I couldn’t imagine the feeling of not having an emergency bag at home. A few years ago, I saw myself getting all the possible clothes, gadgets, and even food when I saw an electric post burning.
I knew it was an emergency, and I had to survive. Fortunately, the firefighters arrived immediately and the fire was controlled. The next day, I packed all essential items and kept them in one bag.
But, how many emergencies can we really encounter in our lifetime? In the Philippines, we are prone to several disasters. There are 20 plus typhoons, flash floods, earthquakes, and even landslide. Not to mention, we have been warned of the “Big One” to soon hit Manila.
Despite these, many of us don’t keep an emergency bag. I personally know its importance, and we should try packing it as soon as you can.
If you have enough time at home, keep this list and start packing your emergency bag asap!
Essential Items in your Emergency Bag
- Cash, passbook and cards
- Blanket, towel and jacket
- Canned goods & water
- Flashlight and whistle
- Clothes for 3-5 days
- Prescription medications
- First aid kit
- Batteries, powerbank and chargers
- Personal & insurance documents
- Contact information
Why should we keep these essential items?
Cash, passbook and cards. It’s good to save money in the bank but it’s never a good idea to keep all of them. Leave some cash in your emergency bag. During disasters, ATM and banks might be closed. It’s important to have this in your wallet in case you need to buy something using cash.
Blanket, towel and jacket. What if you are trapped in a situation with heavy rain or cold weather? Sometimes, evacuation centers do not have enough blankets too. Keep this in your emergency bag to feel warm.
Canned goods and water. Food is essential! You will get hungry and thirsty during emergencies. Worst scenario is that you’re waiting for help with nothing. It’s better to have canned goods or easy-to-open items to survive.
Flashlight and whistle. Now that you have secured your needs, get flashlight and whistle too! These are useful tools to call for help. If you’re trapped in a dark area, you will be able to call for help, get attention, or at least make the authorities aware where you are.
Clothes for 3-5 days. If you choose clothes, make sure they’re not heavy. Your emergency bag should contain items that you can easily carry.
Don’t forget these essential items too!
Prescription medications & First aid kit. If you need these for daily maintenance, make sure you can place them in your bag. If not, you can buy paracetamol and others to fight flu. Don’t forget to have your first aid kit too.
Batteries, gadgets, powerbank and chargers. This is my worst fear! To be in an emergency without cellphones, batteries or powerbank. Contacting others might be difficult without these. If you also have gadgets like your laptop, keep them in one bag.
Personal & insurance documents. I honestly feel that you still need to keep the photocopies of your important documents – birth certificate, marriage certificate, insurance documents, land title, etc. While packing these, make sure you have e-copies stored in your drive.
Contact information. Of course, contact information! Keep a list of 10 important people. Don’t forget local or national hotlines for emergencies too. If you can contact an ambulance service, you may also read this.
Other Tips when Preparing your Emergency Bag
- Make sure that it is indeed a go bag. Your survival kit must not be that heavy to the point it can affect your speed.
- Review the items annually. Check the expiry date especially for canned goods.
- Update your contact information. Recently, this admin established a standardized 911 call. Emergency hotlines may change from time to time.
- Keep that bag near your door or anywhere you can easily grab. If your house has 3 floors, don’t place it on the 3rd floor. It might be hard to get the bag when needed.
- Learn from others. Keep reading stories and learn from their experiences. Watch and attend seminars organized by the government and private institutions.
Let’s all be prepared. Stay safe as always!
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