The most useful survival tool is the one that you have with you when you need to survive.
This begs the question, what do you (should you) have with you? What is it that you carry on your person, or always have with you – no matter where you are, that would help you in disaster?
We often talk about the preps and supplies that we should have in order to be prepared for this or that, but, these supplies are often stored at home or a kit in your vehicle. What if you were out and about (wherever), and something happened (fill in the blank)… would you have what you need on your person to get you to the next level of safety and supply?
How far would you need to travel to get to your supply?
I know that during my previous career, during the times that I would travel, I would consciously bring more ‘things’ with me for situations ‘just in case’. When I would travel internationally, I would bring even more ‘things’. The further away that I would be from my home base, the more I would think about ‘what if’ scenarios and how I would get back home.
While the odds were low of anything drastic happening while I was out traveling, the fact is that you never know… After 9/11 happened, I realized that you could potentially be stranded thousands of miles from home. Look what happened when that un-pronouncable named volcano blew up in Iceland 2 years ago – people were stranded all around Europe for some time before flights returned to normal.
Even if you are just at work during the day, or out shopping somewhere, who’s to say a disaster won’t happen that could hurl your life into chaos.
Well, I would be curious to hear what others (you) think about what you should always have with you, on your person, and I will offer a short list of things that may be helpful (and perhaps obvious) as a minimum.
1. CASH. Money will get you out of many a jam. Having cash on hand is more ‘valuable’ during short term disaster than a credit card or debit card. It is tangible. Do not skimp here. Do not even think that having 20 or 50 is enough. The further away from home you will be, the more cash you should have with you. For example, just bopping around town, I always have at least 100 or more tucked away. If I’m out of State traveling, 500 is not even that much when you think about what it may take to get you home. If you are international, we’re talking 1,000 or more to get you home.
When I would travel international, I would always be sure to convert and have enough of the local currency with me. Another thing I would always do when afar is carry with me an ounce or two of gold, just in case… who wouldn’t convert gold, right?
I’ve never had a problem and never had to implement emergency measures while traveling, but again, if something had happened, I would have found a way to get out, or have the means to ‘hunker down’ safely.
2. Credit Card. Yes, so long as the system is functioning, a credit card will get you most anywhere. It should be 2nd to a sufficient cash reserve.
3. Pocket Knife. I won’t go into the multitude of uses for a pocket knife, since it is all quite obvious to a thinking person.
4. Cell Phone. Communication is key. Be the first to make that airline, hotel, or auto rental reservation before the hoards take to the airwaves after they realize their predicament. Use it to assure family you’re safe, or where you will be next, etc… (obvious).
5. Hard copy of important phone numbers, either tucked in your wallet or in some sort of pocket list. When I traveled for example, I would always have all of the 800 numbers for the various auto rental places, hotel chains, and airlines, so I could quickly make reservations. You should also keep phone numbers of your doctor, friends and relatives, auto insurance, home insurance, health insurance, bank and/or investment accounts. Don’t rely solely on the numbers stored in your cell phone. Write them down.
6. Multi-tool such as a Leatherman or equivalent. Again, the uses are nearly infinite and I won’t bore you with the obvious.
7. A Lighter, matches, the ability to make flame.
Do you have any other ideas of things to carry on your person while going about your typical daily routine? I’ve purposely left out any defensive weapon (except the knife), knowing that laws vary widely.
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