Past articles have talked about the need for standardized bug-out/emergency bags for every member of the family or group. The bags would be packed with individual survival in mind. Each bag would be a standalone general purpose survival kit in the event a member was separated from the group.
This article however, will focus on action bags, bags designed to meet specific challenges based on a particular area of operation.
Usually called A-bags an action bag is one that you would store somewhere to be used in that particular environment typically your office/workplace. Every environment you operate in on a regular basis will present their own unique set of survival challenges when the SHTF.
If you work in a factory or in the office of a factory that produces or handles toxic chemicals as a routine matter, for example, and there is and EMP attack, a terrorist attack, an employee goes off the rails, or an accident occurs that may expose you, are you prepared to meet the challenge. Do you have the tools, materials, and equipment to survive in that particular environment?
This is where a specialized action bag comes into play. It is a bag, or kit designed to meet the survival challenges in a particular environment. The threats you may have to deal with could be manmade or natural disasters.
You would have to decide if the bag could be stored within the facility, secured in a locker, in a desk drawer or even in your vehicle that would be in the parking lot. The action bag would stay in place, but do not ignore it. Changes may have to be made to the contents as certain factors change.
Doing an Evaluation to Determine What You Need
If you work on the 5th floor of an office building and there is an earthquake, what do you do and what do you have with you to help you survive. Drop, cover, and hold on are the recommended procedures until the shaking stops. You would not run into the streets or try to get to another area of the building until the shaking stops, so what do you need with you?
A communication device and not just a cell phone, you need something else as well, something as simple as a metal bar, for example, that can be banged on objects to create noise. People have been rescued from rubble days after the event because they were able to bang on pipes and metal beams to attract rescuers.
Consider a respirator/facemask to keep dust, insulation and other debris out of your nose and mouth. Hard hat, heavy gloves, and shoes are recommended as well.
The above is just an example used for demonstrative purposes. Each situation is different, and so you have to evaluate each one separately to determine what you can actually store at the facility, and consider what your employer has done in the way of preparing for an emergency as well. There may be survival items that the employer would have that would be available.
The above is just a start, and is by no means comprehensive. It is just to get you to think about what you may need to survive in a particular situation. Being trapped in an office building because of an earthquake is a very real possibility in some parts of the country.
General Items That Should Be In All Action Bags
- Communication Device (s)
- Small First Aid Kit
- Flashlight (s), Headlamps Are Ideal So Your Hands Are Free, and Have Extra Batteries
- Duct Tape
- Several Mylar Blankets
- Small Pry Bar
- Emergency Rations For 24 hours
- At Least Two Bottles Of Water
- Work Gloves, work shoes, safety glasses, face masks
- Rain Gear For When The Sprinkler System is Activated
Specialized Gear Tools Materials That Are Added (Examples Only)
If you work in a building you can become trapped in that building.
- If you do not work at ground level consider a rope ladder but make sure you know the distance to ground level to ensure the ladder would reach the ground
- Heavy pry bar to pry open doors, smash windows and create an egress though walls
- Hard Hat
- Quality Respirator
- Heat Reflective Blanket
Of course you may not be able to store any of the above materials at work, but you may be able to store some of them, and remember to find out what your employer has on hand that you can use.
Some may consider the above as EDC bags, or get home bags, but the big difference is that the A-Bags stay in one place, and that place would typically be where you work. You work there 5 and even 6 days a week and are there from 8 to 10 hours a day in some cases, so when the SHTF chances are you will be at work. Your work environment is the environment you will have to survive in long enough to get home to your family.
Where you work is unique and the challenges will be different and so may require different tools and materials. Tools and materials not typically found in a bug-out-bag, get home bag or in your EDC.