Poet's Notes: I served as a United States Air Force flight surgeon from 2000 to 2005. Every airman (and presumably every member of the military) is required to have a "grab-and-go" mobility bag or "mobag" prepared at all times to be used in case of a last minute or emergency deployment. I used mine only once--on September 11, 2001.
Space in the bag was limited, and careful planning was required in order to pack a mobag properly. The contents of mine reflect not only what I though was necessary but what I thought was important. My biggest fear was breaking my only pair of glasses, thereby rendering myself completely useless. Hence, a substantial portion of my mobag and a full three lines of the twenty-line poemwas devoted to corrective lenses.
As for my "emergency book," one might infer that, as a physician, it would be a medical manual of some sort. For me, however, I wanted to be prepared for the long periods of boredom that occur during most deployments--the "hurry up and wait" or "HUAW" with which everyone in the military is familiar. I chose an omnibus by P. G. Wodehouse. I wound up reading it years later after I left the service. A review may be found here: http://stevesofgrass.blogspot.com/2015/11/review-of-very-good-jeeves-by-p-g.html.