Emergency Survival Kit For At Work

Most people spend much of their day away from home, ‘at work’. A typical full time job puts you ‘at work’ about 1/3 of your available time.

When planning for preparedness, odds are that you might be at work during a given emergency situation.

While you might have a 72 hour emergency kit stored away in your vehicle (you do, right?), what about putting together a kit for at work?

Do you keep a survival kit of sorts at work? A ’72 hour kit’ in your vehicle (highly recommended) could also serve you while ‘at work’ (assuming you drive to work). However it may be a good idea to tailor a specific emergency kit to be kept at work – in a drawer, in your desk, wherever you have a bit of personal space…

Why? Because you never know when you might be temporarily stranded there.

Here are some brainstorm ideas what to keep at work for a kit:


List Of Things You Might Keep At Work
For Emergency – Survival Kit

Comfortable walking shoes (as opposed to ‘dress’ shoes).
Backpack (in case you have to walk out).
Blanket, in case you have to sleep there.
Toothbrush & toothpaste.
A change of clothes and underwear (comfortable).
Bottled water.
Small water filter.
Rain Poncho or Umbrella.
Emergency Whistle.
Pocket knife.
Ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking.
Canned foods can be eaten without cooking. Consider pull-top cans.
Manually operated hand can-opener.
Canned meats such as Beef, Chicken.
Dried ‘Jerky’.
Peanut Butter (very calorie dense), stores well.
Energy food bars.
Quarters and dollar bills for the snack (vending) machine.
Fork, Spoon, and Knife (be civilized).
Chocolate bars (energy food).
LED flashlight or Headlamp.
Local street (and regional) map.
First Aid supplies (basics).
Medicine kit (prescriptions if applicable, pain relievers)
Portable battery powered radio (for news & info.)
Fire-starter (lighter, or other).
Season appropriate outerwear (jacket, gloves, hat).

Again, if you drive to work, you should keep some preps in your vehicle. Take into consideration that you might have to walk out. That said, do consider keeping additional kit inside your workplace if you can.

The list above could get out-of-control. However depending on your available space, you should be able to choose a few things to keep at work, just in case…

Lets hear your thoughts and suggestions on this ‘at work’ topic…

More: Emergency Kit articles on MSB

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  1. This is just a little extra tidbit. To open a can without a can opener, rub the lid back and forth along concrete or other hard surface. Wipe off the filings and squeeze the sides of the can. The lid will open.

    Stay frosty.

    1. Skeezix while it is possible to open a can like that one real world try will strongly encourage you to carry a P-38 or even better a P-51 GI can opener on the keychain. I did that once on a bet with a can of peaches and the juice leaking out well before the lid was free PLUS the metal bits inside the can was a problem. I bet Ken could post an Amazon link to them. But it does work :-)

  2. Ok, I’ll be the first to say it, Fire-Arm and/or personal protection.

    And the next comment will be the people that work places that do not allow this ‘item’ at work, Yeah I got it, so the question becomes is your workplace providing adequate security?

    Is that security willing to protect you first or themselves first (remember the cop hiding behind a concrete column and now receives a $86,000 retirement)?

    How many time in the past month will we hear on the Fake News that another wacko walked into a place of business and opened up?

    Personally If my work would not allow me to carry, I’d find another job, it’s ‘only ‘ a job.

    Ken you know someone was going to bring this up, sorry young man :-)

    PS; don’t forget the Snickers Bars :-)

      1. Brad, I am surprised you are the first one to think of tp. Also sanitary supplies for women, extra eyeglasses, flashlight and batteries… Forget those glow sticks. I’ve tried them. They require superhuman strength to shake them up enough to get a light. Or a solar lantern. I bought one of those through Amazon. They work great, keep a charge for hours, can have variable light, and also have a strobe light.

        1. I bought my grandsons a Luci Lantern (arriving the end of October, yeah!)
          It is clear plastic and you blow it up and has a large solar panel. It is light and can attach to the top of their backpacks and charge when they are hiking.

        2. – DaisyK –
          I am surprised to hear you think it takes superhuman strength to use one. I have seen my three-year-old grandson shake one up after being shown how by an older sibling. We just had to bend it (break the glass) for him.
          Papa S.

          1. – Skeezix –
            I have two of the Luci lights and I think they really work well.

    1. NRP— I was also thinking “personal protection”. Workplace violence/workplace shootings/workplace attacks, more and more in news. Even in unexpected places. I recall a Church shooting, and afterwards the Pastor announced “from now on I will be carrying” at church.—–If one is in work shituation where it is totally impossible to carry what you suggest, other suggestions be good to think on—-Bullet Proof Back Pack —–Can of Hairspray —Can of Spray Deodrant —Some “Fart Bombs” from the joke shop —(Hey those smell bad enough they just might put an attacker off)———-???

      1. Cat6
        My daily drivers both have a mountain bike. Depending on which vehicle….the tire pump, GHB, meds, food, water, Xtra clothes, blanket, even trash bags for a ‘rain coat’, tennis shoes, defensive ‘items’ get swapped.
        Only 20 miles, but non the less.
        I’ll never hole up at work, home is where I belong.

    2. NRP
      Good though, I have thought the same. The ‘item’ -not the Snickers.
      Adequate security? Hah not in the least.
      Nothing like having an office letting in all types into the work place (Chicago truck drivers of all types, -let’s not talk of the types of drivers after 9-11) and us CCW holders have our ‘items’ in our vehicles, several hundred yrds away.
      Even that is against policy.

  3. They once called this pushing paper at a desk in a corporate cubicle. Does anyone here still do this? And to be a real provocateur, what productivity did pushing paper really accomplish – with a few exceptions like drafting/designing, …. ? If I was stuck in a cage all day, the others in the room might have to find ways to defend themselves from flying staplers, pens, … :)

  4. My work is only 1.5 miles from home and half that if I walk across the fields. I do keep a couple of cans of soup, spoon, salt shaker and a can of peaches at work. Just in case I get hungry before lunch time. In my pockets and on my belt I carry a cell phone, 3 pocket knives, multi pliers, lighter, flash light, p-38, chap stick, 2 pens and a 45. DW says my pants weigh 10 pounds. In my truck I have a first aid kit, 2 hunting knives, extra jacket, jumper cables, tool box, water, oil and a box of 45 ammo.

  5. Keep in mind, whatever you keep at work, unless you have a very private office, your coworkers are going to know about- at least to some degree. If the emergency lasts long enough to require utilizing your kit, you might be amazed at how fast your work environment becomes communist in nature with others wanting to see “fair and equatable” distribution. ;)
    When I had office jobs, I usually kept some kind of snack food handy, but most of my “away from home” preps are in my get home bag

  6. Friends if Baofeng Ham Radio Handi-Talkies are in your plans for emergency kit (kind of nice to call home when normal communications are jammed-down) be aware.

    Per the Survival Blog 09/26/2018 the FCC BANNED importation of Baofeng Ham Radio Handi-Talkies with the FCC Enforcement Advisory No. 2018-03

    Survival Blog strongly suggested buying yours now before shortages bumps up the prices of the remaining stock.

    I have found the Survival Blog a good solid source of information and I look forward to your thoughts.

    Radio Guys PLEASE speak up to the merits of this Ham Walkie-Talkie. Would you advise buying them ASAP as they are still cheap or are they not that useful?


    1. Heres a hint NHM
      If you have to ask government permission to use it its a waste of time,,,,,
      Just my opinion

    2. Ours are a few years old and still work like new. We’ve used them mostly as walkies here on the property, and once in a blue moon I listen to the HAM side. My only concern is battery life, as is, how many years will these things be good enough to hold a charge? I leave them in their charging stand, turned off.

    3. NH Michael
      These were on our wish list, now they are on the way to our home. We upgraded to the $63 unit purchasing 2 at this time through Ken’s site.
      Thanks for the heads up, better to have it & not need it, then need it an not have them.

  7. With the crap that is going on, I’m getting a good body camera for when I’m out and about. A good idea for anyone working in an office environment – too many charges can be brought by coworkers, company, customers, ….
    Perhaps some camera that has irrefutable date/time and one that links with wifi for instant upload to cloud storage – hate to have the thing stolen in an altercation and not be able to prove the aggression.

  8. Not to overcomplicate, but if you think about it, there are really three layers here.

    1) the stuff that you leave in a desk drawer or file cabinet that raises no eyebrows at all: food, sneakers, spare socks, rain jacket etc. . Perhaps stuffed into a gym or “workout bag”

    2) stuff in the car (fold up bicycle, GHB), etc.

    3) a briefcase/ backpack /laptop bag containing items that get you from your office to the car…or home if the car can’t be reached. ……

  9. “Quarters and dollar bills for the snack (vending) machine.” If your workplace vending machine doesn’t take credit cards this would be a real good idea in a mild lock-in, but most likely someone would go get a crowbar and open it up in a more serious situation. I’ve seen very capable individuals try to rock those machines and beat them with their fists when their bag of Cheetos gets hung-up on the spiral.
    I watched in disbelief at an airport when a couple made credit card transactions at a vending machine for amounts totaling $12 for a can of pop/soda and a 1.25 oz bag of chips. And to say it politely, they didn’t look like they needed it. I think in a real desperate situation you wouldn’t want to go anywhere near a vending machine as it would be guarded by a hastily assembled and self-appointed force.

    1. Old Chevy ona RR
      Good call on that one. (And also some chuckles.)
      We have vending machines at work one with lots of h20, sandwiches, etc. And I know where to get a couple crowbars if the need arises.

  10. Between my office bag and car GHB I figure that I’m fairly well set. Getting past the Puggies won’t be much of a problem.

  11. I agree with all comments mentioned on this site regarding a kit to survive at work or to survive the trip home from work. The following stories are told as a warning to new, young employees that work within one of many secure environments. Apologies in advance to NRP regarding packing of firearms to your place of work.

    I speak from the viewpoint of one of thousands of workers that does not have the option of being armed at work or having a firearm within my vehicle. ( as are most employees who happen to work in schools, hospitals and court buildings. Throw in non-sworn personal that work within jails , prisons and other locations that are considered “secure environments”).

    I have been at my place of work long enough to hear about and see several employees get their vehicles searched and be let-go after finding a firearm within their car We have to sign a contract during orientation saying that we will abide by rules outlined to include: No firearms on Company Property.

    In my previous job, the security officers had sniffer dogs that were trained to sniff out explosive residue in addition to drugs. My truck was “hit on” several times because I had several paper grocery bags full of expended brass and shot shells. Once again, having firearms was against the law there as well. ( off duty job as a hunting guide for dove and quail back then.)

    I am a senior level employee within an organization that has the pay and benefits roughly the equivalent of a Captain on the State Troopers. It is a good job that has been the culmination of a long and profitable career with good benefits. for me and my family. I will continue to follow the rules of my employer until the day I retire ( coming soon for myself.) and I cannot advocate “being a rebel and breaking the rules in order to be armed in or around my place of work.” This is just another fact of life of living and working within a secure environment.

    There are days that I have forgotten to leave my “funny daypack or fanny pack” at home prior to work. On those days, I have made friends through my second amendment involvement locally. There are several businesses that are open when I finish my shift at near midnight. I have left my daypack containing locked firearm and box or 2 of ammo in the daypack. I give these places my business and the owners/managers are my friends. I did not have this when I first moved here many years ago.

    Part of being the gray man is learning to be comfortable moving within society ( and throughout most of the world.) without a firearm on my person despite my previous career in Law Enforcement. I still carry a large sharp fixed blade knife and can of pepper spray within my bug out bag in my vehicle. I carry a folding knife with me in my backpack at work. For NH Michael: I still carry a Swiss Army knife because the can opener, corkscrew and cap lifter come in mighty handy when the food is in cans, bottles or has a cork.

    Many thanks go to my friends within the Filipino Community that have trained and sparred with me in the martial arts of Sayet Kali and the defensive tactics instructors who have given me training in armed and unarmed combat techniques through the years. Lastly, Many thanks to my new friends in my new home state who allow me to keep my weapon and ammo at their place of work so I may continue to go to work and allow me to do my “day job” within a secure, locked facility


    1. Good Evening CaliRefugee! I too like a Swiss army knife. So many non-hostile uses most folks tend to forget it’s a knife. The one I tend to carry has a locking blade and is quite useful. I am thrilled you mention how having allies has made your ability to concealed carry NEAR work possible. When things are going BAD around your work site it’s AWESOME to have Friends and Allies nearby for mutual support.

      Now if you told me you had a bicycle at hand to get home if your vehicle was down. :-) I know you have three bridges but your are clever enough to have a inflatable fisherman’s boat to carry you and your bicycle across.

      Does Sayet Kali have staff work? Most Filipinos I know are very good with a quarterstaff and not very hard to make from a tree limb (got a knife?) or even a couple of sections of pipe you just happen to have in the truck. Odd how they screw together so well. I only bring this up as a back up IF something horrid happened where you stashed your funny pack. Murphy is an %astard you know.

      Pray for the Republic, I am hopeful that todays Judge K show ends up with the Rule of Law “winning” over the Democratic Unproved Accusations and slander. Judge K for the Supreme Court!

  12. Cali
    I enjoy reading your comments. So in depth and detail.

    One thing I would like to add is that my employer can’t run a business, but with a wing and a prayer, and I expect them to secure my life and others?

    That lock down we had several months ago?, I have yet to hear one word from the higher ups giving details of their plans in the future.of another possible incident.
    My only self defense is fold up knife, I carry (again, not policy) and a 6000 lb fork lift.
    As they say
    A g u n free zone is a target zone.
    ..,….just wondering when it will happen…….

          1. Lol
            Thanks, uncle
            Use to it.
            Felt that way of being alone for a long long time

  13. It is so unbelievable the false sense of security these employers instill on their employees.
    GF worked at a hospital. I would beg her to carry in her vehicle.
    Nope against policy.
    There security?
    An unarmed man that couldn’t make it to the bathroom without stopping for a rest.
    The ex?
    A college campus. Again, unarmed security.
    Unarmed means no mace, no whistle, nothing.
    Yup.i feel secure.

  14. To NHM:

    For full length staff work, it involves a staff of hard wood roughly in length from your feet to your shoulder height made of hard wood like white oak. A white oak staff of clear hard seasoned wood is a difficult commodity to find and is to be treasured. They can be quite heavy.

    One art form I studied which used full length staff was Aikido and the person who did the martial arts training in The Walking Dead came from a background of Aikido. Aikido is one of the martial arts used as the basis for most American control holds and cuffing techniques taught in Police Academies on the Left Coast. The full staff stick art was referred to as Bo Ken work.

    If you contact Cold Steel Cutlery, you can obtain a spear tip thereby tripling the utility of your hard wood staff. If you have trouble finding a long staff of white oak, I would go to a hardware store and purchase a replacement shovel handle as an acceptable substitute.

    At my age, I may be increasing my involvement in the growing school of cane-fu for senior citizens that are frequently the victims of random acts of violence and are more likely to have a cane on or nearby for their uses. . .

    1. CaliRefugee while a good solid tree limb is not a quarterstaff the point was that back up for the time your funny pack disappeared for what ever reason. But you knew that right? Cane Fu is also an excellent defense when a firearm is not available. Anything with reach and striking power is useful. I choose not to go hand to hand or worse my bare hands to a knife wielder. The last time I had to use a cane for self defense the dog ran off looking crippled. As it was a Doberman mix I would have lost a hand to tooth discussion with it.

      Seniors and the weak are the first to suffer from a SHTF situation.

      Awake at 0 dark 30 because a squirrel scared my 93 year old mom.

  15. At work I do not wear bright colours although I like them. I do this to be less noticeable in case of an active shooter situation. The bright colours remain for at home wear. I always have my personal cell phone on me, charged. I do not keep any personal momentos at work as this could enrage an active shooter/intruder. In case the office is in lock down, I keep a can of tuna along with a manual can opener in a locked desk drawer as well as instant coffee. It can be drunk cold for the caffeine effect.

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