Pack and Test Your Kit
With all your materials together, pack them in your bag and walk around the block. If you can carry your kit with ease, it is probably the right weight. On the other hand, if you are struggling to walk, re-evaluate the necessity of the contents. Divide your provisions into multiple packs so everyone but the smallest child carries something. In fact, your dog could even carry its own pack. If you build multiple evacuation packs, establish one as the primary kit and put non-essential items and extra food and water in the other packs.
Extra Evacuation Kits – At Work
Put together an identical evacuation kit for your place of employment. Duplicate that kit for everyone who works outside the home. At work, the trick is going to be finding a place to store it. If your employer provides you with a locker, great! If you have a desk drawer that locks, place it there or tuck it under your desk. Be sure to put your name on your kit to avoid having it mistaken for trash.
If you have no safe place to keep your kit, ask your employer if he can provide storage for it. If you often drive in your line of work, keep your kit in the car. If you are transported to various work locations by others, determine the bare minimum you can keep with you at all times.
Extra Evacuation Kits – For Your Car
If you do have the use of a car it means you can have two to three equally prepared evacuation kits from which to operate; one for your car as well as those at home and/or work. The kit you leave in your car could include heavier items such as canned goods and water (remember to include a manual can opener).
In addition to more typical emergency items, a car allows you to take useful tools with you. When buildings collapse and trees block roads, all kinds of debris can collect in the most inconvenient places. These tools can make the difference between being blocked and getting through obstructed roads, or may become the means by which others can be rescued. Whatever tools you carry, be sure you know how to operate them properly and are comfortable with your ability to do so. Consider including some or all of the following:
- Hammer Folding Lightweight Shovel – Available at Army Surplus stores or camping outfitters
- Tire Iron/Lug Wrench – You probably already have one in the spare tire compartment of your car
- Rope – A package or two of heavy-duty clothes line is adequate
- Light Duty Saw – Pricey but invaluable
- Chain Puller/Ratchet Puller/Power Puller – A hand-held “come along” device that gives a mechanical advantage when pulling, lifting, dragging, etc. Small models are modestly priced at around $12.