There are many types of natural disasters and emergency situations that could cause us to have to leave our homes on short notice. Of course, in Florida the most common concerns are hurricanes and tornadoes, but we know that there are also other emergency situations that could make us leave on short notice such as fires and floods from a bad storm as well. Because of this you should have something put together and ready to go on short notice before leaving the house. The bag should be large enough to contain your most important supplies, but not so heavy that you won’t be able to carry it during an emergency. Here is everything you need to know when packing your emergency grab and go bag.

Don’t Wait For An Emergency

When it comes to dealing with an emergency situation you want to be as prepared as possible. There is enough panic and worry going on in the moment that the last thing you need to be worrying about is whether or not you have gathered everything you will need before leaving your home. It is best to always have a basic grab and go emergency bag put together and read to grab on short notice – and add to the bag based on a specific situation if needed. Don’t wait until the weather updates are letting you know a disaster is on the way, there will be too many other things you need to get done during that time, plus not all disasters come with a fair amount of warning time. Always have your bag prepared and ready to go!

Make Sure Each Member Of Your Family Has A Bag

One bag for a couple might be enough. But if you have a larger family chances are high that one bag isn’t going to be enough to pack sufficiently for everyone. This is why it is better to just make sure each member of your family has their own grab and go bag prepared. In addition to the essentials that should be packed in the bag, each person should have at least one or two comfort items that will make their time away from home easier, especially young children.

Food And Water

If a disaster is affecting your community, chances are good that supply availability is going to be low. Your grab and go bag should at a minimum contain simple non-perishable snacks and bottled water. It is best to seal food in an airtight container to help prevent attraction of pests, and to include a portable water filter in addition to your bottled water so you can replenish your supply if you run out. If you have an infant than don’t forget to include infant formula and bottles as well.

Change Of Clothes

You will want to have at a minimum one day’s worth of clothes, but ideally 2-3 days supply would be best. A one-day supply may not be just one outfit depending on the conditions you are exposed to, so consider having two outfits per day if possible. Make sure you include underwear, socks, rain gear, and comfortable walking shoes. You should also include a warm blanket in your bag. If you have a child that is not potty-trained make sure to include diapers also. You can pack the clothes and blanket in a waterproof vac bag to help you save space.


You don’t want to go overboard on toiletries, but you do want to make sure you have at least a small kit of the essentials with you. Travel size soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, moist towelettes, tissues, hand sanitizer, etc. work really well. If you are a woman be sure to include feminine hygiene products such as pads and tampons as well.

Medications And First-Aid Kit

You will definitely want to make sure each member of your family has a small first-aid kit packed in their grab and go bag as well. Your first-aid kit should include band-aids, antibacterial ointment, burn cream, gauze and tape, etc. You will want to include over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, burn cream, anti-diarrheal medications, antacids, and allergy medications. You will want to have at least a small supply of any prescription medications and medical supplies such as blood glucose monitors as well. It is best to include at least a three-day supply of prescription medications, so you will have time to get to a pharmacy for a refill if needed.

Important Documents

You will want to make sure you have a copy of all of your most important documents with you before you leave. The most important documents include:

  • Passport / Driver’s License / Other Forms of Identification
  • Social Security Cards
  • Birth Certificates
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Important Medical Documents / Children’s Immunization Records
  • Insurance Policy Documents / Insurance Cards
  • Pet’s Medical Records / Vaccination Records / Microchip Records
  • The Deed to Your House
  • Your Will / Trust

Other Misc. Items

There are many other items that could be included in an emergency grab and go bag but aren’t necessarily important for everyone to have. Review your emergency evacuation plan you’re your family and determine which of the following additional items your families plan will need and who in your family will be responsible for having it packed in their bag.

  • Flashlights / Glowsticks
  • Local Map
  • Small Am/FM Radio
  • Batteries
  • Whistle
  • Hi Visibility Vest
  • Important Contact Numbers
  • Pocket Knife / Multi-Tool
  • Can Opener
  • Garbage Bags
  • Glasses
  • A Current Family Photograph
  • Cash – in small denominations, not large notes
  • Flash Drive – with your favorite photos and important documents
  • Face Mask
  • Scissors
  • Duct Tape
  • Books / Games / Puzzles
  • Mess Kits
  • Toilet Paper / Baby Wipes
  • Charger / Backup Battery for Cell Phones
  • Paper / Pens / Pencils

Now that you know everything you need to about putting your emergency grab and go bag – or disaster kit –  together and ready to go, you should also review your current insurance policies including your homeowners’ insurance, rental insurance, and automobile insurance policies to make sure you are properly covered for an emergency situation. Contact us today to review your current policies or discuss your needs for a new policy with a licensed professional insurance agent!