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The Go Bag
This is a bag you can grab as you run out of the house in an emergency. Emergencies like: flooding, fire, hurricane, etc. What would you put in it? What kind of bag to use (maybe a backpack)? Maybe more than one bag?
You're basically looking for things to bring as you escape to a safer place, realizing that it might take a day or three to get there and you might be stranded in your car for a while (e.g., in a traffic jam).
Consider places you might go to if you have to run for some reason.
Bag type to use
- Best would be a bag that doesn't look like a go-bag.
- Hiking backpack for example.
- No to camouflage or military type bag (too obvious).
- You don't want to stand out from the crowd, you want to blend in.
First set stuff to pack
- Medications. Your medications, maybe in a zip lock bag. Non-perishable ones. (Else put in cooler.)
- Car keys
- House keys
- Wallet with credit cards
- Reading/distance/bifocal glasses and a spare
Zip lock bag (keeps them dry and together) holding
- Photocopy of passport, drivers license, birth cert, social security card, healthcare cards. Leave these in the bag (in case you forget the originals).
- Drivers licenses
- Birth certificate copies
- Social Security card
- Health care cards; Medicare, Supplemental, Drug, Dental, Vision
- Important medical information (allergy info, etc)
- Stamps (& envelopes?)
- Your password list
- Better is to store this in an encrypted file using free software; I use KeePass to hold passwords and other important data. See my thoughts on password storage
- Your computer
- Power for your computer
- Your backup for the computer (for Mac: TimeMachine disk)
- Your cellphones
- Cellphone external battery (and keep it charged – so you can have power in your cellphone on the run)
- Cellphone charger
- Your Kindle/Nook/whatever electronic book
- USB battery pack
- Consider: fold-out small solar panel for USB charging
- For flashlight(s) and other items needing them
- Mind dates – monthly replace old ones (maybe those within 1 year of due date)
- Consider putting in zip lock bag, so they're not loose and in case of leakage
- NOAA Weather Radio
- Your hardware crypto wallet
Food & first aid
- Energy or granola type bars
- Prepackaged nuts, trail mix, beef jerky, peanut butter (protein)
- Crackers (don't go moldy like bread. Matzoh if you have some.)
- Sports drinks or water
- Water purification tablets, mini-filters, or reusable water bottle equipped with a filter
- First aid kit
- Handy wipes
- Bug spray
- Face mask
- Rubber gloves
- Can/bottle opener
- Swiss army knife
- Firearm (&ammunition)
- Survival knife (maybe)
- Loud whistle
- Couple days clothing (Put one change clothing in bag with extra socks and underwear. Use 2nd bag for additional sets clothing.)
- Good pair of sneakers & extra pair socks
- Rain jacket & hat (warm weather)
- Winter coat, scarf, hat, gloves (cold weather)
- Plastic utensils (knife,fork,spoon)
- Paper towels, napkins
- Plastic trash bags (use for dirty laundry, trash, etc)
- Cooler with ice pack(s) and also frozen food, cold cuts, bread, etc (to use while traveling to safe spot)
- Wrench or pliers
Needed medical equipment
- ankle & back braces
Monthly do this
- Top off (recharge) rechargeable batteries
- Cycle food and medication
- Recharge any electronics in the bag
- Basic electronics
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 batteries).
- Personal needs
While getting 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.
- Your meds
Pack about 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 portable version.
- The perfect bag
Think small 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 cards.
- Food and drink
Bottled water 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 change.