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Take A Moment To Prepare a Go-Bag

By Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie on July 9, 2021

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As we head into a predicted, extremely high fire risk season in California and across the nation, it’s a good time to think about putting together a “Go-Bag” that can save you and your loved one’s unnecessary worry!  With just a little pre-planning, you can be ready to go during any natural or man-made disaster, as this simple little item can make reduce your stress during unexpected situations and emergencies.

A Go-Bag is a “ready-to-go” case that you grab on your way out the door in case of an emergency to help keep you safe and comfortable in the coming hours and days. Stopping to search for your medications or other important needs can cost you critical seconds in an evacuation.  Why not pack a separate Go-Bag for yourself and every member of your household and keep them stored in the same location?

A Go-Bag should contain the following:

• Several bottles of water
• Non-perishable food such as energy bars or beef jerky
Ready-to-eat meals available through camping outfitters, but they may require potable boiling water—water than might be unavailable
• Food for your pets and their leashes
A portable or collapsible water bowl would be valuable
• Charging cords for your cell phones
• Hand crank radio to access the Emergency Weather Solar Crank AM/FM NOAA Radio
Portable 2000mAh power bank, a bright flashlight, and a reading lamp for household emergency and outdoor survival is available at Amazon for approximately $30. It has USB charging ports for your electronic devices and a solar charger, hand crank charger, and can also run on three AAA batteries
• Extra batteries for the radio and other electronic devices would be in your Go-Bag
• N95 respirator face masks to reduce smoke inhalation
These items can become unavailable when there is smoke in the air due to wildfires and were unavailable during the peak of COVID but are available now for around $15.00 at hardware stores and Amazon

While getting ready for a typical day, list every toiletry you use and then buy a travel-size version of each item. You might also include backup eyeglasses, as well as a first-aid kit, baby wipes, and a multipurpose tool with a knife and can opener.


Pack a few days’ worth of necessary clothing and include layers you can add or remove, along with underwear, socks, a comfortable pair of shoes and a jacket.

Important Medications

Pack about a three-day supply of each of your prescriptions that should last until you can get to an open pharmacy. If you need larger items such as an oxygen tank, make sure you have a portable version.

The Perfect Bag

Think small and portable. A backpack is ideal, but a lightweight suitcase with wheels will also work just fine. Just remember, you may literally be running with this item in your hands.


Fill a zip-top, waterproof bag with photocopies of the following or use your cell phone to scan or photograph these documents and make a special folder for them on your phone that you can access easily.

  • Birth certificate
  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security and Medicare cards
  • Power of attorney and Will
  • Any marriage, adoption, or naturalization certificates
  • Proof of address
  • Insurance, medical, and immunization records
  • Verification of your credit and ATM cards


In addition, we recommend packing enough money for a few days including small bills and a roll of quarters.

If you need to purchase something from a vending machine, you wouldn’t want to start asking equally desperate strangers for change.

It’s simple and quick to make it an annual ritual out of checking your Go-Bag for anything you might want to add and/or to replace food items, medications, and batteries with fresh items.

Hopefully, you will never need to use a Go-Bag in your lifetime. However, it’s far better to be prepared than risk the extra headache and hassle of being unprepared at an already difficult and stressful time in your life.

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