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Evacuations in Nebraska — 1 Comment

  1. I was recently interviewed on an AM station in Los Angeles during some of their wildfires and we spent quite a bit of time discussing the importance of having a “go bag” available for just this sort of situation. You might want to share this tip sheet with your readers.

    Patrick Krupka,
    President, http://www.MyDisasterPlan.com

    “Go Bag” Fact Sheet

    Whether you call it a “go bag”, a “grab bag”, or a “jump bag”, this essential piece of the preparedness puzzle deserves significant attention during your preparations. This bag is intended to be the one item you grab when you’re evacuating your home. It needs to be light, mobile, accessible, and full of everything you need to survive in the event that you have nothing left.

    Creating a bag that is relatively small and light, easy to carry, yet still has enough supplies in it to be worthwhile can be a bit tricky, but these tips should help.

    The Bag Itself:

    • Daypacks or mid-sized backpacks work well
    • Medium sized duffle bags also work well
    • You should be able to carry it comfortably with one hand, or on your back
    • Consider a water resistant or waterproof bag if flooding or heavy rain is a concern
    • Truly waterproof bags can also function as a floatation device in a pinch
    • Brightly colored bags can also double as an attention grabber for rescuers
    • Consider having a bag for each teen or adult member of the family

    The Contents:

    • Flashlight, battery operated or hand-crank, consider a waterproof one
    • Emergency whistle and signal mirror
    • Radio, battery operated or hand-crank, consider a NOAA emergency weather radio
    • Dust masks (see the Wildfire Fact Sheet)
    • Pocket knife or multi-tool
    • Permanent marker
    • Duct tape
    • Small note pad and pencil/pen
    • Sturdy shoes and a change of clothes
    • Seasonal clothing items (hot or cold weather items)
    • Lightweight rain jacket or poncho (poncho can double as a small shelter)
    • String or “accessory cord”
    • Local map
    • Cash, small bills ($20’s or smaller) at least $50 or more
    • Some water and food (consider a camping type water filter and purification tablets)
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Spork or other compact eating utensil
    • Reusable water bottle
    • Home, car, and office keys
    • Copies of important documents; driver’s license, will, marriage license, etc**
    • Photos of family members and a home inventory with pictures**
    • Emergency wallet card with medical information and Family Disaster Plan**
    • Medications, eyeglasses, feminine items or other personal items as needed
    • Toilet paper (camping style comes without the cardboard tube)
    • Wet wipes, camping soap, travel size lotion, sunscreen
    • Disposable razor
    • Small first aid kit

    ** All of these items can be stored simply and securely with MyDisasterPlan.com, and you can download reports with all of this information and save them (password protected) of a flash drive, CD, smartphone, etc. to be used after a disaster. This provides much more security than having paper copies of these documents in your kits.

    Don’t forget to pack a bag for your pets, and don’t forget essential for your children. Having individual bags for different members of the family provides some extra redundancy in your system, and also allows for increased supplies (extra water and food, wet wipes, soap, etc.) This can significantly increase your comfort in an evacuation situation.

    This “go bag” can be used to augment your family’s disaster kit because you are unlikely to have access to your large disaster kit, but not to your “go bag”. On the other hand, you might find yourself in the position of having your “go bag” but not your larger disaster kit. This means, for example, that if you had a NOAA emergency weather radio in your “go bag” you wouldn’t need another one in your disaster kit. Just remember that if you only have access to one of these, it is likely to be the “go bag”.

    Placement in your home:

    Ideally this “go bag” is something that you’ll never have to use so don’t necessarily hang it on the wall next to your front door. You should, however, be able grab it easily during an evacuation so don’t bury it in the back of your closet either. Think about how you would evacuate your home, and where you could grab this without adding significant time to your evacuation.

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