Have any of you thought about having to bug in at your workplace.  Most of the time I think about bugging out with my Get Home Bag and don’t really think too much about what might happen if I have to stay in an office for a few days, or longer.  A few days ago, I was together with a friend who is a business owner who told me he gave his employees information about putting together for a 72 hour bag or bug out bag.  I thought that was great, but got to thinking, what if there were a chemical, biological, or other issue where the employees (or yourself) could not leave your building?  What would you do?  Me, I would have been fine for a day or two, I had supplies, but everyone else, well, there in would have been the issue.

That said, I think this may end up being geared more towards the company owner or someone in charge of the security of the employee, so bear with me if you can for a bit.  Let’s assume that you work in an office building, and there are 25 – 50 employees on your floor.  An employee comes by and said that they heard there was an emergency being discussed on the radio and everyone should shelter in place, city water supplies are being terminated so the flow of water is stopped to slow or stop contamination until further notice due to the impending emergency.  The radio announcer adds that if anyone leaves their area and goes outside there is the opportunity for exposure to whatever it is that is being discussed, and anyone outside will be arrested and quarantined.

It seems there is not much to do now but wait.  Hmm, when you go to the kitchenette to see what is there regarding food, there are several candy bars in the snack machine, the soda machine, lunch in the fridge that about 1/3 of the employees brought with them into work that day, several lunches that look like they have been in there a month, and about three gallons of water in the water cooler.  That’s not much for having to shelter up to 50 people in for three or four days.  What if the emergency is an airborne chemical or biological issue?  What is going to happen if there is also no power or heat.  What if you run out of water?  What are you going to do for food for your employees?

This is not a good scenario.  You have an emergency, you may be in charge of 50 people, and no supplies or gear that might help make a difference over the next three or four days.  You are going to have some hungry, thirsty, cranky employees.  You are going to need to take charge of your employees and keep them calm and collected over the next couple of days.

By the way, before I go any further, this could apply to a school, office building, hospital, nursing home, etc.  I use an office building because it is the example I would be familiar with.

Now, going on…

First, is a situation like this likely?  Maybe.  I believe it is in a city.  While not immediately likely, I believe it is likely.

Second, what can you do to prepare for such a situation?  Well, here is a list of what I think might be a good prep list for up to one person in the event there is an emergency and you have to shelter in for 72 hours.  I will break it down in a section for the group and for the individual.

For The Group:

  • Camp Porta-Potty(s) or Buckets, plastic bags, and a big bag of lime.
  • Propane Stove or Alcohol Stove(s) to boil water and cook if necessary
  • Extra alcohol or propane
  • Pot(s) to boil water and cook if necessary
  • Emergency Radio(s)
  • Water (five gallon water jugs (full) for water cooler with enough water for three days per person)
    • I know that if there are 50 people in the office that 150 gallons of water could take up a lot of space.  That is three 50 gallon drums of water, so you may not have enough space, so you might encourage your employees to keep ample water in their desks that they rotate.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Soap, toilet paper, paper towels, and Hygiene supplies
  • Several flashlights and batteries (rechargeable)
  • Battery recharger (solar if possible)
  • Duct Tape or 100 MPH Tape
  • Plastic Sheeting (to cover the windows if necessary and seal with the duct tape)
  • Paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic utensils
  • Condiments (salt, pepper, sugar, coffee, tea)
  • Well Stocked Tool Kit
  • Paracord (several hundred feet)
  • Several Knives such as a Mora and multi-tools Like the Leatherman Wave for responsible individuals
    • These could be group leaders.  Not everyone knows how to use a knife in an emergency.
  • Several decks of playing cards, board games, notebooks, additional pens, etc. to help pass the time.
  • 24 hour light sticks

For the individual:

Items you should have your employee bring to the office and keep there:

  • Pair of tennis shoes/sneakers
  • Extra water
  • Several power and/or nutrition bars (tell them they should replace what they eat)
  • Change of clothes to keep in the drawer of their desk
    • Underwear, socks, pants/jeans, shirt and undershirt, and a light jacket
  • Personal Hygiene items
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, etc.

These are just my suggestions as I am writing this without doing much research.  But it would seem to me that if I were a business owner or the leader of an organization, I might stock up on at least the minimal supplies to help keep everyone safe if need be.

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We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.