by Todd Walker
Don’t leave home without it!
My bud over at For Tomorrow We... shared with me his article on building an office emergency kit. It reminded me that I should update my kit – and plan. Tip ‘o the hat, my friend!
If you’re fortunate enough have a job in today’s shrinking economy, it’s likely that you spend over a third of your life commuting to and from work. Whether your ‘office’ is a construction site, hospital, toll booth, boardroom, or classroom like mine, you must leave the house to get there.
Having a few preparedness tools stacks the deck in favor of you getting home.
And it all starts…
Before Stepping Over Your Doorsill
I give Dirt Road Girl a hard time about how long it takes her to get ready when we’re leaving the house. She returns the good-natured ribbing *hands on those beautiful hips and eyes rolling* as I start my ritual of loading my pockets and belt with stuff I carry everyday.
I just smile and say, “Ya never know!”
Pockets Full of Preps
The stuff you carry on your person is known in the prepper community as EDC (Everyday Carry). If you work in a victim zone (Weapons Free Zone) as I do, you’ll have to get creative with preparedness and self-defense items.
Ask a prepper if he has a knife on him. You’re likely to hear what my daddy’s says…
“I’ve got my pants on, don’t I!”
But wait! There’s more room for other useful stuff besides a knife.
Wallet (some conventional and unconventional items)
- Money (stash some so the spouse and kids don’t find it)
- Duct tape – wrap 3 feet around an expired store card
- I.D. to prove your residency when local law enforcement have blocked off your neighborhood after a natural disaster
- Survival Wallet
- Emergency contact numbers on a card. If your smart phone is lost, stolen, or dead, it’s no longer real smart. I personally don’t have my adult children’s phone numbers memorized. That’s why an old-fashioned paper card is important.
- Pre-paid phone card. They work if you find a pay phone at a truck stop.
- Condom. Of the extra-large, un-lubricated variety. Settle down, now! Condoms have more than one use. Creek Stewart shows 11 redundantly resilient ways a condom could save your life – with pictures and videos!
- Sidearm - This item, along with a spare magazine, is on my person everywhere I go. The only exceptions are places my government permission slip won’t allow me to exercise my natural rights – like my victim zone classroom!
- Flashlight – I carry a Streamlight ProTac 2L clipped inside my pocket.
- Reading glasses – LightSpecs go where I go. I use the two LED lights on these glasses far more than any other flashlights I own. DRG can tell you about my flashlight fetish.
- Cell phone – smart phones are pocket-size, survival super-computers.
- Swiss Army Knife – tool of my trade as the resident handyman at school
- Tooth picks – it’s a personal thing.
- Chap stick
- Metal mechanical pencil – for school.
Okay, stop stuffing your pockets! You’re beginning to look like the Michelin Man.
Here’s a place for the rest of your stuff…
Your Man Purse
Guys ~ time to swallow your pride and invest in a good man purse. One peek into the bottomless pit the ladies call a purse will convince you of its utility.
Manly men and only a few metro-sexuals correctly refer to their Man Purse as Get Home Bags (GHB). A book bag, shoulder bag, brief case, or duffel bag will serve the purpose. Keep in mind that a well stocked GHB isn’t built to get you through a sudden zombie apocalypse or end of the world scenario. GHB’s are simply a stopgap measure to get you home safely.
Your family is depending on you – prepare accordingly.
Here’s a look at my GHB ‘man purse':
Maxpedition Jumbo™ E.D.C. Versipack® – (I have no affiliation with this company).
I’ve owned this pack for a few years and absolutely love its utility! Your ‘office’ environment will determine the type of GHB you carry and it’s contents. If you wear suits and ties to the office, the Maxpedition line of bags will stick out like a man wearing a speedo to a lady-preachers convention. Choose a GHB that blends in naturally.
What should you pack in your Man Purse – GHB?
Personalize your bag to meet your needs (meds, contact numbers, etc.). Outside those personalized items, I recommend these items for every Man Purse – GHB:
- Container: I carry a stainless steel water bottle full of agua. The metal container also allows you to kill nasties in drinking water via boiling method.
- Fire: A couple of ways to make fire – lighter, storm matches, ferro rod, and tinder. Fire is even useful in an urban jungle. My fire kit is in a self-contained Altoids tin.
- Self-defense Weapons: If legal at your ‘office’, pack heat. There are many compact handguns on the market to choose from. Less lethal pepper spray should also be included.
- Flashlight: Ever change a flat tire with a mini Maglite between your teeth? Not fun! Invest in a good headlamp for hands-free operation. Don’t forget extra batteries. I wrap 3 AAA batteries in yellow electrical tape with the packing date written on the tape. This does two things – 1.) keeps them in one unit and 2.) reveals their freshness date.
- Cordage: 50 feet of 550 paracord.
- Knife: A fixed blade knife and a multitool.
- Calories: Energy bars, pemmican, jerky, nuts, trail mix, and sardines. Be sure to rotate/eat any nuts in your GHB periodically to prevent spoilage. If your GHB is exposed to extreme heat inside your vehicle, spoilage can be a major concern. My bag goes inside my classroom and house.
- Cover: Lightweight poncho, tarp or contractor garbage bags. I also pack an emergency space blanket. A tarp is in my vehicle emergency kit.
- Compass and Map: Navigational instruments that don’t depend on electronics. Detours happen in disasters. A map of your city and state (states if you’re a traveling salesman) is an essential tool. Practice and be familiar with several routes home before a crisis. Reminder: Keep your fuel tank at least half full.
- Pencil and Paper: A small note pad for taking notes, leaving messages, and playing tic-tac-toe with your imaginary friend in the passenger seat stranded in a winter storm. Seriously, it’s great to have these items!
- Paper Money: Cache some cash of different denominations in different places in your Man Purse – GHB. I can roll about 5 bills and stuff them into a metal pill container.
- Band-Aids: I pack Moleskin, a few Band-Aids, moist wipes, Advil packets, hand sanitizer, and a partial roll of flexible equine bandage wrap. I also pack duct tape and a 100% cotton bandana. These last two items are enough to get you home!
- Dust Mask: A N95 mask allows you to breathe without inhaling harmful dust particles. They’re cheap, lightweight, and can be MacGyvered for other uses. Remember the scenes from 911 of people running through the streets of NY enveloped by dust and disaster debris.
- Bandana: Speaking of MacGyvered items, pack a 100% cotton bandana in your GHB. Makes a cool doo rag too!
- Whistle: A simple signaling device to alert rescuers – if you want to be found ;)
- Bug Spray: A small pen-style container fits easily in my kit.
Note to the ladies: Jane over at Mom With a Prep reviewed her GHB, or Day Bag, just for you. Just so you know, she’s not your typical soccer mom. So don’t call it a purse to her face!
Whether you love your job or not, the fact is that you spend a lot of time away from your safe place called home. The important people in your life are counting on you to get home in one piece. Your Man Purse – GHB fills the gap when you step over your doorsill.
Do you carry a GHB? Add your valuable comments, suggestions, or subtractions from my list of contents.
Keep doing the stuff!
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