What to Wear in Preparation for Emergency Evacuations

Emergency Survival Wear

You probably already have a 3-day backpack or bug-out bag to grab-and-go, but it is also important to have an emergency clothing outfit standing by, ready to change into, suitable for any quick-getaway emergency. The best emergencies to prepare for are those specific to your geographic locations, and the necessities based upon the needs of your family.

Think about clothing with lots of pockets to carry emergency essentials, layering for temperature extremes, as well as for comfort, and ease of movement. The more items you can wear and fit into pockets the better prepared you will be. So make sure all the emergency clothing items in your evacuation-ready outfit have pockets filled with miniature essentials.

Miniature Pocket Necessities

Most dollar stores, grocery stores, and drug stores have miniature sample-sized items grouped together in bins toward their back isles. You will want to stock up on enough emergency items for your entire family to wear on their emergency evacuation outfits.

Purchase inexpensive, miniature grooming items, such as folding toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, chap-lip balm, lotion, shampoo, and travel-size Kleenex. Miniature first aid kits are great to have, but if you cannot find one, stock up on Band-Aids, ace bandages, topical antiseptic, eye drops, aspirin, and superglue (the new way to stitch open cuts).

Include waterproof matches, reading glasses, sunglasses, a pocketknife (with eating utensils and scissors), a compass, a whistle, laminated identification, and miniature (pen-size) emergency water purification filtration system. Other very important items are plastic pocket-ponchos, folded-foil blankets, and glow sticks.

Additional items could include rope, a small roll of duct tape, a folding utility axe/pick, fishing line, and an emergency miniature sewing kit (with several fish hooks included). Baby necessities and feminine hygiene items should be included, if your family needs them.

Food and Water

Pack pockets full of easy-to-carry granola bars, beef jerky, and packaged fruits and nuts, as well as cheese and cracker packets. Remember to include several pocket-size water bottles, bags, or pre-filled canteens with neck straps to wear.

Layering Undergarments

Undergarments such as socks, bras, underwear (or bathing suits) and tank-style undershirts can be layered over each other, for a quick, clean, and dry change of clothing. Some of these items are even available with small button-tab pockets, for storing personal feminine hygiene items, or valuables such as gold and silver jewelry or coins, away from public scrutiny.

Warm Outerwear

Every family member should have a waterproof jacket (preferably camouflage print) with a warm, yet removable fleece lining. Your coats should have lots of inner and outer pockets, which should be pre-filled with all the essentials (listed above) and waiting in your closet, attached to the rest of your emergency-evacuation outfit.

Standard Every Day Wear

Evening or winter evacuations will require layering shorts and thermal underwear (or leggings) beneath heavy-duty button-up jeans. Thermal long-sleeve shirts should be layered over a tank-style undershirt, and under (or over) a short-sleeve t-shirt, topped off with the pocket-filled supply coat (referred to above).

During summer weather, simply leave the thermals off, to tie around your waist, but do not leave them behind in the closet. Mountain weather can drop 20 degrees or more, on a summer’s eve, forcing your family to sleep in uncomfortably cold weather, so keep those thermals along for summer or winter emergencies.

Shoes for Hiking and Walking

If your family is required to evacuate to higher ground for flooding, you may need hiking boots. Make sure every family member has solid hiking boots, and an inexpensive pair of flip-flop sandals (stuffed into an available pocket).

Medical Vest

A safari-style survivalist-pocket vest could also be pre-filled with your family’s emergency medical items. A single family medical vest can be worn just as easily over a t-shirt, as over a flannel shirt, and could be traded among the adults, or older children, to wear over long hikes.

Each family member’s entire outfit should be hanging on one hanger inside their closet for a quick, emergency-evacuation clothing change. All pockets need to be pre-filled and ready for anything, at a moment’s notice, to ensure your family’s safety and survival.