Develop a Disaster Survival Kit for Your Workplace

While most of us would prefer to avoid spending extra time at work when possible, there are times when you might find yourself stranded at your workplace. Natural disasters, severe weather conditions, or major accidents may make driving hazardous or otherwise force you to make an unplanned stay. However, if you plan ahead, you can prepare for this eventuality for both yourself and your workplace.

Top 4 Items to Include in a Workplace Survival Kit

  • Food: Foods that don't require cooking, such as granola bars, trail mix, crackers or other small snacks, can make a long stay much more bearable. If you choose to include canned foods, make sure you also include a manual can opener.
  • Water: Water is another important necessity, in case your office plumbing fails; a few bottles of water stored in advance can be the difference between a minor inconvenience or a major hazard. Filtration or purification devices can be kept in case outages are extended and remaining water sources might be sketchy at best.
  • Light: A flashlight or other light source will be invaluable, especially if you work in a building with few external windows. If you use a flashlight that is powered by batteries as opposed to a dynamo-powered crank flashlight, be sure to keep extra batteries on hand.
  • First Aid Supplies: Your workplace should have a first aid kit in the breakroom, the Human Resource office, or otherwise prominently located. However, there is always the chance that it may not be properly maintained when you need it. You can either buy a compact first aid kit for your own use, or assemble one with supplies you have at home. Adhesive bandages, pain relief medication, and medicine for stomach problems are recommended, as is at least two days of any prescription medication you need to take on a regular basis.

Six Additional Items to Improve Your Comfort:

  • Spare Clothes: A change of clothes and a spare set of shoes can greatly extend your personal comfort, particularly if your job requires you to wear business attire or involves a lot of dirt and grime. A hooded sweatshirt or other alternative jacket may also be ideal if the temperature changes sharply.
  • Spare Shoes: If you live in an area where you might expect to do some walking, either to get home or to get to a better location, make sure you have waterproof shoes with insulation and a spare set of wool socks at the ready. 
  • Hygiene Supplies: Some elements of basic hygiene can also be helpful in extending comfort, including a spare toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and a hand towel, and any preferred feminine hygiene supplies you may need. 
  • Bedding: If the situation is dire, you may have to spend the night at your office, in which case a small blanket and a travel pillow will allow you to rest more comfortably.
  • Entertainment: You should bear in mind that you will probably need entertainment if you are stuck in your workplace for long periods of time. Some sort of entertainment you can use without needing power, such as a favorite book, book of puzzles, or a deck of cards, can help the time pass more quickly and can help manage the stress of being trapped at your job site for long periods. 
  • Cash: A few dollars in cash or coins may be handy for use in vending machines if the power is still functional, if your workplace has them..

All of these items should ideally fit into a small duffel bag or pack that you can then store under your desk or in your locker. While keeping supplies in your car is a wise decision, a kit at your workplace will allow you to avoid having to leave the relative comfort and safety of your building until it is safe to do so. If possible, you can ensure your workplace is properly prepared by taking most of the advice here and scaling it up to meet the needs of your facility -- storing additional blankets for workers trapped at the office, emergency food and water supplies should people be stuck for long periods, a properly maintained first aid kit for general safety as well as disaster survival, and so forth.


Looking to develop your own survival kit or stock up on emergency supplies for your facility? Call or click now for more product information and for quotes.

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