PACK YOUR BAG! Every day this month, 1 simple step to take

October 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

October has a lot of identities. A big one for people in our area: Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month.

Here at WSB, preparedness is one of our favorite topics. It’s something YOU can do, without spending a lot of time or money – little steps that could make a big difference if something major happened.

West Seattle is fortunate to have the area’s premier grass-roots preparedness group, West Seattle Be Prepared, which launched an incredibly info-packed website years ago, and continues to work on initiatives to help people around the peninsula be prepared. And WSBP’s Cindi Barker is working with WSB this month on daily advice that will get you from here to the vital preparedness step of having a packed “go back.”

For inspiration, we’ll be reminding you that earthquakes – the most likely kind of disaster around here – can happen anywhere. WSBP’s home page is tracking all the 3.0-or-more quakes around our country this month. Scroll down to see the list of what’s been recorded today alone! 3.0 isn’t a megaquake but it’s enough to be a wakeup call.

So jump into the spirit with us. PACK YOUR BAG! For starters, today’s step to take – just GET the bag. As Cindi puts it:

Today, find a backpack (for 2 people) or suitcase (for 4 people). Look around in your garage or attic for one you haven’t used in a while, or check out thrift stores for inexpensive ones. The West Seattle Senior Center Thrift Store had a 50% off sale on luggage the other day; might still be going on!

We’re going to designate one too; we’ve always had a “go bag” for our news-producing gear (laptop, extra power, portable Internet, etc.) but not one with other basics. So we’ll build along with you. Sometime tonight when you’re at home – find that suitcase. Maybe even send us a pic, so we can publish it as inspiration! ( And watch tomorrow for what to start putting IN it. If you miss a day, this info will all be in our archives for preparedness –


  1. What a great idea! After the windstorm we had this past weekend, we started talking about the fact we had no plan in effect for a disaster, such as power outage, tree falling into the house, flooding, or what have you. Looking for that bag today!

    Comment by Breezy — 3:20 pm October 2, 2013 #

  2. Great idea! After moving to a permanent place I kept thinking I should get one of those pre-made bug out kits at REI or Costco and then I see the price and think nah, not for something to sit in the garage and go bad. But really I do need to have something stashed away!

    Comment by trickycoolj — 3:54 pm October 2, 2013 #

  3. Thanks for posting these small steps! I’m looking forward to the next one. I always “mean” to get prepared but never do it. You guys rock.

    Comment by Raindog — 3:59 pm October 2, 2013 #

  4. Thank you! I start to feel so overwhelmed trying to put disaster stuff together. This is a great way to do it.

    Comment by Heather — 4:22 pm October 2, 2013 #

  5. The site states to store 1 gallon of water per person per day. For how many days, anyone know?

    Comment by evergreen — 6:09 pm October 2, 2013 #

  6. Bag/box: done.
    Battery-powered lanterns: done.
    Candles: done.
    First-aid kit: done (including our special medical needs).

    Thanks for the small steps (I jumped ahead a bit, but that is because I started just before the storm this weekend!), and I look forward to the next installment!

    Comment by happy — 6:37 pm October 2, 2013 #

  7. I made kits last year for friends and family for the holidays. A useful gift feels so much better to give. They were much appreciated.

    Comment by T — 9:27 pm October 2, 2013 #

  8. GREAT idea! Thank you so much for the step-by-step breakdown. As other people already indicated, this is just what I need to put together a bag I should have had years ago.

    Comment by m — 9:42 pm October 2, 2013 #

  9. I have a go-bag packed & under my desk at work – but I don’t have one at home! I’ll work on it this weekend. Thanks for a great reminder!

    Comment by Maggie — 4:29 am October 3, 2013 #

  10. Love this, thanks!

    Comment by Jennie — 9:04 am October 3, 2013 #

  11. So I’m always on the road in my traveling teaching career. Usually up in N King County or Snohomish. Should I have a bag for the car as well?

    Comment by Floraista — 3:22 pm October 3, 2013 #

  12. Floraista, that’s a dilemma. The Red Cross says yes. But I have a car with no trunk, so I hate leaving a backpack in there for someone to mistake for a computer. But you should have some supplies, if not a full 3 day pack, especially in winter.

    Comment by CeeBee — 4:20 pm October 3, 2013 #

  13. Here’s another issue: What if it all gets put together and it’s too unwieldy to carry? I am thinking about those of us with accessibility issues. Maybe the suggestion should be a small suitcase on wheels, like used for carry-on luggage on the airplane?

    Comment by Margaret in Vashon — 5:33 pm October 3, 2013 #

  14. Margaret in Vashon, I agree, when you read everything the Red Cross thinks should go into a kit, you really can’t lift it. I will come back to this concern near then end, because people will probably be onto backpack number 2 as the month goes on. The suitcase on wheels is an excellent idea!

    Comment by CeeBee — 11:20 pm October 3, 2013 #

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