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Archive for August, 2013

Preparedness: Hotel Grab and Go Bag

August 10th, 2013 at 11:24 am

I am an emergency manager/planner and I travel frequently for work and pleasure. I decided with the events that occur everywhere these days that I needed a grab and go bag (G&GB) that would contain everything I would need if I needed to evacuate, and enough to be self-sufficient if I needed, down to checking into another hotel.

The G&GB needed to be more than just my purse as my purse contains more then I need to evacuate safely. It needed to be light weight and small but enough to carry what I needed to start again. It needed to be something I could carry easily and not slow me down from evacuating safely.

Before a trip in 2004 I purchased a light weight cinch sack. It packs flat, weighs nothing, was cheap (under $3 on sale), and could hold everything I thought of for my grab and go bag (G&GB) from a hotel.

When I arrive at the hotel I get two room keys. One stays with me, one goes in a baggie in the G&GB. In that same baggie is a phone list of the numbers of my family in a small 10 page phone book. In an emergency if I don't have my cell phone I may not remember any numbers if I need to contact my family.

In my suit case I travel with a light weight flashlight and a second set of spare glasses, these go in the bag, too.

I always pack a pair of light weight slip on shoes and one pair of socks in my suitcase just for the G&GB. Shoes go on my feet as I am evacuating and socks are already packed in the bag to be put on later.

I pick up a bottle of water when I arrive in the new city and take a couple granola bars from my travel stash, those go in the bag.

My cell phone is fully charged every night. I keep a spare cord for charging my phone in a baggie in the G&GB. I also pack a baggie with a couple of band aids, larger bandages, anti-biotic cream and a couple of pain relievers in their original container.

In winter, the bag has a scarf and a pair of gloves. In summer it has a t-shirt. It always has a pair of underwear. It also always has a large garbage bag that I could use as a rain shelter if needed.

The last thing I put in the bag before I go to bed is my wallet/passport. This would make it possible for me to check into another hotel room.

This bag is packed and placed at the foot of the door. If the fire alarm ever goes off I would grab my phone, slip on the shoes, grab the bag, check the door handle to make sure it is not hot, crouch down as I open to make sure there is no smoke and go to the stairs. I always know how many hotel room doors I am from stairway exits in both directions.

Every morning when I leave for the day I take out my wallet and passport and place the bag in the closet.

I leave the bag and items in my suitcase when I am not traveling so I always remember to pack it.

I think being a little prepared in a strange, unknown city means that I sleep a little better and won’t have to think just react if an emergency happens. It also means that the first responders and emergency services workers have one less person to have to provide emergency support services.

Travel/Hotel Grab and Go Bag Packing list

Light weight, closable, bag or pack that is not hard or to heavy to carry.
Phone/contact list of family members
Pair of socks and shoes
T-shirt, underwear, gloves or scarf depending on season
Spare glasses and contacts
Small first aid baggie
Baggie/cord for phone
Several spare baggies
Flashlight with full batteries
Large garbage bag

Arrival at hotel:
Spare room keys in baggie
Water bottle and granola bars

I put this kit together for less than $20 but it is worth more in peace of mind than ten times that amount.

Copyright Kristina M ©

Please use information for personal emergency preparedness preparation. For professional use please contact me for permission.