Why You Need an Emergency Packing List

packingA few days ago my parents called me in the middle of the day at work and told me that my mom had to be taken to the hospital. She got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, blacked out and fell and hit her head badly. Eeek! I talked to her and she was fine but being admitted for all kinds of tests. So I wanted to be there with her. I left work and went home to pack an overnight bag and froze.

I couldn’t think of anything that I needed – and I should’ve known that I needed all the essentials.  You know — pajamas, an outfit for the next day, toiletries, etc. But I couldn’t think of anything. When something like this happens your mind is thinking a hundred different things. It catches you off guard and your not able to think as rationally.

With hindsight I wish I had made a short list of items to pack in case of emergency and I think you should too! Sure this type of list is helpful for people who have sick parents or are pregnant and might need to get to the hospital at the drop of a hat. I know journalists who cover breaking news and and always have a bag packed and ready to go.  But really I think that having an emergency packing list is something everyone should do, because you just never know what will happen.

I would recommend keeping the list in a place where you know you can find it. Either on your phone (you could store it in Evernote) or in your home taped to the inside of a cabinet door or in your closet. This way when your brain isn’t working – your list will.

Here are some examples of things to include on your emergency list:

  • Change of clothes (don’t forget underwear, bra, socks too)
  • Hairbrush
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Face wash
  • Makeup
  • Makeup remover
  • Prescription medication
  • Deodorant
  • Glasses or contact lenses and solution
  • Pajamas
  • Wet wipes (hospitals are gross, but also you never know when they will come in handy)
  • Phone and charger
  • Purse/wallet
  • Keys

What would you put on your emergency list?

2 replies
  1. Meredith
    Meredith says:

    This is a great tip! After my first week long emergency stay with my hubby in the ICU, I keep an emergency bag packed with some extras that can get me through if, Heaven forbid, I need it. However, I do see a big advantage in having a list like this, especially now that we have a Little One that we would need to pack for too. I do keep a general packing list that saves me a lot of time and frustration when packing for our favorite vacation spot!

    • Paula Rizzo
      Paula Rizzo says:

      Hi Meredith — thanks so much for your comment! It’s amazing how out of sorts we feel when emergency strikes. Doing the prep work with a list makes it much easier to just go on autopilot! Best, Paula


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