Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Packing a "Go Bag"

Go Bag

You never expect that middle of the night phone call. They tell you something has happened to a loved one.

The first priority is to get to the hospital, and get there fast. With hazard lights flashing, you race through the cool night air and fly down empty interstate lanes.

The next task is not to leave them alone there. However, that presents a problem after a day or so. You did not stop to grab clothes, or a change of underwear. You don’t even have your needed medication or your toothbrush. You don’t want to leave at this point. The last thing you want to do is send a friend by your house to rifle through the underwear drawer and hope they also find the right prescription you need.

It is this problem that can be prevented by packing what has been called a “Go Bag.” This is usually a small tote, duffel bag or backpack that you have hanging in your closet.

It should contain at least the following:

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Two days medication or vitamins you take

Warm socks

Change of Underwear

Warm jogging suit or sweats

Hairbrush

Deodorant

A book you have been meaning to read

Power of Attorney for Health Care

Living Will

Phone number of distant relatives you may wish to call

And, it is handy to have this “Go Bag” if you have to go to the hospital for yourself as well. After all, no one wants to wear the hospital gown.

I hope you take this step toward preparedness. And, if you have not drafted your will, living will, power of attorney for healthcare and general power of attorney, I encourage you do that now—when you don’t think you need it. If you want till you do need it, it is likely too late.