Flashlights, glow sticks, etc. help you to see in dark spaces and provide light to get you around safely. Don’t just rely on battery-operated flashlights because there is a whole world of solar power lighting options available to you now that are much better than they used to be. Light sticks are great for an emergency situation. For example, glow sticks are excellent items in which you reserve their energy until you need to use them. Invest in good lights, not the cheapest you can find. There are so many options, but here is what we use:
Size – Everyone overestimates how much they’re carrying when they go backpacking (if everyone who claimed to carry a 100 pound pack actually did we’d have thousands of hiker deaths every year in the US alone). But a survival situation is one time when you need to be cold-light-of-day honest about how much you can carry and what that load should be comprised of to give you the best possible chance of survival. As a general rule you shouldn’t carry more than 15 or 20% of your body weight, which for most people will be between 20 and 40 pounds. With this in mind you’ll want to take into consideration the weight of the pack itself (which must be deducted from the total load) and its volume so that you wind up with a bug out backpack that can carry the appropriate amount of supplies.
Scenario #2: Wildfires happening in the Northwest and California had people evacuating their homes, sometimes with only minutes to spare, and having no place to go until they could find shelter with friends or family or in government shelters, depending on what was available (this is a real-life situation in California and the Northwest almost every year).

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.
Customize this list to what you need for the particulars of your family. There are many other things that you can add to the list that you may find helpful depending on the vehicle you may be able to evacuate in or the modes of transportation you may use, where your planned final stop might be, or whether you have extra bodies to help carry. Use this as a starting point for what you need to do for the basics and expand it as your family needs and as circumstances dictate.
Great read & outstanding list of items. Extremely helpful & very much appreciated. While I’ve found over the decades that there are usually several ways to accomplish most things, focusing on the core items/goal while adapting to the situations & environment an individual(s) find themselves in is crucial. You can have everything known to man & still have limited skills/experience leaving you vulnerable. You can have all the skills but arrogance & overconfidence can do you in. Applicable intelligence, balance in actions/approach to problem solving on the fly & practice with skills/preps can make the difference in most cases. So one has a 35 year supply of beans and rice, great to have no doubt, but who wouldn’t trade some of it for a coke and some M&Ms for normalcy occasionally? That may be just enough encouragement to get the companions/family through to safety. Again, it’s all a wag for the most part…do what preps you can, develop usable skills…plan, persevere & prevail. Fantastic prep checklist & ideas…thanks! Proverbs 27-17…As iron sharpens iron, so on man sharpens another!

Non-perishable food. Don’t just get non-perishable food; look for “non-cook” items for your survival pack, as well. You don’t want to have to rely on a stove, fire, or any other cooking mechanism in an emergency situation. If you don’t have to cook, you don’t need cooking supplies, which means you can save space—and more importantly, weight—in your pack.

A “Bug out bag” (sometimes called a “bail out bag” or “survival bag”) is loosely defined as a backpack-style bag that a person keeps at the ready in case they need to evacuate in a hurry (bug out) due to natural disaster, civil unrest, fire, war or any other similar type of calamity. A bug out bag won’t be much good should a comet the size of Dallas hit the earth but for the type of events listed above it can make the difference between thriving and barely surviving.
When loaded and put on properly, your hips should carry the bulk of your pack’s weight. Because of this, extra padding in the hip belt can make a lot of difference. However, you should also make sure the hip belt isn’t so bulky that it ends up rubbing your hip bones or ribs uncomfortably. In an ideal world, your bug out bag’s hip belt should fit comfortably between the top of your hip bones and the bottom of your lowest ribs. 

The second book picks right up where Book One left off, with Eric Branson and his new sidekick, Jonathan, getting ready to set sail from south Florida to cross the Gulf of Mexico to Louisiana, where Eric's brother is a deputy sheriff in a rural parish bordering the Atchafalaya River. This second installment of the series gets into a little more of the overall situation in the country, which is a state of chaos due to anarchist riots and terror attacks. Unlike my Pulse and Darkness After series, the problems that arise in this series are human-caused, and not too far removed from reality considering some of the recent happenings in that have been in the news.


Yes, this is something that often goes overlooked. I wouldn’t COUNT on everyone being there for a bug out situation, as by nature you never know where everyone might be at the moment and if they will all be there with you, but spreading the weight across several people can make a huge difference. Suddenly an unfathomable 50 pound carry load becomes more than reasonable with a family of 5.

This is a really good kit. Having real food rations rather than food bars is great.  The only problem is you need to boil water to add to the food packs and the kit doesn’t come with that much water in the first place. Its good to pair this kit with extra water packs. I like the kit over all its a good starter kit for one person. On the downside there isn’t a multi-person version of it so thats why its my #3 Winner.
I noticed that a reliable light weight firearm was on the list. While many may think it uselss, a good high powered barrel break pellet rifle can do almost as much as a 22 rifle. A hundred dollars will get you one at Walmart that you can switch from .177 caliber to 22 caliber. The rifle breaks down and is easily carried inside of a decent back pack. The weight of the ammo is significantly lighter as well. This can be used to take down most birds, squirls, rabbits, small pigs and even foxes as well as racoons, armadillo’s. And snakes. All sources of protein.
Some people think that plumbers should be paid more than doctors because they prevent disease. Having a good sanitation kit can help prevent illness and disease for your family during an emergency. Don't buy into the idea that there will always be a bathroom for you to use. One of the first things you might need to gain access to during the case of an earthquake, hurricane, fire, or other disaster is a first-aid kit. Make sure you have enough first-aid supplies to take care of everyone in your family and enough to care for others who may need your help.
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