Which bag to choose in an emergency? There are many descriptions of the type of bag to take with you in an emergency. However, whatever the bag is called, the contents need to be lightweight, functional and applicable to your surroundings. To help you choose those contents, consider these two types of bags: a ” grab bag” and a ” bug out bag”. The former supplements the latter rather than being exclusive use.
So, what is a “grab bag?”.
The bag is small, lightweight and should hang behind the bathroom door in your hotel room. At home, it could be near the door you most commonly use to exit the house.
The grab bag needs to sustain you for the first 24 hours during an emergency. Looking at the contents of the bag, could you survive for a day or longer? If not, review the contents and adapt them to your environment and anticipated disaster eg: emergency evacuation, forced relocation, natural or man-made disaster.
The contents should include: 2x bottles of water and some snacks. Pack a warm and waterproof jacket and a pair of clean socks. Have a knife, fire kit, torch and small medical kit. Ensure you have a fully charged phone with a local sim card, pre-programmed emergency numbers and a solar powered power bank.
Surprisingly, given the light weight and size of these items, you will be able to survive the aftermath of any disaster for at least a day, often two.
A “bug out bag” has a different purpose.
The bag should also be light but this is because you might have to walk long distances or over obstacles. Combining the contents of both bags will help you survive for a week or more after a disaster.
You can choose a more comprehensive range of gear because you might need to survive for 3 days or more following a disaster. Rarely do emergency services respond quicker than that timeline In African countries, so you have to be self-reliant. But, realize that you can survive any disaster if you remain dry, warm, rested and hydrated. The following kit list will help.
1. A fire kit:
Containing a full lighter, ferro rod with striker, tinder and matches. Fire has many uses, not least being a morale booster.
2. A bottle of water:
Locally purchased. No need to sterilize bought water.
3. A survival filter:
Plastic bag and water sterilization tablets. Use the plastic bag as a spare water container.
4. A small stove:
Consider carrying 4x wall nails, a small pot or enamel cup and a spoon. Fuel can be natural or manufactured. Start a small fire with a tampon or cotton wool balls smeared with Vaseline
5. Pack a shemagh and a pair of gloves:
To supplement the spare clothing in your grab bag . For extra warmth, include a set of women’s tights. They are also an effective barrier against mosquito bites.
6. Additional food can be carried, especially if you anticipate bugging out for a few days:
Carry a brew kit, which should include the means of making several hot sweet drinks or cups of bouillon. Apart from nuts, dried meat, packed tuna and dried fruit, carry rations consisting of oatmeal, rice, noodles and boil-in-the-bag or freeze-dried meals. Include some salt and spices to provide at least one palatable meal a day. A small tin opener will prove useful.
7. The torch in your grab bag can be supplemented with a head torch and spare batteries:
Extend your peripheral vision by strapping the head torch around your waist rather than on your head. You will illuminate a greater area of the ground in front and around you.
8. A medical kit:
Contained in a small and sealable plastic bag, should include tablets for various ailments such as pain, nausea and diarrhea.
9. An encrypted flash drive (digital copy)of your vital documents.
The original documents (eg: passport, driver’s license and credit cards) should always be concealed on your person.
10. Pack a multi tool or folding knife
7 meters of paracord for cordage and a compass for navigation.
11. Carry cash to the value of $ 500.00 in both local and foreign currency.
This money can be used to bribe others or buy supplies.
To learn about what kit to carry and how to use it effectively, attend one of our courses.
To learn more about corporate security throughout Africa, visit our website.