What if disaster strikes and you need to leave your home in a hurry; will you be ready? In WGB’s thirty years of shielding our customers from risk, we know there is one rule when it comes to disasters: no one is immune to the unexpected.
Thousands of people recently had to flee their homes in the wake of wildfires in California. Millions of people in Puerto Rico and the southern United States endured days, weeks, even months without electricity or running water after powerful hurricanes hit. Brutal east coast winter storms recently knocked power out for days as well, forcing residents to seek shelter elsewhere. Are you prepared to leave your home on a moment’s notice if one of these incidents occurs where you live?
If you want to be ready for the unexpected, you should pack a “go bag.” A go bag is a pack of emergency supplies that can sustain you for a few days during an emergency situation, until you reach a safe shelter, or the authorities reach your location. Having a go bag packed in your home will let you to take care of your basic needs immediately following a major incident.
Packing a Go Bag
So what should you pack in your go bag? Your go bag should include 3 days’ worth of food and water. You should also have a flashlight in your go bag, and a first aid kit. You should also include a small multipurpose tool, like a Leatherman; you can use the tool to open cans of food, turn off gas or water meters, or repair small items. A hand-cranked emergency item is another great item to pack in your go bag, too.
If a disaster does strike and you do need to evacuate your home, there are several other items you use every day that you’ll want to quickly place in your go bag. Make sure you pack your cell phone and charger, for example. You’ll also want to take any important personal identification and credit cards with you, your prescription medications, and any cash you have on hand as well. To get more ideas of what to put in your go bag, you can download our packing list HERE.
Remember the Bag
Each member of your family should have a go bag of some sort, and should keep them in a designated place in your home. You need to be able to get to your bag rapidly when disaster strikes, so don’t bury them in your basement or attic; keep them accessible.
Inspect your bags every six months, change out the water, and make sure that all of your emergency items are in good order. Finally, keep in mind that the items in your go bag may weigh 30 pounds or so; choose a quality backpack for your go bag that you’ll be comfortable carrying if you have to leave home on foot. Learn more about how to build your go bags, and emergency preparedness in general, at Ready.gov.
No one ever wakes up thinking “today I am going to have to flee my home due to a major calamity.” However, natural disasters and other incidents force millions of people out of their homes every year. Having a go bag packed can ensure you are ready for any contingency, and give you peace of mind in the process. Downloading our go bag packing list should give you some great ideas about how to prepare for the unexpected. What’s in your go bag?