A ‘Go Bag’ Can Make All the
Difference in an Emergency
Survival expert explains how to be ready to run at a
catastrophes, from hurricanes to western wildfires, are a fresh
reminder that disaster can strike at any time. And no area of the
country is immune, when you factor in the threat of tornadoes,
earthquakes and human disasters like toxic spills. While the
circumstances may differ, there’s one tip that every person needs to
take from all these situations: how to pack a “go bag.”
A go bag is a
packed case that you grab on your way out the door, and that will
help keep you safe and comfortable in the coming hours and days.
Stopping to hunt for your medications or other important needs can
cost you critical seconds in an evacuation. Pack a separate go bag
for yourself and every member of your household, and keep them
stored in the same location.
hundreds of disaster victims, and compiled their recommendations
Pack an extra
phone charger in case you’re fortunate enough to have
electricity, and a portable battery pack in case you’re not.
Also stash a long-lasting LED flashlight. Pack a small
hand-cranked or battery-operated AM/FM radio (with extra
ready for a typical day, list every toiletry you use, then buy
a travel-size version of each. Pack backup eyeglasses, as well
as a first-aid kit, baby wipes and a multipurpose tool with a
knife and can opener.
Pack a few
days’ worth. Include layers you can add or remove, plus
lightweight rain gear and waterproof boots.
three days’ worth of each of your prescriptions, which should
last until you can get to a pharmacy that’s open. If you need
larger items, such as an oxygen tank, make sure you have a
The perfect bag
and portable. A backpack is ideal, but a lightweight suitcase
with wheels will also do. Just remember, you may literally be
running with it.
Fill a zip-top
waterproof bag with photocopies of your birth certificate;
driver’s license; Social Security and Medicare cards; power of
attorney and will; any marriage, adoption or naturalization
certificates; proof of address; insurance, medical and
immunization records; and information about your credit and ATM
Food and drink
is essential. Granola or energy bars are great because they are
small and filling, and they come in a variety of flavors.
In addition to
enough money for a few days, include small bills and a roll of
quarters. If you need to buy something out of a vending machine,
you don’t want to start asking equally desperate strangers for
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