Functional Friday: Go Bag Part I - The Need

Some of my best emergency and disaster training comes from watching movies.  Action movies are especially ripe with examples, suggestions, and references for anyone wanting to increase their preparedness in an emergency.  Example: This week my husband and I watched SALT (starring Angelina Jolie) after the kids went to bed.  As the action builds, she grabs a bag that contains EXACTLY what she needs and executes a plan that she has been contemplating for years.  The moment came and she was ready... with the perfect go bag.  (I'm sorry that it's difficult to see in this photo.)  Although, it's doubtful that your go bag will contain magnetic explosives like a CIA agent, I hope to help you start planning what you need to include in yours.

First, a glimpse into emergency planning.

1) Consider your likely and possible emergencies.
Your Home (fire, sewer back-up, gas leak)
Weather (tornado, thunderstorm, blizzard, drought,winds)
Natural Location (flood, tsunami, volcano, wildfire, earthquake)
Man-made (hazardous material spill, nuclear plant malfunction, crime)

2) Consider your special needs, situations, and/or circumstances.
Household members include young children, elderly, mental/emotional/physical disabled.
Very urban and very rural settings can present special challenges.
Work requires you come in during an emergency. (medical personnel, emergency service, small business owner, company management or engineers)
Resources available to you will determine your capability.  (ie Those with a Hummer will fare better during a storm.  Those with a motorcycle will fare better when there's no power to pump gas.)

3) Make a plan.  (...even a little plan.  We'll make it better later.)
Write it down and hand it out.
Your plan may dictate what you need with you.  Keys, money, tent, 50 gallons of gas?
Make sure your friends, family and emergency contacts know your plan.

4) Consider your friends, family, and neighbors in your plan.
Do you have an elderly neighbor or single parent neighbor you'll want to help?  Plan for it.
Does your grandmother live across town?  Plan for her.

Now make a basic last of the things you think you would need if you had to go right now, and you weren't sure when you'd be back (hours? days?).  Next Friday, we'll look at why and when you might need and use a go-bag.

This Series' Links
Functional Friday: Go Bag Part I - The Need
Functional Friday: Go Bag Part I - The Purpose
Functional Friday: Go Bag Part I - The Bag
Functional Friday: Go Bag Part I - The Basic Stuff
Functional Friday: Go Bag Part I - What's Next?

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