• Aging Well Denver

Are You Ready For An Emergency? A 'Go Bag' Can Make All The Difference

Updated: Jul 11, 2018

In 2017, Atlantic hurricanes alone cost more than $368 billion dollars and resulted in nearly 900 deaths. This made for one of the most horrific hurricane seasons in history. Unfortunately, the US also dealt with wildfires, earthquakes and tornados.

The scariest part of natural disasters is the unpreparedness, and even though we ask ourselves often what we would grab in case of an emergency, few of us do the preemptive work to hopefully make our families safer and more secure in the event that we are actually caught in one. A 'Go Bag' can save you precious time hunting for medications, glasses and paperwork while evacuating.

Pack each member of your family a separate bag with their necessities in it and store in an easy to access place in your house. Make sure they are all together in case someone isn't able to grab their own bag. The key to the perfect bag is something that's easy to carry; think a backpack or small duffle with a cross body strap that is lightweight on its own. Below we can compiled a list of items that would be useful in case you find yourself at a shelter or away from your home in case of an emergency.


Pack a few days worth of clothes that are lightweight and easy to layer. Try to get things made of fabrics that will hold up well in harsh conditions like a packable waterproof jacket , wool socks that dry quickly, and lightweight water resistant boots. It's also not a bad idea to have an emergency blanket.


Write a list of things you use on a daily basis and collect travel sizes of them for your bag. Make sure that you pack a spare pair of glasses if you wear contacts or glasses daily - if you don't have any extra you can buy a pair with your prescription here at Warby Parker for under $100 . Baby wipes are always great to have as well as a basic toiletry kit.


Pack a spare wall charger and cord in at least one of the bags. You can purchase a back up power pack to keep charged in the bag at all times. Lightweight LED flashlight , and an AM/FM radio with extra batteries.


Pack at least 3 to 5 days of medications in an airtight pill container. If you need larger medical supplies make sure you pack the rest of your bag with them in mind. Make sure you have room for them or at least know where to get a portable version of them quickly. It's also wise to get a small, basic first aid kit.


Pack a few granola bars or other non perishable food items in the bag. Water is an absolute necessity but it's not very packable. You can also purchase a packable water bottle, and depending on where you are or how you feel you could get a portable water filter.


Fill a large zip lock or water proof bag with a copy of all important documents you may need; birth certificates, drivers license, home insurance and healthcare cards, social security, marriage, adoption or naturalization papers, immunizations records, any allergy or special medical needs documents. It's also a good idea to put a few days worth of cash, for taxis, bus passes or food. A roll of quarters is good for vending machines or laundry facilities.


It's often easy to forget what we would need for our furry friends. Get a copy of their vaccinations records to put with yours, including their rabies vaccines. Make sure they have an up to date tag on their collar or have your vet chip them so that they can be returned to you in case of a separation. You can get collapsible bowls for food and water as well.

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