What should I put in my WUSH bag?

December 18, 2019

What is a WUSH bag?

WUSH stands for Wake Up, Stuff's* Happening. In the simplest of terms, a WUSH bag contains the absolutely essential items that you will need if you have to leave your house in under 10 seconds. These items help your make it through the first hours, and then rebuild your life with fewer headaches in the days/weeks to come. Your new WUSH bag must keep this bag at your bedside, or with you when you travel. In the event of being awoken to a fire, flood, or other dangerous situation requiring you to leave your house, you would ideally grab your WUSH bag first, phone second, and shoes third. This order of events assumes that anyone else in your house is already with you or safe.

House fire with firefighters on the roof
House fire with firefighters on the roof

How is a WUSH bag different from a Bug Out Bag?

The purpose of a bug out bag (BOB) is to sustain the owner for 24-72 hours (typically) in a completely self contained package. This means that a BOB must contain shelter, water, food, medical supplies, and other goodies. A WUSH bag only contains what you may need in the first few hours, and some longer term needs such as Photo ID's, Financial Records and Contact Information.

Do I need both a WUSH bag and a Bug Out Bag?

Your first priority should be a WUSH bag. You are far more likely to leave your house in a hurry from something like a flood or house fire than you are a longer term survival situation. You can read more about Bug Out Bag's in Nature Connected Life's post How to Make a Bug Out Bag. To learn what you put in your WUSH bag find our checklist at the bottom.

WUSH bag MaxPedition Fatboy Versipack
WUSH bag packed

WUSH bag contents unpacked on a table
WUSH Contents Unpacked

WUSH Bag First Aid Kit Contents Unpacked
First Aid Kit Unpacked

Why Do I Need a WUSH Bag?

Here are some events and statistics for the United States for disasters that may require you to leave your home in a rush.

  • 1,319,500 house fires in 2017
  • All 50 states have experienced flooding in the last 5 years
  • Floods are the number 1 disaster in the US
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes (grab before sheltering)

WUSH Bag Checklist

Here is the packing list for your WUSH bag. I've linked any products that I put in my personal bag.

Protip: consider buying multiples of items to save money. Give a WUSH bag as a gift, or organize with a friend to split the cost.

Best Bag for WUSH bag

This question is open to interpretation, however I feel the smallest bag you can fit your gear in is best. This allows you to store it unobtrusively near your bed, making you more likely to keep it close and accessible. I am personally using the Maxpedition Fatboy Versipack because I found a great deal on it some time back.

First Aid Kit

I like to buy a cheap kit, then supplement with the following.

Important: Print or write out a list of medicine including name, count, visual description, and dosage information.

  • Generic First Aid Kit w/ Bag (Oumers First Aid Kit Medical Bag)
  • Meds
    • Acetaminophen
    • Ibuprofen
    • Antihistamine
    • Anti-Diarrheal
    • Antacid
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Optional: tourniquet, chest seal, gauze, sleep aid

Tools and Supplies

Personal/Customized Items

The bag is nearly useless without these items. Do not neglect to complete this part!

  • Wallet
    • Copy of government ID
    • Copy of passport
    • At least $50 in assorted bills including 5 $1
    • $4 in quarters
    • Medical ID cards and insurance Info
    • Copies of credit cards
    • Copy of social security cards
  • Physical list of important contacts including out of state (If local networks are tied up, long distance often still works)
    • Must include phone, email, physical address
  • Physical copy healthcare power-of-attorney (if you get injured)
  • Copy of any/all residence and vehicle keys

Optional items for your WUSH bag

  • Prescription meds
  • Glasses
  • Paper map of area
  • Two way radio
  • Legal documents (May be digital on USB)
    • Will
    • Bank info/safety deposits/investments
    • Lawyer information
    • Land ownership
  • Extra 3g cell phone w/ sim card (MUST BE 3G) and charger
  • Self Protection (Non-lethal, lethal)
  • Socks/Footwear
  • Energy bar
  • Toilet Paper
  • Pet Accessories(leash, collar, etc)

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