This comes from my friend Pat McHugh. He’s another one of those “friends I haven’t met yet”, thanks to the internet. A couple of years ago, Pat rocked my world and he probably doesn’t even know it. Some openings had come up at a big corporate/promo bass fishing event that was looking for writers to attend. My only expense would have been getting there (Mexico, if I remember correctly). Pat thought of me and asked me to call him about it. As it turns out, I couldn’t make it. I was very flattered though, that he thought of me (such a little fish, so to speak!). It has stayed with me all this time.

Anyway, I’m rambling. Pat sells the original “space blanket” and is an expert on outdoor survival. Not just equipment, but how to think; how to act. The recent events in California prompted Pat to send out this great piece on survival kits. Please stop over and look around MPI Outdoors

Here you go, from Pat:


You never know when you may need to be prepared to survive on your own for three days or more. It could be a simple as having all the electricity blown out and assuring you have some basics stocked in for the wait for the power company, or it could mean you have to leave your home and evacuate. In either case this may require having your own water, food and emergency supplies accessible. Assembling the supplies you might need before a disaster strikes is the most important part of creating your own personal disaster response plan. If you are forced to evacuate, I suggest the following personal “go kit” you should have available. It is easy to assemble in a few hours and for a few dollars… but it cold a disaster strike you and your family.

Suggested Home Disaster Evacuation Kit.

Purchase one of those 5-gallon buckets with a lid from Home Depot or Lowe’s or a small plastic trash can with a good lid and handles and pack it with the following suggested items. Store your “GO KIT” in the front hall closet or in the garage so you can easily grab it and go if and when the time comes to evacuate your home. Replace noted items every 3 to 6 months; tape a piece of paper on the top listing the contents so you know when you last updated your supplies.

Suggested Contents:

– Flashlights at least 2 of them without batteries inserted.

– Batteries for flashlights, at least 3 sets for each light… note expiration dates on packages.

– Small roll of duct tape, and a pair of work gloves, and some basic tools (screwdriver, claw hammer, pliers)… you may need them for clean up.

– Chemical light sticks (8-12 hour variety) at least 4 (longer lasting light especially for kids)

– Portable radio with 2 sets of batteries stored outside radio

– A Small Basic First Aid Kit – remember this is basic only, if you need or anticipate other needs, pack them in.

– Roll of toilet paper – Toothbrushes – toothpaste – (denture adhesive) small bar of soap – washcloths – Wet Wipes – these personal care items will not be available if you have to go to a shelter.

– Water: bottled water (rotate every 6 months) 12 bottles. Stack around perimeter of bucket, one up one down- fill middle area of bucket with other gear to hold water bottles against the sides. Water is heavy, but necessary and could be a scarce commodity in a shelter.

– A 32 oz. wide mouth polycarbonate water bottle (available at hiking shops) in case you have to secure water in a shelter. Put as many of your personal toiletries inside the bottle as you can to save space this way.

– Save a small eyedropper type bottle (or buy one from a druggist) and fill it with household bleach, dump out old and fill with new bleach every 6 months. Should it be necessary you can use the bleach to disinfect your drinking water. 1 quart = 2 drops if water is clear, 4 drops if water is cloudy.

– A few High-energy food/snack bars and some pieces of hard candy (physiological and psychological)

– Pre-sweetened ice tea packets or drink mixes, maybe even some dry soup mix or packets of instant coffee.

– Consider including a small pocket stove and solid fuel tablets, to heat water for a cup of tea or soup mix, a little added extra comfort item. Put in a metal campers cup to use over the flame.

– Small hard plastic cups, in case they are dispensing water from a public source.

– Next time you are in a fast food place, take a few sugar and salt/pepper packages to include to spice up shelter food service.

– Your out of state family-friends phone contact numbers taped inside the lid, also include your home/car insurance policy# and agent contact #…

– SPACE Brand ALL WEATHER BLANKETS for warmth and protection, they will not get damp or mildew laden. A few SPACE Brand EMERGENCY BLANKETS for on the go use protection or for signaling or to help out a neighbor who is wet and cold. They help deter the effects of post trauma shock by maintaining a persons body heat so they do not easily go into shock… and being wrapped up and protected is a great psychological advantage in all the panic.

– Draw top kitchen trash bags – use bucket as emergency toilet, bags as disposable liners.

– Smokers put in a pack of cigarettes and a lighter; you don’t need stress in a time like this.

– Pen and a small notebook, you will need it.

– If you have children, small puzzle books, deck of playing cards, reading material, a ball and small game items to occupy their time if you are stuck in a shelter.

– Some amount of cash, as credit cards and your ATM will be useless if the power is out or if there is a run on the ATM’s.

Home: Know how to turn off the gas and electric before you leave your home. Check and lock all doors and windows, and remove any outside objects that may become airborne in high winds.

Personal Papers: Since you live in a disaster prone area get all personal papers such as deeds, bank books, check books, insurance papers, agents phone numbers, car titles, etc. assembled in one place so you can take them with you if you have to evacuate. Have them stored in a snap over closure plastic folder that you can buy at Staples or Office Max… so it’s a grab and go situation.

Personal Medication: Keep an empty zip lock poly bag stored inside your medicine cabinet. Make a list on the bag with a Sharpie pen beforehand of all your needed meds, place all your personal need medications in it and take with you when it is time to evacuate. Don’t forget your extra pair of glasses.

Your Cell phone: Most of us have cell phones today, make sure you have a car recharging unit to take with you so you will be able to recharge the phone battery from any car lighter or 12V socket. Electricity outlets may not be readily available for your home plug in re-charger.

Inside your car: Put a few SPACE Brand ALL WEATHER Blankets inside your trunk, bungee cord them up on the slots in the trunk lid, for use as emergency blankets, privacy tarps, provides warmth and protection from wind and/or rain, and can be used as a cot cover.

In warmer climes, put one or two one-gallon bottles of spring water in the trunk in a small cardboard box to stop them from banging around. Replace them every 3 months. If you have the room in your trunk put in an extra set of work type clothes like jeans and t-shirts and clean socks. One way to do this is invest in one of those clear vinyl bags that you suck the air out with a vacuum cleaner… thus reducing bulk and keeping your change of clothes clean and dry.

I hope you will consider doing something along these lines, winter is coming and anything can happen…do this so that you are not dependent on waiting for help. I also suggest you cut and paste and print this out… it is just my idea and I am sure as you assemble your “Justin Case Go Kit” you will think of some other things to add that you just may someday need… like a pistol and some ammo depending on where you reside or where you have to evacuate to?