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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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04.21.11         michael's insights  

Michael's Disaster "Go List"


Something that really wiped me out at the beginning of both the Haiti and Japan trips were the 2 days of packing and getting ready. It's hugely stressful going out and buying all this stuff, trying to decide what to bring, what not to bring, forgetting stuff, going out again, buying more. Its ridiculous. Everything needs to be ready 24/7. It is my hope that if I do all this stuff now, I will shave off 2 days of stress before I get over there.

I spent all day today packing and getting my main bag ready. Most of it was replacing worn out items, or used stuff, but I did finish. If we get a Tsunami warning and need to evacuate I can throw it in my car in about 20 seconds. If I need to quickly leave for another long trip, I am still as close to ready to go now as possible, just would probably go buy a bunch of Zone bars and check all my batteries before I left.

There are still a few items I need to add to this list, but amazing, so far, everything is fitting with room to spare!

Here is my "Go List". It lists everything in my gear and what I need to do at certain phases. So handy to have for future trips!

Michael's "Go List"

What I will wear (This is all ready to go in a drawer of my dresser, all I have to do is change into it):

-Most comfortable shoes of choice at the time (can be tennis shoes or Keen Hiking Shoes)
-1 Pair Tru Spec Military Pants with Heavy Duty Belt. 1 Pair of Ear Plugs in Right Pocket.
-Black Dri Fit Shirt
-Passport in undershirt Necklace Carrier
-Wallet, Watch with a Timer
-Certain Amount of Cash in US Dollars
-Under Armor Blue Hoody

Packed in Big Bag Ready to Go (Bag typically weighs just under 70 lbs and I have it in a Waterproof Back Pack)

3 Changes of All Weather Clothing in 10L waterproof Dry Bag:
- 3 pairs of Columbia Titanium Pants (convertible to shorts), 1 Olive Green, 2 Khaki
- 3 Black Dri-Fit Tee shirts
- 3-4 Pairs White Socks / Underwear
- Sun Glasses with Lanyard
- Columbia Rain Jacket / Wind Breaker (Red)
- Military Grade Tactical Vest
- Military Style Boony Hat
- Khaki Waterproof Poncho
- Basic Hygiene Kit with Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Compact Towel, Mirror, Nail Clippers, Tweezers, Contact Solution/Kit, 6 extra pairs of contact lenses, Old Spice, Advil. etc.
(No Shaving supplies as water is typically limited anyway.)

Cold Weather Clothing (In separate dry bag which can be removed from main pack if disaster area is warm)
- 2 pair of thick cold weather socks
- Size 13 Keen Hiking Boots
- 1 Under Armor Long Sleeve Thermal Shirt
- 1 Under Armor Beanie Hat
- Cold Weather Sleeping Bag Liner

Gear:
- 1 Razor Sharp Large Folding Lock-back Tanto Knife with Serrated Edge
- 2 LED Handheld Flash Lights, 2 LED head lights
- Leather Working Gloves
- Leatherman Wave Multi-tool
- Compact, North Face 2 Man Tent/Shelter
- Thermarest Neo Air Sleeping Pad (Compact)
- 0 C Degree Timberjack Sleeping Bag (I also now have a -30 Degree Bag on hand as well)- In Compression Bag
- 1 Large Tarp, 50' Nylon Rope
- Katadyn Water Filter System, Water Purification Tablets
- Pad of Paper and Pencil (not a pen!), in ziplock bag
- 4 large size garbage bags, several large ziplock bags (for waterproofing)
- 1 Roll Duct Tape
- 1 Empty 20L Dry Bag
- Small First Aid Kit, 2 Trauma wound packs
- Insecticide, Sunscreen
- 2 Naglene Water Bottles
- Box of Earplugs (I often find myself sleeping in some pretty unusual circumstances)
- 2 Packs of Baby Wipes (as compact as possible)

Food (this is where most of the weight is)-
-24 MRE Entrees, 12 side dishes.
-4.5-6L Water
-Small Snack Packages (Usually Peanuts or heath bars)
- Electrolyte Tablets

Communications & Electronics (Most of this is in a smaller carry on backpack)

Canon 7D with Tamron 18-270 Lens, 32 GB Lexar CF Card
2 iPhone 4s
1 Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone
Thrane and Thrane Explorer 500 Satellite Internet BGAN Unit

Chargeables (Electronics that need to be checked and charged every 2-3 months)

- 4 Mophie Plus Juice Packs for iPhones
- 4- LP E6 Canon Camera Batteries
- Sat Phone Batteries (2)
- BGAN Unit Batteries (2)
- Laptop Batteries (2)
- 12 AAA Batteries
-Various Recharging Cables

Mission Specific Supplies

- Radiation Detector
- Hard Hat
- Safety Goggles
- Particle Mask
- AX

What I need to buy or Pack right before I leave:
- Snack Type Food (Mostly Zone Bars)
- Cold Weather Jacket (If needed)
- Small Laptop Computer, with Photo/Video Editing Software and CF Card Reader

What I need to do to get ready:
- Notify vendors
- Rosetta Stone Package for Language of Country I am traveling to
- English / New Language Dictionary
- Shave Head
- Set up Transportation / Network with contacts

What I need to get once in Country-

-Rent Portable Wifi Connection for local area if available.

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