Preparing for Hurricane Season: What to Include in Your Family’s “Go Bag”

Living in a coastal city puts you, your family, and your assets at risk for disaster. When disaster strikes, being prepared is the most essential part of relief. While facing disaster can seem overwhelming, having a plan in place can alleviate a lot of headaches. In this post, we’ll discuss how you can prepare for hurricane season and what should be in your family’s “go bag”.

The “Go” Bag

A “go bag” is a term originally used by elite military personnel. It refers to a bag that can be grabbed quickly in an emergency. While military go bags may include items like extra ammunition and cash, your family’s go bag should contain everyday essentials. These items should be packed to last for up to seven days and nights.

Essential Items for Your Family’s Go Bag

The most practical go bags for families should include the following items:

  • Change of clothing for each family member
  • Blankets
  • Copies of all identification cards or certificates
  • Dry food and water
  • Matches and flashlight
  • Cash
  • Fully charged pre-paid cell phones and charging cords/packs
  • First aid kit
  • Basic tool kit
  • Household goods
  • Copies of all insurance cards and declarations

Let’s dive into why each of these items should be in your family’s go bag to ensure your family is prepared.

Change of Clothing for Each Family Member

Maintaining hygiene during a disaster is a significant challenge. Once you have gotten your family to safety, you’ll want to freshen up and get into clean, dry clothes. Packing a change of clothing for each family member can help keep everyone dry and ensure a better night’s sleep.


In the aftermath of a storm or hurricane, the night can be wet and cold. To help keep your family comfortable, pack a few extra blankets. For young children, this will provide a sense of familiarity and make getting much-needed rest easier.

Copies of Identification Cards and Certificates

Being able to quickly identify every member of your family to authorities is essential. Pack copies of driver’s licenses, birth certificates, passports, and social security cards to help you get the assistance you need quickly.

Dry Food and Water

You can never be sure how far and how long the journey to safety will be. Including snacks in your go bag is a simple way to keep your family energized. Consider packing cereal, nuts, crackers, and canned juice. While most hurricane relief teams provide fresh water, it’s wise to have your own stash to avoid dehydration.

Matches and Flashlight

If you find yourselves without electricity, being able to start a fire and navigate safely is crucial. A box of matches can help you stay warm, and flashlights will keep your family aware of their surroundings.


In the aftermath of a disaster, cash is invaluable. Keeping cash handy can help cover essentials and travel as needed when electronic payment systems might be down.

Fully Charged Pre-Paid Cell Phones and Charging Cords/Packs

Packing a pre-paid cell phone and charging packs can ensure you can call for help when needed. Often, if power is out, cell phones can find towers in range that may still be operational after the storm.

First Aid Kit

During your quick dash to safety, your family may sustain cuts and bruises. A first aid kit can help prevent infections, control pain, and address other minor injuries as you await further assistance.

Basic Tool Kit

A basic tool kit can be invaluable in uncertain situations. You might need tools to open a door, repair a vehicle, or build a temporary shelter.

Household Goods

Packing household goods such as wipes, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and gloves can provide peace of mind. In a shelter environment, protecting your family from infections, common colds, and viruses is essential.

Copies of All Insurance Cards and Declarations

Disasters often lead to insurance claims. Having copies of your insurance declarations can help you achieve a fair and fast settlement. They also help a claims attorney navigate your case more quickly. Keeping a copy of your attorney’s card handy will save you time.

Pack Your Family’s Go Bag Today!

Preparing your family for a disaster can provide peace of mind. Avoid waiting until the last minute to pack your go bag. Instead, choose to pack your go bag during moments of calm to ensure you don’t forget any essentials.

Stay safe and prepared!