I guess I’ve always had a tendency toward preparedness, even without giving it a lot of thought. I’ve always carried certain items in my purse that would help me tackle common, every day emergencies, such as headache medicine, Band-Aids, safety pins, Kleenex and an umbrella. I also usually keep a protein bar in my bag to help regulate my blood sugar (and keep me from becoming a cranky beyotch) when I am stuck out running errands between meals. So it wasn’t that big of a stretch, once I became more preparedness-minded, to convert my purse into an every day carry emergency kit.
So here, along with my wallet, cell phone and umbrella, is what’s in my purse at all times:
- My key ring, which carries a lot more than keys. It also holds a cannister of pepper spray, an emergency whistle, and a small flash light. I would like to eventually add a Swiss Army knife, but that will have to wait until there’s a little more room in the budget.
- A pillbox that, in addition to two types of painkillers, also holds a few doses each of Immodium and Benadryl.
- A bandana, which has dozens of potential uses.
- A dust mask. Of cours, a bandana can be used this way in a pinch, but it doesn’t hurt to have the actual thing on hand.
- A pony-tail band.
- A book of matches that I keep in a zip-lock bag so they won’t get wet. The zip-lock bag itself could come in handy in an emergency—for example, it could be used in concert with the bandana to help me filter contaminated drinking water.
- A 20 oz. bottle of water.
- Two Balance bars.
- An assortment of adhesive bandages, some of which are pre-coated with Neosporin, some additional single-use packets of Neosporin and some alcohol wipes.
- A packet of Kleenex.
- A mirror—not just to check my hair and makeup. A mirror can also be used as a signaling device if you become lost.
- A deck of playing cards (to help pass the time and keep me sane if I get stuck somewhere; I also usually carry a book if I know I’m going to be waiting a while for something).
Soon I’ll also be adding a small Leatherman multi-tool and a better flashlight than the mini-Maglite that’s currently on my key ring (UPDATE: I’ve added both of these since drafting this post). But even without these items, my purse is ready to see me through a multitude of minor disasters.
For some good advice on what to pack in your every day carry kit, check out Disaster Survival Guide’s list of Disaster Emergency Kits.
So what’s in YOUR every day carry kit?