Upper West Side CERT

Rescue Bag 101

At last night’s Upper West Side CERT bi-monthly meeting, the team reviewed three key emergency procedures: activating the team phone tree, performing CPR, and using the regulation CERT rescue bag.

Rescue bag and hard hatThis post is about the rescue bag.

As we reviewed the rescue bag contents and their proper utilization in an emergency or disaster situation, it became apparent that certain personal safety items should also be included in the bag. The team member’s family contact information, a team radio, bottled water, and an extra phone battery are examples. Items like prescription medications and extra eyeglasses should also be added if needed.

The UWS CERT team is now developing a list of recommended personal safety items for the rescue bag, and using this Web site’s Are You Ready? page, which lists recommended items for the Go Bag, as a resource.

Bearing in mind that a rescue bag should not be so heavy as to hinder the CERT team member in his or her work, can you suggest Go Bag items that should be included in every rescue bag? Is there anything you don’t see mentioned that should be?

Please leave your suggestions in the comment section below. The team will review them at the next meeting and recommend those it deems appropriate.

Do you know the difference between a Rescue Bag and a Go Bag? 

Your green Rescue Bag with the CERT logo is what you will grab when you are deployed to assist first responders in an emergency or disaster situation. It contains items that will enable you to aid in the emergency or disaster mitigation effort. As discussed above, the rescue bag should also contain certain personal safety items.

Your Go Bag is for your personal use. It can be any size, color, or material, as long as it contains what you and your loved ones need to survive until help arrives. This list will help you to stock a proper Go Bag. Visit our  CERT Links page to find out where you can buy the items you need.

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  1. Linda Lopez
    Posted May 18, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’ll start it off with the items in the post: a team radio, bottled water, and an extra phone battery — plus something I always carry and really appreciate having sometimes: a pair of folding scissors.

  2. Christopher
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I 2nd what Linda said, A RADIO is important to communicate within the team…

    I also have a extra T-shirt, and weather resistant pants and Ponchos just in case the weather changes in a NY minute, I put these items in both my personal Go Bag and in my CERT Rescue bag. Ponchos do not do a great job of protecting your lower legs, and you do not want to hold umbrella while working, you may not be indoors while on your shift.
    extra disposable foil blankets
    in case some one else may need one is good too.
    Pen, pencil and pad to write down info, or you can go the more modern route and just have a I-Pad, oh and extra battery perhaps we should have one for all active team members. I believe it would be useful handy… 😉

  3. Linda Lopez
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    More suggestions for the Rescue Bag following the July 28 team meeting: yellow caution tape, trauma kit(s), nutritional snack foods.

  4. Linda Lopez
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    At tonight’s team meeting, team member Herbert Huntley suggested an item for the Rescue Bag, which is suitable for the Go Bag, as well: two heavy-duty black garbage bags. These can serve the obvious functions — collecting garbage, storing dirty laundry, doubling as a raincoat, etc. — but in a WMD situation, where the weapon is chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear, a garbage bag can also provide a receptacle for contaminated clothing. A second bag, cut up, can be used to cover one’s shoes and sealed around the ankles or legs with rubber bands or duct tape, if there is hazardous material on the ground.