Happy June! How about this crazy Oklahoma weather? It sounds like everyone in the Midwest is getting dynamic weather, and Oklahoma just can’t catch a break. Facebook has made everyone an expert on meteorology, and why Oklahomans are stupid for living in Tornado Alley. Since you asked, 1) Oklahomans are great people, friends, and neighbors, 2) it’s just stuff, and 3) it’s relatively easy to keep yourself safe if you just pay attention and are adequately prepared.
As my readers (yes all four of you!) know, my better half and I are living in a mobile home until the in-laws get their new house built and we move into their old one. We also lived together two years in a trailer in college, so sheltering in place hasn’t been an option for me for a long time. Once we get moved and have a storm shelter, I’ll blog about stocking it. In the meantime, here’s my tornado bag.
Doomsdayers know about bug-out bags. Mine is not that hard core, but then again, I’m not currently set up to live out of my bag indefinitely. My goal is to find temporary shelter with enough stuff to get through the storm, potentially waiting for the VFD to rescue me (my husband promised he’d send the crews to find me ASAP), and to start rebuilding life after the storm.
A lot of my information came from http://www.ready.gov and various Pinterest blogs. Read lots, and decide what is appropriate for your family.
Sorry in advance for the COP plugs – hey, I get a lot of swag! When I started the bag, I had enough time to think things through but not enough to run to town for more supplies, so I worked with what I had.
The bag is roughly 22x9x9 inches, and has a ton of pockets! One end pocket is one of those dirty clothes sleeves, which may come in handy one day. Gym bags also have great padded carry straps, which is important to consider when picking your evacuation bag.
Kinda a mess, ain’t it? 😀
This was some random stuff we had in the house the day I was building the bag. Bandages, gauze, ibuprofen, a small first aid kid, and allergy pills. I figured small cuts and scrapes from debris and other similar injuries were our main concern. There’s a handful (thanks, blog, for cutting off my picture) to last us through whatever gets blown up in the air from the storm until we can get to town to get more. Slightly worried about expiration dates, so this is something to manage year round.
My husband is on the volunteer fire department, and they often get called in to spread the fire trucks out during storms and then to be first responders, so I didn’t plan for his clothes in my bag. I might eventually, at least throw in some clean dry socks and another button down for him, if last night was any suggestion of what a real event will be like. So far, for me, I have a long sleeved tee, gloves, a lightweight, mostly waterproof jacket (think North Face), and socks, both tall and my usual short. I plan to be wearing my wedding ring, rain jacket, and closed toe shoes when I take cover, but you know what they say about best laid plans.
This was attempt number 1 – whatever we had on hand that day that was sturdy and relatively nutritious.
Then I found these on Amazon, with pretty good reviews, and I bought a 24-pack assortment. They have a shelf life of 5 years and are 400 calories each. I put a dozen in my bag, which should hold 2-3 people for a day or two (even if our stomachs growl).
I need to figure out a better way to organize some of this, because digging one ponytail holder out from under all that is going to be a pain. Clockwise, from top: weather radio, tool set, car charger, sewing kit, playing cards, flashlight, wet wipes, ponytail holder, old cellphone (mostly because of the data I haven’t moved to my new phone yet), Swiss knife, wall charger and USB/wall adapter, login key for my work computer, batteries, my normal pocketknife, and our passports.
I just got this blanket from work a couple weeks ago, and it is so cool! It’s nylon on one side and fleece on the other, and folds into itself with Velcro and carrying handles.
My purse has my wallet, keys, work badge (one less thing to have to track down if something happens), and more things to get through the storm – books, Kindle, etc. I also made room for a few momentos that I’d hate to lose. The top zips, and is roomy without being so big it’s awkward to maneuver. My husband stuffed it in my duffel last night, but if you plan to carry the two separate, I’d suggest duplicating some of your tornado bag (money, pocketknife, flashlight especially) in case you can’t find something or the bags get separated.
I won’t bore you with a pic of it, but I took a gallon-sized Ziplock bag (mostly waterproof, right?) and put in as much paper as I could fit that will make life easier after the storm – house and vehicle paperwork, insurance, farm tax ID card, social security cards, bank/utility/ cell phone account numbers, marriage license, etc. You could also put pictures in here to keep them safe if you have room. I plan to put our birth certificates in there, once we track his down and get mine from my parents.
–Money, small bills
–My pistol. I’m not so much worried about needing to use it during/after the storm, but it’s with me for safekeeping. If my house leaves, I want to know exactly where it is, and not worry about it winding up lost in a creek or in the wrong hands.
–Emergency blankets, also from Amazon. They’re waterproof, windproof, trap 90% of your body heat, and are super light and compact to pack.
Let me know what you think! Stay dry!