Here in the United States, we have apparently been hit by the old Chinese curse. That is to say, we live in interesting times. The world is fraught with tension and violence, and within our own borders, we are collectively agitated and bewildered by our depressing lack of a coherent and functioning political system. International terrorist groups target weekend revelers across the West, and our own children—usually young men—periodically engage in spasms of violence, in which a deranged shooter kills scores of innocent bystanders, usually before offing himself.
There is no point in arguing how we got here. That is for future sociologists and historians to parse, with the benefit of decades of hard data and hindsight. Our goal in the here and now is simply to manage the day-to-day, to do right by our families, to make the best of the world we inhabit, and if we are lucky enough, to help—even incrementally—to make the world a better place. Part of our job is to simply survive. We have to adapt to the world around us, be cognizant of the threats, and do what we can to mitigate them.
This author has addressed the possibility of various attack scenarios playing out here in the United States—here, here, and here—and has also provided some ways that one can help him or herself survive a mass shooting. Following on these hopefully helpful missives, it is now time to think about making yourself a go bag to maximize your chances of successfully surviving a man-made or natural disaster.
A go bag (I have no idea from where the name originates) is also known as a bug-out bag, or an E&E (escape and evasion) kit. There are probably countless other names by which it is known, but you get the point. It is a small to medium-size bag that is at your disposal whenever you might need it. Whether it be a terrorist attack on the scale of Paris or 9/11, or a workplace shooting, or even the zombie apocalypse, this bag will keep you alive and well for a short duration—ideally until the situation settles down.