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What goes into a disaster go-bag? Here's a checklist

By Mia Fulache Published Aug 04, 2022 4:32 pm

We can’t predict when or where a disaster will strike. The recent 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Ilocos Sur on July 27 and the landslides and flooding brought by Tropical Storm Agaton in April has served as a reminder for all to take emergency preparedness seriously. One way to do so is by keeping a "go bag " or a "bug-out bag" in all homes.

The go bag is an emergency bag with supplies and tools needed to get by for at least 3 days or 72 hours if disaster strikes. This bag should be kept in a place that is easily accessible in times of emergency.

In 2016, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) released a community and family earthquake safety guide, which contains a checklist of essentials to prepare inside an emergency supply kit or go bag.

Start by choosing a waterproof bag that's big enough to carry everything. Then collect the basics such as a first aid kit, a flashlight and spare batteries, and your essential medications for fever, cough and colds, diarrhea, and others.

Also pack non-perishable food such as ready-to-eat canned goods, granola bars, peanut butter, and some bottled waters.

It is important also to include a whistle—ideally one per family member—in your go bag in case you need to call someone's attention.

Pack also spare clothes, including underwear and a jacket, and a blanket to keep everyone warm. Don't forget to include a toiletry bag with face masks, alcohol, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, menstrual pads, tissue paper, etc.

    Those with babies or with special needs must pack diapers, wet wipes, and baby food. Add a toy or comfort object for children, too, if needed.

    And finally, don't forget to pack copies of important documents. Get a plastic envelope or zipper bag and stash inside important documents such as passports, birth and marriage certificates, property and insurance documents, medical records, and the like. Also include emergency contact information and some cash.