PACK YOUR BAG! Today’s simple way to get prepared

If you missed Day 1 – in honor of Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month, WSB is working with Cindi Barker from West Seattle Be Prepared to help you take one major step toward personal/family preparedness, with one simple action every day, resulting in your “go bag” being packed and ready in case of disaster.

In our state, that disaster is most likely to be an earthquake. We haven’t had a big one since the Nisqually quake in 2001, but it could happen without warning. And quakes are happening in many places every day, so Cindi will share quake info every day along with the tip for what to do next to PACK YOUR BAG! Ready?

On Wednesday, there were 9 earthquakes, all between 3.0 and 4.0 magnitude, the closest being a 3.4 in the ocean, off southern BC. There has been a lot of activity going on in that area; the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network Facebook group often posts charts showing the latest swarm of quakes that goes on in our greater Northwest area.

The Day 1 action to take was: Get a suitcase or backpack and designate it your go bag. Today on Day 2, we start packing:

PACKING YOUR BAG TODAY: Put 3 cans of ready-to-eat soup for each person in your bag, plus a hand-operated can opener. You won’t want to be using precious water to dilute soup; that’s why ready-to-eat soup is recommended. Hand can openers can be found at the local dollar store (and often at garage sales).

OK, we’re off to the store. Got yours? Send us a pic! ( And watch tomorrow for the next item(s) to pack. If you miss a day, this info is all in the WSB “Preparedness” archives –

8 Replies to "PACK YOUR BAG! Today's simple way to get prepared"

  • sgs October 3, 2013 (5:03 pm)

    This is great; I’m doing it. Will there be some ideas about how to decide where to store the bag? I keep going back and forth about where would be most accessible. Don’t want it in the storage room where I probably couldn’t get to it if there was damage to the house, but also don’t want it by the front door. Garden shed? Not insulated. Thanks for your help.

  • Margaret in Vashon October 3, 2013 (5:25 pm)

    I love this One Day @ a Time approach. So not overwhelming and like a fun game. I’m in!

  • WSB October 3, 2013 (5:28 pm)

    Tell your friends, relatives, social-media pals (you can use Share This at the bottom of any WSB story to share it on FB or a kazillion other services, including e-mail). Never too late to catch up. Nobody will grade you – but the prize is priceless – a little more peace of mind. Could help in a lesser “disaster” like a winter power outage (think 2006, up to a week for some), even. – TR

  • kayo October 3, 2013 (6:28 pm)

    Thank you for doing this! Been on my to do list for a while and this makes it manageable.

  • Twobottles October 3, 2013 (7:03 pm)

    This is great! I would suggest that the top priority is water. When you go to Target, Costco or even the grocery store, grab some bottled water and stash it at home. However, don’t stash everything in the same place, you never know what part of your house may be damaged. Also, keep an old pair of shoes next to your bed. In a bad earthquake, there will likely be lots of broken glass on the floor.

  • CeeBee October 3, 2013 (11:14 pm)

    Twobottles, yep, water is coming up, several times!

    sgs, the best place to store it is where you can grab it on your way out the door. A hall closet is ideal, but most of us will have to wedge it in. Garage is iffy, you may not be able to open the main door (power, off tracks) but if you have a separate door to the garage, that might be OK. As far as storing your bag outside, be careful. I put my bag and water into a plastic bin and stored outside. The water froze, then burst. When I went to change out the food after a year, the kit was pretty moldy-nasty. So if you have to store outside, keep liquids separate.

  • NWmama October 3, 2013 (11:43 pm)

    I often question whether I should have all the emergency stuff in one place (like a bag) or if I should just keep these items where i site them usually so I know where to find them. For example, I keep our food pantry well stocked. And when I’ve tried putting an E bag aside, I find the food expired (thus wasted). I get that we need to have emergency supplies on hand, but wonder about the necessity of a separate bag. Thoughts anyone?

  • Hollyplace October 4, 2013 (3:41 am)

    My plan for food is to donate it every year on my birthday and replace it. Canned food still will have plenty of shelf life. I had read somewhere to change the batteries in the smoke detector on your birthday and thought I should add this to my list.

    I keep a ziplock cube with supplies in my car so I have it with me. I am going to make a suitcase for the house. You never know where you will be when an emergency strikes, but I will usually have my car with me.

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