It’s hurricane season in the South and along the East Coast. Do you have your “bug out” bag ready? A bug out bag is a portable kit that holds everything a person needs to survive on his/her own for 72 hours. Some call it a 72-hour kit, a go bag or a grab bag. It’s important to pack ahead of time to have on-hand when disaster strikes. Every person in the household should have one. If you are ever “voluntold” to leave your home in a short amount of time, this bag should be ready to grab and head for the car or evacuee bus.

For a complete list of items that should be in a bug out bag, go to www.bugoutbagacademy.com or other similar sites. After perusing the short list of clothing items, here are my practical fashion tips highlighting a few items to include in your bug out bag.

Pants:

Not jeans. Those jeans could be in there for three years or more. If you lose 10 pounds or gain 15 pounds, they may not fit. I recommend a long pair of straight leg yoga pants. Yoga pants work in the winter and can be rolled up to the knee in the summer. They are stretchy and comfortable for long periods of sitting in the car or refugee tent. Best of all, when rolled up, they take up less space in the bag.

Bra:

Of course, you will stash a few pairs of clean underwear in your bag, but don’t forget a bra. Chances are, you may need to evacuate in the middle of the night; and chances are, you won’t be wearing a bra. Keep an extra bra in your bug out bag.

Flip-flops:

Keep a thin pair of flip-flops in your bag in case you leave the house barefooted. They don’t take up a lot of space in your bug out bag, and you may need them when showering with 50 other women at the evacuee shelter. If you run across someone who doesn’t have any footwear, give them away. In times of natural disaster, it feels good to be a giver.

Shemagh Scarf (pronounced shmog):

A large cotton scarf originally used in the Middle East. Think of it as a small sarong. It has so many uses! It can protect your head and neck from the sun, or be used as a tourniquet or arm sling. It can be used as a water filter, hold a poultice, or as a kneepad if you wrap it around your knees. Tied appropriately, it can also be quite fashionable.

Lightweight jacket with the presidential White House eagle logo:

When we see presidents of the United States evaluating disaster areas, they always look presidential in a great jacket with the presidential White House eagle seal on it. But you don’t have to win an election to achieve the same look. Did you know you can buy the jacket online at the White House gift shop? (www.whitehousegiftshop.com) If I am going to have my 15 minutes of fame by being interviewed on the local television network because my house was swept away, I do not want to be wearing an old Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. The product description of the ladies’ fleece jacket reads, “The Presidential Eagle White House Seal is exquisitely embroidered in the USA with one color, refined gold, for a casual, sophisticated look, that any woman would be proud to wear.” It is also described as, “A ‘go to’ jacket/fleece/sweater that you will love year round!” It’s as if the White House knows exactly what a hurricane evacuee would want in her bug out bag. The men’s version also makes a great Christmas gift for your father.

Final packing tip:  

Pack your clothing in an extra-large two-gallon plastic Ziploc bag. Use one bag for each outfit. It keeps them clean, dry and organized. Place a used dryer sheet in it to keep them smelling fresh.

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