“The Backpack” is an emergency supply kit to have necessary items that you can take with you should you need to seek shelter or travel in an emergency situation. It is a good idea to keep a backpack in your vehicle. Additionally, each person in the home should have a backpack suited to fit their size and strength. Although there are many things that could go into such a back pack, you still need to be able to carry it. Leaving sentimental items behind for when you can return is far better than carrying an heavy, overloaded pack.
The following list is fairly extensive, so it may be more feasible to pack the essentials in the backpack and have the remaining items stored in an emergency meeting shelter.
Clothing and Shelter. A complete change of clothing, including a long sleeved shirt, long pants, 2 pair of underwear, 2 pair of socks, gloves, a hat, and sturdy shoes or boots. Emergency poncho or weather proof gear. Keeping the feet, hands, and head from the elements is extremely important, whether those elements are heat, cold, wet, or bugs! Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Navigation and Tools. Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both. Flashlight and extra batteries or a hand crank flashlight. Sometimes you can find a tool that is all of the above and is in the crank form which leaves out the concern for batteries. Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger. Whistle. Dust mask to help filter contaminated air. Matches in a waterproof container. Long life candles. Nylon rope (100 ft.). Plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal off shelter. Knives, both folding and nonfolding, with a sharpening tool. Manual can opener for food. Wrench or pliers. Again these can be found as a combination tool, sometimes called a “leatherman”. Local maps. A small amount of money may also be helpful.
Health Care: First aid kit and “the tackle box” (described in post entitled “The Tackle Box”. Bandages. Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation. Latex gloves. Magnet. Food and Water. Protein bars can be a great way to keep up energy and endurance; they also are small, don’t require cooking, and can last a long time in a back pack. Small simple snacks or dehydrated camping meals are also nice. Even a pack of gum can be very helpful, emotionally! Keep at least one water container full of water in your pack. Having a hiker’s purifying kit is even better.