6 Essential Items for Your Bug-out Bag

6 Essential Items for Your Bug-out Bag

Do you have a bug-out bag (emergency survival kit) prepared in case of a hurricane, tornado, flood or other disaster? If not, now is the time to put one together!

A poll from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) found that 80 percent of Americans live in counties that have been hit with a weather-related disaster, but only 39 percent of respondents have developed an emergency plan. We’re not saying you need to be a conspiracy theorist or a doomsday enthusiast, but you should at least have supplies on hand to take care of yourself and your family in an emergency.

A bug-out bag contains the essential items you need to survive for 72 hours. While certain items may vary based on your location and your skillset (it doesn’t make much sense to pack tools you don’t know how to use in hopes that you’ll learn on the spot), here are the six must-have items to pack in your bug-out bag.



Survival experts say you can live up to three weeks without food, but water is a different story. You can’t survive for more than three days without water, which is why this is the first, most important item on our list. You can pack water in a variety of ways: water bottles, water pouches or a built-in or exterior bladder for your pack.

Remember, everything you include in your pack adds to the total weight, and water bottles can feel heavy if you’re carrying your bag for an extended period of time. Instead of multiple bottles, pack these portable hydration tools:


Pack a three-day supply of food. Although canned food will keep for an extended period of time, cans add unnecessary weight. Pack portable food options like nutrition bars, trail mix, and ziploc snack bags. In addition to snacks, pack some pre-packaged emergency food:

Survival Tools

Survival tools like knives, flashlights, matches and a multi-purpose tool will help you handle the elements and are useful in the event you need to cut through things, fend off animals, make your way in the dark or set up shelter. Survival tools for your bug out bag:


When it comes to shelter, you’re restricted to the size of your bag, and since you need to pack a lot of other items, a tent may not be ideal. Tarps are a great shelter option because they are extremely versatile so pack some tarps and some rope.

To keep warm and shield yourself from the elements pack these shelter items:


You can’t predict the weather in advance, so make sure you pack clothes you can layer if it’s cold or remove if it’s warm. Pack a pair of boots, breathable, waterproof clothing and an extra pair of socks. You may also want to pack a pair of work gloves and personal hygiene products. When it comes to clothes, just pack the essentials. You’re packing for survival so you don’t need multiple options or unnecessary weight.

Miscellaneous Supplies

Include the following safety and communication items:

If you’re still not sure of exactly what you need, you can also purchase one of our pre-packed emergency backpacks.

Keep your Bag Ever-ready

Set a phone alert or email reminder every 12 months to ensure your bag has items that will work and be somewhat fresh or at least palatable. Check batteries, battery packs or use as many items that are solar-powered as possible. For the energy bars, replacing them at least annually is a good idea, if not more often.

Pack your bug-out bag in hopes that you will never need it, but with the confidence that you have everything you need in the event of emergency.

True Crime Confessions: Former Burglars Share the Home Security Tactics That Scared Them Away

True Crime Confessions: Former Burglars Share the Home Security Tactics That Scared Them Away

If you want to know what really works to keep your home and family safe from break-ins, who better to ask than an expert at breaking into homes? That’s right, a burglar!

We’ve gone straight to the source to help you maximize your home security. Keep reading for six tips from former criminals on how they chose their targets and what you can do to scare them away.

Burglars Prefer Vacant Houses

The majority of burglars hit houses between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when people are at school or work. Before they attempt to enter a house, they look for signs that someone is home. “I would check for cars in the street/drive/garage and watch for a short while for activity inside the house,” one former burglar confesses. “Also, I would watch for the flicker of a TV or computer screen, and as I got closer, I listen for noise from a radio or TV, or a person moving around.”

Here’s what you should do:

  • Consider leaving the TV or radio on while you’re away from home.
  • Timed lights and motion-activated lights (which you should install as part of your security system) can trick potential burglars into thinking someone is home.

Burglars Prefer Houses Without Alarms

If you don’t already have an alarm system or security devices, like cameras and motion detectors, your house may be an attractive target for potential burglars. A survey of 400+ burglars found that 83 percent said they would try to detect if an alarm was present before breaking into a house and 60 percent said they would find another target if there was an on-site alarm.

Here’s what you should do:

Intruders Want to Get in and Out, Fast

When it comes to breaking into a house, time is of the essence. A thief wants to get in, score the goods like cash, jewelry, electronics and easily-pawnable items and make a break for it. If a burglar can’t get into your house within one minute, he will often move on to the next target.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Slow the burglar down and encourage them to give up and find another house:
  • Get stronger locks like deadbolts and smart locks to add to the time it takes to enter your home.
  • Add security laminate to your windows, making it harder for thieves to gain access by breaking the window. The retired cat known by the moniker “taw4” says, “A crook’s worst enemy is time, and the laminate takes up too much of that.”
  • Keep track of your keys! About one in eight burglars reported picking locks or using a key they had previously acquired to gain entry. Get a really good key hider rather than giving your keys out to friends and neighbors.

Burglars Want the Easy Way In

Having strong locks is one thing, but they can only help so much if you forget to use them. You and your family must be diligent about locking the doors when you leave your house. Most burglars like to operate without forced entry. More than 60 percent of thieves come in through unlocked doors and windows.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Create a routine so you regularly lock your doors and windows.

A Big Dog May Not Deter A Burglar

Some burglars avoid dogs, but others don’t. Turns out, some burglars fear little, yappy dogs more than bigger dogs. According to one former burglar:

“Let me give you the low-down on dogs: they aren’t protection or security. A dog can usually be easily usually. Act friendly, give it a few rubs, and they’ll happily follow you around. If that doesn’t work, after my first run-in with an annoying dog (a small, yappy dog), I started carrying rawhide sticks with me. That stopped them very fast. Also, on the topic of dogs, if you want a security dog, get a small, loud dog that barks at almost everything. Big dogs may look scary, but considering most people don’t like the chance of their dog turning on them, the dogs are either very tame, or chained up. Small dogs, however, bark–a lot. Those were the only ones I was ever worried about. Even then, as I said, a stick or two of rawhide and they were down for the count.”

Here’s what you should do:

  • Install an alarm system (burglars can’t bribe alarm systems with treats!)

Thieves Look for Places to Hide

Contrary to what the movies suggest, many burglars break in during the middle of the day, when people are away at work. While you may want to decorate your lawn with flourishing foliage, when it comes to home safety, less is more. Criminals like targets where they have privacy; they’re more likely to choose a home with plants and shrubbery where they can hide from neighbors and onlookers:

“I tried to only hit houses with enclosed backyards. That beautiful wood fence you have up? Those lovely tall bushes? That ivy-covered fence? Congrats, you’ve just ensured that your neighbors will probably never see me.” -Former burglar

Here’s what you should do:

  • Make it easy for neighbors and passing cars to see anyone trying to break into your home. Add extra security to hidden doors and windows.
  • If a burglar thinks your house is secure (armed with strong locks and security devices), he will be less likely to try to break in.

Protect your home from the inside out and keep your loved ones and your valuables safe. If you have questions about home security or surveillance devices, contact us to speak with a home security expert!

Tactical Pens-This Pen Is Mightier Than A Sword

Tactical pens are a relatively new self defense weapon. They are fully functional ball point pens with replaceable ink cartridges that double as a self defense pressure point weapon. Some people call them kubotans.

The tactical pen increases the power of any strike. You don’t need to be an expert to know what you’re doing. Just hit as hard as you can to the closest body part. Nerves are relatively close to the surface. Any part of the body that you strike, even a glancing blow, will inflict enough pain to make your assailant think twice about continuing his attack.

Strike an assailant in the eye with the tactical pen and he will not be your friend for long. They are particularly good against bony surfaces. But the stomach, solar plexus, throat, arm, shin or hipbone are all excellent targets.

A well-placed blow against a bone has been known to break them.

The Take Down Gear Tactical Pen uses super strong aircraft aluminum is so strong it can be used to hammer nails into wood.

This tactical pen can be used to cause temporary paralysis and extreme pain, yet it weighs only 1 1/2 ounces and is 6 inches long.

Check out all of our TACTICAL PENS.

Feedback on these posts is welcomed. How have you used a tactical pen? Please share your experience. We want to hear your thoughts.

The Home Security Superstore is one of the oldest and largest independent distributors of high quality home security, surveillance, spy, self-defense, survival and safety products. We carry a wide range of self-defense products including Tasers, stun guns, pepper sprays and other non-lethal weapons that can save your life in the event of an attack.

Safety Tip Of The Week-Top Carjacking Tips

Carjacking seems like it’s becoming a more popular activity for the bad guys. With that in mind, do you have any idea what you would do if your car was carjacked? Has your family talked about what to do in that situation?

At least do this, have a conversation about it so if it does happen you will have some plan in place to protect yourself.

Here are some common sense tips to help prevent carjacking and some tips to follow if your car is carjacked.

Be suspicious of people loitering around. Follow your instincts. If someone tries to approach change direction and go to a busy location. As you approach your car quickly get in and lock the doors. Pay attention to your surroundings. Carjackers use the element of surprise.

If you are bumped in traffic, be suspicious of the accident and signal for the other car to follow you to a gas station or other busy location. If you have a cell phone call the police immediately.

If you are ever confronted by an armed assailant don’t resist and follow his instructions. Give up your keys and money. Don’t argue, fight or otherwise engage the robber.

If you are forced to drive by an armed assailant consider crashing your car in a busy intersection. This will draw the attention of bystanders and maybe save your life.

Carry some Self Defense Products in your car but not pepper spray it may explode in a closed car. A great choice is the Diablo Tactical Flashlight with 4.5 million volts of power.

Feedback on these posts is appreciated. Had any experiences with carjackings? We want to hear your thoughts.