'Bahala na si Batman' is a contemporary Filipino turn-of-phrase that translates to 'Leave it to Batman'. It means that in times of crisis, Filipinos throw caution to the wind and will leave it to the Gods (or to Batman).

But you don't have to leave things to fate in case of  an emergency. Instead, get a 'go bag' filled with essential items to help you escape a situation at a moment's notice. Here's how:

 image courtesy of StormAssist.org

image courtesy of StormAssist.org

STEP 1: Look for your old overnight bag, a large backpack, duffle bag or a piece of luggage that you seldom use. It should be something that you could immediately carry and lift by yourself when an emergency strikes. Even better, get a waterproof bag –  you might be able to use it as a flotation device.

 STEP 2: Pack essentials that will be useful for a week. This will include a pair of undies, two pairs of pants or shorts, three shirts, a warm jumper, a small towel, two pairs of socks, your runners or sturdy shoes. 

 STEP 3: Keep your family documents handy and ready to go. These are copies of your insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof portable container.

Include paper and pens with these documents.

At the very least, your go-bag should have your passport, an emergency credit card, another source of ID and proof of address (a utility bill) and a list of your emergency contacts (next of kin, doctor, employer).

STEP 4: Bring your first aid kit along with your meds. A small first-aid kit costs as little as $9 from your local chemist.

If you are suffering from a long-term illness like diabetes or a heart condition, keep your meds stored in a ready-to-go and insulated container. Include non-prescription medication such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives, feminine supplies and personal hygiene products.

STEP 5: Have something to eat and drink. Bring small canned foods that will be easy to carry like a small can of tuna, a bag of almonds, trail mix, beef jerky, and ideally a litre of water (or a container for water). You can also bring a medicine dropper to disinfect water if unsure of existing water sources. 

STEP 6: Bring a small amount of cash. In the event of a power outage and ATMs are inaccessible, these will come in handy.

STEP 7: Include a small sleeping bag or if there’s enough space, a warm blanket.

STEP 8: Include handy stuff - a pocket 5-in-one tool (like a Swiss Army knife), a small LED flashlight, charged two-way radios, matches in a waterproof container, masks, eye glass wipes, wet towels and foldable utensils.

   Each family member should have their own bag or kit. The “go bag” should be kept in a cool and dry location that everyone knows, ideally beside a fire extinguisher and a machete to break down possible obstacles that may be in your way, if ever.

   You should update the contents each year and replace expired items.

   With a go-bag, you never have to say 'bahala na si Batman'.

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