Prepper must-haves: How to pack a “get me home” bag
06/15/2021 // Zoey Sky // Views

When SHTF while you're at work, do you have what you need to get back home safely? If you don't have a get-me-home bag yet, prepare one now so you'll have access to survival gear and supplies that you will need on your journey home when disaster strikes. (h/t to

What's a get-me home bag?

Also called a get-home bag (GHB), a get-me-home bag (GMHB) contains supplies and tools that will help you keep your energy up and stay safe when SHTF and you're away from home.

Most workers commute an average of seven to 16 miles or drive about 30 minutes to and from work. While hurricanes might give you enough time to prepare and move to a safe place, other natural disasters like earthquakes, flash floods or tornadoes don't always come with a warning.

Civil unrest can also flare up and spread quickly. If these events take place while you're at work, how do you plan to get home safely? You can drive home, but what if the main roads aren't safe? If you have to walk home, you'll need a GHMB stashed somewhere safe in your office or in your car.

Preparing your get-me home bag

Turn a sturdy backpack or your preferred bag into a GMHB and include the items listed below. You will need them to stay hydrated, protect yourself if you encounter trouble or find your way if you get lost.

Drinking water

Get a one-liter refillable water bottle and keep it full of clean drinking water at all times.

Water filter

Ideally, you should be home before you finish all the water in your one-liter bottle. However, if the journey takes several hours or days, a portable water filter will come in handy once your water supply runs out.


Food and snacks

A six to 16-mile walk home doesn't seem too bad, but you might need to refuel with a snack if you have to travel after a long day at work. You'll also need food supplies if you need to stay somewhere overnight to rest or hide when SHTF.

Include these snacks and other calorie-dense foods in your GMHB:


You'll need a powerful flashlight to light the way if you have to travel at night on foot. Make sure you also have extra batteries for your flashlight. (Related: 11 Things you need to add to your get-home bag.)


Keep your cellphone fully charged at all times. You'll need your phone to communicate with your loved ones or to check the news.

Portable charger

Even if your cellphone is fully charged, you might need a portable charger if your journey will take a day or more. Pack a fully charged portable charger in your GMHB.


If your office has a formal dress code, you might be wearing dress shoes when SHTF. Make sure your GMHB has clean socks and a pair of sneakers or lightweight hiking boots so you can walk home comfortably.


Even if you've already memorized the best path to get to work from your house, you might need to take a different route when SHTF. Use a detailed map to find a safe alternate path.

Knife and multi-tool

If your multi-tool has an integrated blade, you can skip the knife. If your employer has policies against self-defense tools on the property, leave your knife or multi-tool in your car.

Assorted supplies

Your GMHB has to be light so you can cover more ground without getting too tired. But if there's still space in your bag, include a clean change of clothes. You'll also need a basic first aid kit, toilet paper and toiletries. Lastly, include a bandana and a pair of gloves to protect your hands.

Don't wait until SHTF before you prepare your GMHB. Secure your get-me-home bag by your work desk or in your car and find several alternate routes so you can get home safely if disaster strikes while you're at work.

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