07 Jan How To Pack A ‘Go Bag’ For Emergency Evacuations – Lilledeshan Bose
Here’s how to prepare a evacuation “go bag” that you can quickly grab in case you ever need to evacuate.
Choose a bag. Each member of the family should have his or her own. Start with a backpack or a nylon camper’s laundry bag with a drawstring.
Take photos of all the rooms in your home, along with all your valuables. Store these photos on a cloud server, and back them up on a flash drive.
Scan all your important documents, and save them on a flash drive. You could also save them onto a cloud server if you have an encryption service you trust.
These documents include:
- Driver’s licence
- The deed to your house
- Your will and/or trust
- Proof of insurance
- Medical records
- Birth certificates
- A list of personal contacts with their addresses and phone numbers
- Your kids’ immunisation records
- Your pet’s paperwork for vaccinations and medical history
Include the flash drives of your photos and important documents in your bag.
Add essential supplies to help you get by for a few days. This includes water (4L per person per day), non-perishable food, a first-aid kit, a torch, batteries, clothes, nappies and pet supplies. The Queensland government has a full emergency kit checklist that you can refer to.
Create an evacuation to-do list. Note the items you will want to pack during an emergency: Your “go bag”, your pets, and a list of valuables (jewellery, paintings, photos) you can’t live without. Also list your action items, such as turning off utilities and locking up your house.
When you need to evacuate, break out the evacuation to-do list, check off each item, and get the hell out.
Beyond the “go bag”, here are other important ways to prepare yourself for an emergency disaster:
- Take a first aid and CPR class. Look up the Australian Red Cross for information.
- Buy — and learn to use — a fire extinguisher.
- Buy a fire and waterproof safe. I looked them up after a fire and realised they aren’t as cost-prohibitive as you think, though they can still cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.
- Learn now how to safely shut off all utility services — electricity, water and gas — in your home. Many fires are exacerbated by natural gas explosions after disasters. Share your knowledge with all the people in your household.
- Make sure your pets are microchipped.