EDC During a Time of Crisis

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

The Coronavirus pandemic has definitely brought about some real changes in everyone’s lives. Regardless of whether you are in the camp of those who believe that it’s been blown out of proportion and it’s no worse than the flu or you are locking yourself in your homes, even without a government order, it has managed to change your life.

One of the ways that COVID-19 has changed our lives is in our EDC (everyday carry). While I’m sure there are exceptions around the country, many of us are carrying a mask and hand cleaner around with us all the time now, either on our person or in our cars.

But I was recently treated to the opportunity of going through a hurricane in the midst of COVID, as I mentioned last week. While this hasn’t been my first hurricane, one thing that was different was that I couldn’t just hunker down in my home, as I normally would. I had to keep an eye on our home, my mother-in-law’s home and my brother-in-law’s homes, all at the same time. Since those three homes are all separated from each other by several miles, that meant driving around quite a bit.

As I headed into this, I realized the need to modify my EDC so that I would be ready to handle situations I might run across, driving around town in the midst of a hurricane. Some of this equipment I kept on my body, as a normal EDC, while other things were kept in the SUV that I was driving. As I was driving my wife’s vehicle and not my own, I ended up transferring some items from my vehicle to my wife’s, as well as taking a few things that I keep here at home for survival use.

On My Person:

  • Rain suit (better than a poncho)
  • Boots (more for traction, than to be waterproof)
  • Multi-tool
  • Higher lumen flashlight than I normally carry
  • Spare batteries
  • Machete (good general purpose clearing tool)
  • Small pry bar
  • Paracord
  • Duct tape
  • Stormproof lighter
  • Compass (for checking wind direction as the storm moved past us)
  • Lock pick set (just in case)
  • Whistle (in case I got trapped in a car wreck)
  • Cash (if the power went out, so would the ATMs and cash registers)
  • Two-way radio (so my wife and I could communicate if the phones went down)

In My Vehicle:

  • Tow strap
  • Jumper cables
  • Power pack for self jumpstarting my vehicle
  • Bow saw (for clearing branches – don’t currently have a chain saw, mine died)
  • Coleman dual-fuel stove
  • Coleman dual-fuel lantern
  • Full gas can
  • Tarps, as well as roofing nails and staples to hold them down with
  • Water & emergency food
  • Trauma first-aid kit
  • Dry change of clothes
  • My normal EDC bag, which doubles as a GHB/survival kit

Granted, several of the items I had in the vehicle were things that I would normally keep in my own vehicle for emergencies. But I wasn’t in that vehicle, so I needed to think through what problems I might encounter and make sure I was prepared for them. There was always the chance that I would end up stuck at one of the three locations or even somewhere in-between them. I was trying to be prepared for those eventualities.

In my after-action review, I came up with several observations from this experience, which I think could be of use to you in the event you are faced with a potential disaster:

  • Your EDC isn’t a fixed thing, be ready to change it as needed, especially in the light of an emergency
  • Don’t go out your door during a potential emergency or natural disaster, without first thinking through what could go wrong and making sure that you have what you need in those circumstances
  • Always be sure to have more than one means of communications with your family in times of disaster
  • It’s better to go through the work of loading up a bunch of gear that you don’t end up using, than to need gear that you didn’t bother to load up
  • Always use the most capable vehicle you have available to you, regardless of gas mileage or other considerations, especially during times of potential crisis
  • If you really need to have something, carry it on your body, don’t just have it in your car. You might not be able to get to your car to get it

If you can, it can be extremely helpful to have a contact in your city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), so you can find out what’s going on. I have an advantage here, in that my wife works for the city and her position requires that she be in the EOC during emergencies. So I have a direct line into finding out what’s going on.

Another option, if you don’t have an in at the city’s EOC is to get a police scanner and program in the police and fire department’s frequencies. They’re the ones with the boots on the ground, dealing with whatever problems are occurring. Tracking their communications will give you some of the best information available about how the crisis is unfolding.

That’s just one more tool for your tool bag. You can put it there, right next to your powder you’re keeping dry and your survival kit that you keep close at hand.

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