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Not just for Preppers: The Survival Kit

1st September 2022 Print
survival kit

During the Cold War, the term ‘nuclear anxiety’ was coined to describe how people felt about the ongoing threat of a conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. These worries reached a flashpoint in 1983 during annual US wargames called Able Archer when Moscow was convinced the games were a front for a genuine attack. Of course, the occasion passed peacefully and, to this day, the planet remains un-vaporised.

While the public’s collective concerns have shifted toward the threats of the times, such as economic strife and extreme weather events, the fear of a world-ending cataclysm never went away. This kind of disaster anxiety is evident in the action movies we watch (usually starring Dwayne Johnson in a helicopter), as well as in the frequent news reports about climate change and melting icecaps. 

Tech Survival Kit

Just in the first half of 2022, damages worth US$65bn were attributed to natural disasters, with the US taking the brunt of nature’s wrath, mostly from thunderstorms and tornados. Unfortunately, there’s not a great deal that society can do about these incidents. There is a growing interest in doomsday ‘prepping’ though, where people make plans for an uncertain future - both in terms of a hobby and as an emerging business. 

Websites selling ‘bug-out’ bags and survival kits offer supplies for anywhere between 24-72 hours, as well as much more permanent solutions designed to assist in the rebuilding of society. The contents of these kits vary but they usually cover essentials like food, shelter, water, and various pieces of hardware. There’s also a separate but equally useful go-bag designed especially for technology and communications.

In an infographic entitled Stay Prepared with a Tech Survival Kit, the ExpressVPN website describes the creation of a bug-out bag as “an important undertaking in preparedness”. This pouch of cables and other electronic equipment is designed to keep gadgets working until help arrives. Important documents, like passports, insurance papers, and birth certificates, should also be kept within, on USB flash drives. 

Lightning Storms

ExpressVPN also recommends keeping tools in a tech survival kit so that basic repairs can be made on a broken phone or laptop. These tools include a torch or headlight, screwdriver kit, pocket knife, and an analogue timepiece like a diver’s watch. Why analogue? Non-digital devices are unaffected by the electromagnetic pulses created by lightning storms and nuclear blasts. 


All this might sound a bit melodramatic but a disaster related to water, weather, or climate has occurred every day since 1979, according to the World Meteorological Organization, meaning that this type of emergency has a chance of happening to anybody. A Mad Max-style apocalypse still remains unlikely, although, as it’s related to the sea drying up, it may occur in the distant future. 

Spurred on by games like Fallout and TV series such as the Walking Dead, disaster prep has become a popular pastime. However, The Spruce website notes that all households should have a basic toolkit. After all, having tools and supplies to hand even in a minor emergency can reduce the potential damage caused by floods, wildfires, and high winds.

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