Disability Awareness Day: Create a “Go Bag”

Emergency “Go Bags” were discussed and demonstrated by Frank Callahan of the Salem County Department of Health and Human Services Public Preparedness Division.  Recent natural catastrophes are a reminder that a disaster can strike at any time. Although the type or locations of disasters are different, there’s one tip that every person should take from Frank Callahan’s presentation: pack a “go bag.”

Once you create your go bag, store it in a location at eye level that you can grab it on your way out the door. Make sure that every member of your household has a go bag and keep them stored in the same location. Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least three days. Specifics for your bag are as follows:


  • A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won’t spoil.
  • One change of clothing and footwear per person, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person.
  • A first aid kit that includes your family’s prescription medications.
  • Emergency tools including a battery powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
  • An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler’s checks.
  • Sanitation supplies.
  • Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.
  • An extra pair of glasses.
  • Keep important family documents in a waterproof container. Keep a smaller kit in the trunk of your car.
  • Remember that if you anticipate staying in an evacuation shelter that there may not be a cot for you. Bring bedding material and something to sleep on.

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I have a BA in Psychology and a teaching certificate as a Special Education teacher. I have a MA in Student Personnel Services and I recently retired from my position as a Guidance Counselor. I have been active on advisory boards concerning disability issues for over 25 years. I also have over 25 years of business experience in Human Resources and Operations Management.

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