones at their school or job. What if you find they’re not there? What if you find your home damaged and your dog missing?

This is when you whip out those pictures. And current ones, I can’t stress this enough! No one is going to recognize your wife from a 20 yr old photo you have of her in high school. Showing a photo of a family member or pet animal to a stranger, police officer, etc. may be to only way to track down a loved one in a post disaster situation.

The documents you should make copies of include titles to cars, property deeds, licenses, permits, all of your credit card and mortgage documents…any piece of paper that ties you to your belongings. To take it a step further, shrink’em down so several will fit on one page. I’ve known people to put them on a flash drive as well. This is ok, but have paper copies in reserve. No electricity=no working computers=flash drive is useless.

The situation may arise where you have to prove that you’re a property owner before law enforcement will let you into your neighborhood. Just ask any beach property owner…they have to present documentation before they can get to their homes after a hurricane.
Speaking of Homes, heaven forbid you lose yours in a disaster, and your copy of the homeowner’s policy. What if the insurance office was destroyed in the same disaster? Or most likely…the server that contains your digital copy and records of all your “on-line” payments goes “off-line” permanently. Do you really think your insurance company is going to pay out a settlement to you…and they have no record of you ever having a policy other than your word? Sure, maybe after things calm down, you can take them to court right? How long will that take…and where will you live in the meantime? Is this scenario that farfetched and impossible?

I carry a copy of my marriage license…it’s the only way I can prove that the beautiful lady hugging on the stick figure in my photos is actually my wife.

Current photos of loved ones….copies of important documentation….I keep mine in my wallet.

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