Emergency Response & Preparedness

When preparing for and responding to emergencies, you must care for yourself in the process. It is one thing to have your supplies ready, and another to carry them while in action helping others, or for your own survival. That is why BackTpack, the ergonomic emergency preparedness/evacuation pack, is especially important for this use. BackTpack is designed by a physical therapist for the person doing the carrying.

BackTpack can help with concerns of COVID-19 in everyday life

With today's pandemic crisis there is a great deal of personal chaos and uncertainty in everyday life.  We don't know how to best protect ourselves and others while we try to keep our own health in order.  BackTpack can help because it is an ergonomic emergency preparedness pack designed with a double side-bag system that not only loads the spine in a balanced manner for healthy posture and load bearing, but it has other features to helpful now as we try to control exposure to the virus.

Because BackTpack has two sidebags, contaminants can be separated from clean items, once you designate the "clean side" and the "dirty side". This would be especially convenient for day use items such as gloves, wallet, cellphone, mask, dog stuff, water bottle, groceries, medications, children's needs, etc. Since BackTpack does not need to be removed to access items or in order to sit down, there are fewer opportunites to place it on contaminated surfaces.

Disinfect in Soapy Water

If you feel that you have soiled your BackTpack on outside or inside, BackTpack can be easily handwashed in soapy water and hung to dry.


"The Clackamas County Medical Reserve Corps Unit (MRC) is a group of medically-licensed volunteers trained to deploy in response to large public health events. The BackTpack is a perfect tool for deployment, due to ease of access while wearing, ability to wear for long hours free of back pain, and security as it does not need to be removed during work hours. Some of our MRC volunteers are buying them for themselves for personal use. I love my personal BackTpack!"

Kathy Thompson RN BS
Public Health Emergency Preparedness
Clackamas County Health Services

ergonomic emergency response pack

Above: A BackTpack 4 loaded with all the items described in the Sample 3-Day Evacuation Kit, plus a cell phone and water bottle on the outside. The bag is filled to less that half of capacity, so there is more room for clothing, dog food, and other necessities. The weight is evenly distributed so the wearer can be comfortable and move freely, while having access to items at all times.

Tsunami Evacuation

In the event of a tsunami, your survival will depend on your ability to get to high ground in a short time and have 72-hour survival supplies available. Your county emergency planners have a list of what supplies to have ready in a grab-and-go bag. Use BackTpack to create the best ergonomic emergency preparedness pack possible.

We recommend BackTpack for your grab-and-go bag, because it is an ergonomic system which will be easier on your body, allow you to run more easily, and have access to the contents at all times. In addition, with BackTpack you are aware of the space you occupy and have better balance than with a conventional backpack.

BackTpack is available in sizes to fit most family members.

PREPARE NOW and work on your fitness so that you can evacuate swiftly and safely. Consult your health care practitioner for training guidelines specific for your fitness level and condition. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Know your evacuation route and time yourself on foot
  2. Monitor your Target Heart Rate, so that you can gradually increase your fitness while decreasing your time. Get your Target Heart Rate from your health care practitioner or the American Heart Association.
  3. Gradually increase your load each trial until you have the full 72- hour kit.
  4. If you have an extra BackTpack, you can use it for training, both on the trek and in your home on stairs, gradually increasing the load. Make sure you choose a training regimen that is safe for you.

Sample 3-Day Evacuation Kit for Your BackTpack

emergency response pack items

This sample weighs 5lb 12oz and is generic. Each person should learn about their specific preparedness needs.

Food & Water

  • One 3600 calorie Emergency Food Bar.  Enough food for one person for three days
  • Six Water Pouches, a total of 750ml, 125ml per pouch
    This water is for initial use, after the rush of adrenaline dries the mouth.  For regular water use, seek other sources. 
  • One Re-sealable Water Carrier with pouring spout

First Aid

  • One 48-piece First Aid Kit
    Includes medicines and antiseptics, more that 40 bandages, trauma wound treatment, latex-free gloves, and reference materials


  • Two Emergency Blankets
    Blankets reflect about 80% of your body heat back at you, preventing rapid heat loss in cold weather.  This blanket will not keep you toasty warm, but will save your life.
  • Two Hand Warmers (large size)
    Use in conjunction with the emergency blanket to create more heat reflected back by the blanket.


  • One Washcloth
  • One Soap, biodegradable
  • One Toothbrush, travel size
  • One Toothpaste, travel size
  • Two Toilet Paper Rolls, biodegradeable


  • Four Lightsticks, white, snaplight style
    These glow for 8 hours


  • One plastic whistle, comes with lanyard to easily wear around the neck
  • One 5-in-1 whistle, has a signal whistle, and a signal mirror

Other Supplies

  • Two Emergency Ponchos
  • Two Orange Trash Bags
    Variety of potential uses including: trash or biohazard disposal, make-shift poncho brightly-colored flagging device and more
  • One Deck of Playing Cards
    Playing games alleviates stress in the aftermath of a disaster.

Add a folder to your kit with copies of important medical information, crucial contact numbers, copies of social security cards, birth, marriage, and death certificates, bank account information and documentation. Having this information easily available will make life after an evacuation much easier.

If you take medications or use special medical equipment, include a spare set of equipment, including prescription glasses, in your kit.  If you use oxygen, make arrangements to have portable O2 available with your kit. If you use a power wheelchair, it is highly recommended that you purchase a collapsible light-weight back-up in case of evacuation without a special vehicle. Include at least one month's supply of all medications. After a disaster, pharmacies may be low on supplies or unable to get shipments for an unknown amount of time.

Add a pair of socks and underwear to your kit. If you have adequate room, add a full change of clothes.

Add more items as you like and are able. Hygiene supplies, knives and other tools, water purification, and comfort items are examples of types of supplies that would be valuable in your kit.