Friday, 11 May 2012

Get-home bag

A machete?  Really?
The Art of Manliness looks at "get-home bags" and while some of the suggestions are good, the author piles on so much heavy duty equipment (stout boots, tarps, toothbrush, machete) that it ends up as impractical for something that's intended to be close at hand for an office worker and operate for 24 hours after a natural disaster so he can get home safe.

I particularly take issue with his including a pistol.  Now, don't get me wrong, I believe in carry conceal and all that.  However, I've lived through enough natural disasters and even a couple of terrorist attacks to suspect that God has it in for me, but I've never been through one yet where my top-ten survival priorities in the first 24 hours involved packing iron.  My general rule of thumb is that if you need a gun after a disaster, then you needed one before, so you'd have one anyway.  In other words, if I need a gun after an earthquake, it's because I'm in Kandahar and not Seattle. QED.

I don't have an office survival kit now because my office is at home, but when I had to work for clients on site my get-home bag consisted of the gear I always carry on my person plus a small satchel that fit in the back of a drawer containing an energy bar, three water pouches, a pocket first aid kit, a space blanket, a torch, a face mask (I live near a volcano) and some matches.  That was enough to get me back to my car where my 72-hour bag is, home if I have to hoof it or a relief station if I can't. The basic idea is to include the essentials while keeping the kit small enough that I won't feel tempted to not take it along or stuff it away somewhere so I need an emergency kit to get to my emergency kit.

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