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March 10, 2023

What to Pack in Your Emergency Go-Bag if You Have a Medically Complex Family

Whenever you feel overwhelmed by the state of the world — a changing climate, natural disasters, pandemics, ever-shifting geopolitical crises, and your place in all of this as a medically complex family — it’s important to focus on what you can control. In our last blog, we talked specifically about how to prepare your family for natural disasters and other emergencies, and now, we want to zoom in on the concept of a “Go-bag.”

The preparation of a go-bag or preparedness kit may help you manage some of the anxiety that comes from being a family with unique medical needs living during unprecedented times. Think of it like a life-line, so if you ever have to flee or relocate quickly, you have all the required necessities.

List of Things to Pack in Your Go-bag 

Think of the following list as a place to start. It’s by no means comprehensive, as we can’t anticipate all the unique needs of your family; however, we’ve done our best to compile the essentials.

If you’re preparing a go-bag (s), consider including these items: 

  • ID/money
  • Pertinent medical information/medical records
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Small dry bag
  • Headlamp
  • Duct tape
  • Basic first-aid kit
  • Sanitizer
  • Chargers/portable batteries
  • 1-2 bottles of water
  • Canned food and non-perishable snacks
  • Water filter
  • Solar blanket/blanket
  • Pen and marker
  • Notebook
  • Basic toiletries 
  • Three days’ worth of clothes
  • Comfort items, including a stuffed animal, noise-canceling headphones, or eye-mask 

Other things to pack that may be more specific to you or your child’s medical scenario: 

  • Medications with information on dosage
  • N95 masks
  • Gloves
  • Gauze
  • Q-tips
  • Extra button or nasogastric (NG) tube
  • Extra extension sets
  • Syringes 
  • Cooler with ice packs
  • Enteral nutrition and supplies
  • IV nutrition and supplies
  • Infusion pumps, charger, batteries
  • Ostomy & cath supplies
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Sterile water
  • Gravity bags and/or extra enteral pump set
  • Extra Central Line Vests and/or G-Tube Wraps
  • Line covers
  • Safe Strips
  • Back-up oxygen
  • Pulse oximeter, thermometer, and other monitoring devices

Emergency Go-bags

Imagine for a moment that you have fifteen minutes to evacuate your home due to some unforeseeable event. Or, in a scenario that might feel a little more familiar, you have to rush to the hospital for something like infection, obstruction, or displacement. In either of these just-in-case situations, it’s best to have a bag or kit prepared. It’s worth it if only for the peace of mind it will provide.

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