With an increased focus on preparedness in recent years, there has also been an increase in focus on being prepared all the time. That means carrying on you or near you most of the essential tools you need to survive for at least a few hours in the event something goes wrong and you can’t make it back home immediately. It doesn’t have to be a terrorist attack or natural disaster that messes things up either.
An unexpected earthquake in the middle of the day can shut down a subway system, stranding thousands of riders. A severe thunderstorm can take down trees that block major commuter roads, backing up traffic for hours. And snow or ice storms in the middle of the work day can also lead to commuting chaos. So here are the the few of the items that you should carry every day to make sure that you’re prepared for every eventuality.
Wallet, Keys, and Phone
These are the three essentials that everyone should have on them at all times. Even if you’re just stepping outside to take out the trash, what happens if the door locks behind you and you don’t have your keys? In cold weather, being stranded like that could be fatal. Always have your house keys on you. Keeping one set of car keys on you can be helpful too, if only to drive to a friend’s house to wait for a locksmith.
Keeping your phone on you is essential to being able to call for help. Maybe you went down to your apartment lobby to check the mail, something you do every day. On your way back to your apartment the elevator gets stuck. Maybe the emergency intercom works, but maybe it doesn’t. Or maybe the person monitoring the other end isn’t paying attention. Having your phone on you can make sure that you’ll be able to call for help in any situation.
Making sure you have your wallet on you is also important. Again, if you find yourself stranded outside your house or your place of work, you may need to hail a cab, pay a stranger to drive you home, or buy food and water. You need to have the ability to do that, so make sure you have your wallet on you whenever you step outside.
This is another everyday carry (EDC) item that is becoming more important to people. If your subway gets stranded in a tunnel and the power goes out, having a flashlight makes sure that you can see. And if you need to evacuate the train, it’s a lot better to have your own source of light rather than be dependent on transit workers’ flashlights.
In other everyday scenarios, flashlights can help you find something you may have dropped on the ground or in your car. They can also be used to blind attackers or, in the case of flashlights with strike bezels, be used as a self defense weapon or to break auto glass.
A knife is another EDC essential whose uses are endless. From cutting open a package to slicing a piece of food to cutting a stuck shoelace, there are numerous daily uses in which a knife can come in handy. And in the event of a car crash, having a knife can allow you to cut you or someone else out of a stuck seatbelt.
Handkerchief or Tissues
Handkerchiefs or tissues have numerous uses, so make sure you have some in your pockets. You’ll obviously need to blow your nose at some point, or wipe off some spilled food. But they can also be used to clean up blood from a wound, wipe off your dipstick when checking your oil, or clean your glasses.
Water is the last but perhaps most essential EDC item you’ll need. And it’s not only for drinking. If you need to clean up stains on clothing or clean a cut or open wound, you’ll want to have some water handy.