A go bag is exactly what it sounds like. It's a bag you can grab and go at a moment’s notice. It could be the end of the world, arrival of a new baby, or leaving the house with a child with special health care needs.
What should you pack? For how many days? What about things you only have one of?
There are a few items that we all need, regardless of our child’s special needs:
There are some emergency items I suggest:
Pack for about 3 days of an emergency.
I have a simple packing trick. Grab a bag. Place it in a central location in your home. As you go through the day, grab double.
What does this mean?
Let’s say your child is g-tube fed and on formula. In the morning, you may get a new feeding bag, bottle of formula, and clean extension. Grab an extra of each of these items and put them in the bag. As you go through the day, continue to stick extras in your bag.
At the end of the day, you will have a full bag. But you are not quite done.
Make a list of the items in the bag. Write the quantity packed and any expiration details. Most medications and food expire. Some items need refrigeration, but refrigerated items are typically not part of the go bag. Cycle out the items before they go bad. Keep the list handy as a reminder. Stick it somewhere you'll see it often.
You will notice some items that you may reuse over the course of a week or month. Grab at least one of each of these.
Don’t forget the power! Many of our kid’s devices require power. If you have extra chargers, add them to the bag. If you don't have extra chargers, put something on the outside of the bag reminding you to grab one. A car charger is always a great idea too.
If your child has an advanced directive or other legal papers, keep copies in the go bag. Keep a copy of all the medications, providers, and medical history in the bag. You can use the template on Casey’s Circle to create a quick and easy printout.
More information and help is available to help you in Emergency Preparedness.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.