Archive for February 2011
Or any other disaster? 2011 is off to a disastrous start, in the full sense of the word. In just five short week Australia has undergone flooding, cyclones and fires on a scale that I feel it is safe to say is unprecedented here.
Hollywood does a great job of making the run for your life seem exciting, and I’m sure there would be a huge adrenalin rush if it actually came to it, but I know what I’m like under that kind of pressure. Panic Central. That’s me. I would hate to be trying to think about what to take when under threat. Imagine, there’s a bushfire looming and you have twenty minutes to get to safety – that was the situation people in Perth faced yesterday. It’s the situation thousands of Australians on the East Coast faced in the last two weeks. Twenty minutes to be in your car and fleeing. Do you know what you would take? I’d be just as likely to grab my make up bag, my pillow, a dozen raw eggs from the fridge and the phone book. In other words, whatever I could lay my hands on in that instant.
I’m not an organised person generally. And I am prone to panic, which is why I would end up juggling a dozen raw eggs as I run from the giant looming tsunami. So, in order to circumvent this, I have thought about what I would take for my family and me, and prepared Go Bags accordingly. (I’ve also heard them called Grab It bags or 72 hour packs, but really, it’s whatever suits you, I guess. )
So what is in a Go Bag? You might be surprised. They’re a unique and evolving beast, which is one reason it’s probably a good idea to review them at least once a year, ideally, twice a year is better. No two bags are likely to be the same, and what you need now, and what is important to you now, is probably not what is going to meet your needs in 6 months or a year’s time.
It also depends on the time of year, and the reason for running. I have quite a lot of stuff in my bags, and because there are 5 of us, I have managed can split something between us all. However, should we suffer an alien invasion and have to run for the hills in the height of summer, there I kind of know what I could dice from my bags. Ditto when the ice age hits.
The other thing to consider is how long you are going to need the bag. While we’ve seen the authorities set up evacuation centres and communities pull together, some of the worst-case-scenario disasters are not going to allow that to happen. At least not immediately. It is suggested the bag should have enough in it to help you survive for 3 days. (Hence the name 72 hour pack) While I would be grateful for my pillow, my dozen eggs, and makeup bag are likely to be a nuisance after a few hours, let alone carrying them around for three days.
I have a Go Bag for each member of my family. Plus a couple of bags with extra stuff. If I had two minutes to get out of my house, I could grab them and go, and know that at least the bare essentials are taken care of. This list can seem a bit melodramatic, but it’s also preparing for a worst-case-scenario.
My (Ideal) Go Bag under the cut:
412 comments February 7, 2011