Grab and Go

Today I wel­come Kathryn Jane to Terry’s Place. Kathryn has worn many dif­fer­ent hats in her life, and among her favorites are, author, pet wran­gler, horse trainer, and teacher.

In the wake of Oklahoma’s tor­na­does and Colorado’s wild­fires, I’m bet­ting many peo­ple are thank­ing God or their lucky stars, for being spared – while oth­ers are still reeling.
And I understand.
I once faced the pos­si­bil­ity of emer­gency evac­u­a­tion, and let me tell you, sit­ting down and mak­ing a plan saved my san­ity. I had to fig­ure out how to evac­u­ate fifty-plus horses, three goats, a llama, six cats, a dog, a hubby and myself – with only a pickup truck
I won’t go into great detail here, but in the end, I was able to keep food down and fall asleep at night because I had a clear men­tal pic­ture of rid­ing one horse and lead­ing two oth­ers while the rest fol­lowed along. Hubby would use the pickup for the dog, goats, cats, and llama.
My plan was com­pli­cated. Lots of luck and pre­ci­sion tim­ing would have been needed to get all the horses through the one nar­row gate to the high­way – did I men­tion that these were mostly year­ling thor­ough­bred colts and fil­lies? But it was doable.
Thank­fully, the winds turned the fire and my plan was never tested. But years later, study­ing Emer­gency Plan­ning in Uni­ver­sity, I learned some of the sim­pler things a per­son can do to lessen their pre-emergency anx­i­ety, and/or lighten their load if life smacks them upside the head with the unthinkable.
Most impor­tant of all is the GRAB AND GO Bag.

Why? Because if you wake up to the smell of smoke in the house, if law enforce­ment pounds on your door and tells you there’s a gas leak in your neigh­bor­hood, if there’s a tor­nado warn­ing, a bliz­zard, power lines down, a flash flood, or an earth­quake – your GRAB AND GO Bag may be all you have time to reach for on the way out the door.
And what will be in this magic bag? Well, that depends on what you put in it. Think about what you would need if you had to spend up to a week away from your home, pos­si­bly with­out elec­tric­ity or cell­phone ser­vice.  Here’s a short list of the basics.
1)      Med­ica­tions:  7 days of what­ever you need, and a paper copy of the prescriptions.
2)      Cash: $50 to $100 dol­lars for inci­den­tals – if power is out, bank cards and credit cards will be useless.
3)      Pho­to­copies of impor­tant papers. Mar­riage License, Birth Cer­tifi­cates, Pass­ports, Cus­tody decrees, Bank and Credit card infor­ma­tion – a tiny home safe is a great idea, less than $40 and will fit into your bag.
4)      A pho­to­graph of every fam­ily mem­ber and pet – or any­one you may need to look for.
5)      A phys­i­cal list of tele­phone num­bers of any­one you may need to reach – fam­ily, friends, neigh­bors, co-workers, pas­tor, doc­tor, vet­eri­nar­ian, etc.
6)      The phone num­bers of your OUT OF TOWN CONTACTS – these are espe­cially impor­tant for touch­ing base with every­one. Exam­ple: I live in an earth­quake zone full of bridges. There’s every pos­si­bil­ity the big one will hit and my fam­ily won’t be able to reach each other phys­i­cally (or by phone if the cell tow­ers are down). BUT. When we get access to a land­line, we’ll each check in with Aun­tie, who lives sev­eral hun­dred miles away. She can tell us who she’s heard from, who is safe and what shel­ters they are stay­ing at.
If you tuck these impor­tant items in a back­pack, you’ll have room for extra shoes, clothes, first aid kit etc., while leav­ing your hands free to hang onto kids, grab pets, open doors, climb down a lad­der etc.
I hope some of you will take the time to make your­self a GRAB AND GO Bag, but most of all, I hope you never have to use it!

Do Not Tell Me No by Kathryn JaneKathryn’s newest release: Do Not Tell Me No ~ A mature, kick-ass woman, is deter­mined to find her fam­ily, in spite of a crazy horse, a mys­te­ri­ous heli­copter, a frus­trated hero and far­ci­cal felons.

For more about Kathryn Jane and her books, visit


11 thoughts on “Grab and Go

  1. This is a well thought out list! My hus­band and I just recently opened a store sell­ing dis­as­ter and emer­gency sup­plies (we live in Tor­nado Alley in Texas) because we believe in being pre­pared and also saw a need to help peo­ple start plan­ning. We’ve met lots of peo­ple that are just start­ing to ‘prep’ and oth­ers that are light years ahead of us. We hope to start hav­ing some classes on var­i­ous sub­jects as well (like how to start a ‘go bag’). A really good and timely post. Thank you!

    • Hi Karen,
      Sounds like you’re start­ing up a great busi­ness!
      I had such a tough time whit­tling my list down to the basics :) My grab and go has lots more than this, plus I have a sep­a­rate one for every fam­ily mem­ber and the pets.

      Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness was one of my favorite Uni­ver­sity pro­grams and I just love shar­ing what I learned. So like you, I have lots of teach­ing planned. One online course in Novem­ber, and another booked for Next May.

      Good luck with your projects, and kudos for help­ing folks get started.

    • Hi Nancy,
      Boy yes, don’t for­get those keys :) I’ve got spares in my grab and go, plus my ‘click free’ backup portable hard drive.
      But I con­fess to being even more para­noid — I email backup files to myself and a friend while I’m work­ing on my books.
      thanks for drop­ping by today :)

  2. Thanks for being my guest with this timely and impor­tant infor­ma­tion. I used to live in the canyons in the Los Ange­les area, where brush fires were a con­cern. My mom had lists posted inside a closet door of each room item­iz­ing what needed to be grabbed.

    • Hey Terry,

      Thanks for hav­ing me!

      Sounds like your Mom was smart and prepared.

      So many of us don’t want to think “what if”, but now that I have, I’m amazed at the peace of mind that comes with planning.

      I’ve been fol­low­ing the Flood­ing tragedy in Alberta, and wish­ing I could have helped some of those peo­ple out. There were so many with no idea how to locate miss­ing friends and fam­ily — one pre­planned out-of-town-contact could have saved so many of those frayed nerves :(

      Again, thanks for let­ting me share my info on Terry’s Place :)

      And heck, as a writer, it helps me with sto­ries and char­ac­ter­i­za­tion too :)

  3. What a great post, Kathy! Like you, I hope we never have to use a grab and go bag. But being pre­pared is always a stress reliever, isn’t it?

    • Thanks Melia, absolutely, like the old “break glass in case of emer­gency” … one hopes to never break that glass, yet we’re happy as heck that it’s an option :)

  4. A cou­ple of days late but the infor­ma­tion isn’t time restricted. I shared it on face­book and tweeted. I will have to work on this for myself. What about your lap­top, do you have one? Would you sug­gest keep­ing it packed and ready when you shut down at night? I live off my lap­top lol.

    • Thanks for shar­ing Kathy!

      Yes, the joy of a Grab and Go is that it is yours. You can put in what­ever you need, or don’t think you can do without.

      I highly rec­om­mend start­ing with mak­ing a list or ten, then whit­tle it down, or make a cou­ple of bags, like one with fam­ily pho­tos that you can grab or move to a safer place before you leave — in the attic if it’s a flood, or in the freezer if it’s a wild­fire. (I can go on and on with ideas :) that’s why I’m writ­ing a book and start­ing on-line classes in the next few months :)

      While I per­son­ally have a backup hard drive that I store in my Grab and Go, if I had time, I’d grab my lap­top too — and yes, I always know exactly where it is :)

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