Weekly preparedness project, #1. These weekly projects help you get better prepared by outlining a specific task or goal to accomplish for the week. By doing a little each week, you can greatly increase your preparedness level over time.
This week’s project is to create a Home Escape Bag for everyone in your family. This bag is what you grab as you are escaping a burning house. It’s intended to be stored at or near the beds, so you can quickly grab it if a fire breaks out in the middle of the night.
Every member of your family should have a Home Escape Bag, including babies and toddlers, as small children have special needs that would be difficult to provide for in the middle of the night, as you stand on the sidewalk watching your house burn down.
The Home Escape Bag holds basic items that you’ll immediately need if your house burns down.
- clothes or sweats
- shoes or sandals (an old pair is fine)
- flashlight and chemlights
- copies of important documents (update as needed):
- insurance (health, auto, home, etc.)
- copies of your SSN cards
- copy of your bank accounts, credit and debit cards
- marriage licenses
- birth and death certificates
- court papers
- copies of recent pay stubs
- copies of cell and utility bills (you’ll need to either pay these or stop service)
- titles and leases
- vehicle registrations
- school records
- medical records, shot records
- family pictures
- 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.
- If you have a baby in the home, make sure you plan an escape bag for the little one, too. You’ll have to update it every 3 months to rotate food and update sizes on clothes and diapers
You also need to get into the habit of keeping wallet and cell phone on your nightstand, so they are easily grabbed as you flee the fire.
This weekly project was first discussed in The Preparedness Podcast Episode 114.