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Greater Manchester agencies working in partnership
Greater Manchester agencies working in partnership

Grab Bag

It’s important to have a grab bag in your house in case of a sudden or unexpected evacuation. The Grab bag must be small enough and easy to carry, and must be accessible to everyone.

What to include in a grab bag

The first things which must be thought of when creating a grab bag are the basics of survival: food, fire and warmth. Items which need to be put in the grab bag may change seasonally and be dependent on the needs of the household. The bag must be checked regularly to ensure all perishable foods are in date and all information and insurance is up to date.

If you do need to evacuate, the things which need to be considered when leaving are:

  • A copy of your emergency household plan (See ‘Before an Emergency’ in the ‘Prepare Yourself’ section), including a list of useful phone numbers, such as your GP or relatives
  • House and car keys
  • Mobile phone and chargers
  • Wallet, purse, cash, bank cards
  • Glasses and/or contact lenses
  • Important personal documents in a waterproof bag (insurance, passports, driving licenses)
  • Medication, as well as copies of prescriptions for regular medication
  • Essential childcare supplies
  • Bottled water and some non-perishable emergency foods
  • Spare money

If you have time and your bag has space, consider putting in:

  • First aid kit
  • Washing kit
  • Toiletries and sanitary supplies including wet wipes and rubbish/bin bags for personal hygiene
  • Other childcare supplies (toys, clothes, blanket, etc.)
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person (consider additional bedding during winter)
  • Complete change of clothing (consider additional clothing during winter)
  • Notebook and pen
  • Snack bars
  • Games and books
  • Torch and spare batteries (or wind up torch)
  • Radio and spare batteries (or wind up radio)
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Any other items which might provide some comfort if you leave your home in a hurry

If you are advised to stay at home it is essential to keep an emergency stock of supplies:

  • Water – 3.5 litres per person per day for at least three days
  • Non-perishable food (At least three days’ supply)
  • Infant formula (if relevant)
  • Battery powered radio and extra batteries (or wind up radio)
  • Torch and extra batteries (or wind up torch)
  • Camping stove
  • Candles and matches
  • First aid kit
  • Feminine hygiene supplies and wet wipes for personal hygiene
  • Disposable nappies and nappy sacks
  • Whistle for help
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Cash
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person (consider additional bedding during winter)
  • Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved top, trousers and sturdy shoes (consider additional clothing during winter)
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, passports, National Insurance numbers, NHS numbers and bank account records in a waterproof container

Download the Greater Manchester grab bag checklist (99kb pdf)