For many people, civilian and military personnel alike, you know that preparation is key to survival in any situation, whether it be an act of nature like a storm or an act of people, like an attack. In many cases, it can be difficult to be prepared at any second, however, there are things that can help you to remain prepared and ready to move out at a moment’s notice. Knowing what to pack in a go bag is a good start to disaster preparation.

First, let’s answer the question of what is a go bag? A go bag is essentially a bag that is pre-packed with essentials you may need in case of emergency. This could be in case of fires, flooding, hurricanes, any natural disaster, or it could be something in case you need to get out of town quickly due to family medical emergencies or unrest in your community. No matter the reasoning, the go bag is ready to go and you’ll have everything you need without having to scramble, thus saving you valuable time that could be the difference in getting out safely or getting caught up in a dangerous situation.

If you’re ready to be prepared for anything, we have you covered with a list of what to pack in a go bag, that way you are ready at a moment’s notice. These bags are great whether you are prepping for just yourself or if you are preparing your whole family to move quickly. We highly recommend each family member, and pet, have their own go bag prepped and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Some of the important things to pack in a go bag:

Water: Ideally you need at least one bottle of water per person, but if you can, pack more than that. You also will want a survival straw or emergency filtration system or tablets in case drinking water will be unavailable for an unknown period of time.

Food: You’ll need to pack foods that not only will not expire, but that will give you protein and energy when you desperately need it. Make sure to include energy bars, dried foods, and nuts, as these are all healthy options that will give you energy, but won’t take up much space. Include enough food for at least 3 days.

Flashlight: In case of power outages, have a flashlight with fresh batteries on hand. Also be sure to pack extra batteries.

Clothing: You’ll want to have one change of clothing, you never know what elements you may face and if you’ll need a change of clothes. Pack a rain jacket or poncho as well, and include a good pair of sneakers in case you have to travel on foot.

Blankets: You’ll need at least one warm blanket or sleeping bag per person.

First Aid: Pack a first aid kit, any medications or glasses, as well as non-prescription items such as pain relievers, allergy pills, antacids, etc.

Communication: Put a spare cell phone charger cord and separate battery pack in there, in case of power failure. A solar powered radio will be beneficial in case of cell phone outage. Have a local map, paper and pencil, and whistle handy as well, all of these could prove beneficial.

Other Essentials: a box of matches in a waterproof container, cash in small bills, important documents i.e. passports, copies of IDs, bank records, insurance policies, second set of house and car keys, garbage bags, moist towelettes, toiletries, and finally, a multi-tool at least, if not a firearm for protection.

Put all of these items neatly in a backpack or duffle bag, and keep everything up to date. Occasionally go through it and make sure your medications are not expired, replace any that are, and make sure that your phone battery packs are always charged and functioning.