When an emergency strikes, rapid response is needed to save lives. Part of the neighborhood Emergency Plan is to have all families equipped to live three days out of the house. Three-day kits, typically stored in 5-gallon buckets, are an essential part of getting ready. These would have food, water, change of clothes, first aid kit, and other things like a radio and books or games for the kids.

Ham radio operators, anticipating that they will be called into action by their units, should also be prepared. We also need something we can grab on the way out of the house that will allow up to perform out communication duties.

The Go Bag:

  1. Contains all the things needed to get on the air and stay on the air for at least a day.  
    1. Radio
      1. Should be your normally-used radio, which you store in the go bag 
      2. This gives you a chance to inspect the gear you have there regularly
    2. Spare antenna is good, external if possible (usually isn't, because of lead-in and mount)
    3. Charged batteries, at least two
      1. This is tricky keeping a charge on the batteries
      2. Keep them out of the radio to extend the charge
    4. Alternative power source for the radio
      1. a solar panel for charging the unused battery
      2. an AA battery pack
    5. Connectors to use a 12v power source
      1. 12v plug
      2. PowerPole connectors (for using the power of other hams)
    6. Notebook and pencils
    7. Any reporting forms you might want
  2. Contains personal supplies
    1. Water!
      1. at least two quarts
      2. refillable bottles
    2. Trail mix/granola bars/nutricious snacks (with long expiration dates)
    3. Medication/toiletries suited for your disaster
    4. First-aid kit
    5. Cold-weather mylar blanket/bivy-bag
  3. All of this can fit into a medium- to large satchel
    1. Keep it by the 72-hour kits near the door
  4. Some examples:
    1. Base operations: http://www.harc.net/programs/amateur-radio-go-kit.pdf
    2. Large kit: http://www.qsl.net/kc0nrk/go-bags.html
    3. RACES: http://www.races.org/gokit.htm
    4. Greene County ARES (three kits): http://gcares.febo.com/jumpkit.htm
    5. Kansas ARES (several configurations): http://ksarrl.org/ares/gokit.php