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Carrying Your Emergency Kit

Carrying Your Emergency Kit

The whole idea behind a personal emergency kit is that it is small enough, light enough, and unobtrusive enough for you to carry it with at all times when you are out of the house. This includes at work (you do not want to die in an office building or factory warehouse because you are unable to pry open a stuck window or door), the doctor’s office, at concerts, in the grocery store, and so forth. All of these places are potential death traps if an emergency occurs and you have no tools to help you with your egress.

This means that the kit must fit into a backpack, fanny pack, or purse conveniently, and still be readily accessible. The kit should be placed into its own container within whatever you are carrying it inside – you don’t want the contents rattling around loose inside your purse or backpack. This means that you could lose precious minutes groping around in a tangled mess of objects for the one that you need, and might end up spilling everything out on the floor – a disaster for you in the darkness of an emergency-stricken building.

Get a ballistic nylon or other tough fabric bag, preferably one with several pockets, and use this to store your emergency kit within your usual carrying container. The bag will help both to keep the items safe and accessible. You still need to pack them in the correct order, which is just as vital as getting the items themselves or

Alternatively, you can get a purpose-designed emergency kit pouch to wear on your belt or on a shoulder strap like a messenger’s pouch or a sword on a baldric. These tend to cost a bit more than a simple bag, but they have several advantages. Since they strap onto your body, you can keep your hands free while still carrying your emergency kit with you.

Wearing your emergency kit in this way also keeps it convenient at all times --- hanging at your hip, attached to your belt, or even buckled to your chest, you can reach into in a moment, yet it doesn’t impede your movement. The main drawback is that it is not a very good fashion statement, but when survival is in the balance, who cares about "haute couture"?

When packing your bag, the items you need least frequently should go at the bottom, while the most useful should be at the top. This means that the flashlight should always be the topmost item in the bag – it is impossible to do anything without adequate light. Your smoke hood should be directly beneath it, and your multi-tool under that. After that, prioritize your remaining items and put them into the bag according to how often (or how badly) you’re likely to need them.