Warrior Skill: Emergency Preparedness

This is the first in a series of posts about Emergency Preparedness; these posts will cover the Physical, Mental, and Emotional aspects of being ready to deal with an emergency or crisis.  In this article we will go over the basics of Physical Preparation, the concept of Every Day Carry, and three types of Bug out Bags.

Physical Preparation

Emergencies will require fitness.  You have to maintain focus while being up for long hours with little time to rest.  You will likely have to carry a back pack or other weight.  An emergency may require you to carry someone or move heavy debris.  It may even come to a point where you have to fight to protect yourself or others.

You can’t build fitness in a crisis… you have to do it now.

Every Day Carry

The concept of every day carry is to identify the specific items you carry on your person to negotiate emergency situations and always have them.  The focus areas are Communication, Travel, First Aid, and Personal Protection.  In an emergency these are the items and resources you will most likely have immediate access to.


Almost everyone has a cellphone but without power it is a fancy paper weight.  Make sure it is charged (and that you can recharge it) and configured to use with emergency contact info, i.e. saved locations and the apps you may need in your area (we live in japan so we keep google translate on our phones).

You should also keep a printed emergency contact card.  Growing up we used to memorize phone numbers, nowadays that’s pretty rare.


No matter what type of job you have your footwear should be functional enough to walk at least a mile in emergency conditions.  If you can’t wear the right shoes, have them nearby.

If you have a car it should be gassed up and ready to go.  Running on fumes is setting yourself up for failure.  Your keys should also be organized and maintained in a way that they are functional and not a mess when you need them.

Navigation is typically handled by your cellphone but don’t forget about the power problem

Make sure you have a way to secure important items like passports, ID cards, credit/debit cards and cash.  You may think one good wallet is the best solution.. until it gets lost or stolen.  I keep things separate but handy using a Black Hawk BDU Mini Pocket Pack

First Aid

In an emergency we aren’t going to be overly concerned with minor cuts and bruises, but we will need to deal with triage and trauma.  At a minimum I carry at least one tourniquet.


Personal Protection

What you can legally carry for personal protection varies widely based on were you live.  What ever you carry you should be highly proficient with its use and meet all the legal requirements to have it.  My preference is generally Firearm > Mace/Pepper Spray > Baton > Knife.

Regardless of what you carry for protection.  Basic martial skills are a must.  Grappling and Krav Maga are the best starting points.

Bug Out Bags

There are three main types of bug out bags that you should prepare to take you through the first 24-72 hours of an emergency.  They are the Walk out Bag, The Drive out Bag, and the Hunker Down Bag. At first these can all be the same bag, but I recommend keeping each bag separate because you just never know where and when you will need your bug out kit.  The contents of these bags are very similar but each has a specific role and function.

Your Bug out Bags need to have:

Walk Out Bag

The walk out bag needs to be nondescript, low profile and comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time.  Remember the more you train your rucking capability the more capacity you will have to carry this bag for long distances.

Drive Out Bag

Keep this bag in your car.  You may not need to carry it as far because your vehicle will be carrying the load so you can add more of the essentials to it.  Also ensure the car is prepared for emergencies with tools, jumper cables, and a roadside emergency kit.

Hunker Down Bag

You will use the hunker down bag when you can’t travel and must stay in place.  This kit needs to be in place where you spend most of your time ie: at home and at work.

Further Reading

Making sure you have everything you need in case of an emergency is a highly individualized process and effort.  These books can help set the baseline for what you need to consider as you get ready and stay ready.

100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition

The Boy Scout Handbook

US Army Survival Manual

Want to discuss things a little further, check out our closed facebook discussion group to share your thoughts and join in the discussion. Or you can email me directly at Jon@masteryofskill.com.  If you are interested in further reading check out other Food for Thought articles and learn all about the Archetypes of Skill.  You can also sign up to receive The Friday Huddle, a short weekly email from me that gives you the tips, insights, and musings that have gotten me through the week.

Live Skillfully!


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