Closely behind Bug Out Bags, discussions of E.D.C. are very popular in emergency preparedness circles. E. D. C. stands for Every Day Carry. These are the items that you have with you at ALL times. These are in your pocket or purse normally. It can extend to include a sling bag or such, but that begins to become questionable. That bag could get left in your car, at your desk, or anywhere that prevents you having it in the event of a sudden emergency.
There are some items people carry without thinking about it. Your phone, keys, and wallet/purse. All this stuff is with you every day. A few small changes can incorporate some possibly life saving items.
First, let’s state that if you plan on flying or going into a government building, you will need to adjust what you are carrying at that time. What you carry will vary widely based on whether you tromp around in the woods daily or if you are more boardroom than boondocks. The ideas are still the same for all scenarios. You need tools than can be used daily, but also be your first line of defense in an emergency.
It has not been so long since every man, woman, and child carried a knife of some kind. They were used for cutting twine, carving sling shots, peeling apples, and whatever else needed to be done. These were tools, not weapons. This is something that will be essential no matter the nature of the emergency. A basic type can be a small and carried in the pocket. It can be single bladed, multi-bladed, or containing other tools like a Swiss Army Knife. There are also larger fixed blade types that can be carried on your belt. Your daily environment may dictate the type you chose. A folding knife can be concealed easily and is more accepted in many areas. While a Swiss Army or Multitool type offers a lot of extras, the knife itself can be lacking in a lot of these.
The vital skill of making fire has fallen out of common knowledge. That does not mean you have to perfect it before you can be prepared. A simple disposable lighter is one of the most reliable fire starters you can carry. There is nothing wrong with using conveniences like this. The best scenario is to carry a lighter, but also know more traditional methods.
There are many daily situations where a flashlight can be handy. A power outage, finding cables below a desk, and changing a flat tire at night all are easier to deal with when you have a light. A small, but bright pen light fits into most pockets. With led versions, these can be all you need without being heavy and bulky.
Pencil and Pad:
There is a lot of information we need to keep up with each day. Grocery lists, appointment times, numbers, and addresses all need to be written down. Most people can use their phone to store this, but a dead phone negates this. In an emergency, this can be used to record meeting addresses, to leave notes telling family where you went, drawing maps to find your way,. A pen is good, but a pencil can be resharpened easily with your knife and has no ink to dry up. A permanent marker would be a good second addition. It could be used to mark buildings to show contents, mark items to show your path in case you need to retrace your steps, or leave messages that the rain and wind will not remove.
List of important documents:
As noted above most people keep lots of information on their phone. In an emergency your phone may not have power or get damaged. This is a reason to carry a list of important phone numbers, addresses, identification numbers, and personal information on paper. In addition you can include copies of ID, birth certificates, pictures to identify family, and medical records in case of chronic illness. When picking pictures include recent ones showing the entire family. This let’s you prove your relation to authorities. This can be important in the case of small children or an incapacitated family member. Keep all this information in a waterproof container on your person.
This is a very basic list. There are lots of other items you may choose to E. D. C. based on your needs. Some that come to mind are a length of paracord, a strip of duct tape, a multitool, a firearm, a compass, a small first aid kit, and a separate stash of cash. What you carry will be an entirely personal decision and may evolve over time.