The Non-Preppers ‘Go Bag’
The following article has been contributed by Matt, a preparedness expert currently residing down under in the beautiful country of Australia.
I want to start off this article by explaining my thought process behind it.
I want to explain why I think this is a good idea.
I want to explain why i think this is important.
I see bad people doing bad things in cities, cinemas, schools.
I see news reports of natural disasters.
I thought about all those people affected by terrible things that shouldn’t happen but are becoming increasingly common or possible.
I began thinking about someone sitting in an office building reviewing documents, typing on a computer at some desk in some cubicle or office.
I began thinking about the taxi driver driving the streets.
I thought about what would I do or need that might give me another chance to survive if I was in those situations.
I’m sitting at my desk on the fifth floor of some inner city office building.
BANG! Boom! The lights go out, the emergency lights come on, some alarm is going off, there’s dust and smoke everywhere. You realize your arm is bleeding quite profusely from some injury; the office floor looks intact from what you can see from the dust and smoke.
What do you do?
Most likely you will follow your company’s emergency procedures and evacuate?
But doing so from the fifth floor will be difficult as every other floor below you are smoke and dust filled with people everywhere coughing and rubbing their eyes.
In the end you make it outside to the awaiting emergency personnel. It took a while but you’re outside.
Is there anything I could’ve done to increase my chances of survival in this type of situation? What could possibly get me through the next minute or hour at its most relatively basic of levels if some sort of small, large or SHTF scenario takes place?
If this was me, my go to item would be a plain old little ‘bum bag’.
They’re referred to as fanny packs in the U.S. if I’m not mistaken. In Australia we call em’ bum bags!
In it would be the most basic of items that would be beneficial if the SHTF and I found myself clambering over rubble from an earthquake damaged building or bomb or some other SHTF scenario.
Take into consideration this is designed to be as simple as possible. Its deigned for those who might not know where to start in this thing we call prepping or who might find all the gear gizmos gadgets and articles confusing or too much.
Putting Together the Go Bag
Choosing your Bag
- The point of this bum bag that I’m suggesting is that even if you wear a suit and have absolutely never thought about prepping before, something as unobtrusive and small as a bum bag won’t detract from your office décor or work clothes. It’s not a camouflaged 40lt hiking backpack sitting at the bottom of your mahogany bookshelf.
- It sits in your desk drawer.
- It sits in your locker.
- It sits in the well of your car door or middle console or glove compartment.
- If your employer is reasonably casual with your uniform and you can find use to wear it for your job you might as well get away with wearing it as part of your uniform.
- A small waist pack, fanny pack or bum bag. It’s small. Its readily accessible being at the front and you do not have to swing it around like a backpack. Can’t get it around your waist? Try to find one that has the longest strap you can and sling it over your shoulder across the chest. We’re all different.
- Space will be of an absolute premium so pack light, pack minimal, pack necessity. If you can fit more of one item then by all means go for it. I would try to include multiple first aid items.
- If the SHTF and your typing away at your computer or driving a taxi, bang, SHTF!, you open your drawer or glove compartment and away you go with an increased chance of survival strapped to your waist hands free
- One pocket two pocket, it doesn’t matter. So long as it has a big main compartment
- Either a secondary pouch in the main compartment or simply loose whatever works for you and the size of your bag
- If the SHTF in an emergency I’m not going to worry about tweezering little splinters, in fact, with all the ruckus going on around me I’d probably realize I have something in my finger, hand or foot long after the incident so items like this will be left out. If you have room then include it.
- My reasoning in having these specific items is based on quick, fast, go go go, I’m injured lets pad it stop the bleeding, dress it and keep moving, or doing the same for someone as I pass them, pad it stop the bleeding, dress it, pick them up and keep moving. Not let me remove the wood splinter from your finger while your arm has a hole in it.
- 1 x bandages/pads for padding and pressure. Make the focus with this kit on stopping bleeding and perhaps burns, as more than likely splinters, mosquito bites, and grazed knuckles will be a distant second to open wounds, gunshot wounds, crush injuries and burns
- 1 x bandages for dressing
- 1 x triangle (sling) bandages, for putting arms in a sling amongst the numerous other uses they have or keep folded and use as a wound dressing as well
- 1 x type of burn-aid or burn treatment gel or dressing
- Several x Band-Aids
- Several x steriswabs/Alco-swabs/antiseptic wipes
- 1 x chap stick – these have a variety of uses
- 1 x pair of rubbers gloves
- backup personal medication
- 2 x aspirin, anti-histamine or over the counter pain medications
- 1 x shock blanket/emergency blanket/foil blanket
- 1 x small roll of duct tape – you never know what this will save you from until you have it
- 1 x dust mask: rubble, dust, allergens, burning materials giving off toxic smoke, a simple dust mask is better than no dust mask. Plain white masks usually sold in packs of 10 or more will do. Once again if space permits and you can fit something more quality perhaps with some sort of respirator then include it. If not fit as many dust masks in your pack as you can. Handing these out in emergency situations that may require this piece of equipment will be a benefit to peoples lungs
- 1 x pair of clear safety goggles, preferably wrap around that will also prevent dust from getting into your eyes
- 1 x torch – something small yet comfortable to hold, preferably a wrist strap
- 1 x signal whistle, preferably with a lanyard
- 1 x small roll of duct tape – you never know what this will save you from until you have it
- Food? You want to put food in your bum bag with everything else? Say I get trapped in an elevator or the stairwell. Or I’ve jumped out of my taxi to assist the people trapped by rubble and I’m slugging away for hours and have to sit down to recoup some energy. Or I find myself trapped by rubble.The point here is to keep it small and have at least one item.
- 1 x muesli bar/energy bar/oat bar: something to give you just that little bit of sustenance to keep you going.
- 1 x electrolyte pouches or tabs
- some small candies, mints, jelly beans, something sugary
- 1 x the smallest container of water you can find can be included. They make pouches of water, canned water, whatever is small enough to fit. If you cannot fit in your pouch then clip it to the pack. It might not be a bottle. It might be only a little tiny food grade container that is too small to actually quench your thirst.
But you can wet your lips, moisten your throat, splash a little on your face, or face cloth. It’s there for you to survive that little bit longer
Assorted Contents: Room Permitting
(although bum bags are small you may be able to squeeze one or two extra items but in the end the size of the bag will dictate)
- hi-vis vest or reflectors
- tourniquets, if your first aid associations allow these
- a bandana: you can wet it to put over your mouth for a fire, wipe your face down, clean an area, wipe away sweat, use as a wound dressing if you have nothing else
- deck of cards
- portable Powerbank: to recharge a phone if necessary
- a couple of small glow sticks
- small Multitool
- seatbelt cutter
- glass breaker/window punch
- CPR face shield
- 1-2 x Ziploc bags: great for carrying water, water/splash proofing items, storing severed fingers etc. (well that escalated quickly!)
Remember every quarter (three months) check the contents. So many people prep so hard yet fail to consistently check the contents until it’s too late. Oops the flashlight is flat and doesn’t work. The water tastes off. The energy bar has expired.
Check check check!
This article is for those who don’t know what paracord is, or what ‘prepping’ means.
This is for those who don’t own a single piece of camouflaged clothing or gear.
This is geared towards those people who want WIFI on holiday or those who simply say “whatever happens happens”.
I apologize if any of what I have written sounds a little insulting or degrading but in no way is that my intention.
For those that say “whatever will happen – will happen” that’s fine. You’re entitled to say that.
But are you the sort of person that when the SHTF and you’re driving past a collapsed building or working in an office and someone else needs help, are you the sort of person that stops what you’re doing, digs deep and rushes to help those in need? Do you pull over; get out of your taxi and rush to pull people out?
Do you manage to evacuate your building and are relatively unharmed but around you there are colleagues or others in need of help?
You may not need the contents of your ‘go bag’ in these sorts of situations but someone else might.
You may only have one wound dressing to pad and stop the bleeding of you or someone else.
You may only have one triangle bandage to sling the broken arm of you or someone else.
You may only have one shock thermal blanket for you or someone else.
You may only have one burn-aid or burn dressing for you or someone else.
You may only have a couple of antiseptic wipes or swabs for you or someone else, you’ve used the bandage on someone else, but a cleaned wound may be something so small a thing to do but you’ve decreased the risk of infection.
But you’ve made a difference. You’ve increased your chance of survival. You’ve given at least one other person a fighting chance.
I know there are people out there who don’t think about these things and yes, absolutely, we cannot go through our lives constantly thinking about all the possible bad things that could happen. We need to enjoy the life we are given either by ourselves or with loved ones.
But something so small, so unobtrusive, so easy to put in a desk drawer or car glove compartment, that you know is there, could actually save your life or someone else’s.
If you don’t need to help yourself, use it to help someone else.