The size and contents of your G.O.O.D.I.E Bag will be determined by how much time you have to get yourself organized. Since the purpose of having a G.O.O.D.I.E Bag is preparation, it is a good idea to make the biggest possible list of potential contents and then pare it down. Here are some items to get you thinking:
- Bottled water and canned foods that come in pop-tops or easy to open container.
- Emergency Rations freeze dried/ dehydrated foods.
- Prescription meds for a week and copies of all prescriptions.
- Small first-aid-kit
- Camping tent.
- Blanket/throw/ pillows. Emergency solar blankets.
- Sturdy shoes/boots.
- Warm clothes, rain gear and hats.
- Flashlight/glow sticks.
- Battery powered radio. (or a dynamo as a just in case, if your batteries don’t work)
- Extra batteries. (they need to remain sealed and separate from the electronics that they will be used for to avoid unwanted drainage)
- Pocket knife. (high quality, easy to open, stainless steel)
- Regional map. (If you are competent at navigating using a map only)
- Copies of important documents. (digital and hard copy preferred and in a waterproof container)
- Camping gear. (anything from camp stoves to mess kit tents to sleeping bags, depending on needs and size of group)
- Walkie-talkies. (be sure to select a specific channel ahead of time for communication)
- 1 roll of quarters/$100 in small bills.
- Spare keys. (tucked away with your important documents in an inconspicuous part of the kit or a hidden pocket if available)
- Duct tape.
- Plastic Sheeting.
Beyond these initial items which quickly come to mind, it is important to focus on secondary items which become important in new areas. Think about the world that we live in. Social security numbers, bank accounts and finger prints are the gateway to identification. What if you lose your state issued identification? What if you don’t have your passport, social security card or birth certificate with you? Most people don’t think about how hard it can be to prove that they are, in fact, themselves.
When we think of packing and preparation, it is our natural tendency to flock to survival items and ignore documentation. Important documents are necessary to have on your person, if you have to leave your home. Get them all together in one place and store them in a container that is portable and water proof. If you have access to a scanner, you could also scan these important documents to a CD or a flash drive.
A simple trip to your local Kinko’s, Fedex store, or public library can give you access to a scanner. Bring all of your important documents with you. Once you scan them, you can immediately copy/paste them into a text program, such as, Microsoft Word. Next, attach the document to your email on the spot and send an email to yourself. Then, pop your flash drive into a comuter’s USB drive, open your email and place your important documents onto your flash drive. If your flash drive is equipped with an eyelet, attach it to your keychain or key ring inside of your G.O.O.D.I.E Bag. You have just successfully secured a lifetime’s worth of important documentation for yourself and as many members of your family as you saw fit to. After this simple process is complete, you can either keep the flash drive on your key chain or pop a copy into your G.O.O.D.I.E bag.
Here are the specific documents you should always have on hand in digital format: always have on hand, in digital format:
- Birth certificates
- Driver’s License.
- Prescriptions (list of prescription type & Doctor’s Name/ Phone #)
- Proof of residency – mortgage bille / rental agreement
- Renters/Home owners insurance coverage.
- Medical insurance coverage.
- Life insurance coverage.
- List of credit cards/ emergency credit card.
- Family photos, which clearly show everyone’s face.
- Childrens fingerprint cards.
- Children’s school registration or school contact information
- Pet registration.
- A copy of each bill — utility –mortgage — credit cards– insurance. (or a list of each and the account # and contact information).
- Phone number list including out of town & out of state contact person.
In a CBS report, correspondent, Armen Keteyian, noted that many copiers contained hard drives filled with images of every document they’d ever copied. Often, owners don’t wipe these hard drives clean before selling the machines. This could be a potential risk to people doing this at a Kinko’s location. At home scanners are the only fully secure way to complete this process.