Ultimate Checklist For Packing In An Emergency

Look, I know we all like to think that an emergency situation is unlikely to befall us, but unfortunately, that is not always in your power.

When these emergencies arise, knowing exactly what to pack is essential so you have everything you need to survive until the situation passes.

Today I am going to go through the entire packing list that you need to put together the perfect go bag.

No matter what happens, having an emergency checklist is an excellent way to know that you can handle whatever life throws at you.

Gomestic Fact: An SOL emergency blanket is recommended by the Red Cross to have in your go bag. These can be picked up for cheap online and compressed to take up very little space.

Ultimate Emergency Packing List

Emergencies can come in many forms, medical emergencies, natural disasters, or dangerous home situations. We have no control over these emergencies, but what we do have control over is how prepared we are for them.

Today I have compiled the ultimate emergency packing list for you to refer to whenever the opportunity arises.

You can use this list to pack in the moment or to stock a go bag that you keep in a cupboard ready for any eventuality.

The items that I recommend packing in an emergency are:

Food and Water

Of course, the number one resource that we need in an emergency is food and water.

The best food to bring is long-lasting, ready-to-eat meals like those that are designed for camping. These won’t go off and will provide plenty of nutrients.


Something small and compact is perfect, but a combat flashlight that is multipurpose and heavy-duty is also recommended.

Battery Powered Radio and Extra Batteries

In the case that phone service goes down, a radio may be your only source of communication.

If you are storing the batteries long-term, you should check them regularly to ensure they haven’t expanded and become unusable.

First Aid Kit

Basic wound treatments, burn cream, and commonly needed medications should form the base of your kit, but if you have the room, you can choose more extensive equipment.


This may sound weird, but whistles can help locate you in many situations and help emergency services get to you faster.

Face Mask

Luckily, due to the pandemic, many of us have face masks hanging around at home. Why not store your spares in your go bag?


As someone who is prescribed a lot of medication, forgetting this can be catastrophic, and this is the case with many of us that live with chronic physical or mental illness.

This is something that will have to be packed at the last minute, but as long as you keep them organized, they should be quick to pack.

Multipurpose Tool

You can buy multipurpose tools in varying sizes, but they should all feature a knife, screwdriver, corkscrew, and pliers.

Personal Hygiene Products

You don’t need your whole skincare routine, but a few simple items will do.

I would include face wipes and sanitizer that you can store permanently in your go bag.

Copies of Personal Documents

In an emergency, it may be too difficult to get to your original documents, so storing copies in your go bag is something I strongly recommend. You should include your ID, passport, driver’s license, and birth certificate.

Cellphone with Chargers and Fully Charged Battery Pack

Battery packs are a lifesaver if you have phone service but you don’t have access to power. I would recommend checking on the charge regularly, so you don’t get stuck with a dead battery pack in an emergency.

Emergency Contact Information

This is for you and possibly for emergency services to use in a worst-case scenario.

There is no guarantee that you will have your phone on hand, so having the number written down is critical.

Extra Cash

Don’t keep an excessive amount of cash but definitely enough that could tide you over in the case that you have lost or can’t access your cards.

Maps of the Local Area

This should be placed in a waterproof bag or laminated to preserve it.

Gomestic Tip: If you live in an area with wildlife and bears, I suggest adding bear spray to your emergency packing list.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top three items needed in an emergency plan?

Out of all the items suggested, the Red Cross names non-perishable food, water, and a flashlight as their top three suggestions.

Does water expire?

Having water stored in your go bag might be tempting, but it may not always be a good idea.

While water has no shelf-life, the containers they are stored in do, and over time they can leech chemicals into your water.

If you want to store your water long-term, you need to check that the container is non-corrosive and BPA-free for it to be safe.


Emergencies can be very scary, but if you are prepared, you should be able to make your way through it relatively unscathed.

I suggest writing or printing out this list and keeping it in a convenient place for you to grab when you are in a hurry.

Now go and pack your go bag and put it in your closet, ready for anything.

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