Checklists for Emergency Supplies

Ready Raccoon with Matt Otepka, BP Board Member and Outreach Team Lead

For your convenience, you’ll find three checklists below linked to Amazon product pages. These generate a small revenue stream to support our nonprofit efforts here on the island (this does not increase your costs in any way). And please use these links only after you’ve shopped for what you can from our local retailers; you can print a PDF version of these checklists to take with you for local shopping.

Alternatively, you may find purchasing a readymade shelter-in-place kit to be easier and faster than building your own. We have a partnership with Cascadia Quake Kits which donates 5% of your purchase back to Bainbridge Prepares to further our community work.

Cascadia Quake Kits

Please augment the Shelter-in-Place list to last you a minimum of 14 days; more if you would like to be charitable to your neighbors, and more since we live on an island that will be difficult to access after a major natural disaster. A related but separate checklist is for your Go Bags, which are kept packed and ready at hand for a quick three-day evacuation out of the region. Finally, the Get Home Bag list is a scaled down Go Bag, designed to help you return home one last time after the occurrence or a natural disaster, under the assumption that your normal commute vehicles/avenues are not available.

These checklists were developed by our Founder and Board Chair Scott James, based on best practices gathered from FEMA, Red Cross, and preparedness organizations. All three lists – plus a Family Reunification Guide (here’s a custom version for the island residents) – are included as appendices in his book, Prepared Neighborhoods. His book is available to check out from Kitsap Regional Library, local booksellers, or Amazon. A portion of Scott’s royalties go to preparedness education.

Shelter-in-Place Checklist

This “Shelter-in-Place” list can be used for an individual household, or (my strong preference) extended to include select neighbors to take advantage of bulk purchases, sharing of tools, and the many other benefits of a strong neighborhood discussed in the book. Most North Americans certainly do not need to buy more stuff! Instead, we’d do well to reimagine additional uses of our existing possessions for mutual aid, particularly when considered as part of a shared set of materials with neighbors.

Since they are likely stored at your home, your Go Bags are part of your Shelter-in-Place kit. While you do not need to duplicate gear purchases for both, keep in mind the wisdom of redundancy – “Two is one; one is none” – when considering key items that could make life difficult if they were lost or broken without an available replacement (e.g. a can opener).

For all items consider a 14-day minimum supply; more if you live in a remote or hard-to-reach area (e.g. an island) and even more if you would like to be able to extend charity to any neighbors who failed to prepare. Many daily-use items such as rain gear or sun hats are not included on this list; they are assumed to already be in your place of residence and in good working order.

Next, pause for a moment to consider any additional special needs for each and every member of your household, including pets. Make note of unusual resources you regularly purchase for these individuals (e.g. diapers). Add these items to your list. Finally, take a moment to review the below Go Bag list for additional ideas you may decide to duplicate in your Shelter-in-Place list.

Whew! That’s quite the list! To reiterate, this list can be used for an individual household, or (my strong preference) extended to include select neighbors. Leverage the good neighbor relationships you are building; many hands make for a lighter (and less expensive) load!

Go Bag Checklist

Add notes to this list for required items specific to you and your loved ones, such as medicines, assistive devices (e.g. eyeglasses), and regional-specific gear (e.g. a sun hat for desert dwellers, rain gear for folks in the Pacific Northwest). Also, consider any regional-specific natural disasters you may encounter and add those to your list (e.g. swim goggles and P100 breath masks if you’ll be sheltering-in-place after a volcanic eruption).

Each member of your household should have a Go Bag, including pets. Balance loads for weight and content across all bags (i.e. don’t place 100% of the food in a single Go Bag). After you’ve assembled your Go Bag, take photos of each bag with its contents nearby. Laminate these photos for easy reference later as to what is in each bag. Remember that your Go Bag contents count for the same items in your Shelter-in-Place checklist.

Get Home Bag Checklist

A Get Home Bag is a version of your Go Bag stored at your workplace; its purpose is to assist you to get back home, just one time, without access to your normal means of transportation. Store this backpack at your desk; do not assume you will have access to your vehicle or other areas of your workplace.