Approximately two thirds of our daily lives are spent awake, alert and mobile. The rest of our 24 hour daily life cycle is spent in bed. This means that there is at least a 33% chance that the very disaster we have spent our waking hours preparing for, could strike while we are asleep. We all have battle plans in place for bugging out, or bugging in, should something happen while we are awake. How many of us have bedside survival gear?
Bedside survival gear is something you can assemble and store in something as simple as the drawer of your nightstand, or in a small bag beneath the bed. A bedside survival gear satchel doesn’t have to be as in depth or industrious as your primary bug out bag. If you are using the drawer of a nightstand to assemble and store your bedside survival gear, then make sure it is uncluttered and used specifically for this purpose, and this purpose alone.
Now here are some suggestions for what should be in the bedside drawer. You should have a good N-95 dust mask in there. It will not protect you against poison gasses or carbon monoxide from a fire but it will offer some protection from soot and smoke and hot air as you escape. It will also protect you from dust in a building collapse. Of course have a good flashlight. It should be a high quality high intensity multi LED unit. Don’t be cheap on this item. The light may have to penetrate smoke and dust. It may be needed to signal rescuers to your location or to blind a would-be assailant. Make it bright and tough. You should also have one of those small, flat crowbars like the Stanley Wonder Bar ™ or the combination hatchet, hammer, pry bar survival tool to smash windows open jammed doors, chop through plaster-board walls and pry yourself out from under things. It’s not a bad weapon either.
If your family is spread out in the house a whistle and walky-talkies might be worth considering so you can activate the appropriate emergency plan. Some wireless phones work as walky-talkies even if the lines are down.
If you are 50-years of age or older you should keep a package of aspirin in that drawer. Many victims of heart attack wake up in the night with chest pain and don’t survive long enough for help to get there. If you awaken with chest pain you swallow the aspirin immediately and call 911 on that phone you have right there. Your chances are now significantly improved.
And last but not least a defensive weapon. If you have family members that come and go at odd hours, you may want to have a less-than-lethal first response weapon such as a police size, 200 gram pepper spray or a taser ™. The choice of lethal weaponry is up to you, but it must be reliable, handy and easy to use. A 38-caliber revolver is one good, simple and reliable choice. Anything in a good quality 380, 40, or 45 caliber auto pistol should do well. In this case you don’t need to put out lots of rounds of high-velocity, high penetration rounds. You need to stop one or two intruders in close quarters without shooting family members and neighbors in adjoining rooms or houses. If your wear glasses keep them there along with your wallet. These are items you will need to survive and continue after you escape. You may want to throw in a few light sticks and a good knife to complete the bedside drawer and you are one ready guy or gal when trouble come in the night.
Perhaps we can take a lesson from firemen; who must sometimes go from REM sleep to en-route to a fire in minutes or even seconds! Loose-fitting hoodie coveralls with attached booties (loose enough to easily don and walk but not run in) accordioned down around the generous openings of the bootie tops with pockets and/or attachment points containing basic lightweight needs: water, whistle, meds, eyeglasses, LED light, knife and/or other self-defense/survival weapon/tools. Attached to the hood of the coverall should be a baseball-style cap with a stiff bill with a clip-on LED light (hands-free light) and a cord attached beside the head lamp and also to the front collar area of the coverall (right or left) to make pulling up the hood much faster and easier. If you live in a cold region or it’s winter time, placing a coat under the booties (where you will feel it) could be a good idea! So, you wake up, you heard a noise, the dogs are barking, you smell something bad, whatever; reach out, touch the nightlight switch located just below your alarm clock, sit up, place your feet into the booties, arms into the accordioned sleeves, stand up pulling the coveralls up over your shoulders, zip up the front, torso-length zipper, grab the cord to help put the cap on your head, turn on the head lamp if needed, bend over and tighten the straps around the bootie ankle area, put on coat if needed and/or eyeglasses. Investigate or evacuate or dial 911 whatever is necessary. Remember that having and practicing both dressing and evacuating (with alternate routes) is the key to speed and perhaps you-and-your’s survival!
One item that should be re-enforced is keeping a charge cell phone within easy reach of the bed. The first things that get disabled at night are power and telephone lines. Most of today’s phones are useless without that 120 volt line.
Every night when I go to bed I think about surviving the night. I don’t have the things suggested here but will work on that. What I usually do is fold and put the clothes I wore on the floor next to my slippers and socks. Although my jacket is by the front door…if I had to leave thru the window I wouldn’t have a coat! gotta work on that too. I always have gallons of water in every bedroom in case of fire or to water the plants with directions to always refill when empty! Have extra keys outdoors to your car and home in case you can’t find them indoors!
Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.