When it is Time to Go

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When it is Time to Go Empty When it is Time to Go

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:13 am


This post is not in reference to bugging out, per se. Instead I want to delve into the subject of getting out the door to render aid to others in need.

There are many professionals who have what they typically refer to as a 90% bag. This is a type of tool kit that will allow them to address 90% of any problems, repairs, or issues that they might encounter on a typical job. Some kits are quite large, requiring a truck or van, while others might fit in a briefcase.

When I did electrical work, I had a soft-sided tool bag that had a small assortment of hand tools, electrical connectors, testers, etc., that I would grab out of my truck when arriving at a service call. I also had a similar bag for refrigeration/HVAC work. The bag I grabbed would depend on the job, but the items I kept in them would address 90% of any issues I might find. Plumbers have a similar bag, as do field engineers, mechanics, paramedics/EMTs, telecommunications technicians, construction workers, and white collar professionals. All professionals have developed this form of GO bag. It is not a BOB/GHB. It is a bag that is solely dedicated to problem solving.


As previously documented, I recently attended the Max Velocity Tactical CTT & MCO training class. My roommate was moderately disorganized. He knew where all of his personal items were in the pile, but they were in a pile. Though he thought it bothered me, it did not. He was reflecting on to me what was actually bothering him: his own lack of organization. He made mention of it to me several times, and mentioned how organized I kept my personal effects. His form of organization, as well as those of the other students had no effect on me and did not bother me in the least. This is only because it did not endanger my life.

I laid out my philosophy to my roommate one evening. I told him that I made all of my decisions based on what I might need to do if SHTF RIGHT NOW! For the purpose of that particular discussion, I used the SHTF scenario of the place catching on fire. If there was a fire, it would take me just a few seconds to get all of my possessions out, along with myself. I kept everything nice and tidy, in the exact same location as the day I arrived, and could locate everything in the dark if needed. This is how I think and act normally.


Early last year, I was attending a competitive shooting match and the organizer of the event made the comment that he could always tell the military types from the non-military types. I asked him how that was (since nearly everyone looked generally the same), and he responded that the ex-mil types had all of their gear organized into one or two bags, and the others simply had their crap everywhere, and were constantly digging through it all between evolutions.

So now on to my original point. If you get a phone call, email, text, or find out some other way that you need to "deploy" in the aid of another, how long would it take you to get out the door and on the road? Keep in mind, this is not bugging out. This is providing aid. Maybe it is medical aid in a disaster, or security for a friend. Maybe your parents house burned down in another state, or a friend needed to rushed to the ER. How ready and organized are you to respond? Can you think your way though it and not forget anything critical?

There are any number of short term SHTF situations that can occur at a moments notice. Many people, especially those who are caught up in the situation as it happens, stop thinking clearly as their emotions take over rational and critical thoughts. This is why OB doctors and Midwives prepare new mothers (and fathers) for the sudden mindlessness of labor in new mothers. They encourage new parents to have a "GO Bag" for the hospital. A bag that they can simply grab and go, that has all of the essentials they might need for a 24-72 hour stay at the hospital.

My father's mountain home was threatened by a wild fire several years back. I got a call from him after he evacuated. He had guns and ammo, but no clothes, no food, no medications, nothing. He was not prepared with a "GO Bag" that could give he and his wife initial sustenance and comfort in such an event.

My young nephew nearly drown in the pool one summer. My father found him at the bottom of the deep end, and I started rescue breathing as soon as he was on the deck. When the paramedics arrived (carrying their 90% bags) they hurried him off to the ER. My normally level-headed sister was anything but. I grabbed my wife and gave her a list of things to make sure my sister packed, checked, and/or dealt with before she left for the hospital (my brother-in-law went with their son.) While they got ready, I went to each child and talked calmly with them about what had happened and what to expect. Besides the impromptu GO Bag my wife put together and loose ends that were tied up, we took the few moments to comfort the children. We controlled the situation instead of the situation controlling us. By the time friends and family started arriving at the hospital, we had already taken care of 90% of the contingencies my sister and brother-in-law would now not need to deal with.


A GO/90% Bag is what you make it. It should not be too big/heavy that you cannot carry it a significant distance. If it is, break it into two separate bags. Everyone should have a change of clothes or more, water, non-perishable foods that are easily consumed, and tools of their trade. Copies of ID, Insurance, keys, etc should also be included. In some cases, spare communications devices might be a good idea ($30 will get you a spare cell phone and several hundred minutes of usage.)

Whatever it is you do - your specialty that serves your family, friends, team, community, country - have yourself situated so that you can leave within five minutes of being notified. Be organized so that you do not need to think about it. Your GO Bag(s) should not be at the bottom of the closet with all sorts of stuff piled on top. This gear is specifically set up and situated so that you can react and know that you can cover 90% of any contingency in your field of choice.

If you are a tactical person, then think of yourself as a Quick Reaction Force (QRF.) If you get a call, then pick up your GO Bag (add any specialty items as needed), rifle, ammo cans, and ruck, then kiss the wife and kids goodby, and head out the door, picking up a pair of full fuel jugs on your way to the truck. Your bags have clothing (tactical and civilian - cold/warm), loaded magazines, load bearing gear, spare parts, maps, comms devices, body armor, food, water, personal medical gear, sleeping bag/woobie, hammock and/or sleeping pad, shelter/poncho, spare keys, PDA, burn phone, emergency cash (MC/Visa Gift cards), eye/ear protection, gloves, cleaning kit, spare magazines, spare knife, fire starting, knee/elbow protection, camera, signaling equipment, paper, pens, compass, sunscreen, bug screen, etc., etc., etc.
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If you are a medical person, then you could be responding to serious traumas. You may be stuck at the event location for hours or days. You need much of what the tactical responder above needs, but without so much armament. In the place of arms, you would have your medical supplies. However, you cannot assume that things will not go bad. The situation you find yourself in could become destructive to the point that you are forced to fight your way out of it. So do not neglect some form of personal protection.
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Maybe you are a logistics person (as most of us are.) Most of us will not only have a GO Bag with clothing, food, water, personal medical, and sleeping gear, but our 90% bags will likely be in the form of box trucks. You would be amazed at what you can fit into and do inside of a box truck. I have seen miniature machine shops, fabrications shops, welders, mobile mechanics, and obviously food shops inside of these types of vehicles.
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You can, and should, have the ability to take your profession on the road. Some will obviously be more expensive than others, but everyone is useful if they have a skill. Even an efficient, high quality office administrator with a computer, printer, stacks of paper, and a small generator can provide much needed logistical support to a command and control structure. Even better if you have an RV or van!
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There are teenagers and young adults who are adept at running cameras, writing code, and managing websites that can manage the media arm of an event. Your GO Bag(s) should have the usual clothing, food, water, and sleeping gear, along with your cameras and computers.

There are communications specialists that would be beneficial to any event if they brought their skills and a pile of transceivers in their GO Bags. Network engineers would be in high demand if an event became long winded. Cooks, the unsung heroes. You know we love you. Bring a food truck and your skills.

Whatever your specialty or skill, even if you don't think you have any skills, you still need a GO/90% Bag. The house might catch fire, or another police state siege may occur. A tornado or earthquake may send you running for cover, or a community member is being harassed by a gang of thugs. Make it easy on yourself and everyone else, build your GO Bags and keep them ready, so that all you have to do is pick them up and walk out the door, and not need to think about it.

(I would appreciate comments from anyone who has good experience with bags that can handle significant weight - up to 100lbs.)


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When it is Time to Go Empty Re: When it is Time to Go

Post by babyeagle941 on Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:54 pm

Very good information. I always have my EDC (food, water, heat) and I have my main medical work bag and my backup work bag. All easy to throw over my shoulder and take off if needed. I have more substantial bags that are easy to load into the truck and go. Each bag builds/adds to the bag before it.

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