Most of us live very busy lives. We’re always on the go, in the car, at work, taking the kids somewhere, and trying to keep our heads above water so-to-speak in our hectic society. And, as preppers, we like to prepare ourselves for what might happen tomorrow, be it a natural disaster, pandemic, collapse, or whatever. While I certainly agree that we should prepare for our future we need to remember to prepare for today too. That is, what could go wrong in our everyday lives today as you walk out the door?
Above all else, does somebody know where you’re going and when you’ll be back? Similar to a hike, your spouse or whomever should know where you went and when to expect your return. Do you know what weather to expect? Is a blizzard coming this afternoon? You might cancel your plans if so.
Besides that, the first place to consider is what you keep on you, your EDC (every day carry). I know people that carry A LOT of stuff–more than I do–but I understand the desire because you’re really only as prepared as what you have on you, such as what you carry in your pockets or a purse. Do a personal inventory real quick. I’m sure that includes car keys, a wallet or purse, and probably a cell phone. Speaking of cell phones, do you charge it each night? Included an “ICE” contact? Included disaster apps if you have a smartphone? Know how to text and use GPS? Your cell phone is a valuable tool, don’t ignore it.
Maybe you carry a pocket knife, multi-tool, and even a handgun… great! Or, maybe a canister of pepper spray is in order instead? I would also recommend everyone have a descent keychain light. There are plenty of options; I’ve had a Photon Freedom for years without it going out yet and I don’t even notice it being there. Perhaps a small bic lighter either in your pocket or on a keychain would prove useful too. How about a whistle? You can easily attach a small pealess one (like this Rescue Howler Whistle) to a keychain as well.
It’s not just about what’s in your pockets. You can make use of other things to carry supplies such as your wallet or purse. For example, I like to keep a few OTC meds in my wallet, a few bandages, a fresnel lens (for magnification and fire starting), duct tape (wrapped around an old credit card), extra cash stashed away so I don’t use it, and my list of emergency contacts (and other info). Along with everything else inside, my wallet space is maxed out! Of course, ladies often have a significant advantage if they choose to carry a purse… I’ve seen some big enough to carry the kitchen sink.
There are any number of additional personal EDC items that you could include. Do an WWW search and you’ll find plenty of suggestions. My only caution would be to avoid carrying too much gear as it can then become a hassle and you may very well find yourself less and less willing to haul it everywhere… sometimes less is more.
An obvious next area to consider is your vehicle, and with winter fast approaching we need to consider cold weather survival and the potential snow and/or ice issues too. As I’ve posted about that before I won’t bother to do so again here. Suffice it to say that you should take your winter vehicle preps seriously. Regarding general vehicle-readiness, however, you need to think about things like running out of gas, a flat tire, an accident, or other mechanical troubles. What supplies and actions can be taken to prepare for these problems? There are several, including:
- Keep your gas tank at minimum 1/4 full and preferably 1/2 full. I know it’s difficult to always do so but running on empty before refuelling is a bad habit! From traffic congestion to winter-readiness, it just makes sense to keep your gas tank fuller.
- Include tire repair supplies in your vehicle AND ensure your spare tire is inflated on a regular basis. It couldn’t hurt to include a better jack than the horrible ones most cars have too.
- Consider AAA insurance. For a relatively small yearly fee you can simply call somebody to come assist you instead of replacing/fixing a flat tire or they can tow you to a nearby mechanic in the event of bigger troubles. After all, who really wants to change a flat tire in a blizzard?
- Keep a DC phone charger for your phone AND stash a pre-paid phone in your vehicle’s glove box (got that idea from Jack Spirko of TheSurvivalPodcast). Being able to communicate when you really need to is a must in our society. The more ways you can do so the better.
- Include a small notebook (or pad of paper) and pencil in the glovebox which can be used to note details of an accident.
- Store basic vehicle-related supplies such as spare fuses, engine oil, jumper cables and so on in the trunk. There’s no reason not to have these basic supplies with you at all times as you never know if/when you will need them or even to help someone else.
- Additional survival gear stored in a backpack or small tote would be useful as well. I keep a lengthy list here.
Now, how about at work?
Usually, a get home bag is in order here and can include any items you might find in a typical bug out bag. I would emphasize a few things above all others: comfortable shoes (such as a pair of sneakers), a change of clothes, and a good weather-resistant jacket with hoodie (or a quality rain poncho). Anything else you want to put in there is fine but focus on things meant to get you home, not to survive in the wilderness for the next week.
So, as you walk out the door today, do you have your EDC? Your cell phone? Is it charged? Did you grab your get home bag and is it appropriate to the season? Is your vehicle ready for the road? Does somebody know where your’re going and when you’ll return? Are you ready the weather?
I should point out the fact that in prepping for today you really are prepping for tomorrow, but the point in the article was to get you to think about what could go wrong in your everyday life and what actions you can take to prepare for them. Hope it helps!