Today it’s all about building a get-home bag for your family. You can decide what you think is important to put in your bag. Here’s the deal, most everyone has a bug-out bag or 72-hour kit, right? I’m updating this post today because I know several of us want to visit family and friends for the holidays and that changes things.
Hopefully, you said yes to the holiday invitation because families are what life’s all about. Well, we may be miles from our home when a disaster hits in our neighborhood. Now what?
Whether it’s out of the area for a family gathering, at work, grocery shopping, or going to a movie and the roads are blocked or shut down for some reason, we need to have several items available to help us get home. Are you prepared to walk home in your work shoes?
Building A Get-Home Bag
If you have a get-home bag or survival kit on your person or in your car you can hopefully walk home, or at least have the essentials you need if you have to stay in place if you are directed to. You may be thinking, “Is it okay to leave this bag in my car?”
Let’s talk about this. This bag will be smaller than your 72-hour bug-out bag, but you still may not want to drag it into the office every day if you park the car in a large lot and walk into your work building. Here is my 72-hour Kit article complete with printables.
I would make sure you have another bag in your office filled with things you can put in a large drawer, closet, or cupboard in case you must stay within your office area for an extended period of time if a disaster hits during work hours.
Office Emergency Bag
Hopefully, this will never happen, but just in case, I would stock a few items in your office like the following list below. Please rotate food and water as needed.
- Flashlight: either with or without batteries. Small Olight Flashlights or Larger Olight Flashlights
- All-purpose tool: my son-in-law carries a tool with all sorts of “attachments” that comes in handy for him so often.
- Snacks: like protein bars, trail mix, or jerky
- Water: I highly recommend a case of Blue Cans (cheapest place to buy them is on this website: Brownells Website
- First Aid Kit: (this would have fewer items than your car first aid kit) You may want Bandaid strips, Neosporin, Blood Clotting solution, Benadryl, fever reducers, etc.
- Heavy gloves: to use for tasks of all kinds.
- Knife: you can always use a knife in case of an emergency, and to protect yourself.
- Headlamp with extra batteries: you can always use some headlamps in case the power goes out unexpectedly and there are zero windows in your office or it’s dark inside and outside.
- Paracord: it’s nice to have a few different lengths of paracord because it can be used for so many purposes in emergencies.
- Cash (small bills): you will need these in case the ATM’s don’t work because of a power outage.
- Contact Information: Contact List
- Rain Poncho: no one wants to be cold and wet. Also, possible change of clothes if they get wet, soiled or otherwise uncomfortable.
- Small Blanket: if the power is out, the heating system won’t be working. Plan ahead for help staying warm.
Get Home Bag Items
Some of these will be duplicates from the office bag, just giving you the heads up. The 72-hour kits are for about 3 days or so, as we’ve all been told to prepare for. These get-home bags are just that, it has enough stuff to get you home.
- Contact List: this is one I designed for my readers: Contact List
- Toilet Paper: you know when nature calls so you may as well be ready. You can use TP for your nose or private parts.
- First Aid Kit: please stock small packets of Neosporin, Bandaids, fever reducer, Benadryl, and whatever you can fit in your bag that may be particularly inportant to you.
- Hand Sanitizer: it helps to cut down on germs, no matter what the source. We never know who or what we may have to touch, carry, or otherwise deal with in emergency situations.
- Cash: small bills just in case the power is out for an extended period and the ATMs, bank drive windows, or other sources for cash don’t work.
- Flashlights: either with or without batteries. Small Olight Flashlights or Larger Olight Flashlights
- Water container with a purifier: my favorite one is the Sports Berkey Bottle or the LifeStraw
- Food/snacks: like protein bars, trail mix, crackers, energy bars, and other items we all like in a pinch.
- Binoculars: you may need to see in the distance what is or has caused the problems you’re dealing with, and thus, determine how long you’ll be in the current situation.
- Paracord: cut some strips and tie them to your bag to use when needed.
- Headlamps and batteries: flashlights are great, but if you have to carry items then a headlamp really comes in handy.
- Sunscreen and lip balm: who knows if you’ll be outside when things turn ugly. We may not have the safety and cover provided by an office.
- Bug Spray: again, you may be outside when trouble comes.
- Wool socks/boots or comfortable shoes: you may have to hike or walk farther than you expect.
- N95 or N100 masks: we never know if we will be in the middle of a pandemic or an unforeseen disaster where germs become an issue. These would help with widespread diseases or smoke inhalation.
- Hatchet: you never know when you may need one of these particularly if your work building is damaged.
- Bandannas and rain ponchos: I wrote a post about the many uses of Bandannas, check it out in my archive. The rain ponchos can help keep you dry, shield you from heavy winds, and possibly act as a lean-to.
- Duct Tape: you can use duct tape for so many things, the list seems endless.
- Matches: if outside and cold then you may want to start a fire for warmth or to attract attention from others coming to help.
- Hat: a waterproof one will serve two purposes, sunshine, and rain.
- Garbage bags: for ground cover or use as a poncho/baggies.
- Compass or GPS: this is great to help you get your bearings to determine where you are at any given time.
- Zip Ties: here are some ways you can use Zip Ties
- Whistle: may need it to get other’s attention, particularly if the building has collapsed around you. Here is a great Whistle
- Medications: Thank you, Matt: put a few days worth of medications in yo ur bag, you don’t know when you will get home.
- Sillcock Keys: This is a Sillcock Key that we all need. Thanks to DMWalsh, for those unaware of them, sillcock keys are used to open “tamper-resistant” water faucets that are found on the outside of almost every commercial building. Paul, this allows you to access the hose bib on most any commercial building.
What is a Get-Home Bag?
It’s a bag to help you get home in case of an emergency wherever you may be at the time.
Why do I need a Get-Home Bag?
It’s a bag that will have the things you decide beforehand you may need in case you are stranded at the grocery store parking lot, on the freeway, or even at church. It will be in YOUR car when YOU need it.
Is it a smaller bag compared to a 72-hour kit?
Yes, it is smaller because the 72-hour kit or bug-out bag is for 72-96 hours. You can use it at a church or school building when you have to be evacuated, for instance.
Can my child carry it?
Absolutely, unless you decided on an oversize bag that is bigger than the child. It’s a backpack filled with items you hand-picked for you and your family’s needs.
Plan a Trial Run-Practice-Practice-Practice
It’s always nice to do a trial run or practice using it before you need it. You will very quickly learn what you need or forgot to put in your bag.
Thank you, Matt
I hope you put together a get-home bag for you and your family members. Life is good if we are prepared before we need to be ready. You should also check out My Emergency Car Kit. It will prove so helpful if you are on a trip and the car breaks down, the road are closed, or you need to help out other motorists in trouble. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Depositphotos_107903872_m-2015, Emergency Bag Depositphotos_377504588_s-2019, Emergency Bag AdobeStock_442859322 by David Pereiras