What should an author have in their Bug Out Bag?

ImageHave you heard of the Bug Out Bag (BOB)?  It’s a must-have for the survivalist so that when the apocalypse strikes you and your loved ones will be ready to hit the road or go to shelter at a moment’s notice. But this is a concept which is not just for the apocalyptic survivor but anyone organized enough to prepare for disaster. Think of those people displaced by hurricanes, floods, fires, and other natural or man-made catastrophes. Maybe you’ll be staying in a Red Cross shelter and not a bomb shelter but the basic information is the same. Here are a few lists of suggested items to keep in a back pack or in the car. http://bugoutbagacademy.com/free-bug-out-bag-list/  http://survivalcache.com/bug-out-bag/ , http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/building-your-bugout-bag-the-complete-infographic-checkl ist_04302013 . These sites list things like food, medicines, personal documents, generators, weapons, hygiene items, communication devices, batteries… You get the idea.


But what about Writers? For us, writing is a part of surviving. We would have very gray, dysfunctional existences if we didn’t have the means to write. Pen and paper is most basic. You can’t count on having electricity so be sure you have old-fashioned writing implements in addition to your laptop. A simple school notebook will do. What about all your old WIP’s? You have backup drive, right? Most authors have had the experience of a computer crash at some time in their career. Communication devices are important for writers. We have to talk to other writers, with publishers, with readers and with research sources.  If there’s a book that gives you inspiration in a general sense, bring it. Maybe most important is your imagination and sense of observation. Those may be more important than anything else.

Remember to have all this packed and ready to go!

Can you come up with more?


  1. Good blog! I teach Emergency Preparedness, and I’d add that not only a notebook for yourself, but one for every member of your family. If you’re displaced from your own home, developing a habit of journaling, just jotting down thoughts about how you feel, is a great help.

    The emotional fall-out from a disaster can be greatly reduced by writing in sandwich bites. That is, write down something you’re thankful for, then something you’re sad or angry about, then something else you’re thankful for.

    I’m thankful I had dry socks to put on when we got out of the rain.
    I hate that our house was flooded.
    I’m thankful we were able to bring our dog with us to the shelter.

    Seems simple doesn’t it? …. and an amazingly easy way to help children and others deal with what they’re going through. It also gives a good tool for looking back at the incident afterwards.

    Also, include colored pencils or crayons to help the kids express themselves.

    Kathryn Jane

    • Thank you, Kathryn, for stopping by and leaving a message. That sandwich technique seems so simple but might be so powerful! Also I hadn’t thought about it, but that journal could be a handy way of documenting events later. For insurance, counseling, or even a memoir.

  2. I have to agree. It would be difficult to go back to pen and paper. But I would if I had to. Or maybe we’d even have to rely on memory and our oral storytelling abilities. ha!

  3. I’ve written for a long, long time on computers. (Try to back up regularly!)
    Pen and paper are definitely out. I go to a meeting? Jot down notes on my I-Pad.
    I even wrote a novel with a blackberry once. Texting everyday! Fun experience!
    Take care

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