A family of 3 people indoors with a grab bag ready to go. A concerned parent holding a baby is pointing out of the room

Grab Bags

A grab bag or getaway kit is a small backpack of essential items you can grab if you need to evacuate your home or workplace with little or no warning. 

It's especially important to have a grab bag if you have to walk a long way to get home during an emergency.

Remember not to include so many items that your bag becomes too heavy, especially if you have a lot of distance to cover to get home or to your safe meeting place. 

Evacuation to do list: Go around your house and list the items you''ll want to pack during an emergency (valuables, pets, important documents, and the things you can’t live without). Then create a list of actions to do before evacuating (turning off utilities, closing and locking the doors). 

Grab bag options

Woman placing first aid kit inside bag. On the table is a radio/torch and a pair of running shoes

Option One: Make your own Grab Bag

The most cost-effective option is making your own grab bag: Get a sturdy backpack which would be comfortable to carry a long distance, then fill it with the items you need. 

Remember to change the food/water in your bag at regular intervals.  

Grab bag and contents including hi-vis vest, garden gloves, pocket knife, whistl, glow sticks, rain poncho, dust mask, wind up radio/torch, scraper, foil blanket, water bottles, notebook and pen, playing cards, first aid kit

Option Two: Buy a pre-made grab bag

WREMO has partnered with Grab&Go to make getaway kits available at a reasonable price. 

You will still need to add personal items such as sturdy shoes, hygiene items and your own food. 

Grab&Go bags are available online through the Grab&Go website.  

They are also available from many retail outlets around the Wellington Region. 

Grab bag items:

Must-have essential items 

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  • Face-covering or mask 
  • Water and water purification tablets 
  • Food 
  • Walking shoes 
  • Cash 
  • First aid kit 
  • Any medication you rely on, along with a copy of the prescription 
  • Rain jacket and poncho 
  • Emergency blanket 
  • Torch 
  • Radio (battery or wind-up) 
  • Notebook and pen 
  • Toiletries 
  • Baby supplies
  • Pet supplies 

Useful 'should-have' items 

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  • Spare underwear
  • A printed copy of identification 
  • Phone charger 
  • Gloves 
  • Dust mask 
  • Extra batteries 
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Whistle 

'Nice to have' items 

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  • Entertainment (pack of cards, book, music player, etc) 
  • Glow sticks 
  • Matches 
  • Flash drive with photos of all the rooms and contents 
  • Small shovel 
  • Hi-vis vest 
  • Swiss army knife 
  • Waste disposal bags 

Essentials Checklist

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Download a checklist for the essential Grab Bag items.

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Translated resources

View and download translated information in multiple languages about emergency survival items and grab bags. 

Toggle between languages from the top right button on the website: getready.govt.nz

Go to our Resource Library