Since not all of us have the luxury of working within walking distance of home, I got to thinking about what people would do in an emergency situation while they were working, particularly such as an EMP attack or an earthquake, when driving home might not be an option. If there was a panicked situation at work, do you have the supplies to survive?
What if the vending machine had no power and the plumbing no longer worked to provide drinkable water. Do you have enough water at your desk so that you could walk all the way home in the hottest weather without a problem?
Especially if you work in an office where nice dress shoes are expected, could you comfortably walk home wearing them? If not, stash an extra pair of running shoes in your desk drawer – they don’t have to be pretty, just comfortable. Don’t forget to tuck in one or two pairs of socks.
High energy snacks
Again, without vending machines or anticipating that you have some lunch with you, do you have some energy bars stashed away? And as tempting as it may be, never dip into that stash, or let coworkers know you have them, because chances are good in a real emergency you will discover you forgot to replace them.
First aid supplies
You should include a first aid kit so you can treat yourself or others, especially if there was an earthquake or terrorist attack where injuries could be likely. If your office or floor has a first aid kit as well, make sure you or somebody else grabs it. Nothing is worse than needing it and then realizing someone forgot it hanging next to the door.
Depending on the type of emergency, a dust mask is crucial for keeping dust and debris out of your airway and for treating someone who is contaminated. You might even consider adding goggles as well.
Assorted Emergency supplies
Pen & paper, flashlight, whistle, and gloves are all additional things that might be handy.
Keeping it all together
Keep all your supplies together, preferably in a backpack with plenty of pockets. This way, you can grab it in a second and go, rather than hunting in your desk for your energy bars, under your desk for your running shoes, grabbing water from the shelf, etc. In an emergency you want to get up and go as fast as you can, you don’t want to lose precious seconds collecting things or hunting things down. If you are leading a group of people in an evacuation situation, whether leaving a building or having to take a larger trek out of an area amidst chaos, a brightly colored backpack, particularly one that is very distinctive such as the one we show, can help you be very visible when so many people look the same from behind. You don’t want your group separated in a survival situation.