All right, Survival Moms, what one thing do we ladies always have within easy reach? Our purses, of course. Most of us have preparedness items at home, at our BOL (Bug Out Location), and in the car. But if we’re in the mall or at the park when an emergency situation occurs, our purses should contain the resources which will help us survive and enable us to reach our next level of preparedness.
These are the survival necessities I chose and carry in my purse:
1. Emergency whistle (with a compass)
2. A mirror
3. LED flashlight with strobe feature
4. Bic lighter
5. Pill box containing 2 of each: Tylenol, Advil, Tums, Benadryl
6. 3 Bandaids
7. 2 alcohol swabs
9. Always some small bills ($1, $5), and quarters for machines
10. Tic Tacs
12. 2 moist wipes
13. Small crossword puzzle book
14. Small writing pad
15. Pen and pencil
16. Package of Kleenex
17. Package of 6 Ritz cracker sandwiches
18. 8 oz. of water
While the list looks like quite a load, it actually takes up minimal space because many items on the list are things most of us already carry (mirror, pill box, Kleenex, writing pad, pen/pencil, cash). The comfort/entertainment items are things I carried long before I knew about “prepping”. The items specifically for an emergency are in a small makeup bag (whistle, flashlight, pill box, Swiss knife, medical supplies, Bic lighter).
Food and water are the most difficult to accommodate in a purse. I carry Ritz crackers because they’re inexpensive, easily rotated, packaged adequately, and I like them.
I’ve carried water in a small plastic bottle, but it sometimes leaked and was awkwardly shaped. My solution was to use an object designed for carrying liquids in tricky places: an ordinary stainless steel flask, available in sizes from 4 oz to 18 oz. It’s easy and inexpensive to refill once a week.
The purpose of my purse survival kit is to enable me to meet immediate needs if an emergency occurs while I’m away from my car or home. As long as I have my purse, I know I’m prepared not only for big disasters but also for the little bumps of life. Over the years I’ve needed most of these items at one time or another: a thunderstorm once knocked out the lights in the theater and I was the only person with a flashlight, new shoes rubbed a blister and I had a Bandaid, a two-hour wait in the doctor’s office was less miserable because I had the crossword puzzle book and the crackers. The Swiss army knife has been the single most useful item I carry. I’ve used it to cut threads, pull out splinters, tighten glasses, and file broken fingernails.
The dangers of our modern world mean we must always be in a state of readiness. This readiness isn’t adequate if it’s confined solely to our home, BOL, or car. Preparedness means “all the time”. That will truly make each of us a Survival Mom.
Note: I extend deepest gratitude to Rangersquirrel for explaining modular survival levels and thereby giving a name to something I was kind of doing but had no name for.
by Dr. Saundra Cooper Jinette