Emergency Management

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Go Bag

If you need to leave from your home, it will be important that you are ready to go as quickly as possible. Some people find that having a Go Bag in an accessible place ensures that you and your family are prepared for whatever situation arises. Should you decide to prepare a Go Bag, here are some things to consider.

Go Bag Guidelines

  • Each member of your household should have his or her own Go Bag
  • Go Bags should be easy to carry and sturdy
  • Go Bags should be stored in an easily accessible location
  • Ideally, you should keep a Go Bag at your home, in your car, and at work
  • Go Bags should be prepared for any time of year
  • Go Bags should be updated every six months

Go Bag Item List

  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food and a manual can opener
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-operated AM/FM Radio
  • Extra batteries (check the necessary types)
  • Pocketknife
  • Whistle
  • Prescription medication for a week, along with copies of your prescriptions
  • Small first aid kit
  • Extra house and car keys
  • A blanket
  • Raingear
  • A hat
  • Comfortable, sturdy shoes
  • Warm clothes
  • Extra pair of glasses and/or hearing aids
  • Toilet paper
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • A copy of your communications plan card
  • A regional map
  • Special needs items for members of your family, especially children, seniors, people with disabilities, and pets.
  • Paper, pens, and tape – in case you need to leave a message somewhere
  • Cash – preferably in small denominations
  • Coins for pay phones
  • Copies of important documents in a waterproof container (i.e. IDs, insurance information, proof of address, passports, etc.)
  • A recent family photo for identification purposes - make sure everyone’s face can be seen clearly

Contact Us

Polk County Emergency Management
1907 Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314
(515) 286-2107

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