March 2020 changed everything. Life as we know it went out the window and stay home orders, social distancing, washing hands and, eventually, masks, became the new norm. There was a run on toilet paper like I never ever remember happening before. At the beginning, (and to be truthful, to this day) there was anxiety about what this pandemic that brought about the new norm would mean. How long would we need to shelter in place? Would store shelves be empty when we ventured out?
Luckily, being a GO-bag company, we had placed an order of N95s in December 2019 and so had a large stock of these sought-after masks. When the country, and the world, realized PPE (personal protective equipment) was running low for our medical personnel, VLES designs decided to donate our N95s to our local hospital and police department. We felt good about being able to make the donation but, essentially, we put ourselves out of business for a time as protective masks are an essential component of our emergency supplies. We decided to take the newfound time we didn’t devote to customer orders to assess our GO-bag supplies and fill any voids we may have.
The GO-bag became a STAY-bag. We took all the items out of the bag and put them on our kitchen counter, deciding what to put back into the GO-bag and what to keep out for use in our home as we stayed at home. We kept the flashlight close at hand and made sure we had updated our Emergency Plan with our personal/medical information just in case something even stranger occurred and we had to evacuate. Our emergency radio was kept out of the bag, the rope and duct tape as well. We also pulled the reflective vest from the GO-bag … just in case.
Our at-home first aid kit was well stocked so we put all the medical supplies back in the GO-bag. Same with the personal care products, the food and clothing we had initially put into the GO-bag as well as the hydration kit. We added more money and put the GO-bag front and center in our view, at our exit door.
So far, we’ve not had to use any of the GO-bag supplies but never having gone through a pandemic, it was comforting to know we had the essentials in our GO-bag if we needed them.