By: Felix Giannini FPE, CPP
As I write this, it may be just past the “peak” of the curve for the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, and at my home 50 miles north. Pandemic is still raging around the world. I got the following idea from listening to commentary on The Weather Channel about the current pandemic during a hurricane, as it is now hurricane season in the US. Yes, I am a proud Weather Channel geek. My idea is about a new pandemic inclusive standard for the classic “go-bag”.
As a trained emergency manager, and truth be told also an Eagle Scout, I live to be prepared. If you are one of those people with a go-bag, or if you are motivated to build one, I offer these thoughts of preparation. Pandemic can happen anytime, and that includes during a simultaneous second catastrophe such as a tornado. We are as we speak entering into our spring and summer seasons in North America, a time for hurricanes, tornados, and wildfires. We are not prepared!
Everyone should have at least one go-bag, every member of each household, as they are personal. I have several go-bags, as my extended volunteer skills warrant. Go-bags are a carrying sack of varied sorts, filled with the basic things you need for an emergency evacuation plus critical personal items – e.g. prescription meds. These are items you would need to survive if you had to leave your home for days or longer. You can find go-bag content recommendations at; www.FEMA.gov , or www.DHS.gov , or www.READY.gov – take your pick, they all have lists for go-bags. However, it turns out we all forgot about the items we need when pandemic is the emergency. We were not prepared for COVID-19.
My suggestion is that we each carefully consider that a pandemic creates an additional set of items needed for that basic go-bag. This list reflects my recommended items, added as they become available:
§ Proper Masks
§ Surgical Gloves
§ Safety Goggles
§ A Ball Cap to further protect your eyes and hair and may serve as a visual identifier
§ Sanitary Wipes
§ Hand Sanitizer
§ A Body Temperature Thermometer
§ Non N-Said analgesics (Currently thought to be a possible COVID-19 aggravating drug)
§ Extra items to share with others
It is my hope that across the world we can all work together to get through the COVID-19 pandemic, each contributing in our own way, and to prepare for future pandemics. You are encouraged to add to this list, please comment to help make it better.