Todd Jerome Jenkins, MS, CSP, SMS, CHST, STSC

Safety Aficionado & Ph.D. Student

Weekly Safety Topic – What’s In Your Go Bag?

What’s in Your Go Bag?

Watching the evening news, we have all seen people evacuate their homes and workplaces before or during an emergency. In most cases, we hope and expect that such misfortunes won’t affect us. Everybody can be affected by disasters at any time. You may have plenty of time to evacuate in an emergency or you may only have a few minutes’ notices; it depends on what’s happening. You may be able to return to your home once the emergency is over, or you may never be able to see it the same way again. The time for preparation is now.

Make a family communication plan and pack a Go Bag for your family. If your cell phone system fails, make plans for finding and contacting your family. It is possible to avoid panic and a difficult search with a little planning.

If you must leave quickly, your go-bag contains items you may need. Make sure your go-bag is packed in a sturdy, easy-to-carry backpack. You may not be at home if an emergency strikes, so keep a go-bag or at least some extra supplies in your car and at work.

Include these items in your go-bag:

  • Prepare a first-aid kit.
  • A few snacks and some water.
  • Food and supplies for your pets.
  • A list of emergency phone numbers.
  • Keep extra keys for your car and house.
  • Small denominations of cash and credit cards.
  • Phone, charger, and important phone numbers.
  • Dust masks, a road map, a pocketknife, and a whistle.
  • Supplies for children, seniors, and people with disabilities.
  • Batteries for both a flashlight and a battery-operated radio.
  • Be sure to pack a change of clothes, a hat, and sturdy shoes.
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids, and other important personal items.
  • Keep copies of your important documents (such as your ID and insurance cards) in a waterproof bag.
  • A list of prescription medications; a list of the medications and dosages each family member takes; as well as food and drug allergies.

Visit to find additional information about being prepared for emergencies at home and at work.

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