Howdy! Having been through last year’s Texas Icepocalypse, I’m moderately prepared for another. I keep the bug-out (really a bug-in) bag in the front closet. Why not in the car? Well, last year, our trunk froze shut. However, if you live in wild-fire country, you want your bag in the trunk during fire seasons.
My bug-out bag contains:
battery charger (for charging electronics and using the camp stove)
electric camp stove (Update 02/27/23: The battery charger is better for charging phones than for maintaining a camp stove. If without power for longer than a few days, best to bank on mostly eating cold food, or grilling, depending on your seasons and circumstances. I tried to use mine to keep 2 small lamps lit at a night-time street fair, and thee charger barely lasted 3 hours.)
sternos (can burn inside safely, to cook over, without worrying about dangerous fumes)
phone charger adapters
Ideally the bag should also contain:
food (call it 9 servings worth, per person in your household)
pet food (enough for 3 days)
water (2 gallons per person minimum & more for dogs)
FM radio (to hear government announcements regarding weather & disasters)
old glasses for every glasses-wearing person
back-up prescription doses for humans and pets (if possible)
1-2 extra outfits per person
1 light jacket per person
physical road map of your community
book on foraging in your community
list of emergency contacts
picture of all members of your household
non-wallet IDs (assuming you can grab your wallet on your way out, if necessary)
bank & insurance information
You could consider arranging a separate bag for every member of your family, that has their specific IDs, food & water portions, clothing, etc. My household is using a single duffel bag, and adding to it, I can tell that it would be too heavy for me to comfortably carry if I had to travel on foot. Individual backpacks are lighter for on the go.
My bag takes into account that I am more likely to have to hole-up in an emergency, than to flee my home. That said, I have ample peanut butter, honey, canned goods, a water filter pitcher, a water filter water bottle, bulk dog food, wood, fire starter logs, and a hatchet. I'm in the process of moving so I’m sorting more supplies (high calorie, long life span, easy to store food, the water bottle, some of the dog food, maybe a second first aid kit, toothbrushes, toothpaste, blankets) into the bug-out bag.
If you live in a colder climate, add winterwear & a blankets to your supplies. If you're in an area that's prone to flooding, earthquakes, or fires, the trunk is the best place for your bag. Don't plan on packing while the emergency is happening. If all you need is in your trunk, you can just grab the pets/kids/spouse, and go.
If your community is prone to earthquakes, keep slippers by your bed, in case of broken glass. If your area is prone to flooding, keep tarps and duck-tape handy. Hurricane winds knock a branch through your window, you can cover it with the tarp and prevent the rain from coming in that way.
If you're in a hot climate, like me, everyone blasting the AC risks knocking out the power grid. Not to worry! To keep cool during an outage, you can craft a mediocre air conditioner from ice packs, a battery operated fan, a foam cooler, and a couple of dryer vent elbows. Cut two holes out of the cooler lid, which should fit tightly around each dryer vent. The battery operated fan (or fans, if you can fit 2) goes inside the cooler, along with the ice packs (and any other frozen goods that won't leak as they melt). Depending on the model, to keep the fan dry, you can wrap its base in tin foil, seran wrap, a ziplock bag, a plastic bag, etc. The icepacks keep the air in the cooler cool and the fan blows it out, at you, if you aim the elbows. This won't cool a large area, but if you stay in a small room with the doors and windows closed, this can do in a punch. If you look online for DIY air conditioners, you can find tons of variations on how to build them.
As an aside, it's wise to grow what crops you can, at home. In the unlikely event of a strict lock-down, you can supplement your meals with herbs and vegetable from your garden.
The CDC, I believe, used to have a page on how to plan for, and survive, a zombie apocalypse. The reasoning was that if you're ready for zombies, you're ready for anything. So get ready for zombies, today. Thanks for stopping by! I put out a new blog post every Monday. Stay safe!