20 Things You Need in Your Get Home Bag

It may seem like Monday morning quarterbacking, but we want everyone to think about what happened recently in the SE United States to prepare.  When you prepare and plan ahead you limit the number of bad things that can happen to you and your family when a major storm or event hits your area.

The Urban Survival Center sent out an email prior to the storm reminding everyone to be prepared, but we know that everyone is very busy Bug Out Bagand the email was easy to over look or not read immediately. So we thought we would cover the topic in a little more detail and provide some information you may find helpful.

There have been two major winter storms over the past few weeks that created tremendous problems in the eastern United States.  Even those living in Florida were affected by the cold, freezing rain and some snow.  In each of these storms people were trapped in their cars for hours. In some cases, it took people almost 18 hours to transverse what was a 1 hour drive under normal circumstances.  It was amazing to me how many people blamed the government for the travel problems and yet they showed no signs they were any better prepared for the winter storm.

There are many things you can so to prevent yourself from suffering when these winter storms occur. As with all prevention methods, planning is the key to success.

Thus, the first step is to have a Get Home Plan.

Listed below are five vital elements of being prepared for a natural disaster or storm. Naturally, this is an abbreviated version, but the key topics are covered.winter storm prep get home bag plan doomsday prep survival blog

1. If you feel there is an impending storm, whether a winter or summer storm. Especially, if the weather sources are warning of a potentially dangerous situation in the near future. Thus, you have several days notice of the impending event. Then do not go out .  Stay home and hunker down.  This includes weather systems like severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, winter snow storms and ice storms.

2. If you do need to go out to work, school or for any reason then you need a Get Home Plan. As mentioned, in my article on Urban Survival, you should have several safe havens .  Thus, as part of a good plan you should have access to several safe havens.

This means you and your family need to know the locations they can go to for safe haven. Whether it is your mom and dad’s house, brother or sister’s place, your office or even a friend’s home. These are locations that you have the key and permission to enter during times of emergency. This also makes it easier for family members to locate each other.

3. you need to communicate with your family. It is imperative, that you let them know where you are and your plans.  This is vital.  The extra strain of a family worrying and even taking the chances of going out and looking for you, places more people at risks.

4. If you get upset about your situation, then you will make bad decisions. It is very important in these untoward situations that you do your best to remain relaxed and think about your actions. For example, in the most recent storm in Atlanta, it took many people extended hours twinter storm prep plan survival blogo travel very short distances. That can be very frustrating and cause you to be hurried and anxious. All which can lead to distractions and cause you to make incorrect decisions.

5. Finally, you need to have a Get Home Bag in every vehicle. This is essential to your safety in a natural disaster or storm, in particular when you might be trapped in your vehicle for an extended period of time.

Your Get Home bag can be a backpack, duffel bag or an overhead luggage case. It should be a container you can easily wear or carry if you need to be mobile. These all can be placed in the truck of your vehicle.

For your convenience I have listed the twenty essential contents of you Get Home Bag.

Quick Navigation

Get Home Bag Contents

1. Season appropriate clothing including shirt, sweater, pants, socks

2. Work gloves

3. Plastic rain poncho

4. Walking shoes

5. Hat

6. Sunglasses

7. Rope 50ft

8. First Aid Kit

9. Compass/GPS/Local map

10. Flashlight with extra batteries

11. Lighter

12. Water/Gatorade/Juice x3

13. Snacks/Candy bars/Gum

14. Knife

15. Multitool

16. Prepaid credit card($100)/Cash ($50)

17. Personal Protection supplies

18. Two days of medications

19. Toilet paper

20. Wet wipes

We hope this information will be of value to you and help you avoid being caught unprepared in an incidence like this again.

The best to all of you and be safe,
Dan C.

photos by:
Jim Frazier

About Dan C: Dan has lectured in over 250 American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support Provider Courses (ACLS) and over 40 ACLS Instructor Courses, over 50 American College of Emergency Physician Basic Trauma Life Support Provider (BTLS) Courses and 20 BTLS Instructor courses and in over 30 American College of Surgeons Advanced Trauma Life Support Provider (ATLS) Courses, 5 ATLS Instructor courses, 40 American Heart Association Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Provider and Instructor Courses and 30 American College of Emergency Physicians Advanced Pediatric Life Support (APALS) Provider and Instructor Courses.  He has also lectured nationally at several national medical meetings on Trauma verses Medical Patient Assessment, Emergency Airway Management, Pediatric Resuscitation, Emergency Trauma Patient Assessment and Management, Emergency Cardiac Care, and Critical Care Aeromedical Transport.

Dan C
Written by Dan C

Dan is a life long experienced and avid firearm enthusiast, hunter and outdoorsman. For ten years, Dan functioned as the team leader of a critical care medical team that conducted world-wide medical evacuations. He participated in over 300 medical missions worldwide at times in very remote and hostile environments, including Haiti, Nicaragua, the Middle East, Russia, and South America. Read his full interview here. Read more of Dan's articles.

24 thoughts on “20 Things You Need in Your Get Home Bag”

  1. Excellent work Dan.

    I’m always in awe of those who prepare for no more a journey then from house to car. No hat, no heavy coat, no boots, no gloves, and sometime, no long pants. The only time I have used the extra clothes in my truck was to give away to stranded motorists who had little more than a cell phone. Around here, most insightful folks carry sleeping bags in their cars, and some even pack a pair of snow shoes. You know, just in case.

    I just approached a similar topic in my blog where I too considered travel survival, but with the added hoops of airport security to jump through. I outlined my TSA compliant BOB/GHB and other implications of adventures in air travel to hopefully plant similar seeds to those you sowed. Thanks again. http://professorprepper.blogspot.com

    • @Professor Prepper; Last time I flew, the TSA looked through my bag 3-4 times before they finally let me through. They went through my BOB, which I carry EVERYWHERE. What's this? It's a compass. A what? A compass. What does it do? Why do you have 4 flashlights? I'm scared of the dark. Is that what the batteries are for? Why do you have a deck of cards? Really? Are these binoculars? Yes. Where did you get them? Academy!!! What are all these bags of jerky for? Lunch!!!!!! Are all these YOUR medicines? No, I smuggle drugs for a living (no I didn't say that, but I wanted to). Do you get cold? Why? You have 2 pair of gloves. So?………Yeah, it amazes me that people will walk out into 99degree (5 degree) weather and don't have a single bottle of water, blanket, jerky……whatever. Survival of the fittest. Oh, well. Be well.

      • Yeah, I’ve seen the TSA do that with just about everything. They will strip search someone’s grandmother but let the bearded Jihadist-looking guy through without a second look. Not the brightest people working there I’m afraid.

  2. Good list. I was"stuck" in that storm but made it home.

    If you can drive a 4×4 then put that towards the top of list but certainly under season change of clothes and shoes.

  3. no Emergency Med-Kit?!

    Tell you what, we rode-out that 3-day snowtastrophe next door in B’ham, AL, and my most precious commodity “on person” we’re my boots and my walking stick, when I had to get out in it…

  4. Living here in Florida you must be ready to camp at home! With the hurricances . So many were not ready when we had 4 hurricanes in 5 weeks. I had good water power and 27 extra people i my place! Most were family and a few friends. It went pretty well till I had to toss out a cousin for trying to steal food and water! His wife and kids stayed as they brought food and water(he did not-he's a jerk) after 3 days he came back and earned by hardwork cleaning the outside with help from all of us. But he learned a lession he's not in charge and does not have a say in my place! We all did well, next time more solar panels and bigger battery bank!

  5. How to make one out of the stuff you already have and a quick trip to the … to take you a couple of days to get home, keep your bag 'under' 15- 20 lbs. …. If you have the above base items covered in your get home bag you will ..

  6. If folks don't already know to do this–and since it's not in the list above–add a collapsing shovel and some way of getting traction (sand or gravel to throw on an icy patch, or a set of those metal grids that you lay down under the front edge of you tires). That alone may save having to use the other parts of your plan or kit.

    Also, a tip from a recent news story that seems not-so-obvious and could be a lifesaver: a family stranded in the mountains out west with night temps in the very cold (-30〫!!!) range survived by heating their spare tire's rim over a campfire, then bringing it into the car to radiate heat.

  7. @Professor and All; As I mentioned earlier, I always carry my BOB with me. When I am in my vehicle (or anywhere actually) I use a layered approach for survival. In my vehicle I carry a BOB…a bug out box, that has tools, a machete, 500' of 550 cord, air pump…….12'x20' tarp, duct tape, bags of jerky, a case (CASE) of water, wet weather gear, cold weather gear, a large first aid kit with QuickClot, a wad of surg towels, and paper towels, one pair of extra clothes……etc. This is in addition to my BOB. As far as the credit card, I would suggest a few hundred dollars in quarters, nickels, dimes, ones and fives. If power is out, CCs aren't going to work, but "real money" (that's a joke) will work when credit won't. I would can the toilet paper and just have more wet wipes. As far as meds, I would have a 7 day supply cuz you never know! If by "personal protection supplies" you mean a handgun with ammo, yep. I would also carry photocopies of your personal ID such as DL, Passport, credit cards etc., just in case you are separated from your wallet. No they won't be "officially good" but it might keep you out of jail or help you get help from authorities. I also keep an MRE or two or a couple of Hormel "Compleats" (that's the way they spell it) in the BOB pack. If I seem anal, I was a safety officer…soooooo. I always wear combat boots (desert) and long pants. The boots are all broken in and I can walk 10 miles or more in them. Harley is right, try and keep the bag to 20-25 #s so that it isn't too much of a burden. Hope this is constructive. Be well.

  8. Great list! One thing that I have found works great for a survival car kit to protect your gear and supplies from extreme car heat and cold is to store your car kit in a cooler! Keeps your water from getting frozen and your food from getting degraded by extreme heat. Keep a few desiccants in the cooler to protect tools and gear from moisture as well. Seal the cooler up with some tape (mostly to keep the lid from flying open) and make sure you secure the cooler with some webbing straps so it doesn’t go flying through the air and hitting anyone in the case of a car accident! Thanks for the article!!

  9. You are truly a just right website owner. The web page running speed is amazing. It seems that you are doing any unique technique. In addition, The material are work of art. you have conducted a amazing process on this subject!

  10. I am a 55 yr year old woman and just moved to a new (state) Idaho where I work 1 hour from my house. The drive consists of about 1/2 hr drive in the city and 1/2 drive up in hill to the country where I live. Any suggestions when traveling alone?

    • Best place tostart is determining how far you must walk from the furthest point away from home. Then decide how many miles you could manage in an 8 hour period. Divide this into your overall distance.
      This provides you with the starting point of what you will need to get home. In my case, because i am in sales, I am any distance from 45 – 125 miles from home, so i have figured i need to have enough food and shelter for 10 days. i have water filters to provide hydration without carrying ten days of water.
      so begin to live by the motto;

      hope for the best and prep for the worst.

      may our Lord bless you and keep you safe

  11. To survive is to realize and be prepared for the unsuspected. Survival is knowledge and capacity and skill to use knowledge. These "certain" skills are not practiced, much less talked about, and will certainly challenge a cold hungry, scared, novice. An do not believe that because you performed these as a young person, they will be just as easy. – THEY AREN'T!!

  12. A tip with regards to footwear. Make sure to break in the footwear that will be in your GHB. You do not want to break them in during an emergency situation.

  13. There is a lot of crap that in this list that doesn't belong in a get home bag at all, let alone being essential.

  14. Everyone has a different get-home situation which is why all of these GHB ideas fall short. I’ve tried to imagine a time when I would have to ditch my vehicle and walk home – not your “average” distance from work, but 47-miles. If weather were so bad that I would not be able to get home, I have people and places I could stay and ride it out. If, however, it is one of those SHTF situations, then any GHB would be a halfway good idea at best.

    Guns will draw attention, but that is why I have a CPL. If the GHB is just a 48-hour bag, then the needs change from walking home to being able to last two days in a particularly uncomfortable situation. Survival is the most important aspect of getting home. That is why your vehicle should have enough to get you through anything. If you happen to become involved in a Zombie attack and the guts and body parts stop you from using your vehicle, then yup, your GHB packed with everything necessary for survival until you get home is the last thing you take as you dump the vehicle


Leave a Comment