Recently, a friend on Facebook posted a question asking “what’s in your Go Bag?” I had never heard this phrase before so had to do some hard-core investigating (read: turn notifications on for her post), and found out that it’s basically the bag of life-sustaining essentials you would grab in the case of a natural or man-made disaster (also called a bug out bag).
Living in California, we are in earthquake central, not to mention the threat of tsunami’s, wildfires, and mudslides depending on where you reside exactly in this diverse eco-system of a home state. And now with the increasingly scary and very real threat of nuclear attack from North Korea and/or Russia, it is not totally out of the realm of possibility that we could somehow be cut off from electricity, running water, and (gasp!) wifi.
Having experienced the NYC blackout in the summer of 2003, where every single carton of ice cream within the five boroughs was either eaten or melted (truly, a gastronomic tragio-comedy), I can say first hand that it would be helpful if not life-saving to have some supplies queued up in case of emergency.
In fact, Costco currently has an entire section on its website selling a variety of different Go Bags with brawny names such as “American Preparedness” and the slightly pricier but far more charmingly named “Ready Freddy Elite Emergency Preparedness Kit and Water.” Oh Costco, you had me at Freddy! A concerned individual can also buy shelf stable food there ranging from “Fresh On Demand Organic Spinach Powder” (yummo!) to a 4-person 1-year supply of canned food that costs just a penny under $6,000. Six. Thousand. Dollars. That is a lot of canned lasagna! Don’t believe me? Here’s proof:
I don’t know about you, but I’m not about to spend that kind of cash on a literal mountain of BPA-lined stomach bombs (see photo above), not to mention the rent on the storage unit you’d have to get to keep it all in. So I decided to look around the house and see what I could scrounge together to make my own Go Bag, in the inevitable event of a zombie apocalypse.* Here’s what I found:
2 boxes of warm Canada Dry
6-pack of expired Diet Coke
An eclectic mix of child-sized juice boxes
Whatever water is currently in the Brita pitcher
Cases and cases of wine, because we may be on the run from cannibals, but we’ll still need a wind-down beverage at the end of a long day
That can of sardines I bought when we moved here four years ago (and, frighteningly, has not yet passed its expiration date)
Several jars of organic salsa
Lots of chocolate granola bars and cheese puffs (please don’t judge)
Half a dozen open boxes of cereal because apparently, I live with Seinfeld
Bags of nuts and dried fruit (good protein and fiber – we will never starve!)
Everything that’s left in the first aid kit I acquired in 2005, which includes 5 jumbo-size bandages, 2 plastic tweezers, latex gloves, gauze pads, medical tape, and one of those metallic heat blankets that they give marathon runners at the finish line
Paw Patrol band-aids
Toothpaste, toothbrushes, and dental floss because cavities are the worst
Box of diapers and wipes (oh god, just the thought of taking care of a baby without access to running water or at least the ability to call our pediatrician is truly frightening)
Protection and Safety:
Deluxe corkscrew because I can’t find my Swiss army knife, and this does include a small blade that could definitely win a fight against an aggressive squirrel
High powered LED flashlight that we got at a White Elephant party last year…and that no longer has battery power
Giant collection of restaurant match books that I’ve been working on since childhood
My Tae Kwon Do green belt training from college (who needs weapons when you’ve got an effective high kick)
NOTE: Some pre-made Go Bags include whistles. I don’t need one here because I’ve got two kids and trust me, they can make enough noise to be heard from miles around
The small pop up tent we use at the beach
Umbrellas (if I can remember to grab them. This is the kind of thing I ALWAYS forget to pack when I need it most)
The giant cardboard box that my son turned into a spaceship and has been sitting in our family room for months now
Every spare blanket from our closet, because I don’t like being cold
Some barely used restaurant crayons and a stack of partially-filled coloring books
Playing cards from a Vegas casino
Our own imaginations
That should last us until we reach Canada right? Or Mexico at least?
*Just kidding, emergency preparedness is a real concern. I am totally going out and buying all the necessary supplies to put in a proper Go Bag…tomorrow or just as soon as I can get around to it.