Thursday, March 24, 2011

Grab and Go Bag

One never knows when a disaster might strike at home. Often it is very sudden and you only have minutes to get out. For my peace of mind I put together a Grab and Go Bag. I used the guide from Judith Kolberg's Organize for Disaster: Prepare Your Family and Home for any Natural or Unnatural Disaster.
While this took me a while to assemble, I sleep better nights knowing it is ready.
Some items in the kit have to do with safety and communication. I have a radio, flashlight with extra batteries, and a first aid kit. Very nearby is my purse, which will have my cellphone and charge cards.
Some items in the kit allow me to be able to survive outside for a while. I have food, a can opener, water, matches, blanket, plastic bags, plastic drop sheet, a Dopp kit, tissues, and pen knife.
I also have one change of clothes, extra shoes, extra eye glasses, extra sets of keys, a small pad and pencil.
Inside the bag is also a folder holding essential documents, information, and cash.
Part of the essential information in the folder are names/phone numbers/email address/account numbers of my banks, financial institution, insurance, an appraiser, utilities, Dept. of Motor Vehicles, Pharmacy, and credit cards. I also have a copy of my driver's license, social security card, and credit cards along with my original passport. I also have copies of my password and user code for my accounts, security system, bank, etc.
It is also good to have copies of your last income tax papers (first 2 pages), deeds, titles, loan information, stock and bond certificates, vehicle titles and registrations, will, living will, power of attorney, marriage certificate or divorce decree.
I also have cash in this folder.
You might want to put together a second bag for pets with their vet/shot information, extra collars and leads, food and water, a pet dish, blanket, a toy.
I put together my kit several years ago so maintenance at least once a year is a good idea. Old food and water should be rotated out. Information should be read over to see if there are any changes. For example, I bought a new car this year so the key and title had to be changed in the bag.
Having a sleeping bag in the same closet would also be a good idea.
I would be interested in hearing what unique items would you put in your Grab and Go Bag.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer


Anonymous said...

This really stood out for me: "While this took me a while to assemble, I sleep better nights knowing it is ready." This is the type of task that's too easy to put off, thinking "it's too much work and hopefully I'll never need it anyway." You've confirmed that yes, it is a lot of work, but it's well worth the time and effort.

Jonda Beattie said...

I broke up the tasks into smaller increments. That way I was able to make progress without becoming overwhelmed.