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How to prep an evacuation kit before a natural disaster

Megin Hughes, Red Cross disaster program manager, shows how to assemble a disaster preparation kit Sept. 11, 2017, in Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

As we've seen over the past two weeks, disaster can strike at any given moment, and being prepared is the key to surviving.

From Hurricane Harvey and Irma, earthquakes and wildfires, this year has put families from coast to coast to the test.

When a natural disaster is about to happen, authorities could tell you to evacuate.

Megin Hughes, Red Cross disaster program manager, said it's important to have an evacuation kit handy to leave at a moment's notice.

"You'll have literally just minutes to leave the house," said Hughes. "In that time, you know, you won't have much time to make decisions on what's a good thing and what's a bad thing to bring with you, so it's always important to be prepared."

One day, you might find yourself in an emergency with only minutes to prepare. So, now's the time to put together your go bag.

You should have a first-aid kit, a flashlight, and snacks with protein.

"One thing you do always want to remember with your snacks is that they are perishable, so you need to go through your kit every now and then and make sure your snacks aren't being outdated," said Hughes.

Other important items that should be included are water, a change of clothes, personal identification, a copy of important documents, extra cash and family contacts.

Also, don't forget irreplaceable items, like family heirlooms or photographs.

The evacuation kit can also have items to keep you entertained, like playing cards.

Hughes said you can tailor the kit to your liking.

"It varies by person, on what you may actually want or need, and that way having thought it in advance, you'll be that much more prepared when the time comes," said Hughes.

Since you don't know where you will be when an emergency occurs you can keep your kit at home, in your vehicle, and at your work.

A typical go bag should last for at least 72 hours.

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