One of the serious projects that my husband and I are embarking on is putting together a Go-Bag. A "Go Bag" is a bag which you pack today and hope you never need. It is a major component in disaster survival. Our existing Go-Bag is a small sports duffel bag that has a set of extra clothing for each of one: shirt, pants, underwear….and a small blanket, which is thrown somewhere in the trunk of my car. A failure waiting to happen.
Our main goal is to take emergency-preparedness rather more seriously, not in the likes of crashing in my sister’s place for the night if we get too tired to drive or an impromptu out-of-town adventure. We started out last week by buying a portable stove and a 4-pack reserve of Butane Indoor/Outdoor Fuel Canisters. Quite ambitious, isn’t it? But you’ll never know... So, based on some research I’ve done, I’ve culled and put together the following information which I would like to share with all of you:
SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:
Your Go-Bag may be a backpack or any container that is easy to carry in case you must evacuate quickly. Do not put this in a place which is difficult to get to. You may need to get out very quickly and not have a chance pull this out in the bottom of your Christmas decoration box up in the attic.
Consider having two sets of Go-Bags: one at home and one in your car or at work. You may not be at home when a disaster strikes so make sure you have what you would need for your immediate safety.
Make sure to have one Go-bag for each family member properly labeled with a name tag. Don’t forget to make a Go-bag for you pets as well.
A true 72-hour kit must contain enough to sustain your life for three days until help becomes available, or until another solution comes up.
Take the liberty of adding stuff to your Go-Bag depending on the potential for emergencies and the environment you live in. It is common sense that a bag put together by a person living in Montana worrying about wildfire would be more likely to have warm clothing than someone in Florida who worries about hurricanes.
Consider well ahead of time what you'd take if you had a day's notice, a couple of hours' notice to pack the car, or five minutes' notice to 'get out now' (ergo, the Go-bag). Make a plan and a checklist.
HERE ARE THE MOST ESSENTIAL ITEMS TO CONSIDER IN YOUR GO-BAG:
- Flashlight (solar/self-powered flashlights are recommended)
- Radio – battery operated (solar/self-powered radios are also recommended like those self-winding ones)
- Batteries (in different shapes and sizes -- in sets)
- A lot of bottled water
- Food (canned food are good but make sure to pack in a can opener with you)
- Power Bars -- because they are easier and more compact to store, and they last longer in the Go-Bag too
- Candles and/or kerosene lamps
- Lighters/Matches (matches will not work if they are wet unless you get those waterproof ones) and other Fire starting aids, such as a magnifying glass, magnesium "fire starters", info to build primative fire starting devices, similar devices as the need arises.
- A spare change of clothes
-warm hat /boonie cap
- Emergency cash in small denominations and quarters for stuff you might need to buy or "exchange money for". A couple of quarter rolls could come in handy for and make sure not to"flash" it around lest you get robbed or assaulted (people's behaviors change in disastrous situations)
- Prescription medications:If you have to take medications, make sure you keep them all in one place, and can sweep them into the go bag without any searching. Refill your meds before you're nearly out of them.
- First aid supplies
-Painkillers like Advil
-Diarrhea meds like Immodium
- Sanitary pads/Maxipads (for females who get their periods, and since they are sterile, they are good for addressing bleeder wounds)
-Benadryl and other allergy pills
-Bandaids (lots of it in different shapes and sizes)
-Gauze pads / roll gauze and first aid tapes
-Blood Stopper trauma bandage
- Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items (and any special-needs items for children, seniors and people with disabilities)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Toilet paper and other toiletries
- Clean towels
- Gel antibacterial hand wash (non rinse) -- you can get them at drugstores for cleaning hands and even wounds.
- Blankets (I've heard of Mylar solar blankets and the like)
- Hand and feet warmers - get the carbon activated kind because they are convenient
- Copies of passport, driver's license, insurance, and any other important documents
- IDs. Keep at least one wallet size photo of your immediate members and pets for re-identification purposes. This is crucial in case you get separated and need to enlist the help of others to find your loved ones.
- List of emergency point-of-contact phone numbers and other contacts (include those who are overseas next-of-kin)
- Copy of health insurance and identification cards
- List of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food
- Local map (your area and those surrounding your area)
- Notepad and pen/sharpies and pencil to write notes and tape (better if indelible so you can leave messages that don’t get erased, especially when you leave a note for family to let them know where you went or where to meet.
- Ziplock bags
- Big black trash Bags - may be used as raincoats and tents
- Extra keys to your house and vehicle
- Dust masks (at least 2 per person)
- Work gloves/latex gloves
- Multi-Use knife (not meant as a weapon but as tools, one for fixing dirty things, one to use for food-related matters) - Leatherman, Gerber, Victorinox Swiss tool, preferably one with a saw blade. Invest on something durable and not easily broken.
- Ropes (make sure you review your scout knotting skills once in a while)
- Duct tape
- Watch – to tell time
YOU MAY TAKE THINGS TO THE EXTREME:
- Glow lights
- Spare Cell phone/ Satellite phone plus spare battery (if it works)
- Two-way radios like the Icom T90A HT plus the ARRL Repeater Directory, and spare AA Battery Pack
- Solar chargers
- Lots of canned food
- Camping stove and a pot
- Portable water purifier (because you'll never know what you will be drinking). I heard about this Steripen which destroys viruses, bacteria and protozoa--including Giardia and Cryptosporidium--using ultraviolet (UV) light and takes only 48 seconds to purify 16 ounces of fluid, 90 seconds for 32 ounces
- Guns and Ammo. (Only if it is legal to carry a gun where you live). In an emergency there may be people who will cause you and your family harm, you will need a firearm to defend them. However, you are statistically more likely to injure yourself or a family member during an armed confrontation unless you get qualified instruction from an accredited firearms instructor.
It always pays to watch out for the news. If there is a violent weather coming, or a fire burning nearby, consider packing a few things in boxes to be ready for an evacuation. It may be wise to evacuate BEFORE it's mandatory so you'll have a much better time compared to people who wait until the last moment and they end up stuck in traffic and other shortages, just like in the movies. It is also wise to make arrangements for places to stay well ahead of time. According to http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Go-Bag "Make a deal: If there's an emergency/evacuation, they can come to your home, or you to theirs. Crashing on someone's sofa or camping in their yard is infinitely preferable to a public shelter.
Do not use a shelter unless you absolutely have too. The people there will be scared, desperate, and a mob of folks is no place to be in a Major disaster. Three words to "think about". Katrina, and Super-dome... Yes there is safety in numbers, but only if those numbers are people you know and can trust."
I have carefully handpicked 25 special emergency-preparedness products and put them in a slideshow for your viewing pleasure:
(You'll be sending some cents my way if you choose to buy them by clicking on the product links above -- so thank you in advance for appreciating my little public service!)
Note: I would like to see pictures of your Go-bag when you have the time. I would like to publish them here at a later post, featured with your links/blogsites/websites. Please email them to me. Also, if you have any questions or other suggestions, please feel free email me at email@example.com and I will gladly add them.
RE-BLOG WHEN YOU CAN!
WHAT'S IN YOUR GO-BAG?