Keep this under your deskAugust 26, 2011
For better or worse, natural disasters fascinate us.
The media loves hyping them up since they provide a distraction from their day job, which these days pretty much amounts to thinking up new ways to spell “Gaddafi”.
Today the chatter in New York City is all about impending hurricane Irene, and given this week’s once in a lifetime seismic activity that rocked the Eastern seaboard, it’s understandable that the desk setters’ collective psyche has been shaken (too easy?).
Hype or not, the talk of natural disasters does prompt thought about what you should have around the office in case of emergency.
We here at Office Envy took a crack at listing out the things we figured that we’d need in case of emergency, but we got as far as “a bunch of Luna Bars and a sweatshirt” before we ran out of ideas so we turned to the pros.
Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers
Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Cash or traveler’s checks and change
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
There are also a whole host of websites that offer pre-made kits. But which is the best?
Turns out that one thing that just about all emergency preparedness kit companies have in common is a kitschy website, so the images aren’t great, but the packs themselves could be very worth the while.
Here are our favorite survival kits for the office:
1) Best for easy storage: The 72 hour Emergency Survival kit for 1 in a packpack. Throw it under your desk and forget about it until you need it.
2) Best for small business: Keep up to 20 people safe with this one deluxe survival kit packaged in portable 5 gallon tubs.
3) Best for heavy duty disasters: This cabinet includes the types of tools that will allow you and your co-workers to combat disasters and look damn cool doing it. Tools like goggles, utility rope for scaling buildings and a crow bar are included. …It almost makes surviving a disaster sound too much fun.
4) And the honorable mention award for the kit that we’re sure will come in handy – but we can’t quite describe the appropriate situation. Yes, it includes a portable toilet and four roles of toilet paper.
What emergency supplies do you have at your office?
Let us know at OfficeEnvy@gmail.com or on Twitter at Office_Envy
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