When I signed up for this gig, one of the things the powers that be asked of us was to keep a small backpack ready to go in case of an emergency evacuation. They instructed us that the backpack should contain a change of clothes, your passport and IDs, important papers, toiletries, prescription medicines, and some basic rations.
For the longest time (over two years, if I am to confess), I ignored this directive. Too lazy to put together a bag, probably. Or more closer to the truth, I didn’t do it because it seemed to me that to prepare for this kind of event will invariably make it come into being. Superstitious, I know. But lately I have been thinking about packing a small bag for weeks. I don’t know what it is, but now I want to be able to pick up this bag and get out of here, in case I have to.
So I packed. Choosing the bag was easy–I had a camera bag that was roomy and light enough to lug around. It was styled like a sling bag and wraps across the body, the contents made easily accessible, making it more convenient than a backpack that you had to strap to your back.
Into this emergency bag went:
- my two passports, in a ziploc bag
- about $75 in small bills
- cargo pants
- three shirts (sleeveless, regular, quarter sleeves)
- 1 pair of socks
- good underwear in a ziploc bag
- toiletries (mini bottles)
- toothbrush + toothpaste + mouthwash
- spare pair of contact lenses
- small bottle of contact lens solution
- packet of M&Ms peanut
- small folding scalpel
- Gerber multi-tool set
- ballpen + Post It pad
- tissue paper
- Shure flashlight
- roll of mints
I thought, hmm… a book? No, really no time for introspective reading when you need to be on full alert. Maybe one bottle of perfume, less than 100ml? But then I thought that was just giving in to vanity, not crucial to survival. Instead, I added a small bottle of lotion, much more practical. No sense having to suffer dry skin just because I’m a fugitive.
I’ve placed the bag near the door, within grabbing reach. If need be I can get to my room, hoist the bag over my head, grab a bottle of water and a light jacket, then slip quickly out the building. Hopefully, into a waiting Huey/plane and out of harm’s way.
Sounds like a plan, doesn’t it?