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What to put in your evacuation “go bag”

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — If you only had a few minutes to gather some belongings and evacuate your home, what would — and should — you bring?

This is a very real question for many Floridians as they prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irma this weekend.

According to Natasha Parks, a family and consumer sciences agent with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension in Duval County, residents can prepare for evacuation by including several essential items in their “go bag.”

  1. Important documents

If you are displaced from your home, proof of identity and ownership will be needed for reentry and in the recovery process.

  • Photo identification
  • Birth certificates
  • Social security cards
  • Immunization records
  • A list of your current medications
  • Insurance and financial information: Homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
  1. Digital records

Be sure to make a digital back up of photos and video of personal property. Store originals and copies in a waterproof, re-sealable bag or container.

  1. Clothing, medication, snacks and water

Pack three to five days of clothes for each person in the household. Include snacks, water and all necessary medications.

  1. What not to pack

Heirlooms and other items of sentimental value should be left at home. What’s most important is that you are able to evacuate safely.

For more UF/IFAS updates on Hurricane Irma, please click here.


The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.


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