Did you know that half of those living on the road lack emergency supplies in the event of a disaster? Having an RV Emergency Go Bag or bug out bag, is as important as having a water hose in your motorhome or camper. You’ll need it should you need to evacuate due to weather, area gas leak, fire, flooding or other unforeseen emergency event.
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Living in an RV in the Spring, Summer and even Fall months can present some unique challenges. Motorhomes and Campers don’t have the structural integrity as a sticks and bricks house. It’s imperative to always prepare and be ready to evacuate our RV in the event of a wildfire, gas leak, tornado, hurricane or nasty storm.
We’ve only had to evacuate only a few times but because we were prepared, the stress of leaving our RV in such a hurry was minimal because we are very accustomed to what to expect during weather emergencies.
Why you need an Emergency Go Bag?
If you’ve never had to experience evacuating your RV, camper or even boat, pay attention! In the event that you need to evacuate, you need to prepare yourself and your family for any duration. Typically, you only need supplies for about three days.
You can buy a ready-made Emergency Go Bag but they can be expensive and still, not include everything you may need. So, we prefer to make our own.
What should you put in your Emergency Go Bag?
Good question! Because if you forget even a simple item, you could be putting your family into another emergency situation. So, to help you with putting together or organizing your own emergency go bag, we’ve put together a supply list.
Not only should you include your prescription medicines, you should include the actual bottles should you need a refill.
Make sure you have a decent eyeglass case so they don’t get scratched or broken should you need to store them in your emergency go bag.
It’s important to have your driver’s license, insurance card for your RV, toad and tow vehicle with you. Also any medical cards and important phone numbers. You may want to do this anyway ahead of time so you don’t have to remember putting this in.
Oh, and speaking of wallets, see what happened to us when I lost my wallet on the road…or did I?
Having your insurance information is always a good idea. It will save you time and headache should you need to contact your insurance company to report or start a claim.
Having cash in smaller bills (no bigger than twenty dollar bills) is extremely important. If there is a power outage, credit cards will not be able to process. So, you’ll need cash for buying small essentials, food, fuel, hotel room, etc. It’s also a good idea to pack a roll of quarters for vending machines and parking meters.
You cannot live without hydration. So, you should have a case of bottled water or a few gallons of drinking water in your getaway vehicle. You will also want to include your pets’ in your water calculation. If you’re only having to run to the storm shelter temporarily until the storm passes, a bottle of water for each member of your party should suffice.
Having accessible quick snacks can buy you or your family time between meals and take away the nervous tummy grumbles. Nonperishable snacks such as granola, healthy snack bars, protein snacks, cracker packs, cookie packs, etc. are good suggestions to keep in your emergency go bag.
You’ll need to take along stuff for Fido and Fluffy too. It’s a good idea to have their own stash of pet supplies that includes food for three days, bottled water, dishes, harness(es), leash(es) and a copy of their medical information (or copy of their immunizations and prescriptions). Don’t forget their own prescription medicines. For smaller cats and dogs, having their portable pet carrier will help them feel safe and secure as well as keep them contained away from the big dogs.
Weather Alert Radio
While your phone with a weather app is nice, a weather alert radio is an essential way to keep updated storm reports, power outages and weather alerts.
Mobile Device(s) and Charging Cord(s)
Its super important to take all of your mobile devices with you along with their designated charging cords. Or, if you don’t want to keep a bunch of cords, get a multiple USB fast charging cord adapter for type C, Micro USB port connectors compatible for Cell Phones, Tablets and more.
Also, some vehicles may not have USB outlets so don’t forget to get a USB car charger that plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter.
Mobile Device Battery Power Bank(s)
You may need one or even two mobile device batter power banks in your emergency go bag. Should the electricity be out, these will enable you to charge your cellphones, tablets and other digital devices while you’re away from your RV or camper. We recommend one that is solar powered with option of being charged via electric outlet. Having one for each member of the family is a good idea; especially for those with children to keep them occupied.
First Aid Kit
While this may seem trivial at the moment, having a first aid kit could save yourself or your family should you or they become injured or sick. You should keep one in your RV and another in your toad or tow vehicle.
Don’t waste your cellphone’s battery using the flashlight feature. Just take a small pocket flashlight to light your way whether its on a walk or fixing what’s under the hood of your car. Don’t forget to reload fresh batteries often.
If you don’t already have a small blanket in your vehicle, you should at least have an emergency survival blanket in your emergency go bag. Not only will it keep you warm or protect you from the elements (within reason), it’s also a bright color which could draw attention from the air or distances.
Nothing is more miserable than standing or walking in the rain unprotected. So, even if you don’t want to pack your more elaborate or expensive rain jacket, a simple lightweight rain jacket or compact lightweight rain poncho that packs down easily is a must.
Personal Hygiene and Small Toiletry Kit
You don’t need to pack your favorite loofa or fancy fancy bath gel, but a simple toiletry kit that includes tooth brush, toothpaste, comb or brush, and soap could prove necessary for longer periods of time until you can return to your RV. Ladies, don’t forget your feminine hygiene supplies.
Disinfecting Hand Wipes
Another necessity are 75% alcohol disinfecting hand wipes. They are perfect to use before sitting down to eat to wipe your hands and table, after bathroom breaks or wiping hands off after fueling our vehicle. We keep travel packs not only in our emergency go bag but also in our backpacks, hiking Camelback hydration pack, waterproof kayak bag and our glove boxes in our motorhome and toad vehicle.
Change of Clothing
Nine chances out of ten, you’ll only be gone for 30 minutes up to a few hours. However, should evacuation time be extended due to severe emergency threats like hurricane, tornado, fire or flooding, you’ll want to keep a change your clothes just in case. So, pack a set that includes clean under garments, socks, shirt, pants and sweatshirt or sweater. Of course, if you know you’re going to be vacating your RV for longer, pack what you think you’ll need for you and your family.
Other supplies you may want to pack
- Chlorine bleach – to purify water
- Alcohol-free antibacterial wipes
- Antibacterial gel
- Disposable face masks
- Disposable gloves
- Signal mirror(s)
- Dust and smoke mask(s)
- Duct tape
- Fire Extinguisher
- Waterproof matches
- All-purpose work glove(s) – to remove debris
- Rain poncho(s)
- Nylon 550 parachord
- Deck of playing cards
- Activities and toys for children
- Pet supplies
So, that wraps up our Emergency Go Bag supply recommendations. There’s other items you may want to put in two personalize your own Emergency Go Bag. Any which way, regardless, it’s imperative to be prepared and be ready.
Check out our blog RV Tips for Weather Emergencies!
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