Are You Ready: Your Go Bag

Thursday, April 10, 2008

BL Comfort Item: Soloman's BagJohn Solomon, who is writing a book about emergency preparedness, is our weekly guest for the month of April. Today, he discusses some of the nuts and bolts of how you can best respond to emergencies.

In addition to the essentials, John recommends packing one "comfort item" in your go bag - something that make things a little easier. Add a picture of your Go Bag's comfort item to the WNYC Flickr Pool!


John Solomon

Comments [13]

kathie from Brooklyn

What good is a go bag if it's at home and you're not when disaster hits. We're out and about more than we're home.

Apr. 17 2008 10:53 AM
John Solomon from manhattan

If you email me through my site
and tell me what Community Board or neighborhood you live in I will try to get you in touch with the correct cert team contact. Thanks,
--John Solomon

Apr. 11 2008 12:52 PM
Roger from Brooklyn

I'm enjoying this series immensely, thanks for running it. After last week's show, I tried to look into the CERT team for my area of Brooklyn, but the process was unclear and abit convoluted. Ultimately I ended up at an online form that was supposed to be directed to the CERT Team leader, but who knows. Those forms that don't provide a confirmation email are always suspect.

Kristin, I don't quite understand your problem of "where to take a go-bag." You take it where the authorities tell you to go if an emergency occurs. I certainly would want to have a bag that contained a change of clothes, some food and water, and other incidentals if I received a message saying "You need to leave your home, now" rather than rely on anything or anyone else to provide me such items.

Apr. 11 2008 10:10 AM
sarah from upper west side

I used to worry about getting stuck in a broken-down subway car for hours so I made an emergency kit that I carry in my purse at all times.

Over the past five years in the city my kit has come in handy MANY times (I've even helped out other people with my supplies). I keep so much in my little kit (3 in x 4 in x .5 in):

ear plugs
safety pins
small nail files
face wash, moisturizer
eye drops
sewing kit
oral-b 'brush-ups'
hair ties
pain medication
allergy med
a spare pair of underwear

this kit has come in handy so many times, it's like carrying around piece of mind.

Many of my friends that grew up in the city think I'm depressing for also having a go-bag and a disaster plan, but it makes me feel better to know I have a plan. I've also spoken with my out of state family, they know not to worry if I don't contact them for a few days.

Apr. 10 2008 05:47 PM
chestinee from Midtown

I do have no-rad in my medicine cabinet in case of a dirty bomb. And I would not leave my pets, period.

Apr. 10 2008 12:11 PM
Kristin from Brooklyn

This whole "go bag" thing seems ridiculous to me because where on earth would I go in the event of a disaster or an attack? My husband and I would be limited to somewhere we would be able to walk to on foot or get to via public transportation whilst carrying our two cats and a couple of "go bags."

As a New Yorker that was present on 9/11 I'm as concerned about preparedness and safety as everyone else. However I am skeptical about rituals-- such as "go bag" construction-- that seem to me to be absurd when you consider where on earth one would take such a "kit" in the event of a serious disaster such as an attack, a tsunami, a hurricane, or a flood--the types of incidents I imagine most of us are worried about (myself included).

If someone detonated a dirty bomb, garbage bags, duct tape, and saline eye rinse would do nothing for us; if there was a natural or man-made catastrophe, those of us without helicopter access or personal automobiles would not be able to go anywhere with our little bags (except maybe across the Brooklyn Bridge). I would love it if someone talked about what New Yorkers in my (typical NYC) situation could really do to evacuate ourselves from a disaster instead of discussing useless rituals that do more to generate fear than to actually "prepare" us for anything.

Apr. 10 2008 11:23 AM
Rikki from Pomption Plains, NJ

Perscription medications - it's impotant to have an extra supply of your presctiption medication. Most insurance companies will fill an extra month of your prescription for emergency and/or travel purposes.

Apr. 10 2008 11:04 AM
CH from Staten Island

Actually, 2 "GO BAGS" might be best. One with "short term" items such as toiletries, radio, flashlight, batteries, etc.--things you keep handy for bad-weather or power-failure events. This is for an event you (more-or-less) understand. A second bag would have more long-term things such as cash (especially coins for vending machines), over-the-counter medicines for pain, allergy relief, etc., first-aid items, the dust-mask & gloves, plastic trash bags, water, etc.

The comfort items should be ready to go in both. Mine include 2 good (long & re-readable) books, instant COFFEE(& reg coffee with drip filters), incense, bar of soap & washcloth, CHOCOLATE bars, and VALIUM. The ear-plugs are a good idea (but they are already in by purse to help with the noisy MTA commute).

Apr. 10 2008 11:03 AM
Anthony from NYC

thank you Brian. just after 9/11 I spent a month in Israel to study their Best Practices in community preparedness. They have it down, thru experience. I made up a list of critical, helpful 50 points. Our NY Hospital Association was not interested.... all they wanted to talk about was Small Pox at the time. My hospital was too busy getting money for expensive equipment, much of it unnecessary and not useful, and
OEM didn't want to hear anything. The Mayors office asked them to look at what i gathered.... I felt the OEM was arrogant and very macho about knowing everything already. binderdundat. The Decider mentality, without community involvement.
Basically we have spent many millions on very wastefull practices. Our Mayor has not made citizen preparedness a priority and something we all get involved in, and our companies The downtown hospital I worked for is completely not prepared, under the guise that it is.
Citizens have no idea what to do.... we all should have been involved.
I held a public meeting for my neighborhood myself.... 10 people showed up.
We are not prepared, at all. I'm not talking fear, I'm talking all this putting on suits.... just basic basics.
I was responsible for 38 clinics around the city... their preparedness plans.... it was like pulling teeth to get anyone to listen or care.
all the best.

for preventive measures to decrease a terrorist hit:

Apr. 10 2008 10:56 AM
Emily from Manhattan

I second Patti's comment. Too often, pet owners forget these members of their family, who are equally vulnerable in disasters and cannot fend for themselves as some people think.

Apr. 10 2008 10:55 AM
Patti from Brooklyn

It's also important to have a plan for your pets and have any medications/food they may need - and know a place where you can go to with them.

Apr. 10 2008 10:53 AM
tricia from midtown

it gives me peace of mind to know i have some basics to take care of myself and others in case of emergencies. i don't care if there's little chance of needing them!! in my office is a rolling carry-on suitcase with my "go bag" stuff. daily meds, first aid, food, water, warm clothing, crank radio, phone numbers.

one day on my way to work, i found a mentally ill neighbor bleeding from the head and was able to help before authorities arrived because i had gloves and gauze in my purse.

Apr. 10 2008 10:52 AM
hjs from 11211

emergency preparedness or marketing hysteria, you decide

Apr. 10 2008 10:42 AM

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