09 Jun

What to Pack in a Family Go Bag

Do you have a Family Go Bag?  Have you thought about what you would do if faced with the reality that you need to evacuate your family in an emergency situation? Recently, we have seen many of our friends in the direct path of hurricanes and floods who have been asking this question. For some of them, they are prepared and able to make the quick decisions and evacuate quickly; but others are scrambling to get ready. Whether you live in a flood zone or on top of a mountain, there may come a time when you need to get your family out immediately. Here are some tips to help you pack your family go bag!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links which means I will make a little bit of money if you make a purchase.

What to Pack in a Family Go Bag

We have had a small go bag for several years. But recently, I’ve been thinking about the need to pack a more comprehensive bag that is ready for our family of five.

There are some things that can be packed ahead of time and left in a closet in case you ever need it. But there are other things that you would need to grab at the last minute.

A Family Go Bag doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Sure, you can buy one ready-made and for some people that will be the easiest option. But other people may already have everything you need in your home. You just need to take a few minutes to gather the items and put them in one place.

Since everyone loves to shop on Amazon.com, here is a pre-made Go Bag for families that you can buy online.

Take the time to look around your home and see what you already have. Is there a sturdy backpack that no one is using? Can you pack it with the necessary items so you will be ready if you have an emergency? Once you find or order your backpack, you are ready to start packing.

I took a few minutes this past weekend and laid out everything that I could find scattered around my house, in closets and stored back in cabinets. I discovered that I have quite a few things already in my home, but I didn’t have them in one place stored in a family go bag. Now, I’m working on a list of things that I still need to gather to get my family ready for emergencies.

What to Pack in a Family Go Bag

Printable Checklist: What to Pack in a Go Bag for Families/a>

What to pack ahead of time:

  • Food – MRE, protein bars, meal packs
  • Money – How much? How much you can afford? Seal in a waterproof ziploc bag or in airtight seal
  • General Medicine (pain reliever, bandages)
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Gloves
  • Water Filter
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Light Sticks
  • Emergency Radio
  • Means of protection
  • Change of clothes for each person
  • Feminine Products: These can be used for the intended purpose of course, but are also good for firestarters and nosebleeds
  • Poncho
  • Toilet Paper/Cleansing Wipes
  • Extra bags
  • Sharpie
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Pocket Knife – multi-tool

What to Pack at the last Minute:

  • Official Papers & Documents
  • Extra Money
  • Specific Medications

Things to remember:

  • Your bag should be close to your door so you can grab and go in an emergency.
  • Everything should be in resealable plastic baggies in case of flooding or rain.
  • Think about how many family members you need to prepare for and how many days of supplies you need.

Obviously, our family GO BAG is just a start. We have enough items in this bag to help us in an emergency evacuation, but we are still not really prepared. But something I understand is that being prepared is a journey, not a destination. Every time I reevaluate, I realize that there are new things I need to consider. So help me out. What else do you think is important to pack in a Family Go Bag? I’d love to hear your ideas!


Are you prepared for water emergencies? Since it would be hard to carry very many gallons of water in an emergency evacuation situation, we keep several Lifestraws in our go-bag!

Follow #williamsonthego for more of our travel adventures!

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