Get Home Bag: Are you prepared to make it home when disaster strikes?

by Richard Davis

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Are you prepared to make it home if disaster strikes?
Some of you have heard of an Everyday Carry Bag or an EDC bag.  Many already have one (or components of it) without realizing that you do.  I prefer to call it a Get Home Bag, or GHB, because, regardless of the situation, your objective is to get yourself home. That’s where your family and supplies are located.  It is probably your rally point for the family.  Obviously, the distance between where you are (probably your workplace) and home has a significant impact on your bag.

In my previous article, “3 Steps for Basic Disaster Preparedness: For Normal People Too”, I wrote that if you are unable to store basic emergency supplies then you must have a bugout bag (BoB).  This is still true.  Before we cover the BoB we first need to cover the GHB so there is no overlap of contents.

My get home bag
My Get Home Bag
This is a picture of my bag.  It is very simple because I work only six miles from home; a fifteen-minute drive or a 1.5-hour walk.  Here are the contents: a backpack, checkbook, pen and pencil, multi-tool, flashlight, a larger knife, some snacks just in case, bottle of water, medications, a scarf (shemagh is my preference), a pair of socks, a high visibility runners vest in case I must walk at night, sunglasses, my cell phone and charger, and a hat.  I wear the hat cell phone, and sunglasses so they don’t go in the bag.  Seasonal items will be added and removed as necessary.  Most of this stuff at your favorite dollar or overstock store pretty cheaply.

That’s easy for you to say, Ritch, but I work 40 miles from my home!  Sure.  You have a long way to go, but you still must get home, don’t you?  Even if you can drive all the way, you should still have some stuff with you.  Some roads may be closed or it may be necessary to shelter overnight in a church or gymnasium.  This bag is about giving you options when disaster impedes your normal “on the way home” routine.
Here are some of the optional/seasonal items that sometimes make it into my bag: Kindle/tablet, hoodie, gloves, notepad, small first-aid kit, winter cap, Holy Bible, stuff for cleaning my glasses, extra glasses, and personal hygiene items.
Other items you might consider include subway/bus tokens, cash, a list of important phone numbers, personal protection equipment, self-defense equipment, whistle, and walking/running shoes or hiking boots. If you are away from home and it is imperative to return there before anything else, then you need this bag. If you can abandon your home, then you still must go somewhere. If that is a plausible scenario, then consider also keeping your bugout bag in your car or truck. A bugout bag will be the topic of my next article. Take care, y’all, and God bless.

About the author:  Richard Davis is a retired veteran with a degree in Emergency Management on a mission to encourage people and communities to be prepared for emergencies by demonstrating low cost and low effort ways to stay safe.  His holistic approach includes physical, mental, social, and spiritual needs during a disaster.

About the Author 

Richard Davis

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