Water is critical as no one can survive for more than three days without it. Every one will need at least a gallon of it every day. You will need to pack more than that if the climate is hot or if you will be fighting through brush, heavy winds or around a fire line as this will cause more perspiration and exhaustion is easier to succumb to.
Food will have to be considered. Perishables will not be a good choice as they will not last very long and you are going to be on the move. Cans will be the best, but they get heavy. You can use the cans, afterward, to cook food in if you keep them clean and dry. Make sure you bring a can opener.
A shelter, of some kind, will be crucial if you are away from the house for a few days. This will provide covering for your family and staying dry is necessary for long term survival. Thick plastic sheeting is one thing to consider, but so is a standard canvass tarp. Either one of these can be strung up or draped over a bush for a neat little house away from home.
Blankets or sleeping bags for each member of your party should also be packed. You must stay as warm as possible so everyone can get a good nights sleep, each night. You will need the energy. These must be kept dry so as to maintain their ability to keep you dry and warm. You can also use these to cover and camouflage stuff if you have to be away from camp for a while.
A hand crank radio will be needed to follow the news as it comes through. Your cell phone and or laptop computer may not be able to get a signal, depending on the disaster and how far ranging it is, so think seriously before you try to load these up.
Fire will not only help keep you warm but can also cook food. Make sure you have matches in a water proof container. A small flint and striker system will be the best as it works even when wet and can tuck into your pocket. Keep all matches and fire starting tools away from kids until trained properly.
This all important bag could consist of a large back pack, a few ruck sacks or even larger containers. They should be easy to carry and comfortable for all who wear them. Make sure to spread the weight among all members. A good way for every one to carry their own weight is to ensure each person carries their own food and water. This will help teach the responsibilities that are going to be needed, now.
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