We don’t get to choose when and where a disaster may strike. For those of us that head to the office every weekday morning there is a real possibility that if and when a major disaster strikes we may be sitting at our desks. Since most preppers keep the majority of their preps at home, many of us are no more prepared for a disaster during working hours than someone that’s never even heard of prepping.
This is a glaring hole that far too many preppers have. Thankfully it’s pretty easy to set up a workplace survival kit that will get you through the majority of disaster scenarios.
In today’s post we’ll be discussing why you would ever want to bug in at the office, whether or not it is actually safe to do so, and what preps you should be storing at work to make life bearable during a 24-72 lockdown.
Why would you ever bug in at work?
I know what a lot of you are probably thinking:
“Why in the world would I bug in at the office when I can grab by Get Home Bag and head home to the rest of my preps?”
That’s definitely a valid argument. During a disaster scenario, if it is possible for you to leave your office, get home and proceed to bug in at home SAFELY, then that is exactly what you should do. All your preps are there, it’s much easier to defend (considering most office buildings have banned weapons of all kinds) and it’s much more comfortable weathering a disaster at home than it is at the office.
Again though, we don’t get to choose the severity, location and time of a disaster. There are numerous instances where bugging in at work may be your only option. Inclement weather, public lockdowns and various other scenarios could leave you without much of a choice. However unlikely, these scenarios can and do happen all the time and it’s a good idea to be prepared for that kind of scenario.
Is your workplace safe to bug in?
The cardinal rule of bugging out vs. bugging in is fairly simple. When disaster strikes, are you safer where you are or is it safer to go to another location? Obviously this is completely dependent on the situation at hand.
When you’re making the decision to bug out or bug in, you have to be as realistic as possible about the scenario you’re in right then and there. If a massive blizzard hit your area and roads are extremely dangerous, it’s not a very good idea to risk an automobile accident to get home when you could easily just sit back and wait it out at the office. On a more extreme and complicated example, if something major were to happen that caused pockets of civil unrest to pop up around your workplace, you would have to decide whether or not your virtually undefended location, with little supplies is safer than trying to get through the riots to get home. No one can answer these questions besides you; however that decision could literally be the difference between life and death in a serious disaster scenario. Choose wisely and don’t let egos get in the way of making the practical decision to bug in or bug out.
What can you store at work that is both legal and helpful in a bug-in scenario?
Modern workplaces make a lot of preppers nervous; and for good reason. Most office buildings are not going to let you store your spare AR15, a thousand rounds of ammo and a couple weeks-worth of food and water at your desk. (If they do, you’ve got a pretty cool employer!) Sometimes it feels like we take off our “prepper hat” as soon as we get to the office and become just another one of the unprepared because we have to comply with company policies that definitely weren’t written by preppers.
You’re going to have to get a little creative and make some sacrifices to your normal prep items if you plan on keeping them at the office. You’re probably not going to be bringing in weapons, you’re not going to be stockpiling weeks’ worth of supplies… it just doesn’t make practical sense for one, and your employer probably doesn’t value prepping like you do.
Prep Items you should keep in the workplace
Food – If you’re stuck in the office during a disaster, it’s likely your coworkers will have already cleared (or destroyed) the vending machines. Do yourself a favor and pack a couple days of ready to eat meals. I’m not usually a fan of storing MREs but this is a great use for them.
Water – A few gallons of water stored under your desk would give you plenty of water if you have to stay a few days at the office.
Change of clothes/shoes – Aside from the hygienic factor of staying in the same clothes for a few days, when it’s clear to head home you may have spent well over 24 hours in your office, and you might not be able to just drive home like any other day. You may be forced to walk. Be sure to pack a set of weather-appropriate clothes as well as some good walking shoes.
Glass breaker – You never know what kind of disaster could force you to be stuck in your workplace. IT could be something relatively mundane or it could be the SHTF scenario we’re all dreading. You may have to get out quickly. Although it’s probably not the best idea to jump out of tall windows, if you can get down to the first floor a glass breaker could help you take out a window for a speedy getaway.
First aid kit – A small first aid kit is something everyone should keep at their desk. Iodine can help treat small cuts as well as purify contaminated water. Bandages, over the counter medications, a few Quik-Clot bandages, burn cream and disinfectant could be invaluable in a disaster scenario.
Weather radio – Communications are (in my opinion) one of, if not the most important survival necessity in a bug-in situation. You need to know what’s going on with the outside world. Utilities may be down and you may be getting conflicting stories if you rely on word-of-mouth accounts. Be sure to store extra batteries or use a hand-crank radio.
2-way radio – It’s a good idea to keep a 2-way radio of some kind at the office and at home. If you have a family at home but have to bug in alone at the office, you’ll want to have some sort of communication line to your family. This isn’t always practical depending on how far you live from your workplace, but if you live relatively close, a small CB or 2-way radio is a great tool to have on hand.
Most of these supplies could easily be stored in a backpack that sits under your desk, in a locker or (worst case) in your vehicle.
Don’t be left unprepared. Disasters can and do happen at any time. No matter where you are, whether it’s at home, on the road or at the office, always be prepared.
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