In this first podcast of the new series, I talk about making a Home Escape Bag for everyone in your household. The main purpose of the Home Escape Bag is to have something that you can quickly grab in the event of a fire or other disaster where you need to evacuate your house, especially at night when you are in bed and your reaction time is very low.
Every person in your home should have one of these bags near their bed, ready to grab. Even little kids and infants should have one of their own, even if they are incapable of carrying it. As you grab the child, grabbing the bag will give you a minimal amount of supplies, mainly clothing and shoes. As your kids get older, make grabbing their bag part of the fire escape plan.
The fundamental purpose of this bag is to give you a basic amount of supplies that you’re most likely to need immediately after a fire. Things like:
? clothes or sweats
? shoes or sandals (an old pair is fine)
? flashlight and chemlights
? copies of important documents (update as needed):
? digital copies of the above on either a flash drive kept in the bag, or on a cloud service (like Dropbox)
? money (may need to spend night in hotel)
? spare keys (house, car, storage lockers, office, fire safes etc.)
? contacts list (paper copy)
? needed medications
? toiletry bag (don’t need everything, just the essentials)
? spare checkbook
? Spare eyeglasses
? anything else that you would be hard-pressed to be without or would make life immediately after losing your home more tolerable.
Additionally, you’ll need to get into the habit of storing your wallet and cell phone on your nightstand, so you can quickly grab them as you’re escaping. It also probably a good idea to keep your key ring there, too.
For infants and small children, you’ll need to update the contents often. The younger the child the more often you’ll need to update it, as infants and toddlers grow out of sizes quickly. You will also want to keep some formula or food in the bag for infants and update it as their diet changes.
This is a quick summary of this topic. Check out the podcast for more information. You can listen above, or subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.