Centralia ARES has been changing the way we use go-bags for short duration deployments and exercises. While go-bags are important in our line of work, we have a love/hate relationship with the traditional go-bag. For whatever reason, we’ve been taught to find the biggest bag available and pack it with every possible item we can – “just in case”. Unfortunately, those go-bag weigh so much when filled, no one wants to carry them anywhere. For the last year, Centralia ARES has been changing that process.
Deployments for our team usually involve floods. These can range from a few hours to a few days but generally, these deployment shifts are of the 2-6 hour duration. These deployments are local as well meaning most team members are back at their homes by the end of their shift. Our training exercises are no different. These exercises last about 2-4 hours and simply don’t require a huge go-bag that no one wants to carry.
To make this change more fun, we’ve come up with the “Short Deployment & Exercise Go-bag Challenge” contest. The winner of this contest has to create a go-bag that will weigh no more than ten pounds when fully equipped, including at least one handheld transceiver (HT). The go-bag must carry all necessary equipment for a 2-6 hour local flood deployment. The entire team is encouraged to participate in the contest and we will choose the winner at our February 18th meeting. The winner wins a $25 cash prize.
Our team is unique. When we do a training exercise, the team is told what it will look like before the event. When we are deployed, we know why and therefore know what we need to take. We don’t deploy a hundred miles away and our exercises and deployments don’t last more than a few hours. Therefore, packing light and bringing only what you need makes sense.
We’re going to choose a winner on February 18th and hand out a $25 cash prize. After that, we’ll post the information about the winner and his/her bag’s contents on this site.