Emergency Kit (aka Stay Bag)

Well-stocked kitchen GIF
Remember: it’s not hoarding; it’s sensible preparation that just looks like hoarding.

Assuming your sanity wouldn’t get lost along the way, if you had to stay in your house for two weeks without running water or electricity, would you have enough supplies? Having a plan to shelter at home in the event of a disaster could save your life, and having a great plan could make it more like a staycation than a survival scenario. Whether you live alone or you’re an old woman who lives in a shoe with so many children you don’t know what to do, creating an at-home emergency kit (aka a Stay Bag) is easier than you think, and it’s definitely worth your time.

Why Is Everyone Talking about Stay Bags?

Stay bags are the most, to say the least. People all over the world got a taste for sheltering in place during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they just can’t wait to get locked down again. Next time, they’ll do it in style!

We’re just a few decades past the Cold War that started a nationwide trend for building nuclear fallout shelters, but since the bombs never fell, that widespread prepper mindset was mostly lost to time. We’ll never forget you, sweet bunker babes! After that, Americans mostly ignored the possibility of a disaster, whether it could trap them at home, or require them to evacuate. Almost half of Americans aren’t prepared at all.

Things have changed. If the pandemic wasn’t enough of a wake-up call, climate change is definitely getting people out of bed. Disasters are banging down the door, and you don’t have to buy into the idea of a zombie apocalypse to recognize it. The weather can’t figure out what season it is, NASA predicts that natural disasters like hurricanes may increase in severity in the future, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the top 10 hottest years on record have all occurred post-2005.

Upset NASA Lego
Reenactment of those NASA scientists realizing we’re all screwed.

In layman’s terms, shit is getting real, and we’re starting to get wise.

Stay Bags give us a chance to breathe. The natural disasters might be coming, but we’re the bunker babes now! Raising our baseline level of preparedness makes us more resilient both as individuals and as communities. It’s chic to care, because survival is threatening to become a luxury. If that scares you, you’re in the right place. Making an at-home emergency kit is as easy as going shopping and having a family meeting.

About the Authors

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

Writer, editor, and professional joker with an environmental science background. Like most trivia nerds, she's an ardent admirer of Only Connect competitors, but more at home on the QI field.