Why You Should Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit "Go Bag" in Your Home
Have you ever considered a “Go Bag” to have ready in case of emergencies or a natural catastrophe? It’s like an emergency preparedness kit you keep in your house to grab and go if needed for a man-made or natural disaster. Initially you may think, “Whatever…I’ll never need that!” But look at some recent reasons for people that may have wished they were prepared:
Wildfires: In Oregon the Department of Forestry tracked over 900 fires in 2018 and even has a wildfire blog on their website (www.oregon.gov/odf)
Hurricanes: Houston and Southeast Texas are still doing recovery work from Hurricane Harvey in 2017; no one expected it to sit over them for 16 days
Tropical Storms: In October 2018 a State of Emergency was declared in Virginia ahead of Tropical Storm Michael
Human-Caused Problems: Chemical leak forces evacuations in Mogadore, Ohio (northern Ohio) in June 2018
And there’s certainly more! What if there’s a tornado, earthquake, or some other man-made or natural disaster? If you’ve got to get out quickly, it’s just a good idea to be prepared for a few days away from home, especially if you, your family or your pets are on important medications.
What would you put in a go bag? Here are some thoughts:
· A few days of clothing…include pieces you can layer, undergarments, could include some rain-gear, socks, etc
· Medicines…pack a list of all your medications and a minimum of three days of each one (don’t forget your pet meds too!) and medical equipment supplies
· Important papers…keep copies of them in a waterproof bag including driver’s license, birth certificate, power of attorney, insurance, ATM card, medical info, etc. Think of what you might need if all were wiped out (if you have cloud storage it could eliminate some of the need for hard copies but factor in that you might not have service)
· Electronics need power so phone chargers and battery packs
· Other handy things: LED flashlight, AM/FM radio with extra batteries, blanket/travel pillow
· Some cash, especially a roll of quarters and small bills (for vending machines)
· Some food/water like protein bars and bottles of water
· Personal toiletries-travel sized are handy
· First Aid kit
· Wet wipes
· A small can opener or a multi-purpose tool/knife with a can opener
· A deck of cards
Other things to think about:
§ Now that you’ve decided what goes into your go bag, think about a good bag to hold your items. Backpacks work great since you can sling them on your back and tend to other people or things with your hands when needed.
§ Each person should have their own go bag.
§ Consider including a few small toys for kids’ bags and their other needs like diapers/pullups, special stuffed animal, wipes, bottle, spare formula, etc. A smaller backpack they can carry could also prove helpful.
§ Dogs/pets need supplies also! They should have a collapsible bowl, leash, towel, water & food, a toy, plus any meds they might need. Potty pads can be handy for puppies or older dogs. Please note, in a stressful time, a crate could end up saving a pet’s life, keeping them safe and secure.
§ Store your go bag(s) in an out of the way but easy location to access, preferably near the exit you use the most (top shelf of the nearest closet, for instance). Update meds every 6-12 months, depending upon expiration dates. The same goes for snacks.
Nobody wants to ever think of needing a go bag. But that’s kind of the point of it, preparedness for a frantic time. You may also keep something similar (without all your important documents) in your vehicle. It would be a smaller version, more of an emergency kit.
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