A Personal History of BOB

Bob's a bug-out-bag (BOB). I had one when I was 10, way back in the early 70s. I kept a change of clothes and a book in it. In case of fire, I'd grab it and run. Then I wouldn't be stuck with only my pj's. I also had a will back then. I knew no one was legally required to follow it, but it seemed like a good idea.

Once I hit my teens the idea of a BOB got lost. I was too busy, too full of angst, or too sure that I couldn't stop bad things from happening. I was right, too.

However, now I am a mom. I have two boys. They would never consider a BOB. Why think about tomorrow when you can play a video game?

I've had a BOB again ever since Y2K, although as a Mac user that never threatened my personal life. Then we revised the BOB after 9/11. We made it carry clothes for the whole family, including a summer/winter exchange. I even put makeup in it. (In case we have to leave Houston but can get to a hotel somewhere else, Dallas maybe?)

It's been a while since we updated the Bob. The last update was last year about this time. 9/11 is an anniversary date. This year the blackouts in New York got my husband moving on the idea.

We needed to update though. With growing kids you have to keep up or you end up someday needing it and there aren't any clothes they can wear. This weekend we updated.

New undies for the boys. I used the ones that are really too big for them right now because their grampa didn't know their sizes.

We put in three pairs of socks apiece. If we have to get out in water, we'll want dry socks.

Everyone has one pair of long pants and one pair of shorts. Both my husband's and my pants are actually too big. I wear a size 10 and the pants are from when I wore a 14. The only remnant of that time. I'm not going back, so I got rid of all my old fat clothes.

There is no makeup. It gets ruined in the heat here anyway. We did put some soap in it and toothpaste. We get tired of smelly breath.

I'd like to have put in birthcontrol pills, because they regulate my periods, but I need all the ones I can get for regular every day life. I'll just have to hope I got a new pack and can get to a Walgreens for a refill before the time's up. If the end of the world comes, I'll have worse things to worry about than having a 10 day period twice a month.

There's no food. My kids are vegetarians. Beef jerky just won't work for them. We used to keep three dozen fruit flats, but I had the kids eat them after six months and we haven't replenished. We actually had beef jerky, but it goes bad after a year, so we threw it all away. And we didn't replace it. I hope whatever happens that Bob is necessary doesn't need food.

We have matches, first aid kits, sewing kits.

At home we have put new batteries into all our flashlights, bought extras, replaced old ones in radios, etc.

We also have about ten dollars in ones and fives in case something goes bad and we need cash. (Like the black outs in the NE.) My husband said we can't walk to the store, but there's a convenience store a block and a half from our house and a grocery store only five blocks away. We could, if we wanted to, without any trouble. It's just generally too hot in the summer to want to walk anywhere.

We have 6 gallons of water which is good till next year. We also have eighty bottles of water filled from the tap. Those will need to be replaced in a few months, but they're available. If there were a hurricane or something before I replaced them, we could always use them in the toilets.

I am firmly of the belief that whatever you prepare for won't happen. (If by some horrible chance it does, you're prepared at least.) Thus, the Bob. I've never needed it. I hope I never do. But I am keeping it updated.