Monday, 28 January 2013

Panic Bag - Part 2

If you don't know what a panic bag is or if you want to know how to start one please read yesterday's post, aptly entitled Panic Bag - Part 1.

Today we will continue with the miscellaneous items that should find their way into a panic bag.

1) Water bottle and snacks.  Obviously you're going to chose snack that will last a while in your bag (no a banana probably isn't a good idea, even if it has potassium).  I went with protein bars.  I would suggest staying away from high sugar snacks, they may give you an initial rush, but you will crash and burn just as quickly.  If you don't want to keep a full bottle of water in your bag I would recommend an empty bottle that can be filled up.  

2) Money.  Personally I recommend cash in small bills.  I have enough in my bag to buy myself a one way ticket to my parent's home (they are my closest relatives).  I have heard the recommendation of keeping an unused credit card in the bag.  This does have the advantage of giving you access to more money then I would be comfortable with laying around in cash.  I do however have 2 problems with this idea.  People who haven't got the discipline not to touch it may use it for "emergencies" that it is not intended for.  In a natural disaster or similar wide spread disaster there may be problems with power outages and such making a credit card useless.  If you do want to keep a credit card in your panic bag I would also recommend some cash as well.  I've never met any one who turns down cash.

3) Soap, tooth brush, and tooth paste.  Pretty self explanatory.  To keep costs down I used a toothbrush that is almost ready for the garbage and toothpaste that has maybe a weeks worth left.  Travel sized toothpaste/toothbrush is also an option.

4) Feminine hygiene products.  If you need to ask go ask your parents please.

5) Paperwork.  I have a list of the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all my close relatives.  At least keep a list of phone numbers, if you lose your cell you don't want to have to try and remember all the important numbers.  This also has a photo copy of all the important documents in my wallet.  Health card (government and Veterans Affairs), drives license, bank card and credit card, bus pass, and insurance card.  This also serves the dual purpose of giving me a list of numbers in case my wallet is stolen or lost and I need to start cancelling cards.

6) Key and flashlight.  I keep my spare house key in the bag (if you have a car you should keep a spare in here as well).  The key chain is actually a small flash light who's batteries can be recharged with a wind up key on the side.

7) A map of the local area.  Yes, guys should probably have one packed too.

8) Medications, glasses, hearing aids, etc.  I don't have any necessary medications so there are none in the picture.  However, if you do have a medical condition make sure that you have a week supply of your medications and/or medical supplies

That is the whole content of my panic bag.  These bags are highly individual, however I believe that my bag is fairly typical.  There should be one for each member of the family; some people also prefer to keep more than one bag, ie one at home, one at the office or in the car.  Most resources also recommend that the bags be labeled so each family member can find their own.  (Though if the house is burning down I would expect you are going to help grab all of the bags not just your own.)

Is there anything not on my list that you would add to your panic bag?  

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