Coping: A Senior Bug-Out Bag

Yeah, sure, we wrote the book on bugging out.  Who else do you know who was ready at the time of Y2L to unplug the power from the dock and was ready to head out to see the world with a few gold coins and a paid-for 40-foot sailboat – fully stocked for the occasion?

That, my friend is paranoid.  And yet, the evidence continues to build (especially with the false flag evidence mounting in the Las Vegas story) they really are out to get us….And this being “tricky-dick-phobia day?”

Of course, calamity may NOT happen in our lifetimes.  Can’t speak for yours, but our lifetimes ARE getting shorter by the day.  ONE thing that’s damn near a sure bet:  Sometime in the next 10-20 years, either Elaine or I will be taking a ride in a medic box to a hospital.  And therein lies a special kind of prepping contingency to talk about…

(Continues below)


Take Thursday, for example:  Friends of ours went to the hospital in a Big City where the husband-unit had a cataract replaced with a fancy new implant.  I told him not to count on more than 25-30 years on his, based on my (rather sorry) experience.

So they had lots of time to get ready:  Plan the weather, plan the paperwork in advance, and all the rest of it.

But, now just supposing, what if it had not been a “routine” ride in the family automo-bill?

Instead, let’s pretend that I wake up at 1:45 AM screaming in pain and I beg Elaine to get me to the hospital.

Are we/she/or me ready to go?

Gets to be an interesting problem because I take three meds in  the form of pills every day and one or two eye drops.

With me screaming, and her dragging the oxygen bottle over from the office and talking to the EMS folks on the phone, would she remember everything?  Hmmm…

So with this in mind, I am planning what I call the “Senior Grab and Go Bag.”

Here’s what’s in it:

  1.  A written copy (Xerox) of the social card and the additional medical insurance plan.  Open enrollment is just ahead, so we can have that rag another morning.  Somehow, I don’t think the EMT’s are going to refuse to transport without a copy…but with a little “thinking ahead” it would be easy enough to have everything ready.
  2. Now come a couple of pill boxes.    One for E and one for me:  $8 bucks a pop:  14 Compartments Pill Organizer Box, Medicine Remainder with Snap Lids| 7-day AM/PM for Pills, Vitamins. (14 Compartment) by Inspirations.  In mine go seven days of mandatories and seven days of vitamins.  Another long discussion on of these first mornings…  Elaine will get morning and afternoon vits.
  3. What about the eye gear?  We both wear glasses for reading.  I use the Adlens Adjustables Frame Glasses, Black -6D to +3D diopters adjustable glasses so a pair of them ought to be in the kit.  Elaine likes dime store readers, but these cover both of us with one item.
  4. Contact lens crap.  OMG – NO ONE would remember this just “in the event of an actual emergency:”  Lens case, cleaning solution, disinfecting storage solution, sterile saline solutions (a quart) and let’s toss in the ultrasonic cleaning machine maybe…
  5. Toothbrush kit.  Who could forget that?  Tongue scraper?  Sure.  Floss?  Why not?
  6. Simple painkillers.  I have a baby aspirin per day now, but what about some ibuprofen or Tylenol?  When I had my appendix out, the Burbank hospital I was in was nailing us for $18 bucks a PILL for something that $18-bucks worth of would be 200 pills at Safeway.  So, yeah…
  7. Asthma inhaler?  Sure.
  8. Small bottle of mouthwash?  Hell yes.
  9. One of our old Pre-Fire Kindles (with charger)?  With a few books preloaded?  Why not.  Surely one of us would use it…
  10. List of numbers of the kids and relatives?  Absolutely.  I have been on the receiving end of “So and so is in the hospital screaming and carrying on so I thought you’d like to know…” calls.  Oh, sure I wanted to know since I wasn’t doing anything EXCEPT SLEEPING at the time…
  11. Elaine will not go for this, but a couple of Hormel no-refrigeration needed meals sounds like a winner to me.  Second toothbrush kit, three small “airline bottles” of Scotch might be useful.
  12. A small book (or Bible).  I’ve found people are much more interested in getting ready to “meet their Maker” when the meeting could be close at hand.  Otherwise, a software programming book or something to put you to sleep.
  13. Benadryl (check with the doc for med interactions though) because diphenhydramine hydrochloride is marvelous stuff to ‘take the edge of’ and you should know it was the main ingredient in COMPOZ – that’s c-o-m, p-o-z…COMPOZ.  In wrapping so you don’t seem (so much) like a drug dealer.
  14. Spare charger for your cell phone – people always forget those.
  15. And remind your partner where your “dead letter” is.  (See 2014 Peoplenomics: Beyond the Will:  A To-Do List item about writing a “dead letter” to ease the work of passing.)

There’s a lot more that could be put in:  Space blanket, slippers, blow-up pillow, ice pack, one of those 1-quart disposable O2 bottles we used flying when we were at high altitudes.  I like to keep Boost Oxygen 22oz Natural (6-pack) around for emergencies. $57 buck, so emergencies only.  But come on, what’s an emergency? Why, one bottle of O2 and a half gallon of Gatorade and 16 ounces of coffee and know one would know I was beat-up by Italian Vitamins last night…  The O2 works miracles for nausea, too.  Mostly for waking up quickly….

Speaking of nausea, turning off political speeches helps.  And in our sailing period, we always kept a supply of ginger – like Yankeetraders Brand, Crystallized Ginger Slices, Imported Dried Fruit, 2 Lbs – on the boat.  In a storm, suck on some ginger and keep your eyes on the horizon and no worries.  Also,  a teaspoon-sized hunk of the sugared ginger in hot water is a great no-shakes pick-me up.

Still seems like I’m forgetting something…

Oh yeah! Two packs of gum, some wintergreen lifesavers and two or three bags of Folgers Singles so you can make something better than the gawdawful hospital coffee machine stuff.  I swear, those are another source of patients…  Got a microwave mug in that bag?  Popcorn?

OK…all set to go?  (Grim reminder song about reality of hospital visits here. Or, relevant is this one )  Might toss in some headphones, too.

Now, like all great grab and go bags, spend AT LEAST as much time avoiding having to use it.  But we all (statistically) are likely to head for a hospital at some point.  Might as well prep now, rather than under pressure.  Under pressure….hmmm….

Say, that reminds me of the David Bowie tune (with Queen)…so I’ll go rock out while we wait for more coffee, trading data and the rest of this morning’s diatribe to drip out of my fingers…

More for Peoplenomics readers tomorrow, otherwise, ya’ll come back Monday and bring 12,000 of your closest friends…

Write when you get rich (or even)…

29 thoughts on “Coping: A Senior Bug-Out Bag”

  1. My apologies for being a bit off topic…I read in yesterday’s comments that Jon got banned.
    That means he won, right? I seemed to recall him responding to long-time poster Sherlyn Lampe’s comment that Jon should be banned if he could not be civil in his posts that being banned means he wins. So I congratulate Jon on meeting his own victory conditions. Too bad he’s not here to accept the accolade.

    • We finally got tired of his posted and traced his email back to someone who was not who he represented himself to be. Funny: The web, given enough time, will reveal truth.

    • I don’t think he won, he lied, he said he would go away, and then he came back. He had first strike and first say, and he didn’t live up to his end of the bargain. Good riddance. So, no, he didn’t win, and yes, you are off topic. Does anyone really miss the pontificator of mindless propaganda?

  2. George
    Those are good ideas for a Grab and Go bag. Do you have an Every Day Carry kit? I saw one described on the net and it started me building my own. You start with a fanny pack into which you put items that you may need in an immediate situation. Recommended items are a small flashlight, Bic lighter, folding knife, bandages including at least one of surgical size, bandage tape, surgical tubing for a tourniquet, tylenol, claritin, imodium etc, etc. A multitool is also a good idea if there is room. Some paper money, small bills only. A must have item is some type of defensive weapon like pepper spray or a concealed carry pistol if you have a permit. What you want are items to get you out of a Right Now situation! Keep it as small and light as you can but also effective. What you put into your kit is what you think you need based on your daily routine. Every one should have such a kit handy!

  3. My foodie grab and go bag consists of (1) Spam and canned tuna – unopened, lasts for 5-7 years unopened (best quality, longer with degraded nutrition), temperature and humidity dependent. (2) Peanut butter (with crackers or bread sticks). Keeps up to a year unopened. (3) Pasta – especially mac & cheese – keep in airtight container even if unopened. If the noodles go stale, they can be cooked and eaten so long as the noodles are not spoiled. Mix pasta with anything saucy, but canned or reconstituted powdered tomato sauce is my favorite. (4) bottled water. (5) Salted nuts (salt helps preserve and extend shelf life). (6) Also throw in few envelopes of powdered milk with a shaker. (7) Instant coffee and/or tea.

  4. George,

    with your neat senior’s list, I love that you list vitamins, cause they are vital.
    With depleted soils, organic food doesn’t mean much in my book. —Yet pill keepers are too small. Taking numerous 1000mg Vit C daily, and plenty of others, it’s good to have a small bag with full bottles of the basic vital vitamins, the back-ups that’d be on the shelf anyway. Needing the bug-out-bag, would mean there’s a stressful situation, thus more vitals become depleted.

    …because people are never born lacking medicine (manmade drugs),
    yet the body is in need nutrients …medicine studies cataracts by feeding acetaminophen to mice (LOL) and ibuprofen, wrecks organs too. I take magnesium for pain, keeps my main muscle (heart) in top shape and for de-stressing – it’s a natural sleep aid as well as Niacin.

    Since vitamin deficiencies are common, (80% people lack magnesium) I suggest if people want to aid the body in repairing itself, besides eating whole foods, pop vital minerals,
    all that the body is comprised, so it continues to naturally heal/rejuvenate as it does miraculously 24/7.

    What’s that saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. :”)

    • I got some home-grown spinach out of my side Garden that’s been there for over a year I decided to partake of it boy did I get high I didn’t know what I was ever going to come down. So from now on my spinach patch is minutely nibbled on it’s got so many minerals and vitamins woke me up

      • But first you have to plant sunflower seeds in the area cuz sunflower seeds have real deep roots and that enables the spinach that you plant afterwards to grab all that good nutrients from down in deep in the Earth

      • Well at least the package that the spinach seeds came from said spinach so I assume it’s spinach and it looks like spinach but gosh it don’t taste like spinach that you eat normally
        So if I was going to backpack it would be spinach and more spinach I’ll bet I could trade that spinach for just about gold or silver or even some Bitcoin——–Lol

    • I personally tested the Magnesium dosage after it came out a few months ago that 248 mg of magnesium was equivalent to taking an antidepressant. I though, okay, let’s do this. Being in my late 50’s, going through menopause yet still having a cycle, being under a lot of stress recently, weight gain, etc., I thought why not?

      Results. Immediately within 24 hours felt better. Took a 500 mg dose daily. I doubled the dose for 2 reasons; the tablets are 250 mg, and accidentally, I purchased the less effective kind which is Magnesium Oxide (research a better kind), and I wanted to see what the double dose would do for me. I am happy to report that those sinking feelings that would come over me at the most inopportune times stopped cold turkey! Those sad moments that I couldn’t understand or explain. Gone! I wonder how many women and men are walking around Magnesium deficient and don’t even know it. Research the better quality kind and the contents of the supplement and give it a try if you are suffering from a kind of sad malady that comes and go and that your get up and go left, or comes and goes. You will find, I do believe, that you will feel a lot better.

      • Magnesium oxide was once recommended to an acquaintance of mine to help prevent kidney stones (something about keeping the calcium where it belongs – in the bones & teeth). Probably helps prevent osteoporosis as well. I have found through experience that one must carefully balance the electrolytes – calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium,and sodium – in order to maintain proper fluid balance and management, as well as integrity of tissue structures (organs, muscles, bones). One must also be very careful to maintain the health of the kidneys lest one develop CONGESTIVE (as in too much fluid in the tissues) heart failure and eventually die drowning in one’s own fluids, as my late grandfather did in 1974.


  5. Hospitals get REALLY FUSSY about ‘outside’ medicines–of any sort. This especially with senior patients…the body reacts differently at advanced age.

    The healthy/visiting partner has to keep ’em hidden on his/her person. This has been personally observed several times in recent history decades, the latest this summer, in two different hospitals.

    Medical background helps a lot, one’s own or the ability to ask a knowledgeable friend.

  6. Water, water, water. Everyone should have a survival straw or another type of filter. I like the Sawyer brand – I get nothing for saying that.

    Imagine how much better life would be for any of those faces we see in the news if they at least had a safe source of drinking water. I’m starting to think the .gov should mail every address in the states a survival straw.

  7. “Still seems like I’m forgetting something…”

    A quart of ‘Stolichnaya’ (since I don’t know whether they come in smaller sizes ;-)).

  8. George, two things R/T the Hospital Go Bag.
    1) The hospital might frown on the three little alcohol traveler bottles,particular if you are on pain meds or sedative or pre opp.
    2) Also have a current list of ALL your meds. (YES this includes OTC’s and supplements.)
    to include name of med , purpose for
    med, quantity taken, frequency and
    route.(Particular attention to any anti clotting / “blood thinners”)
    ALSO a signed (notarized in some states) copy of your Durable Medical Power OF Attorney (DMPOA)
    ALSO a list of any allergies or intolerance to any medications.
    ALSO a history of any illness for past year to include acute and chronic conditions as well as ANY previous surgeries.

  9. I do have a little quibble – going to the hospital bag is different than ‘bug-out’ bag.

    Hospital don’t want you taking anything that they didn’t authorize, as it ‘could’ mess with their treatment. Electronics can be tricky as supposedly they mess with their electronics. And they don’t want you ‘nashing’ on just any food either . . . and many hospitals want you to put your jewelry in a safe as well as wallets, large amounts of cash, so I’d leave expensive stuff at home . . . (Theft can be a problem!!)

    Now for a real bug-out bag – why not take the bottles themselves of the medication – then the name of the drug and the doctor are on the label – not that much more space used up . . . Food needs to be concentrated – protein, flavorings, things such as flour, rice in a bag can serve as a ‘pillow’ of sorts – soup cubes, chicken, beef, and pork. Resealable storage is good for not only food, but other things – matches, aforementioned drugs, bandages – good medical advice book (not on kindle), writing materials etc. etc. (and say 5-10 favorite paperbacks . . .) (and photos to remind one why you are still around . . .)

    • I should clarify that the bag’s longchain sugars (airline bottles?) were for the waiter/spouse, not the patient…

      • I’m interested in hearing what the spouse-in-question would contribute to the conversation concerning what SHE would like to have at-hand (or available in your parked vehicle) in case of a 36 to 48 hour vigil in a hospital room. A soft throw and a neck pillow? A clean tee and undies/socks? Some make-up removal cloths (good for freshening up as well as their intended purpose)? A travel-sized antiperspirant? Needlework or other portable hobby materials? Some gallon Ziplocks? A well-stocked purse with the usual survival materials (I.D., folding money and coins, credit cards, check book, cell phone, nail file, tissues, mascara, lip gloss, sewing kit, notebook and pen, Starbuck’s gift cards (people give them to me; sometimes they come in handy), and the ever-popular emergency whistle, is a given. (Hey, you claim 85 percent of your audience is unfamiliar with the contents of this vital utility item, so I’m just sharing some of the possibilities.)

        FYI, my hub had no problems using his laptop at the hospital while I was there. He claimed the connectivity and the food in the cafeteria were great.

  10. Hi George,

    Your Senior Bugout Bag has its merits, but they’re largely for those who have a trusted companion, wife, or girlfriend. For the rest of us, we are unlikely to be found until either taxes are due or someone comes to turn off the power. I’m reconciled to that. I wonder – if a single guy(or woman) should be taken to the hospital, willingly or otherwise, would the bag be taken from them and placed with their clothes beyond their reach? Hospitals have a vested interest in keeping their customers as dependent as possible, and the customers really need a trusted confidante to spring them if they want to leave. Have you noticed the similarity of construction between hospitals and jails? In fact, one in NYC that was surplus was actually turned into a jail.

    Many good people work in hospitals, but they tend to give short shrift to individuality and autonomy. That said, I do think these institutions need to pay more attention to the wishes of their customers. There’s no excuse at all for charging more than a 25% markup on a pill or device, and the customer must have the right to refuse any service and the associated bill. BTW,a laptop with a secure connection is an essential item not mentioned in your list. Lastly, if a hospital doesn’t trust someone to pay, they may try to get the person declared incompetent, and get a guardian appointed. I’ve seen this happen. It’s best to have a secondary trustee for your assets that becomes primary when you get hospitalized. That addresses that problem. Guardian abuse is a very real problem in many jurisdictions.

    • The other thing I have on hand and within reach at home is an AED most heart attacks happen late night weekend’s and holidays or while your sitting on a toilet. For the average person the nearest and fastest emergency medical help is at least fifteen minutes or longer away.
      What if.. That was your love ones that requires it.. Now what if that person is you.. Cayene pepper for fast clotting of a big bleed or the quick clot bandages that use chitosan powder. I have actually needed that after a drill bit slipped doing one of the brilliant things I have done in the past.. Like lean way over while on top of the AED is a necessity every household should have.

      • Marvelous invention an AED; might have been able to use it twenty years ago – but even now the cheap ones are over a thousand and they aren’t the be all, and end all . . .

      • Yes they are expensive..but then what value do you place on your existence.
        People rarely question spending a great deal of money on a car or a new appliance furniture a trip to the resort’s yet question the cost of insuring they will have the best chance at surviving a heart attack.. The most expensive tool you hope you’ll never have to use.

    • unfortunately.. one out of three are not able to pay for medical service.. these costs don’t just vanish they have to be made.. the hospital hasn’t any choice but to raise costs on everything else.. like the what is it called mucus collection unit.. everyone pays for ( a kleenex 10.00) this is also why Obamacare came into being.. something had to be done. the hospitals only choice is to raise rent to doctors who have offices to raise costs on supplies.. the people there won’t work for free either and the cost of utilities to even run the place. anymore you cannot get the life saving services you need unless insurance ok’s the procedure or you can pay for it. ( I have a friend on his deathbed because of that and I can’t even tell you how many I have known that needed treatments for cancer etc until they brought in cash)
      Most people take out huge life insurance policies thinking this will be passed on.. many millionaires think them passing will go to family and friends. unfortunately the bulk goes to medical the rest for taxes in the end you die with a couple of boxes of assorted crap. a few photos and the memories of what you stood for..
      like it or not this is life unless we adopt a system similar to that of the UK or other countries even there.. some things like cpap etc are not provided by the medical system they have to be bought by the individual..

  11. In my go bag.. I have a couple of extra things..
    I keep a complete medical history.. My medical records all digitized and on a chip including x-rays labs.. The reason having a complicated set of issues if I’m on vacation let’s say new York or Cancun and an issue takes me to the local ER they won’t have access to that information and since medicine is basically best guess according to a set of variables and past results I want them to have the ability to make the best educated guess possible.
    With my local physicians I also tell them this. Most doctors get extremely irate when they get a a call at two thirty or three o’clock in the morning. The night staff doesn’t have any choices other than to make that call. I’ve personally seen doctors berate and throw charts at the night staff making an extreme amount of threats etc. I actually told one young man may be I’ll care more if you lay on the floor and kick your feet and bang your head otherwise shut up and do your job.
    So for each of my doctors I tell them this….
    If you don’t want a call in the middle of the night one. Don’t write stupid orders.. The night staff is required by law to follow the personal physicians it or not.. And to ad in the case of an emergency emergency room on call physicians may treat .. This gives the night staff the option to let the personal physician sleep and the night physician the ability to treat the patient.

  12. George,
    From experience I can say that your list covers almost all the bases. The quibble is with the omission of a durable healthcare power of attorney and an advance healthcare directives document. This last document should include one’s instructions about being resuscitated. Remember healthcare providers will spend tens of thousands of dollars of your money to restore a heat beat and pulmonary function unless specifically directed not to do so. Google the above for more details. Document requirements vary state to state.

    This does not fit in the bag but it is a survival concern. Watch out for elder healthcare discrimination (use google for details). This problem led to my father’s untimely death. Finally, because it’s all a business plan, nursing staff will spend time and effort tracking costs not providing actual services. IHMO

    • Here is how my letter reads..
      To whom it may concern these are my thoughts on life extension.
      To my family my physicians my lawyer my clergyman and to any medical facility in whose care I happen to be in.
      Death is as much a reality as birth growth maturity and old age. It is the one certainty of life. If the time comes when I …… Can no longer take part in the decisions for my future let this statement stand as an expression of my wishes,while I am still of sound mind.
      If the situation should arise in which there’s no reasonable expectation of my recovery from a physical or mental trauma such as a coma,heart attack , fatal car crash stroke etc. Then I request to be allowed to die and not be kept alive by artificial means or “Heroic Measures”. I do not fear death itself as much the indignities of deterioration,dependence and hopeless pain. I ….. Therefore ask that medication be mercifully administered to alleviate the suffering even though this may hasten the moment of death.
      This request is made after careful consideration. I hope you who care for me will feel morally bound to follow its mandate.
      I recognize that this appears to place a heavy responsibility upon you, the caregiver. But it is with the intention of relieving you of such responsibility and placing it upon myself in accordance with my strong convictions that this statement is made.

      Signed ……..
      Date ……..
      Whitness …….

  13. Just a tip, George. Just one or two drops of real vanilla extract in the grounds before brewing (or in the cup after, if you prefer) will curb the bitter taste of just about ANY coffee you can brew. Just another of those useful kitchen trivia tidbits.



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