Everyday-carry.com is a pictorial blog that calls for readers to submit photos of their
small items or gadgets worn, carried, or made available in pockets, holsters, or bags on a daily basis to manage common tasks or for use in unexpected situations or emergencies.
The blog description concludes by saying,
In a broader sense, it is a lifestyle, discipline, or philosophy of preparedness.
The result is a gallery of pocketknives, aviator sunglasses, pistols, expensive watches and pens. And the occasional Chapstick.
What are these men preparing for? What kind of emergencies are they expecting?
For contrast, here are some of the items the Red Cross advises for contents of an emergency kit:
- Water—one gallon per person, per day (3day supply for evacuation, 2week supply for home)
- Food—nonperishable, easytoprepare items (3day supply for evacuation, 2week supply for home)
- Batterypowered or handcrank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- First aid kit
- Medications (7day supply) and medical items
- Multipurpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Twoway radios
Obviously these are not “everyday,” and they probably wouldn’t be carried on one’s person. But the content is still telling.
Real emergencies and real disasters are social problems: they threaten social entities like family, community and government. Emergencies cause communications to be interrupted; parents to be separated from children; the young or frail to be without supervision or care. Emergencies put heavy pressure on social institutions like charities and governments, and require more from people to help one another. Things like radios and walkie-talkies, baby food, first-aid kits, and personal documents are all tools for restoring the links to society which become broken during emergencies. At root, they are about helping others.
When your house is on fire, your first thought is, “Get the kids out first!” Not, “I am going to look SO COOL walking away from that firey explosion in slow-motion.”
At least, that’s what your first thought ought to be.
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