There are lots of survival shows on TV these days, and many of the people on them probably look crazy,
with their plans for getting out of town fast in the event of a variety of disasters. I’ve learned from these shows though that a “go bag” isn’t just for conspiracy theorists. Living in Florida, I deal with torrential downpours, tornados, hurricanes, wild fires, and highways shut down due to major wrecks. In 1997, I was working the night shift and wasn’t able to get home because all routes were closed due to wild fires. Fortunately, I was working for a hotel at the time and was able to get a room for the night. We wore uniforms so I didn’t have to worry about fresh clothes, but sitting up that night, watching the news coverage of the fires burning, inching closer to homes and threatening to keep the roads closed for days, I vowed that I would never make my commute without at least an overnight bag from then on.
Building my go bag has taken years. It started with a basic change of clothes and a blanket, in case my car broke down somewhere. After a particularly good session working with my technical guru
on the video trailer for Summer Storms, I was too tired to make the drive home and had to be back in to work in only five hours any way, so I crashed in a hotel with my trusty go bag. When I got in the room, though, I found out my bag wasn’t as trusty as I thought. The pants I had didn’t match my dress shoes, I didn’t have any toiletries, contact lens case or solution, not even a hair brush. Fortunately the hotel gift shop was still open and I was able to buy the few things not provided complimentary. When I got home the next night, I made a list of the things I needed to add to my bag.
Now, I feel confident that my bag will get me through just about any spontaneous situation, well, except an invitation to a formal event. I haven’t figured out how to cram an evening gown in the bag. I guess I’ll have to depend on my fairy godmother for that.