What is a "Go Bag," you ask?  Have you seen the film Salt?  Remember when the CIA suspects Salt of being a Russian Spy and she runs to her apartment and grabs a pack sack with clothes, money, etc., and she's ready to dash in a flash?  What she grabbed was her "Go Bag".


Basically you need to have a pack sack, or some kind of bag, packed that you could grab it in an instant.  Whether it is a house fire (like my neighbors just experienced) or an emergency evacuation, having a bag prepared can help save your life or, at the very least, prevent a major hassle once the commotion dies down.  A typical "Go Bag" (it never stops sounding cool to me) includes:
  • Photocopy of your passport or other government issued identification
  • Photocopy of the deed to your house
  • Photocopy of your home and vehicle insurance policy
  • Photocopy of health insurance documents
  • Photos of family (for identification purposes)
  • Local map
  • Local emergency contact info (ex. shelters)
  • Emergency cash
  • Change of clothes (something warm)
  • Good, sturdy shoes + socks
  • Toothbrush + toothpaste
  • Soap & other necessary toiletries
  • Spare pair of prescription eyeglasses
  • Radio (crank style is best)
  • Flashlights (again, crank style is best or pack spare batteries)
  • Whistle
  • Pocket knife (such as a Swiss Army Knife)
  • Water bottles + food (something easy to open & non-perishable is ideal)
  • First aid kit
  • Spare house keys
  • Special needs items (such as an inhaler)
You might need to make a special one for babies (gosh they need so much stuff, right?) and/or pets as well.  Each family member (even kids) should have their own.


This bag shouldn't be too heavy and shouldn't carry superfluous items (unpack that hair straightener right now).  It is an action movie/minutes to leave kind of bag.  I'm working on mine right now, and I'm taking a bit of space for a small photo album of truly special photos.  I'm petrified of losing my photographs.  So much so that I leave discs with copies of my photos in another city!  But the rest will be all serious stuff.  Promise.