Results 1 to 15 of 31
Thread: How to set up go bag?
03-18-2012, 10:21 AM #1
- Rep Power
How to set up go bag?
Here's the scenario:
We currently live in a tinderbox. We had very dry weather last fall and the area was several feet below normal snow totals over winter. The snow has melted now and there has been no rain. Everything is dry as dust, and we're having record high temps. We live in a huge forest. Anything could set it off at any moment.
What I want to do is set up a couple go bags, or maybe only one, for my husband and myself. This would not be for survival. It would more accurately be considered as something for convenience. I know what to pack for basics like 2-3 changes of clothing, mini-shampoo bottles, etc. But there are a few items I'm having trouble figuring out the best way to handle. So I'm looking for suggestions about those items:
~Credit cards. We use these all the time in our normal lives, and don't really want to store them in the go bags because that would not be convenient. How do we make sure those are not forgotten in a crisis situation?
~Cash. We are uncomfortable keeping large sums of cash in a go bag. For one thing, if the house burned down while we were gone somewhere, it would just be a loss. Other things could happen that would cause the cash to be lost, too. A small amount is one thing, hundreds of dollars would be something else. OTOH, we should not have a real need for cash as long as we remember our CCs. We talked about hiding it in the cars since the plan is to take both of them if we have to leave, but if one of us couldn't drive for some reason, then one car with the cash would be left behind. I'm thinking a roll of quarters in each bag might be the way to go, and call it good enough.
~Medications. Again, since we use these every day, it wouldn't make sense to have those in the bags all the time. And we're unlikely to remember to rotate them. Anyone have ideas for a good rotation reminder?
~Cell phone. We don't use it every day, but my husband does carry it every day for emergencies, so it couldn't be stored in the go bag.
~Tablet. Same thing as cell phone, although less of a necessity and it's not carried or stored with the cell phone. However, we want to include it in our emergency gear because if we evacuated to somewhere with wifi, we would be able to use it for fire updates.
I have a checklist magneted to the back of our steel entry door for reminders of to-dos when we leave on vacation. Maybe I need another one for things to take in case we have to evacuate. But as much as possible, we need to have everything we might need in the bag(s) so we know if we grab that one thing, we'll be covered.
Please keep in mind we're not prepping for an end of the world scenario, just a localized emergency in which we would have to evacuate. Obviously, if the forest is on fire, we're not going to be out camping in the woods and living off the land, so no need to prep for that. We would be getting into our cars and driving out of the danger zone where stores are open and we can simply buy the things we need, if necessary. If there was time, we would be hitching up our camper and taking it with so we had a place to stay, otherwise it would be a hotel or some other arrangement that would allow pets. I do have a list of things to take for the pets and a plan for placing their crates in a convenient place if needed in a hurry.
What am I overlooking, in the area of critical daily use things? We would be able to buy anything we forgot like clothing items, but medications and stuff like that would be harder to replace quickly in an unfamiliar place.
Any other ideas?
03-18-2012, 12:56 PM #2
- Rep Power
SD- I do know that for your medications, if you use a major chain pharmacy, ie Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, ect. If you have to leave and leave the range of your local store, they can retrieve your pescriptions from file via network. For example; If you have to evacuate, and have just filled bloodpressure meds a couple of days before, you would be able to go to another store, speak with the pharmasit or pharmasit manager, and explain that you evaced, but forgot to grab your meds. They should then be able to go in system, pull your records, and give you if nothing else like a weeks worth of pills till you could get your Dr. to call in a scrip to them. Hope that eases the stress of that on just a bit.
03-18-2012, 12:58 PM #3
- Rep Power
I have a check list in my tablet. Also, reminders programmed into my calendar to remind me to rotate meds and clothes (as the seasons change/kids grow)
We keep cash in an otter box in our bags, but it's also assumed we would have time to grab wallet/ purse. Keeping these items in the same place near the door everyday helps with daily efficiency as well as in a "bug out" type of situation....
Sponsored Links Remove Advertisements
03-18-2012, 12:58 PM #4
- Rep Power
could you store some of the important papers, some cash in a safe deposit box? Or get in the habit of always putting electronics in one place (like a basket by the door) for easy access if you have to go quickly? Can you get a 90 day supply of medications and keep some in your to go bag or even in the safety deposit box? Just some ideas.
03-18-2012, 02:11 PM #5
- Rep Power
I keep small bottles of ibuprofen and off-brand tylenol in my "activity bag". It is a bag that comes with me everywhere (but it stays in the car). It used to hold my "activity" (computer, craft items, etc). It morphed into a bag with hand sanitizer, bandaids, and other random things that a family might need if they are out and about.
I purchase huge bottles of ibuprofen and off-brand tylenol. The big bottles won't fit in the cabinet where we keep our meds. I have medium sized bottles that live in the kitchen cabinet in the house. The medium sized bottles fit really well in the little spice racks that are screwed into the door of the cabinet. When I open a new bottle, I pour my little bottles in the the bottle that is in the cabinet. The little bottle then gets refilled out of the huge bottle and tossed back into it's compartment in my "activity bag".
This way, everything gets rotated and used up without having expired medicines around. And, with the five of us and someone usually having braces, things definately get rotated.
03-18-2012, 02:21 PM #6
- Rep Power
No large chain pharmacies here. Our medical files are all online though and part of a regional network, so we would be able to get access at any of the other satellite or main clinics that are all affiliated up here. Good idea.
We would hope to have time to grab our wallets, but the reality is, we may not. Years ago here, there was a really bad fire that happened so fast people barely had time to run for their lives and get into area lakes to escape. I can only imagine how horrible that was, because by October the lakes here are darn cold. But in a worst case, we would have almost no time to grab our pets and they would come before our money. So I guess having that stuff by the door might be the only solution, even though it's not recommended from a security standpoint.
We do have important papers and cash in a safety deposit box, but that won't help us if we have to leave town in crisis mode. We live in a fairly remote area that has three roads in or out from the town we're near. We may not be able to get to a bank, or may not have time to.
I found a nice bag for myself, just have to locate one for my husband now, and I'm sure there's one around. We've decided to store the bags next to our main door during fire season. I'm planning to install a new cabinet right there too, so maybe we can use that for storage of the small electronics we'd need to take. Also my husband's bag that he always takes to work, which has some OTC meds, his glasses, wallet, extra keys, cell phone, etc. that would also come in handy in an emergency. He's been storing that in his office but it would be handier all the way around next to the door.
I think I may have figured out the med rotation, using a similar system to yours, Zakity.
Thanks, everyone, for the great ideas.
03-18-2012, 04:29 PM #7
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
- Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
- Blog Entries
- Rep Power
Just a thought - I've BOB's in the house, as well as a 'mini' version in the storage compartments in my truck (behind seats, under seats, in door holder, in glove box and in two bed 'compartments'. If I'm not at home, I am in my truck - so I am covered no matter what happens, or when.
Copies of important documents in all BOB's - drivers liscence, debit/bank card, insurance policy.
03-18-2012, 04:36 PM #8
- Rep Power
SD- We had our heater catch on fire, we did not have go bags. I wish we would have. I got the animals out (not hard because Suki was my shadow, and the inside cat was right where I could nab her) Wish we would have had go bags packed and ready. We were in pajamas, and it was cold out. My youngest son and I stood in the freezing cold in just pajamas as the firemen put out the fire in our basement. Had it been worse, and it very well could have been, (it was bad enough) we would have been in huge trouble.
I'd like to tell you I've reformed, I have bags ready to go, fully packed, but that would not be true. I keep an emergency bag in the car for Winter events though. I tried to keep bags packed, but they were a mess. I decided to hunt down backpacks with wheels. We only have 1 vehicle, and if we needed to leave (because of our power plant. We are advised out here to always have our go bags packed, and are given free iodine pills regularly) So if we have to leave, and there is no car, I can't see myself lugging a bag. Besides, I think 4 small, wheeled backpacks would easier, and neater to store than the canvas totes I was trying to use. So far I found one @ $4.97, snapped it up. Still unpacked.
So here's what I was thinking
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPO-PacU16s]Therm-Off Fire Resistant Document Bags - YouTube[/ame]
And then there is this link to fire safety products
Fire Proof Pouches and Products Anclote Fire Equipment - Fire Proof Products
03-18-2012, 05:30 PM #9
- Rep Power
We have a truck and a van, and there are odds and ends in them for various reasons, since we do longer day trips and also long vacations in both. But we could do better. We're supposed to have a winter emergency bag and did for years, but somehow it ended up not being in the van where it belongs, so have to correct that next year. But we can't put stuff in just one. Too many variables. Ideally, we'd take both of them in an emergency. But if I'm here alone, it would be the truck, most likely. If we are both here and could only take one, it would most likely be the van. Either could tow our trailer, but we prefer the truck, then again with all the cat crates we'd probably need the van. Etc. And there may be reasons we haven't even thought of why we could only take one, such as low fuel. Guess we need to consider that scenario, too. If there's any way possible, we'd take both, since they're both paid for and in good condition, so no sense leaving one to be ruined, since they're our most expensive possessions after our real estate and would be difficult to replace for what insurance would pay on older vehicles.
Polly, that must have been scary! We're not real good at being prepared for stuff like this. Denial is so convenient, dontcha know? But we're very worried about this fire season given that we haven't had significant precip since about last July, and last fall's Pagami fire is still burning a few miles from here. We're coming into tourist season in a couple months, so if it's still dry that's going to raise the risk of fire even higher. And then there's the pesky 24,000,000 (not a typo) dead trees that went down in the storm of 1999, which we've already been warned will eventually go up, and we've also been warned there may be no way to stop all that once it gets going. So it just seems like we better get with the program.
I wasn't going to include shoes in the go bags, but now I will, after hearing about your experience. Even shower shoes would be better than nothing. I will have to think about what type of shoes would be best.
We've at least decided on an amount of money we could live with losing if the go bags got destroyed, lost, or stolen, so we'll be getting that from the bank tomorrow. It's enough to be helpful, but not so much it would be a big problem to lose it.
03-18-2012, 06:09 PM #10
- Rep Power
Go bag stuff!
2 Thumb drive with scans of medical history, drivers license ( copy of ), passports, bank account numbers, etc. All vital info in case you leave so fast that you forget your wallet or purse. living wills, do not resusitate decrees ( if you have that ).
3 Critical medications
5 first aid kit
6 snack bars
7 Car titles / registrations
8 Phones numbers of friends and general contact information.
9 Digital camera
13 Rain gear, if notheing else get the cheap compact plastic ponchos
14 Baby stuff if you have one
15 Multi tool
03-18-2012, 06:47 PM #11
- Rep Power
SD- How about something like these. I've two pair, not this brand though. They are great, the tops are just woven, so they take no more room than flip flops. I use them at the beach, very packable. They may not be the prettiest shoes, but they are VERY comfortable. I bought mine from Avon years ago, paid far less.
Arcopedico Classic Slip-Ons : Women's Casual Shoes : Footsmart.com
I think given the warnings being....well, dire. (It will be if/when it goes up) Yeah, I think you better get go bags packed sooner than later. The only thing else I can think of is to scan all your important pictures, papers and documents and put them on a flash drive. Keep flash drive in your go bag.
03-18-2012, 07:43 PM #12
- Rep Power
Thanks, Polly. Those shoes look similar to our shower shoes, except with a little more support. We both have shower shoes that have seen better days. They would pack flat and give us something to wear till we could buy something else, if we needed to. I'd rather set this up without spending any money, if possible. But I'll be on the look-out this summer at garage sales to find something better if I can get something better cheap.
We both found bags we like, so that's a start. Now to fill them up. I'm going to include one book for each of us in the list of things that goes in there. Or a word find book or some other mindless thing to do. Sometimes in the middle of lots of other things happening, you have to sit around and wait for something or other, and the time really drags if you don't have anything to do. I just hate that.
03-19-2012, 06:40 AM #13
How long do people get evacuated for, for a wild fire? I have no idea. What are you going to need for that amount of time. As for important papers. Make copies for the bags and keep the originals in a safety deposit box. It's worth the money to keep them safe. You just need a small one for papers.
You also need the phone numbers of the customer services for the credit cards written down somewhere.
You'll also need something to keep yourselves entertained. Would you like to sit in a school building with hundreds of others and be bored out of your skull? Cards don't take up any space. Neither does a small travel size game of chess or checkers. A paperback that you keep in the bags would help also.
Myself, I would stick some survival meal bars in there. They keep for some time.
But, then again I wouldn't be going to a shelter. I'd be heading to a campground for the duration.
03-19-2012, 12:42 PM #14
- Rep Power
Last fall, some people were evacuated for several weeks due to the fires in the area. They were able to return to their homes for short periods of time though. I think there were kennels set up for their pets too, so they did not have to be left behind. Some buildings were lost to the fire, but fortunately no homes.
We have a safety deposit box and have for years, and most of our important papers such as vehicle titles are there, along with the bulk of our cash and other important items. I don't know that we'd need copies of the car titles when we have the VIN numbers on the cars, which we would hope to have with us. The state will have a copy of the titles if we really need them, and I don't know why we would. Our car insurance carrier would also have the VINs and they're probably the only ones who would need to know we owned the cars.
We shouldn't need any survival items. Especially if there is time to hitch up the camper, which already has a lot of resources inside. In a fire situation, once we're out of the area we would be in a normal environment where we could buy food, clothing, or whatever we needed. I would rather bring things from home and if there's time, we will, but if there isn't, we wouldn't have any option but to buy needed items anyway.
I'm trying to plan this so we could get by with just the items in the go bags for about three days if we had to. I'm assuming we would be sheltering at a motel or in our camper, and buying food somewhere. I'm making a list and everyone's suggestions have been helpful. I hadn't thought about a deck of cards (double deck, for Canasta!) but I should have, so thanks for the reminder.
I have one of those daily planner things with one zippered section being a wallet and the other a ring binder with address book, note paper, undated calendar, etc. I bought it a few years ago just for the purpose of gathering up important info so it was ready to be grabbed. I got sidetracked and didn't get it done, so now I'm working on that. I will be putting that in one of the go bags, too. It's only about the size of a paperback novel but is well organized, so should work out well. The address book section will be helpful to put in contact info for various places like the insurance companies. Customer service phone numbers for CCs should be on the backs of the CCs, but I plan to put that info into the address section of the little binder.
03-19-2012, 01:05 PM #15
I do know here that if you have the name/addy/phone # of your current pharmacy where you fill all your RX, you can 'transfer' your RX to a new pharmacy. They just need to call over and have it transferred. I've done this when I've forgotten some meds while away. They can transfer it so they can fill it and transfer it back to your home pharmacy so you can continue pick up your meds there.
As for the 'go bags' I'd have the clothes packed with toiletries. Maybe a sep bag for a few canned goods, opener, mini first aid kid and flashlight tools etc. This way you know you'll have clothes covered, supplies and media - cells/tablet, perhaps charge it close to where you keep the 'go bags' so you can retrieve quickly.
I do like the idea of keeping photocopies of your important papers in your bags and the originals locked up somewhere safe. The other option - keep a scanned copy saved in your email - a web based email that you can access from anywhere. Maybe create a separate account if you currently use web based emails so no one knows about it and will try to hack it etc.