Grab and Go in the Time of Covid

Masks should be added to existing go bags | photo by Larry Clinton | reposted from

KQED has gathered tips on what should be in your emergency bag during the pandemic, with advice from San Francisco’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT), Listos California Emergency Preparedness Campaign, Cal Fire, the American Red Cross and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Items for the pandemic:

  • Face masks or coverings (at least two per person)
  • Sanitation supplies such as hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, soap, and disinfectant wipes
  • People who are vulnerable to the coronavirus or are self-quarantining may want to take special mask precautions, such as using an N95 masks if you’ve been saving them.

Regular emergency bag list:

  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Medication, supplies and home-use medical devices
  • Medications list: include all prescriptions and other important medical information
  • An extra set of keys
  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • A change of clothes
  • Cash in small bills
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • A portable radio and batteries
  • Charging cables for your cellphone and a portable cellphone battery pack
  • A copy of your ID and other important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Baby supplies, if applicable
  • Water: one gallon a person, per day (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
  • Food: nonperishable, easy-to-prepare items (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)

Remember: You may have to walk to safety, so pack your emergency supplies in something that’s durable and easy to carry, such as a backpack or duffle bag. For heavier items, such as food and water, using a tub or chest on wheels may make it easier to transport — but make sure it’s still light enough to lift.

If you have pets, Cal Fire has put together a list of items to make sure you bring.

Items to take if time and space allow:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Extra chargers for cellphones, laptops, etc.
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Emergency blanket, extra blankets or sleeping bags
  • Can opener
  • Games and activities for children

Where should I keep my go bag and other essentials

According to Cal Fire PIO Heather Williams, keeping your bag by your front door or in your car is best. Anywhere you can easily grab it and go.

Should we turn off our natural gas?
If you need to evacuate immediately, you should follow evacuation orders and leave.

However, if you have the time, FEMA and Cal Fire recommend that you turn off the gas supply. First locate the shutoff valve, which is usually located close to your gas meter. Using a 12 to 15 inch wrench, turn off the gas by turning the hand wheel clockwise so that it is perpendicular to the pipe. You should also turn off any propane tanks.