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Published May 26th, 2021
Packing an emergency 'Go Bag'
Pack a smaller emergency bag for your car and a larger roller bag for your home. Photo Cynthia Brian

If an emergency occurred while you were at home, work, or play, and you are forced to evacuate to another location, would you be prepared or panicked? This scenario could happen anywhere at any time. With preparation, you will be ready to go.
A "Go Bag" is a bag filled with all the necessities you, your family, and your animals will need for one to three days. You will want to pack this emergency kit for every vehicle as well as have an additional one in your home in a closet or space closest to your exit door. The reason for keeping a "Go Bag" in your car at all times is because you may be caught in an earthquake, fire, or another disaster when you are not at home. By also keeping a "Go Bag" at home, in the event of an immediate evacuation, you will have additional reinforcements.
Here's what you need to pack an emergency "Go Bag." In a backpack, small suitcase, shoulder bag, or roller bag pack the following:
First Aid kit
Duplicate chargers for phones, tablets, and computers
Copies of important documents including passport, drivers license, credit cards, insurance
Work gloves
Warm gloves
Small towel
Bottled water (1 gallon per person per day)
Thick blanket
Walking shoes
Warm jacket
Peanut butter
Protein bars
Personal hygiene kit with a toothbrush, soap, medications
Flashlight and headlamp with extra batteries
Eating utensils and plates
Breathing masks (Niosh-N95)
Clothing change
Reading glasses
Extra set of keys to home, office, etc.
Pet necessities: food, leash, medications
Toilet Paper
At your home, have a sign already made with your name, phone number, address, and the words "SAFELY EVACUATED" sitting on top of your "Go Bag" accompanied by a roll of blue painter's tape. In an evacuation, when you exit your home, tape the sign (time permitting) to the door so the first responders will know that you have left. When told to evacuate, do so without question. Take one vehicle to avoid clogging escape routes. Stay calm.
Other things to do in preparation for an emergency:
 Make a rescue plan with your family and practice an evacuation.
 Decide where you will meet up if separated and where to go in an emergency.
 Back up important documents to the cloud or keep paper copies in a safe deposit box.
 Get a landline phone for emergency purposes only. They work without electricity.
 Know how to manually open automatic gates and garage doors.
 Connect with neighbors to create a support safety team.
 Keep your gas tank full on all vehicles.
 Store your laptop, keys, purse, wallet, and other "must take" items in one place for swift retrieval.
 Sign up for emergency alerts via www.nixle.com and www.cwsalerts.com
Earthquakes may not provide any warning, and a devastating wildfire may give you only a minute or two to grab your family and your bag. Natural disasters are on the rise and catastrophes can happen to you. Get ready to go!

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