Ideas for a GO kit

As amateurs involved with emergency communications we typically think of a go kit as one containing the essentials we need to set up a mobile field station. In light of the events of the past week I thought I would preach to the choir.

When preparing your communication go kit also prepare a utility kit for yourself and each member of the family. The kit should include everything you would need to leave the area you are in and move to a safe environment.

At a minimum include the following:

– Two LED Flashlights & spare batteries
– Comfortable shoes, hiking boots
– Extra heavy socks and Underwear
– Long pants and a long sleeve shirt
– Spare prescription glasses / contacts
– Sun glasses
– Gloves, windbreaker and rain poncho
– Power bars or similar food stuff for 4 days
– Bottled Water for 4 days (bare minimum 20oz per day)
– Portable AM/FM/TV band Radio & spare batteries
– Family contact & rendezvous plan, prepaid calling card
– Personal Hygiene Items (Purell, etc.)
– Small first aid kit
– Swiss Army Knife
– OTC & prescription meds, copies of prescriptions
– Twenty to thirty dollars in cash and coins
– Three or four tall plastic kitchen bags

Although the list is extensive it is not all encompassing. The object is to have a kit that contains the essentials you need to migrate to a safe location and sustain yourself and family members for a minimum of four days following a disaster.

Everything listed above can fit into a medium size backpack which can be picked up quickly as you leave your house, office or other location when an evacuation is ordered. Use the tall plastic kitchen bags to protect the contents of the backpack from water infiltration. Keep it in the trunk of your car, in your office or some other easily accessible location.

If we learn anything from the events of the past week it should be preparedness is not an option it is a necessity. A natural or man-made disaster can affect anyone, anytime, anywhere. Don’t become a statistic and don’t ever think “it cannot happen here”.

One last item, gasoline will not always be available during an evacuation so plan ahead. Ever since hurricane Agnes in ’72 and Gloria in ’85 I always have at minimum a half a tank of gas in all our vehicles. At 18 mpg including idle time you could travel at least 150 miles and in some cases as much as 180 miles on half a tank of gas.

…preparedness is not an option it is a necessity.

73, Joe

Baltimore Amateur Radio Club