In part 1 of our Urban Preparedness series, we discussed the need for an Urban EDC Kit, as well the food, water, security and lighting items that it should include. In part 2 we will discuss the remaining basic items that every EDC kit should have.
While it is less likely to need fire making capabilities for an urban bug out, having this capability takes very little space and weighs next to nothing, so there’s no reason to not include it. For this I recommend creating a small fire kit that you can put in your bag. I prefer the container within a container method for organizing whenever possible.
Basic Fire Kit Contents
Having an emergency shelter may not be your top priority in an urban environment, but again, it takes up very little space and can be very lightweight, so it’s a good idea to have at least something. It can be as simple as having a couple heavy duty trash bags and some duct tape and paracord, or you can go with a shelter product like this emergency tent. Another nice to have would be this emergency bivouac sack (way better than those emergency blankets).
This one is also often overlooked, but an absolute must have in my opinion. But navigation is easy right? You just pull up Google Maps on your smart phone, problem solved? Not necessarily. In fact, in most disasters, at minimum the cell grid will be overwhelmed. This means that you may or may not be able to use the internet capabilities of your smart phone (this will be situational dependent). Additionally, the satellite connection may not work. And in the worst case scenario for cell phone use, an EMP attack, electronics will not work at all.
Because of this, it is extremely important that you have a laminated map of your city. Laminated is key here, as it will do you no good to have a map if it gets wet and unreadable, torn, or attacked by a hyper 2 year old (ask me how I know). A laminated map will survive most abuse, and they are readily available. I usually pick them up at the grocery store, but you can also get them on Amazon, like this laminated map of Manhattan. I have one for the city that I live in as well as one for the state that I live in.
Having a map is great, but you need to know what direction you’re heading, and for that you will of course need a decent compass and the ability to read a map. If you don’t know how to read a map, or you do not know the basics of navigation, that’s ok, it’s easy to learn. Check out this navigation series by ITS Tactical to get up to speed.
Even though I don’t think it’s a good idea to rely on your cell phone in the event of an emergency, if it does work, use it! Consider adding a spare cell battery (fully charged of course) to your bag, as well as a cell phone charger. Try to find a charger like this one that works with your phone. It works with both a standard wall outlet as well as charging from a computer USB port. If you have the extra space, it wouldn’t hurt to include a solar charger as well.
In the event of a disaster, you can pretty much expect the cell grid to be overwhelmed. You’ll have better luck getting text messages to go through than phone calls. And if your phone has internet capabilities, you can use social networks like Facebook or Twitter to communicate.
First Aid Kit
Don’t skip this one. Walgreens may not be open in the event of a disaster. We will go in depth on first aid kits in future posts, but use common sense on this one. Include the basics like sterile gloves, cleansing/sterilization products, adhesive bandages, gauze, elastic wraps, antibiotic ointment, burn cream, pain killers (aspirin and non-aspirin), antihistamines, decongestants, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids, laxatives, etc, as well as any medication you take on a day to day basis. Adapt to your specific needs.
Sanitation is always important, and is extremely easy. Take a quart size freezer zip lock bag, and fill it with a small bottle (or two) of hand sanitizer and hand wipes. I prefer Wet Ones Antibacterial hand wipes, as they do not contain alcohol, giving me an alcohol based (liquid) and non-alcohol based sanitizer.
- Dust mask
- Duct tape (Gorilla Tape, is there any other kind?)
- Paracord (50 ft. or more)
- Additional Clothing