As the pandemic proved to us all too clearly, modern-day survival isn’t really about having a mirror to signal passing planes and a way to start a fire. If something disrupts our daily lives, it’s important also to have resources on-hand that enable you to access the digital world and stay in touch with loved ones. Today we look at what to add to your digital survival kit and how to stay online no matter what life throws at you.
The “Go” Bag
The idea of a “go” bag has been around for a long time. The idea is to have a bag pre-packed in case of emergency, with everything you need to stay comfortable and safe inside. Instead of running around wasting time in an emergency, you can grab it and go, hence the name.
Because everyone’s needs are different, a go bag will look different for everyone. It’s good to have some basic survival tools, like a flashlight, multi-tool, emergency blankets, and first aid, of course, but don’t start packing like you’re surviving the apocalypse just yet. It’s easy to get caught up in “fictional” survival needs as if you’re headed to a desert island and leave yourself completely unprepared for what issues you might face- such as a flooded home, a hurricane, a mass brownout, or a small-scale local emergency.
Things that often get forgotten but shouldn’t include important medications for conditions you or the family have, pet food and documents, potable water, and your copies of the family’s documents. And, of course, the small tech survival kit you need to stay connected, keep in touch, and be comfortable if you’re away from home in an emergency.
You can throw your retired pandemic masks into the bag, too. As useful for dust and debris as they are for viruses, it pays to have access to a safety mask. If you’ve packed any tin food or are anticipating using any, a multi-tool with a can opener, or a plain old can opener, should also be in the bag.
There are plenty of helpful online tips on emergency bag basics, so that we won’t go into too much depth. To reiterate, however, ensure you are covered for any medical conditions you may have. It includes things like backup glasses if you wear a prescription.
Your Tech Survival Kit
As we’ve already mentioned, it’s far more likely you’ll face temporary power blackouts than needing to hike through the Amazon for days, so it makes sense to include some gadgets in your go bag.
Ideally, you’ll have time to prepare and take all your existing gadgets with you, but it’s smart to pack a more rugged phone directly in your survival bag. Not only does this give you a spare in case you can’t get your daily gadgets together, but it’s also a backup to your existing devices. You can hang on to an older generation phone when you upgrade or get one specifically to keep here. It’s smart to keep it charged, so add a note to your calendar to fire it up once every few weeks. Make this one a prepaid sim card for ease and versatility.
Use this phone smartly, too. You want to include a few communication apps so you can get in touch with family through various means, but also look to install helpful, informative apps, map apps, and other things you could use in an emergency. Possibly even tracker apps for any medical conditions you may need to monitor.
It goes without saying: you need to add any chargers and other accessories for your go-bag gadgets to the list, too! Consider throwing in a power adapter or two, so you have versatility in potential power sources, too. Don’t forget SD card readers, adapters, and other paraphernalia.
A high-capacity power bank (or three) is another must-have, so you can charge devices on the run, especially if you’re using rechargeable torches, headlamps, and non-tech devices, too! Again, make sure to keep these charged and ready. A reliable solar charger isn’t a bad investment, either, so you can put the sun to work for you.
Now let’s get a bit more creative. A portable rechargeable hand warmer isn’t a bad idea if you live in cold climates. Unlike the reusable ones, you can fire it up over and over and use it to keep yourself warm and able to move. A portable jump starter and charging connections for your vehicle are good investments. Rechargeable UV water purifiers can be a little pricey but could be worth it, especially if you often hike or head into the wilderness.
Thinking of Other Tech
Hand-crank radios offer another way to get news in an emergency and aren’t reliant on mobile tower signals staying up.
A range of flash drives to carry important documents and even some entertaining music and media is a smart idea. They weigh next to nothing but can carry a ton of information to keep you entertained and safe in a crisis. Add copies of important documents and medical information to one. You could add an external drive to the mix, but opt for a solid-state drive over a classic one, as they can be very easily damaged by jostling.
If you use any medical device, like an insulin pump, be sure that this hits the bag too. If cash stretches to it, it’s better to have a space dedicated to just the emergency bag in case of damage to your daily unit.
It may seem “old school,” but it pays to add a selection of rechargeable batteries to your gadget go bag too.
Preparing for an emergency should be on every smart adult’s list, whether you’re packing for just you or a whole family- including your furry friends. By enhancing a basic emergency bag with some smart technology, you can ensure you’re prepared for any of the issues likely to face you in a modern-day emergency, as well as meet your basic needs and comforts.