What’s in your Go Bag?

 In #disasterpreparedness, #emergencyplanning, #peoplewithdisabilities
Photo of a see-through backpack with various supplies inside. Photo credit: aarp.org

A ‘Go Bag’ can save valuable time when needed at a moment’s notice. Photo credit: aarp.org







When a disaster occurs we have very little time to get to a safe place.  What you bring with you can make all the difference.  Everyone’s list will be a bit different based upon our needs and preferences, but there are some essential items we should all keep in mind.  Something we need to remember is our go bag should be easy to carry, so we don’t want to overload it.  Here are some suggestions of items to put in your go bag.


You will want to bring at least 3 days of your medications and make sure that you put them in a waterproof bag with a seal.  Also if you wear glasses, make sure you have a pair and bring a protective case so they don’t get damaged when you are on the move.


ATM machines may not be an option and if you need to buy something from a vending machine it is a good idea to have small bills and change.  Again, put this in a zip-lock or water-tight bag.

Food and Water

There is no guarantee you will have access to safe drinking water or food, so make sure to pack some snacks and bottled water.  Granola or cereal bars are small but filling, and they are individually wrapped making them perfect for eating on the run.


Make sure you have your driver’s license or identification card, your Social Security and Medicare cards, bank cards and a proof of address.  It would be a good idea to keep these in a waterproof bag as well.


Damp clothing is not ideal so it is a good idea to bring some lightweight rain gear or at least a few changes of clothes.  Try to keep it light while making sure you can dress for the weather.

Contact list

You may already have personal and emergency contacts programmed into your phone, but if your phone is damaged or towers are down, it is a good idea to have a list of contacts that you can put along with your identification and cards.


Last but not least, you will need to bring your phone and a charger.  Personal hygiene items such as a tooth brush and toothpaste, a first-aid kit and toilet paper.  A small battery powered radio with extra batteries is a good idea along with a small flashlight.

Having a go bag can save you valuable time when you have to evacuate due to an emergency situation.  Equally important to having a go bag is having an emergency plan in place.  Having a plan that you and your family are familiar with can help avoid the stress of wondering if loved ones are safe.  For more information about making a plan check out this link from the American Red Cross.  It covers everything from pets, children, elderly residents, people with disabilities and also breaks down common disasters by region that they are most likely to occur.

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