In my last post we talked about evacuating and having an evacuation route for you and your family. This will ensure that you have a safe way to get out of your home and neighborhood in the case of an emergency. Now what will you take with you if you have to evacuate especially if you have to evacuate quickly. For this I recommend having what is known as a “go bag” or an “evacuation bag”. A “go bag” is a special bag that you have with some very important supplies in the event that you have to evacuate. This type of preparation is not only important for typhoon season but all year round in the event of earthquake or in the case of a tsunami.
Why exactly should I have a “go bag”?
In the event of an emergency it is important to make sure you have the supplies you need right at your fingertips. This will prevent an otherwise stressful situation from being a panic situation. For example let’s suppose that during a typhoon something happens to your house and you need to evacuate immediately. Your first priority is to keep your family safe so rather than searching around house for necessary supplies wouldn’t it be helpful to have something you can grab and know that everything you need is inside?
Taking the time to create a go bag allows you to prepare for an emergency situation before it happens. That way if something does happen unexpectedly you can grab your bag and go.
What to put in a “go bag”?
Creating a go bag is simple easy and takes almost no time. Each go bag should be an easy to carry bag such as a backpack which inside has a change of clothes emergency supplies like a flashlight in bottle of water as well as any medicine that might be necessary for your family member. You also might want to include some type of granola bar or food in your bag. This should include baby formula or anything else vital for your family members. It is also important to save some food for any pets that might need to evacuate with you.
One way that I prepare my go bag is to take one outfit from last year that I otherwise might not wear and put it inside. This allows me to have a change of clothes in case of emergency however I do not have to lose an entire outfit out of my closet. When choosing clothes you might also want to choose something light weight. This will ensure that you can carry the bag easily rather than being weighed down by heavy garments like jeans.
Another thing I like to include in my go bag is an emergency blanket and rain coat. Both of these items will ensure that I can stay warm and dry if I end up evacuating. These items may sound silly because it is warm on Okinawa but trust me when I say it can get cold if you are very wet.
Other things to keep in mind.
Having your go bag placed in the proper location is just as important as having one to begin with. They shouldn’t be in a location which is easy to access and likely that you will remember. It is not a good idea to keep your bags in a place that will take a long time to access. A good idea during very bad weather like a typhoon is to put your go bag in a location nearest your door. This way if you have to evacuate you can grab your bag quickly.
It is also a good idea to have multiple bags her family. This will distribute the weight amongst each person. Even young children can carry you items leaking the strain less on mom and dad. If you have to text like I do you may also consider having them carry some items in a set backpack. I fill my dogs backpack with dog’s items so they carry their own weight.
As I have said in many other posts it’s very important to make sure you are prepared for these types of situations. Being overseas can be difficult and a little stressful at times so illuminating some of that stress by properly planning is definitely worth the effort.
Have you experienced a situation in Okinawa where you have had to evacuate? Tell us about it in the comments below.