Check out our ranger family’s Go Bag
I shared this post on Facebook and Instagram in early summer and was astounded by how many shares my post had.
Given this season’s devastating fire impacts, it’s worth sharing through my blog too as it’s never too late to review your plans.
What’s your Go Bag look like? Why should you bother? Where do you start?
Reasonable questions – so here’s some helpful guidance from an organised Park Ranger’s wife.
I’m sharing a glimpse of my Go Bag which I’ve had since I married my husband 23 years ago on Mt Buffalo NP, and have revised it every summer since our years living surrounded by national parks in Omeo and on the Mornington Peninsula.
Because my ranger husband is usually away from us during fire conditions this Go Bag also provides peace of mind for us as I care for our kids and prepare for condition changes.
A good Go Bag is only as good as being stocked with essentials and easily accessible should you ever need it.
My Go Bag includes:
– light canvas bag
– dual solar powered and battery-operated radio
– spare batteries
– cotton shirts, pants, socks, underwear (sizes updated every summer). We have high vis vests easily accessible too.
– breathing masks, cotton bandanas and cotton legionnaires caps
– Cotton gloves and heavy woollen gloves
– first aid kit with bandages, and eye drops
– water bottles
– emergency phone numbers of family
– easy to grab folder of Wills, banking, insurance, passports, birth certificates and identity and financial papers
– laptop and backed up files
– chargers and phone
– two ziplock bags of nibbles
– toiletries bag of essentials – toothbrush, toothpaste, underarm deodorant and sanitary pads
– medical prescriptions
– glasses and sunglasses
– pack of Uno (cause evacuations are often a long process)
– emergency list of other essential 5 treasures to grab if time allows
– pet carrier, pet food, water bowl
– cotton blanket
– emergency $50
– house and car keys
I have twice used this Go Bag when I was living with my husband and without kids in national parks and I have stood with it at evacuation zones until it was safe to go home.
I’ve never had to use any of it except the radio once, but each year I dutifully check it.
Now I have kids, I’ve wanted to continue to eliminate any worry about what we have at hand if we need to evacuate promptly.
No matter where you live, having a bag like this tucked into your cupboard is as important as anything you could do. It takes an hour each summer to re-organise and it’s the most valuable peace of mind for if I ever needed it.
This is not a bag to fight a fire, it’s a bag to safely survive and remove ourselves from fire conditions. And to wait things out in comfort without regret or distress.
It's not a silly thing to have a Go Bag, it's a bloody smart thing.
Today’s a good day a day as any to get yours together.
You can find organised inspiration on the CFA websites as well
Prepare for a safe fire season.
Keep an eye on each other, and your pets too.