When people hear the topic of emergency preparedness equipment being discussed, they usually think of food storage, specialized equipment, and probably firearms and those are part of most of those discussions. What most people miss is the everyday items you can and should carry (EDC) to help mitigate the risks should an emergency occur. They may be surprised they have some of the most important items on them right now.
A standard definition of EDC is, “EDC items normally fit in a pocket, or small pack, or can be attached to clothing. Emphasis is placed on the usefulness, accessibility and reliability of these items”. So, what makes a good EDC package? While there is no definitive list and personal preference plays a big part, here are some basic items you’ll see on most EDC forums and some of what I carry.
- Cell Phone: One of the most important for obvious reasons. Besides being a communications device it more than likely contains critical information such as contact information you need in an emergency.
- Multi-tool: A good traditional multi-tool is critical for the flexibility it gives you in doing possible repairs on the fly. Another item in this category is the “credit card” size tool you can carry in a wallet like the M48 credit card survival tool which has a knife blade; 4 wire strippers; 4 ASE wrenches; bottle opener; can opener; screwdriver head; inclinometer; and black nylon emergency cord.
- A good folding knife. While the Swiss Army comes to mind for all its widgets, I carry a S&W Border Guard. It’s a hefty tool with a 3”1/2 blade, a glass break end, and a seat belt cutter. It’s a little bigger than most in the EDC category, but it meets my expectation in a knife for this purpose. Of course, always check local laws for carrying a knife.
- A small powerful flashlight. This isn’t just for finding a keyhole at night, but a proper EDC light should be powerful enough to light your way out of a darkened building and even temporarily blind an attacker. Several models can also be used as an improvised close in weapon or are made specifically for that necessity.
- A bandana or large handkerchief. These can be used to help escape a smoke filled office or other building, double as a sling or bandage. Some bandanas are even printed survival guides.
- Most people don’t carry cash anymore, but having a few bucks in cash during an emergency can be vital.
- A firearm where allowed and if so inclined. Other alternatives; mace, stun gun, pepper spray.
Of course, you can add or subtract to this, but these are just a few of the everyday items you should consider having with you whenever you leave home. All this should matter to you because in an emergency you need every advantage to help bring about a positive outcome.