One thing that stood out to me during my time in ConGen was the concept of a “Go Bag.” While not a revolutionary idea, it hadn’t occurred to me to have one until I was sitting through a lecture on Crisis Management. The last time I ever had something resembling a Go Bag was in the fifth grade, my mom had packed me an “Earthquake Preparedness Kit” should a big one ever rock SoCal while I was at school. Every year, from kindergarten through fifth grade, my mom would pack a large Ziplock freezer bag with a sweatshirt, granola bar, and a picture of our family. Thankfully, those kits were never used and no longer necessary once I got older.
Yet, now that we are moving to a foreign country where there are a lot of unknowns and finding help during a crisis is a LOT farther away, I’ve decided it’s time to prepare us for the worst. Since David is part of the response team during an emergency and his departure will be delayed during an evacuation, the main Go Bag would contain stuff most relevant to his needs and those in need of immediate care. I, on the other hand, would leave during authorized departure with Pigpen, and would theoretically have more time to get my stuff in order with a few suitcases. Nevertheless, I am making my own small Go Bag which would contain some basics for me and Pigpen. Needless to say, *all* Go Bags would be out the door in an emergency situation.
I have been working on organizing these bags for the last couple weeks and am getting closer to having them finished. I figure it is easier to get the supplies for the Go Bags in the U.S. and have them already assembled before we leave so that there will be no delay in our preparedness for a disaster. It also helps that I have extra time on my hands and can easily access most of items at the local Target. We will ship the bags with our Unaccompanied Air Baggage (UAB) when we pack out of our temporary housing which should arrive a couple of weeks after we get to post.
For people in the State Department (EFMs included), 7 FAM 1800 Appendix B offers a nice checklist for the crisis management team, as well as the State Department’s Overseas Crisis Readiness program found at www.state.gov/overseascrisisreadiness. I am using both resources to create my own personalized checklist. Here’s a peek into our Go Bags:
Diplomatic and Official Passports
Phone lists and other contact information
Swiss Army Knife
First Aid Kit and Trauma Kit
Non-prescription meds (Ibuprofen and Vitamin C)
Anti-itch medication for insect bites
Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)
Roll of toilet paper
Feminine Hygiene products
Change of clothes (three pairs of socks, underwear, shirts, pair of pants, sweatshirt)
Collapsible travel dog bowls
Family photo 🙂
*Note: We *are* packing water bottles, but will have to include those once we get to post.
Are we missing anything?