Hospital room or hotel suite? An emergency “go bag” stocked with essentials is handy when you need to leave your house in a hurry. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Hospital room or hotel suite? An emergency “go bag” stocked with essentials is handy when you need to leave your house in a hurry. (Jennifer Bardsley)

In case of emerency: Why you should pack yourself a go bag

If you needed to leave your house in a hurry, could you do it?

Could you leave your house at a moment’s notice? That’s a difficult question to answer, especially if you’re the type of person who struggles to find your keys. Sometimes just making it to work on time requires a Herculean effort. But what if you had to leave your house in a hurry because of emergency — could you do it?

A couple of weeks ago, in the middle of Snowmageddon, I received a horrible phone call. Imagine an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” and mix in “Days of Our Lives” for added drama. I had to leave my house fast and drive to Providence in Everett in the middle of a snowstorm.

The roads were crusted with snow and ice. Getting out of my unplowed neighborhood in Edmonds was treacherous, especially at the intersection where a woman from my church died a few years ago when her car slid off the ice and down an embankment. The streets in Lynnwood were only slightly better, but the interstate was clear. I tried not to be freaked out by the abandoned cars I saw on the side of I-5.

The next 48 hours were intense, but the employees at Providence were exemplary, from the registered nurses who took wonderful care of my loved one, to the imaging staff doing MRIs, the security guards manning the emergency room and the massive crew of people shoveling snow out of the parking lot.

But the biggest blessing of all — for me, at least, was my go bag. When I raced out of my house, I brought a small bag with me that was pre-packed with essentials. I had a change of clothes, toiletries, prescription medicine, a cellphone charging cord, my reading glasses, a notebook and pen, a pack of gum and my toothbrush.

When I frantically texted friends and relatives updates, I didn’t worry about my phone running out of battery. That night, when I curled up in a recliner and tried to sleep the best I could, I took my medicine like normal. In the morning, I brushed my teeth and washed my face. After I put on a fresh shirt and clean socks, I felt like a new woman. I could have survived as a hospital-visitor-lounge-rat for days.

I wish I could say that I was always this organized, but the truth is that the only reason I had a go bag packed was because our whole family was supposed to go on a Valentine’s Day trip together. Now, that trip was in jeopardy, and it didn’t even matter.

The happy ending is that my loved one got better, and a few days later we did go on that family vacation. When we returned home, I restocked my go bag and tucked it away in my closet. I don’t know what life might throw at me next, but I’m certain that being prepared for anything is worth it.

Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @the_ya_gal, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as The YA Gal. Email her at teachingmybabytoread@gmail.com

Talk to us

More in Life

Josh Haazard Stands inside his workspace, the HaazLab, where he creates a variety of cosplay props and other creative gadgets, on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at his home in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
This contraption crafter turns junk into sci-fi weaponry

Joshamee “The Chief” Haazard is a costume prop maker in Monroe. He transforms trash into treasure.

For your kids’ sake, stress less about their grades this school year

Don’t make a big deal over grades. Instead, encourage out-of-classroom activities and remember, learning is supposed to be fun.

At the prehistoric fortress of Dun Aengus, the dramatic west cliffs of Ireland meet the turbulent sea as Europe comes to an abrupt end. (Rick Steves' Europe)
Enjoy the simple life on Ireland’s starkly beautiful Aran Islands

Three limestone islands make up the Aran Islands: Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer.

American Queen changes COVID protocols; can I get a refund?

fter American Queen changes its COVID protocols, Patricia Voorhees Furlong and her husband want to skip their river cruise. Is that allowed? Or, will they lose out on $7,858?

Erika Weinert, an Everett-based mother, editor and now author, sits at her home workspace and holds her first published book, “Cursing with Style” on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
What the @#$%! Everett mom publishes a dictionary of curse words

Erika M. Weinert, 42, a copy editor who does business as The Werd Nerd, wrote “Cursing with Style.”

The 2022 Lexus GX has a 301-horsepower V8 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, and full time all-wheel drive. (Lexus)
Updated 2022 Lexus GX 460 expands list of standard features

Navigation and a 10.3-inch multimedia system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included.

Bruce Johnson has an exhibit on the history of clowns at the Lynnwood Library in Lynnwood, Washington on August 11, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Clown historian takes the funny business very seriously

Bruce Johnson, a.k.a “Charlie the Juggling Clown,” wants to pass his craft down to future generations.

Ella Larson, left, and Simon Fuentes sort through blueberries at Hazel Blue Acres on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Fruits, flowers and bees aplenty in Arlington farm fete

First-ever event highlights local growers’ bounty and contributions to local community

A bald eagle flys over Howarth Park back to it’s perch on Friday, April 22, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Learn how to photograph birds in three-part workshop

Participants will learn to make appealing, sharp bird photos even if they are new to photography.

The Snohomish County PUD recently installed two electric vehicle fast chargers adjacent to public parking stalls on the north side of the Electric Building.
PUD installs fast chargers for electric vehicle drivers

Funding for the t62.5-kilowatt chargers came in part from fines paid by Volkswagen over its 2015 diesel engine scandal.

Airbnb host cancels, and now he has to pay $1,300 more

When Curtis Rahman’s Airbnb host cancels his reservation a day before his arrival, he tries to find a substitute apartment. But the new property is smaller and costs more. Is a $200 credit enough to make up for the trouble?

Antique tools can be interesting collectibles. This gadget, a mechanical rope twister, has a patent date of 1901.
Most people today would not recognize this rope twister

Is it a kitchen gadget — perhaps a fruit or vegetable peeler? Some kind of grinder or chopper? In fact, it’s a mechanical rope twister.