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Help NSPR Wildfire Reporter Jamie Jiang pack her evacuation go bag

What's in your to-go bag?
Angel Huracha
What's in your to-go bag?

Do you have a go bag packed? Share what’s in it using our go bag survey, or contact me at

Living in the North State, you hear a lot of advice about wildfires.

Every summer, officials are on the news saying what should you do to prepare for an evacuation and what to put in your go bag.

A go bag is a collection of things you pack ahead of time to take with you in case you evacuate from a wildfire or other disaster. It’s also something that I, wildfire reporter Jamie Jiang, don’t have.

But sometimes great advice comes from looking in the go bags of your fellow North State residents.

Last summer, I surveyed North State community members to find out what they’re packing in their go bags. Over the next months, we’ll be sharing what I learned by talking to both experts and listeners in this Go Bag series. I’ll also be using their advice to pack my own.

Jake Gilliam, fire captain at Cal FIRE-Butte County Fire Department, starts residents off with a great basic list in case of any disaster:

  • 2-3 days of food and water
  • Clothing (Gilliam says that in a rush, dumping your laundry basket in the car will do)
  • Sleeping bags or other kinds of bedding
  • A first-aid kit
  • Non-prescription and prescription drugs
  • Supplies that could come in handy during an evacuation
  • Sanitation Products
  • Face masks and coverings
  • A map with evacuation routes and cardinal directions
  • Flashlight
  • Battery powered radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Copies of important documents

Many officials suggest packing according to the principle of the 6 Ps. That’s prescriptions, pets, plastic (credit cards, IDs, and money) a phone, paper (important documents like insurance documents), and pictures and memorabilia.

But, authorities stress, everyone has different needs, and your corresponding go bag should be unique, too.

Jamie is NSPR’s wildfire reporter and Report For America corps member. She covers all things fire, but her main focus is wildfire recovery in the North State. Before NSPR, Jamie was at UCLA, where she dabbled in college radio and briefly worked as podcast editor at the Daily Bruin.