Emergency Preparedness Guides

Prepare for Emergency Evacuations by Creating a "Go Bag"

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. Assembling or refreshing your stock of emergency supplies before an emergency occurs is smart and it’s a lot easier than you might think to create an emergency preparedness kit or "go bag." 

Start by purchasing a large backpack or a duffle bag with a comfortable shoulder strap, then start to fill it with essential items you have on hand. Over time, you can purchase additional items for your "go bag" when you do your shopping.

If you wear glasses, the next time you get a new pair, put the old ones in the "go bag." If you take regular medication, ask your doctor if you can get extra to place in your "go bag" (but be sure to keep the medication up-to-date by using and replenishing it according to the expiration date).

Don’t forget to include some cash, because banks and ATMs may be closed or inaccessible in a widespread disaster.

Store your "go bag" in an easy-to-access location, such as a closet near your front door. The items in your "go bag" should be extras: you should not need them for everyday use because it’s too easy to forget to put them back after you’ve “borrowed” them from your emergency kit.

What to Put in a "Go Bag"

The most commonly suggested items for an emergency preparedness kit include: 
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • A wind-up or battery-operated radio, with extra batteries
  • Water - One gallon per person per day for at least three days
  • Food - At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Whistle, to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to filter contaminated air
  • Moist towelettes and garbage bags, for personal sanitation
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and other personal hygiene supplies
  • A non-electric can opener 

Don't Forget These Items

A few extra items that are essential but often overlooked for an emergency go bag include:  

  • Wallet card with emergency and family phone numbers
  • Electronic copies of important papers, such as insurance policies, which can be stored on a small USB flash-memory drive
  • Personal identification
  • A change of clothes for each person
  • Medications with prescription directions
  • Batteries for cell phones and other items
  • Plastic bags  
  • Canned dog or cat food if you have pets
  • Blankets or a sleeping bag
These are not all of the items you would need. Take time to think about what else you use everyday in case you had to leave your home suddenly.

Have a Plan to Connect with Your Loved Ones

Your loved ones will be very worried about you following a disaster. You might also be worried about your loved ones in the affected areas. Identifying an out-of-area contact for all of you and sharing that information is helpful prior to an emergency. Agree that this out-of-area contact will serve as the communication hub for you and your loved ones in a disaster. So, when there is a disaster, you call that household to check-in and report your status. It also gives you the opportunity to find out who else has checked in, reducing anxiety and worry.

"Are You Prepared?" Guides 

This page contains the "Are You Prepared?" guides in several languages. These guides were a collaborative effort of Sacramento County Public Health, UC Davis Health System, and several other emergency response agencies and departments in Sacramento County. They provide tips for being prepared for emergencies and disasters while at home, school, work, and in public places. They are intended to serve as a resource for emergency preparedness information for all families and individuals in Sacramento County.