I’m not referring to the wise idea of having layers of clothing in cold weather. Instead, I’m talking about having access to multiple emergency kits of varying size and degrees of complexity. I feel it is important to have options in an emergency, and backups for your backups. While each emergency kit should cover the basic essentials as best as possible, the kits should also augment each other.
Your first line of defense, so to speak, would be what you have in your pockets. In a future blog post, I’ll show you how to put together an exceedingly small survival kit that will fit in a shirt pocket. For now, you can Google “Altoids tin survival kit” and see something along those lines. At the minimum, try to always have a way to light a fire (cheap butane lighter if nothing else), a decent blade (pocketknife or multi-tool), and clothing that is season appropriate. If you have those things with you at all times, you’re a step ahead of many people already.
The next layer is a bug out bag (BOB). Again, we’ll delve more fully into this topic later. In essence, a bug out bag is a stash of supplies, easily transportable, that provides you with enough food and equipment to get you from Point A to Point B, on foot or otherwise. This emergency kit should be kept close at hand. If at all possible, keep one kit at work and one in your vehicle. This way, should you be forced to evacuate your workplace and are unable to get to where you’ve stashed your BOB, you still have the one in your vehicle to use if needed.
At home, you should have a separate evacuation kit. Similar to the BOB, this kit will also include important documents, possibly treasured photos, and a few other critical odds and ends. This will supplement what you already have in your BOB in your vehicle should you need to evacuate your home in an emergency.
Finally, you have the home emergency kit. This isn’t necessarily a box or bag of emergency specific items. Rather, your extensive and long-term emergency supplies might be kept throughout your home. In a pinch, your BOB and your home evacuation kit will augment what you have on hand at home.
The whole idea is to have backups for your backups. Any one kit should be enough to see you to safety but when they are combined, the sum is greater than the parts.