Office Kit

Posted by: bacpacjac

Office Kit - 04/08/11 12:40 PM

It's been a few years since I've had an office job and yesterday, day one in my new PT gig, I had a little trouble with hubby's truck and the building beside ours was evacuated for some reason just as I was heading home. Welcome back to the corporate environment!

So... I'm working on a new bug-in bag/GHB to keep at the office and I'd appreciate the wisdom of your input.

I'll be working in a little office (about 5 people) that’s about 40kms/25mi from home. There's a major highway to the North, a major rail line (freight and commuter) to the South and a nuclear plant to the South East. It's mostly urban/suburban area between home and the office, with a big chunk of rural in between. I'll mostly be driving my own car but there is a possibility of carpooling or taking a train also. The office is in an industrial area, in a single floor building and my desk is right beside the front door.

MAIN THREATS: industrial accident, train derailment, chemical spill, gas leak, major MVA on main roads, vehicle failure, power failure, nuclear accident (we're in the heart of the danger zone) and weather (It's a tricky time of year around here right now. Spring can bring snow storms, heavy rain and thunderstorms, summer days and anything in between.)

I'm thinking about being stuck in the office overnight (or longer) or having to hoof it home. I don't have room for a big pack under my desk so I'm thinking average daypack size.

FAK: AMK kit, soap, bandana, personal meds, safety pins, nail clippers
(Added: baby wipes, small bottle of purelle, pocket pack of kleenex, cpr mask and 2 pairs nitrile gloves, 2 dust masks, sewing kit)

CLOTHES: wool socks hat and gloves, thermal shirt, emerg rain poncho and blaze orange baseball hat (It's a casual office so I plan to be wearing good footwear and durable clothes at all times)
(Added: light rain pants, leather work gloves, subbed in a primaloft jacket instead of fleece)

SHELTER: AMK bivy, sleeping bag liner, paracord, heatsheet (Note: I shoved my thinnest sleeping bag in and it really made things tight. It still gets cold at night here though so I may throw in a light wool/fleece blanket.)

WATER: large full kleen canteen, micropur tabs, military mess cup, juice crystals
(Added: instant hot chocolate tea and cappacino, wrapped the water bottle in duct tape)

FOOD: 4 cliff bars, 1 pack jerky
(Added: 2 powerbar harvest bars, MRE meal and heater)

FIRE: bic, match safe (with tinder-quicks, b-day candle and strike anywhere matches), couple of tealights, sierra saw
(Added: 2 larger candles, esbit stove and tabs)

RESCUE: AMK signal mirror, lanyard with whistle/led light, roll of quarters
(Added: blaze orange whistle to an external zip)

MISC: SAK, multi-tool, bandana, LED flashlight and extra batteries, extra glasses and sunglasses
(Added: leatherman folder, LED lantern, LED headlight and extra batteries, 2 decks playing cards, pry bar, extra house key, 4 chem lights, 4 chem hand warmers, 2 lg garbage bags, 2 small garbage bags, eye glass repair kit, pocket radio and extra batteries, case of all the extra batteries)

TOILETRIES: soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodarant, washcloth, feminine stuff

TO DO: get a new small sleeping pad, take moutain bike to store at work, put some MREs and a box of bars in desk drawer, put extra water in kitchen, put box of candles in desk drawer, put large pry bar under desk drawers, get copies of local map and transit info, put enough flashlights (and extra batteries) for everyone in a filing cabinet drawer

ADDITIONAL: I've always got my EDC bag and my pockets are always loaded too:

There is a fridge and microwave in the office so I'l be stashing water and food there, as well as keeping a little toiletries kit and meds in my desk.

What am I forgetting?
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 12:59 PM

Is there an office microwave? If so, I would have ingredients for tea and maybe some easily heated food.
Posted by: Frisket

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 01:03 PM

I highly suggest a box of Shabbos Candles. 72 to a pack 7$ at most grocery stores 3 hours burn time per candle. Im sure if your stuck in the office with a power out many people will be glad to have a candle on their desk. Not to mention a cheap 9LED Flashlight with spare Batteries and a LED Lamp of some form.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 01:14 PM

Thanks hikermor and frisket!

yes, there are candles and an LED flashlight with extra batteries in there. I threw in tea lights but I think you're right frisket, that it might be better to have something more substantial.

yes, there is a microwave. good idea, hikermor, to having the makings of a few meals and drinks on-hand. it would be a big moral boost, much like the candles.
Posted by: Frisket

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 01:21 PM

I was thinking if a lantern LED or another form is possible it may easily serve as a pseudo fire for the Office to huddle around which may bring morale. Just also thought of A few packs of playing cards. Maybe a shovel at the door to dig out cars and such if the office doesnt already have one.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 01:22 PM

Good kit.

I'd add some form of cellphone charger, either a LiPo battery that you can connect to your cell (mine will charge my iPhone from zero to hero twice), or a AA-powered charger.

I'd also add one more flashlight and a dedicated folding knife. It might make sense for you to have rain gear that doesn't stand out, as well.

If you wear glasses or contacts, bring appropriate spares.

Do you have room for an Esbit stove? They're far from perfect but they're hard to beat for light, compact, inexpensive and shelf-stable. A package or two of hot chocolate powder to go with it could make a big difference.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 01:30 PM

I just added an LED headlight, a small LED lantern and extra batteries, instant hot chocolate and cappacino, and some baby wipes.

Playing cards and an esbit stove are going in now.

Posted by: Lono

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 01:35 PM

Looks like a good kit to me.

You might consider a CPR barrier (Laerdahl) in the event a co-worker vapor locks and you end up doing CPR (unless you're trained to do compression-only CPR, and that's fine).

I like a trusty crow-bar in my office kit: getting out of my office door is task #1, and in the last EQ a number of office doors jammed from the shaking. You can leave that at work if you don't want to truck it all the way home with you.

Money in addition to the roll of quarters. Maybe enough to get a room at a nearby hotel/motel. If you don't have a secure place to keep this in your workplace, then keep it in your car or try to keep enough cash on your person.
Posted by: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 01:50 PM

Perhaps forget about the additional fleece jacket and vacuum pack a down or primaloft jacket (A compression sack will help also if you are unable to vacuum pack). These will compress down much more readily in terms of space for a small daypack rather than the bulky fleece jacket.

An insulation mat such as the Thermarest Neo-air would be useful for sleeping on at the office or outside. There are quite expensive but are very comfortable and provide good insulation from the cold ground. They pack down to an amazingly small size.

A good down sleeping bag will be half the weight and size of an equivalent synthetic bag.

It is very tricky to get what is required for a Get home or Bug out bag to fit into a day pack.

I can only just about get a Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, waterproof shell clothing, 3 days food and gas stove and pot, water bottle and first aid kit etc into a Macpack Rapaki 28+

Most of the kit in my multiday daypack is based on equipment lists for mountain marathons and from tips and hints from the ultra lighters.

Just to add, you seem to have everything covered but might be a little lightweight on thermal insulation and food. i.e. A few extra high calorie food tins can be stored at your work place.

Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 01:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Frisket
I was thinking if a lantern LED or another form is possible it may easily serve as a pseudo fire for the Office to huddle around which may bring morale. Just also thought of A few packs of playing cards. Maybe a shovel at the door to dig out cars and such if the office doesnt already have one.

Great idea frisket! i added a gerber LED lantern that has white lights in on end and yellow in the other.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 01:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Lono
Looks like a good kit to me.

You might consider a CPR barrier ... a trusty crow-bar ...
Money in addition to the roll of quarters. Maybe enough to get a room at a nearby hotel/motel.

Good calls Lono. Thanks! Made me think of extra nitrile gloves and a good pair of work gloves too!
Posted by: rebwa

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 02:09 PM

I'd add leather gloves, dust mask and a small pry bar in the event of an earthquake.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 02:13 PM

Great suggestions Liathmor!

You're so right about tight packing. I'm glad I have a day off to play. wink

I subbed a primaloft jacket for the fleece, scrunched into a big ziplock. (warmer, smaller and lighter!)

I'll pack some MREs in my desk drawer and threw one main meal of one into the pack along with a heater). I'll also store some more meals in the office kitchen cupboards.

That therma rest is a good idea. i've added it to the shopping list.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 02:21 PM

Good calls rewba! Almost forgot dusk masks too. An earthquake isn't likely but industrial accidents and fires are.
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 02:38 PM

+1 on a sleeping pad. I use a ridgerest or similar.

Small radio?

Paper copies of important info; map, transit schedules, friends phone numbers, etc

Suggestion: Much of the camping gear in the car, but can you keep a 'gym bag' at your desk? For toiletries, snacks, change of clothes.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 02:42 PM

Good call on the map, transit info and radio teacher. Thanks! My edc already includes copies of vital info, etc. and my car's prepped for at least 3 days.

I haven't added a cel phone charger. I edc a cel phonr and i'm working for a telecom company so there's always extras in the office.
Posted by: LesSnyder

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 03:09 PM

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about the physical ability requirements of "getting home" if it involves more than a 20 mile trek.. I think that if I lived in earthquake country, a used $150 mountain style bike with heavy duty inner tubes, a small hand air pump, rim tools, and patch kit on a used bike rack might make sense...add some luggage racks/panniers to lash your pack too, even if you had to push the bike, would make your passage considerably easier, especially if you are my planned route home would be to follow existing roads, and use the off road capabilities if required

for bacpacjac... is there a place to stash a bike at work... lock it up, remove the seat to preclude theft?
Posted by: rebwa

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 03:25 PM

I'd also try to figure out a way to have a small flashlight, whisle and car key on my person at all times. And a knife if you can get away with it.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 04:22 PM

I'm with you rewba. I've always got those along with a bunch of other stuff, depending on the number of pockets. (There's always a micro photon on my necklace and a leatherman on my belt. The leatherman sheath is packed with strike-anywhere matches and a AAA mag light.) Just threw an extra house key into the bag though.

Good call on the bike Les! We've got a small warehouse outback and can keep a bike in there. There's an extrs one in the garage that I'll take in on Monday.

Posted by: philip

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 04:37 PM

I don't know what the expected disasters are in your area: earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, floods? What I'd have depends on what I'd expect. If there's a danger of earthquakes or nearby explosions (see my 3d paragraph), I'd have leather gloves, glowsticks (no sparks to ignite vapors), dustmask, shoes I'd be able to walk over debris, broken glass, etc. with, maybe some thick clothes that would offer protection against snags, even a hard hat.

In addition, how close are the major highway and the train tracks? Do trucks and trains haul in bad chemicals, gases, fuels, etc? I'd want to figure out how to shelter in place in my office if I were downwind of hazardous vapors from accidents on the highway or rail.

What are the other industries in your area? Welding, car painting, etc.? I'd be interested in shelter in place if there are hazardous chemicals in my industrial area, plus in knowing safe places to evacuate to and safe routes that are upwind, uphill, and upstream.

Forty kilometers is about 25 miles? That's too far for me to walk in a reasonable length of time in my situation and especially in inclement weather; others would find it a walk in the park, I'm sure. One of my plans would be how to meet up with family members if we're stranded. We have a communications plan that assumes phones are out, but we're both hams and can rely on our radios for communications.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 04:59 PM

Thanks Phillip! I'm updating the OP as I go and have added a major threats section. Silly to leave out that info - sorry!

Yes, there hazardous chemicals all around us. The tracks and highway are both within half a mile, as is a nuclear plant. I'm not sure exactly what's in each building but we are in the middle of the major transportation corridor for the province. I imagine that just about anything could be next door or going by at any moment.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 05:20 PM

frisket, I stole a good thought from your survival kit thread and added garbage bags.
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 05:34 PM

Great ideas

In my office kit , I made sure to have 3 layers

Layer #2 is the GHB or survival kit , whatever you want to call it.

There is Layer #1 , which is a survival necklace , a few essentail tools on a neck-ID lanyard. It is placed within the GHB, but in an emergency, 1st thing is to take it out and place it around my neck (and put the tools under my shirt or in my front pocket) . It has a small flashlight, small knife, small minitool ..etc.

Layer #3 is a bigger kit , or more supplies in my locker or office drawers.

You may have a space problem for layer #3 . You could solve it in several ways. For example, the first aid kit could be an "office FAK" , that you suggest to your boss to have in the office. If there are industrial threats around you , convincing the boss to have safety equipment may be easy, or it maybe required by the law, depending on your local rules and regulations.

Tea and other bug-in stuff can be part of your office tea club, especially if you have a friend or two to share with. Shortly, it doesn't have to be literally locked in YOUR drawers if you don't have that much space. Just spread the things and don't pile them under "emergency kit" that may attract unwated attention. Part of my survival stuff has been scattered among "project tool boxes" and "project supplies" for example. So, I made sure that gloves, hammer ..etc, are available without taking much of MY space or MY money. I won't use them for me anyway, except in an emergency.

I have the 3-layer system in most of my kits. Each of them has a "survival necklace " to be removed from the bag ASAP and worn around the neck in an emergeny. So, if I lose the major bag in the dark or somethingf, I have something ON ME !! And each kit is backed up by larger ( maybe scattered) stash of stuff that can give support in bigger disaster or badder circumstances than expected.

Good luck and stay safe
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 05:45 PM

Besides the stuff in the kit. It will pay to study the surrounding of your work to home area. recognize any useful facilities ... like a motel, a restaurant you may take shelter in a downpour, or service station with a tow truck. Take phone numbers and approximate distances whenever possible.

If a female colleague lives nearer to the office, try to to know her better and have her as a friend. You never know when you have to spend a night at her house.

One of my relatives lives a few miles/kilometers from where I work, and I did have to walk to his house a few years back when I left work late and my car refused to move. And that was before cell phones.

Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 06:14 PM

Those are exactly the items carried on my key ring,plus a capsule with cash. The knife is a SAK Classic, tiny but mighty.

The key ring is always with me.
Posted by: Mark_F

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 07:30 PM

What are you missing? Not much. Between what you carry alredy and what’s in the bag you appear very well equipped as is.

I only have a few things I’d suggest: a hank of paracord, a good sewing kit, extra safety pins, eyeglass repair kit (or do you normally wear contacts?), a compass to go with that map if needed, and a sturdy fixed blade knife.

What are your plans if there is any kind of chemical spill? I was thinking short of some kind of chemical or biohazard suit it would be difficult if not impossible, without specific training, to be prepared for every type of chemical spill. This is beyond my pay grade … I am not even sure if there is one suit that would protect against most or all chemical spills. Perhaps someone else with more knowledge and training can comment on this aspect?

Given the distances involved with you getting home this discussion might also be relevant.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 07:55 PM

Y'all are the best!

Chisel, we think alike. What's on your body might be all you have in an emergency. I've got a knife fire and light on my belt at all times, and a keyring in my pocket with car key whistle light and SAK, and the first thing I'll put on is the lanyard with whistle and light.

For the immediate timeframe I'm going to stick to my desk and put a little food and water in the kitchen. I'll gradually move into the space and set-things up.

I've got friends living about halfway home that would be happy to let me crash there if needed and I do know some people from Scouts who live near work that I suspect would be happy to help out.

Mark, I added extra glasses and sunglasses but didn't think of a repair kit. I've got a bunch of safety pins in the FAK and a sewing kit is going in too. Thanks!

I've got a compass in my EDC and am working on maps. Good call!

I've been debating adding a fixed blade knife. I've got a folder, multi-tool, SAK and a prybar already and space is getting tight.

Not sure about a chemical spill or the like. I'm still researching.
Posted by: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 07:55 PM

What are your plans if there is any kind of chemical spill? I was thinking short of some kind of chemical or biohazard suit it would be difficult if not impossible, without specific training, to be prepared for every type of chemical spill. This is beyond my pay grade … I am not even sure if there is one suit that would protect against most or all chemical spills. Perhaps someone else with more knowledge and training can comment on this aspect?

A Full NBC (MOD Mk4) suit is available for around $15.

An S10 Respirator costs around $70. S10 Filter around another $40

Rubber Gloves around $3 and over boots around $12.

A roll of Duct Tape and Haversack bag to keep everything in.

So full Emergency CBRN individual protection could be had for around $140. But you wouldn't want your work colleagues to find out you have them at work as it would generate to many questions.

Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 09:54 PM

LOL@ Liath_mor. I think if my co-workers saw what I already have they'd start thinking "nutter".
Posted by: Blast

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 10:26 PM

Small radio?
Several small, cheap dollar store flashlights to hand out?

Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 10:47 PM

Good call Blast!

A radio came up earlier but slipped my mind somehow. Putting it in now.

I don't suspect (at least yet) that the people I work with are like-minded. Having some extra supplies on hand for them is a great idea.

Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 10:56 PM

Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
LOL@ Liath_mor. I think if my co-workers saw what I already have they'd start thinking "nutter".

Actually, you will be the go to gal when it is known that you have useful objects.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 11:38 PM

You're probably right Liath_mor. At least this time around there are only 5 people in the office, and not the 200 I had on my team the last time around. Getting that many people on-board is like herding cats. This time it looks like I'll get to create the safety procedures from scratch and not be committeed to death.
Posted by: Eric

Re: Office Kit - 04/08/11 11:58 PM

Nice list and all I can think to add is some words of caution.

Make sure you know your companies policies (or ask permission) before bringing certain things into an office or work environment. I have worked in several offices and what is allowed varies quite a bit.

Where I currently work any sort of open flame is not allowed and the prohibition extends to unlit candles or fuel sources (like esbit tabs etc.). The company also prohibits knives or any other weapons on company property. In practice, small pocket knives, think small Swiss Army Knives, get ignored but a large folder will attract unwanted attention. Office workers are often not allowed to possess tools either.

My answer to most of the above is to keep a very small, very discrete couple of multi-tools (leatherman squirt, gerber artifact, Swiss tech screwsall) and a small lighter mixed in with my clutter of pens and computer cords, in addition to carrying a SAK Alox moneyclip. My boss knows I have these things and is cool with it since I keep them discrete. Larger/more capable equivalents are kept in my car.

- Eric
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/09/11 12:11 AM

Good advice Eric. Being discrete is definitely important, especially since I'm just starting. Rules aside, people make impressions quickly and it's easy to make the wrong one.
Posted by: Susan

Re: Office Kit - 04/09/11 05:19 PM

I didn't see any mention of comfy shoes for walking. If that's what you wear to work, great, but if you wear heels...

Someone suggested a small pry bar. I would investigate the room/area where you usually work, and see if there is a place to "deposit" a decent-sized pry bar (16-18"), like in a closet or somewhere. Even a reasonable jarring of the building like having a semi run into it might jam the doors closed... got a fire, too? Choose one that you can get a good grip on. I bought one of those flat ones, and found that I can't apply decent pressure on it very well except with the heels of my hands or my foot, which seems to be a serious limitation. I replaced it with a standard hexagonal type with the hook on one end.

Flashlights... One thing that is engraved in my memory is from this site from some years back, I think Martin F. posted it. He was on board a commercial plane (still on the ground) and all the lights went out. In the pitch dark, almost immediately people started to get anxious, a precursor to panic. Marty had a small flashlight (maybe a Photon?) in his pocket and turned it on to get the larger flashlight out of his bag in the overhead. As soon as he switched on that tiny light, people calmed down. They couldn't see much, but they could see that small light, and it was enough for them to focus on and ease the tension. My hardware store carries small Photon ripoffs for $3 each. Darned cheap insurance against panic, I would say.

Nice thread, Jackie!

Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/09/11 06:01 PM

I am a strong believer in a flashlight as a component of EDC. It is always handy, looking under the desk or in dark corners or in first aid diagnosis, as well as performing during the half of the 24 hour cycle when the sun is not up. I have put abut $40 into a AAA key chain light with variable light levels - tough, reliable, and highly useful.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/09/11 10:55 PM

Thanks Sue! It's not my thread though. It's ours. One more reason I love this site!

No worries - I am not a heels kinda girl. I try to avoid them as much as possible, and when I do I always take my hiking shoes or boots with me. My friends with shoe and fashion fetishes are continually flustered by my lack on enthusiasm for their latest scores.

Good call on the pry bar, Sue. It's got to be usable or it's just something to stub your toe on. I'm going to try some out before buying a big one. I got a little on in my kit now but you're right, a big one may be more handy. There's not enough leverage in those little ones for bigger jobs. In an industrial area, an explosion the rocks the building is a possibility.

I with you on the light Sue and Hikermor. Like a lot of people, I wear a necklace that never comes off. The difference is that mine's got a micro photon on it. I take a lot of ribbing for it but I use it almost every day.

[url=]EDC Necklace[/url]

If I had to make a top three thing to car list, light and a knife would tied for first. Mulitple redundancies seem like overkill sometimes but I'd never want to be caught without.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/09/11 11:10 PM

Don't forget the nail clippers to do your hangnails.....
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/09/11 11:38 PM

No way Hikermor! I've got a pair in my FAK. I had an infected hangnail almost take my whole finger a while back so I don't take any chances. Nail clippers seem to do the best job of keeping things in order.
Posted by: Famdoc

Re: Office Kit - 04/10/11 02:31 AM

Potassium iodide?
Posted by: Comanche7

Re: Office Kit - 04/10/11 02:49 AM


Like many others,I've found that with a little imagination and creativity, you can vacuum seal emergency items and compress their volume a bit.

A roll of toilet paper is approximately equal in volume to two rolls vacuum packed. A roll of paper toweld is almost the same.

Tea bags and other food items will last longer. You may not nead them for your daily or weekly uses, but keeping a handful sealed up has been a great addition to my vehicle kit and I even keep some single servings in some of the smaller kits.

Several of our kits have clean underwear & other clothing vacuum sealed. They take up much less volume and stay cleaner during multiple repackings of the kits. You may find this to be an advantage with some of your concerns about clothing / sleeping items.

One caveat is that if you have items like compressible sleeping mats or sleeping bags with a lot of loft, they may need to be "released once a year of so and allowed to fully expand for several days before being repacked as they may not fully come back to full size very quickly.

It will take some playing around as the various vacuum sealers all have their own quirks to deal with.

Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/10/11 08:46 PM

Good advice Comanche7. Thanks! Another addition to the research list.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/10/11 08:50 PM

Famdoc, I've been thinking about ki pills. I'm so close to the plant now, and they did have some sort of leak there about a month ago (heavy water into lake ontario? can't remember the exact details but they told us everything was fine.)
Posted by: Susan

Re: Office Kit - 04/10/11 10:32 PM

Commanche7 offered some good advice, but if you use the food-type sealers, BE SURE to cut a notch in the edge so you can open them! Otherwise, it's like canned food without a can opener. That plastic is tough.

And NO, you don't need to know how I know this! blush

Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/10/11 10:50 PM

LOL @ Sue. I won't ask but thanks just the same. Good to know!
Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: Office Kit - 04/11/11 12:06 AM

As I recall, given the CANDU design, KI pills are irrelevant. Others here can no doubt comment with more authority. It's tritium releases that are the most common worry, and the path of harm is through ingestion.

- - -
Speaking to the original topic:
My experience with offices/cube farms affirms that, in that culture, a very specific order/psychology applies. It goes something like this.

Tools are the province of maintenance people and tradesmen -- blue collar, with talented hands and limited abstract-thinking abilities. Totally unfair in some cases, but not always. Tools, if you will, belong to 'infrastructure workers.'

'Knowledge workers' represent a different 'tier' or 'class' in effect -- those who use (or are expected to use) their brains instead of their hands. Their tools are computer networks, Keurig coffee makers, printers, and politics; though to be fair, their responsibilities are significant. Infrastructure issues, requiring tools, are handled through work orders.

Anyway, my point is that these divides are quite specific. You must pick a side and respect its cultural requirements. Like it or not, failure to do so is 'career limiting.' If you are on the knowledge worker side, the Leatherman in your briefcase is for computer repair (and the Streamlight as well). Any 'hardware' that doesn't fit on your keychain is not something you may whip out in a meeting, and even then you need to be discreet.

That doesn't mean you can't have a 24" crowbar in your gym bag. But it must be in your gym bag, painted pink, and wrapped in lululemon tops, white athletic socks, and sneakers.

(I think I'm babbling, but the gist is truth.)
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/11/11 12:20 AM

I understand what you mean Doug. Discrection is important. There's definitely a distiction between the two groups, even in such a small office it will probably come into play, maybe more so than in a larger group where annonimity is easier to come by.
Posted by: Comanche7

Re: Office Kit - 04/11/11 02:30 AM


Hey, good catch, I meant to include the notch comment and incurred the dreaded P.E.B.K.A.C. error. Thank you.

(I think Sheriff Blast included that one in the acronym listing).


ps It is also worth mentioning that the plastic edges can be sharp, just like getting a paper cut, blush, like Sue said, don't ask...
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/11/11 03:19 AM

Infrastructure workers contrasted with knowledge workers - interesting paradigm. I would agree that it has some validity, but I am curious into which group you would plug field scientists - biologists, paleontologists, archaeologists, and the like. There are surely other occupations that muddy the distinction.

My take is that there is often significant blurring of the two hypothesized groups. I have certainly met many "infrastructure workers" with very significant abstract reasoning abilities.

I would say, that as far as tool display in an office setting goes, approach the issue cautiously and understand the practices within that particular group. In the office groups in which I have worked, a Leatherman tool is seen as a useful item. Nothing works like the pliers at clearing paper jams in the printer or copier. I have been surprised at how often carrying basic first aid items on one's person has been really helpful in an office setting.
Posted by: Art_in_FL

Re: Office Kit - 04/11/11 03:20 AM

A reasonable sized flat-bar 12" to 18" can do a lot of jobs well but still ride in the bottom of a gym bag. You may want to slip it into a tube sock, one from each end, to disguise it and keep it from clanking when you put down the bag. Longer is better but even the short 12" bar can give you some serious mechanical advantage.

A flat bar is great for opening stuck doors or windows (as is common after an earthquake), for pounding through drywall, as a club, and as a wedge to hold a door closed if someone goes postal.

A pair of underwear, socks, and a tee shirt, and ideally a travel-size deodorant, are almost as good as a shower. Doesn't take a disaster for those spares to come in handy.

Edited to add link.
Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: Office Kit - 04/11/11 04:08 AM

Very true, the list of exceptions is massive. My clunky explanation is just that, and I don't insist on it. I'm trying to describe what I've observed, and landmines I've dodged, sort of. (I have some difficulty with this odd divide, since I understand a bit about both sides of the line, and am hired to write for them both. And that's why they hire me I guess. Always write for your audience.)
Posted by: Aussie

Re: Office Kit - 04/11/11 05:47 AM

I’ve just opened up my Office kit, and most things have been covered already, but a few extra items I have packed are:

Toothbrush and paste, toothpicks
Mini vanity mirror (for personal appearance rather than signal mirror)
Personal wipes
Personal hygiene products (you know what I mean !)
Small pack tissues
Small soap
Zip lock plastic bags (to seal up anything messy or bio haz)
Small cans of food (beans – they are very long life)
Can opener, bottle opener
Sugar sweets – energy for walking home
Family photo
Drinking straws (from take-away food store)
Magnifying glass
Printed contact and emergency numbers
Cable ties
Thick permanent marker pan (to make posters to place in the window “Help I’m in here”)
Small radio AM/FM (with light) (I chose one with USB, solar panel and wind up so that it stays charged – head phones too)
Pre-purchased public transport ticket.
Dusk masks – P2 standard (aka N95) with carbon filter. The carbon is largely to assist with odour elimination. I would like to get a proper “smoke hood” which will protect against the toxins produced by burning man made materials, but haven’t found a suitable one as yet. (Most high rise fatalities are from toxins in the smoke, not the fire itself). Seems like you’re in a very chemical prone area, so some kind of effective respirator may be a doubly good idea !

I see you have included maps and public transport info. Can I suggest going 1 step further and plan some routes home (if you have not done so already) both via PT and on foot. If possible check out those routes – perhaps go for a bike ride one weekend and make sure you know the way. Also consider if you have any family, friends, or even work colleagues who you may be able to walk to or get to via PT, depending on the situation, you may not be able to travel home, but may be able to go in the opposite direction (plan the route) ? I’m sure you’ll have planned the route to schools too, so you can get there if necessary.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/11/11 10:49 AM

This vaccuum packer sounds like it might be quite an adventure. Thanks gang!

Art, I had the same thought about extra clothes this weekend. Someone else mentioned unders earlier and it sounds like a no-brainer (that my brain took a while to clue into). I've added a pair and a light pair of zip-off pants. (I already had shirt and socks.)

RONA and I are going to talk crowbars, prybars, flat bars this morning on my way into the office.

Aussie, a mask with respirator is a great idea! Hopefully I won't regret not having a full suit (there are no chems in our building but there are next door).

I have a toiletrie
bag with toothbrush & paste, deodarant, etc. And have included feminine hygeine stuff. (Great for personal use AND first aid.)

To your point Doug, I am working with both groups but it's early days so want to get the lay of the land first.

As for the ki pills, I don't know. That's what they plan to give the kids in the schools but it may depend on the type of nuclear accident. Still researching that one.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/11/11 11:11 AM

Good call on route planning and pre-paid transit passes, Aussie. I've driven the route several times in my car, and know the area pretty well by car, but walking/riding my bike will give me a better perspective. That's the plan for my day off this week.

I'm stopping into the transit offices today too. There are 2 different train systems available and 2 different bus systems too. (1 of the train services is the same as 1 of the bus services, so 3 companies in total.)
Posted by: Frisket

Re: Office Kit - 04/12/11 01:04 PM

I suggest a 3m Half mask with p100 Pink filters instead of a basic dust mask which if anyone has actually hard used are near useless for more then 10 minutes.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/12/11 02:52 PM

Not sure what you mean by a basic dust mask but the N95 rated masks are good for considerably more than a few minutes in my experience. These generally have an exhale valve in the middle of the mask. The simpler and cheapest dust mask, the so called 'nuisance dust mask" is a little too basic. It really doesn't exclude all that much, even when fresh, although it is better than nothing at all..

None of these are very effective for vapors or gases. If I were working near a chemical plant with the possibility of hazardous emissions, I would want to get a mask and canisters rated for the probable chemicals I might encounter, if that is at all possible. What do you chemists say about this?
Posted by: rebwa

Re: Office Kit - 04/12/11 03:05 PM

While it's probably already been mentioned, leather gloves would be high on my list but I am in earthquake country.
Posted by: Frisket

Re: Office Kit - 04/12/11 04:59 PM

Its not the n95 part its the general nature of the disposable dust mask. They are Paper And often made in one size. They do not seal off perfectly if at all. I have used "High end" N95 masks and have found much of the stuff I ddint want to breath on my face under the mask...Not fun...Nothing works better for the price then a 20$ silicone half mask. Its reusable with 12$ For 4 Pink P100 (Better then N95) Filters (You use two at once btw).
Posted by: JerryFountain

Re: Office Kit - 04/12/11 05:44 PM


I keep an old breifcase in my office (and one in my car) which is my number one "emergency" bag. It contains the clothing and necessaries for an overnight stay (or -- more likely -- to clean up after I have managed to get myself dirty smile ). No one even notices the case (or the fact that I have two) and if they do they know I am a bit sloppy and often need a change of shirt. Hiding things in plain sight is often the best idea.

It also contains a few of those important items you have discussed, a duplicate of my EDC. I could come out of a shower and have myself back in full kit without any of my previous pocket stuffings. It has been used many times, lots more than the pack setting next to it in the car which is my 72 hour bag.

I wear jeans all the time with walking shoes or hiking boots, so I don't need a "different" set of clothing.


Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/12/11 06:54 PM

I guess personal experiences vary. I often work in dusty environments (archeological and paleontological digs, as well as generally dusty environments like deserts) and I find the N95 very effective - dust is on the outside of the mask and the interior is quite clean. One day of sustained use is enough for each mask as a general rule. For these disposable masks there are a couple of simple steps to take to insure a good seal around the face (facial hair is usually a no-no).

This is one of those things that is worth checking out on an individual basis since YMMV.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/12/11 09:38 PM

Thanks gang!

I've got a couple of N95 masks and will look into a more powerful silicone 1/2 mask with canister, since I'm working in the same neighbourhood as dangerous chemicals.

Great idea about the briefcase, Jerry! The less questions the better and that would be good camo in the office. I think I've seen one with detachable shoulder straps. I want to be able to carry it easily if neccessary.

Murphy was at it today and it really brought the importance of these kits home. After a walk to work from a grocery store about a half mile away, (new alternator didn't do it's job) I'll also be keeping a complete change of business casual clothes at the office, in addition to the change of clothes in my kit, along with full-on rain gear in my car/train kits. (I'm thinking surplus poncho, and I've already got rainpants in my kits) Thankfully it was a beautiful day today and great for a walk. (I'm doubly blessed because the car started no problem after the walk back to it at the end of the day, and I got home no problem.)

Posted by: Aussie

Re: Office Kit - 04/12/11 11:10 PM

Keeping a few N95 masks, as well as "more powerful silicon mask" is a good option. If you are confronted with a dust situation, rather than a chemical situation, you can elect which device to use. In a small office, you could easily have enough N95 masks for everyone without incurring large cost ?

Although I’m in a large office, I have enough N95 masks for my immediate colleagues/work friends (half a box). I’m not sure if that’s a guilt thing or good prep ? (but I’m not specifically preping for more than myself)
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/12/11 11:32 PM

I could definitely do that in this office Aussie. There are never more than 5 of us in - 3 or 4 office employees and a tech or two. Good idea!
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/13/11 02:45 AM

I worked in one office that had an entire barrel full of emergency supplies. I saw with my very own eyes that those included a fairly decent supply of N95 masks. We also had fairly regular earthquake drills, in addition to the occasional real earthquake. It is just possible that this is not typical of the average office.

I always kept at least a spare shirt in my car, along with a sleeping bag, a few canned goods, water, etc. The practice paid off a few times. Supervisors tend to appreciate employees who are flexible and adaptable.
Posted by: Art_in_FL

Re: Office Kit - 04/13/11 03:06 AM

Don't forget a few straws, means to shorten one, a carving knife, and some BBQ sauce. You never know when you might have to start eating people.

A storm coming through and the lights going out might be enough to trigger the disappearance of the resident obnox. Forget leadership camps with confidence falls and all that nonsense. Nothing solidifies team spirit like collectively removing the dead wood ... and eating it.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/13/11 10:19 AM

LOL@Art! Bad day at the office Art?
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/13/11 02:01 PM

Sounds more like a bad week. I am sure we have all had them. My sympathies.....
Posted by: acropolis5

Re: Office Kit - 04/14/11 04:20 AM

I required a proper smoke mask or hood for my office/ brief case kit as I would need to evacuate at least five levels of interior stairways. My research evaluated filtration ( I wanted CO protection), compact size, light weight, ease of use, shelf life and cost. The winner was the (5yr) Xcaper Smoke Mask. YMMV. Usual disclaimer, I have no connection with and do not benefit from the manufacturer/retailer.
Posted by: Aussie

Re: Office Kit - 04/14/11 04:24 AM

As I understand it the XCaper does not protect the eyes.
What have you done for eye protection ?
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/14/11 11:27 AM

Aussie, so far I just have my glasses and sunglasses for eye protection. I'm thinking about throwing in a pair of safety goggles too. So many choices on that front!

Reminds me that I should throw some Visine into the FAK.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/14/11 11:32 AM

Thanks for the advance research acropolis!
Posted by: Frisket

Re: Office Kit - 04/15/11 01:12 PM

One think I can say is dont cheap out on eye protection. Get the highest rated for multiple things you can find. And note that Vented means its NOT a closed system and the finest of dust and misted liquids CAN get inside. Home depot I think had thee best pair I could find.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/15/11 05:18 PM

Great advice, Frisket. Thanks!
Posted by: acropolis5

Re: Office Kit - 04/16/11 04:53 PM

Your welcome as to the research. As to eye protection, my bad for not mentioning that I use swim goggles. Find the pair that fits you best. Cheap and effective.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/18/11 01:15 AM

Originally Posted By: hikermor
Don't forget the nail clippers.....

My son brought me clippers tonight to trim his toenails after his bath, and he chose the ones we used when he was little. The clipper part isn't as big as some other pairs, the handle is bulkier and there's no file like some have, but they do have a built in magnifying glass. Think I might swap mine out for them.
Posted by: MarkO

Re: Office Kit - 04/18/11 04:10 AM

Originally Posted By: hikermor
I would want to get a mask and canisters rated for the probable chemicals I might encounter, if that is at all possible. What do you chemists say about this?

Depending on where you are, there could be anywhere from a few dozen to a few thousand chemicals (like where I work). We can detect for ~30 or so gases. We don't 'sample' for the liquid chems at all.
Posted by: MarkO

Re: Office Kit - 04/18/11 04:13 AM

Originally Posted By: acropolis5
I required a proper smoke mask or hood for my office/ brief case kit as I would need to evacuate at least five levels of interior stairways. My research evaluated filtration ( I wanted CO protection), compact size, light weight, ease of use, shelf life and cost. The winner was the (5yr) Xcaper Smoke Mask. YMMV. Usual disclaimer, I have no connection with and do not benefit from the manufacturer/retailer.

Why CO protecton?
I'm not sure you can filter CO. You need scba in an environment with high CO levels. FD's combat high CO levels by ventilating the area.
Posted by: Arney

Re: Office Kit - 04/18/11 12:45 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkO
Why CO protecton?
I'm not sure you can filter CO. You need scba in an environment with high CO levels. FD's combat high CO levels by ventilating the area.

Smoke contains all kinds of hazardous chemicals, any number of which can incapacitate you and prevent you from escaping a fire. However, carbon monoxide (CO) is both a potent gas and also not easily filtered like other chemicals, therefore if you want protection from CO, you need to specifically look for that capability in the products you choose.

There doesn't need to be an extremely high level of CO to cause you problems since it binds tightly to your hemoglobin and its effect quickly builds up.

There are any number of smoke hoods marketed to civilians that can protect against CO. We were just discussing smoke hoods the other day in Sue's thread here.
Posted by: acropolis5

Re: Office Kit - 04/19/11 09:50 PM

Arny, from your post on Sue's thread, it appears that your research confirms that the Xcaper Smoke Mask filters/absorbs CO. I agree with your explanation as to why its important for the mask to provide CO protection.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/22/11 01:50 AM

I got promoted to keyholder this week, which means I'm responsible for closing up shop at the end of the day now, and will be working on my own at least three nights a week. (Everyone else wants to go play so Newbie gets the late shifts heading into the summer.) So... I went on a recon of the office tonight. Without rifling through anyone's private stuff, I discovered:

-we have a live voice security system, that I can activate with the push of a button (I'm responsible for arming it when I leave, so I didn't really discover it, I was shown it)
-no first aid kit (to be rectified by me this weekend - suggestions?)
-industrial-sized fire exringuisher (It's in the warehouse but there isn't one in the kitchen. Going to rectify that.)
-3 bic lighters
-about a month's supply of toilet paper, paper towel, kleenex, hand and dishsoap
-about a three month supply of kitchen and batroom cleaning supplies, including two industrial-sized bottles of bleach
-the equivalent of about 2 bags of ice in the freezer
-2 X 1.5 ltr bottles of water and 5 single-serve bottles of juice in the frige
-food in the fridge could last one person about 3-4 days
-other than ice, the freezer is empty so lots of room for my stuff (icepacks are first on the list. Water in the summer? Suggestions?)
-microwave is broken
-2 electric kettles
-1 electric toaster
-2 boxes of tea (green and orange pekoe)
-lots of plates, cups, cutlery, including 2 steak knives and 1 chef's knife
-2 boxes of birthday candles and 0 through 9 of those number candles
-about 50 feet of paracord
-about 50 feet of braided nylon cord (waterski tow rope type)
-an unopened container of "100 assorted zipties"
-garden hose
-a generator (it's in behind a bunch of stuff so I couldn't read any names or numbers. It's yellow and about 4 ft square)
-3 jerry cans full of gasoline
-1 ATV
-2 dirtbikes
-1 vespa
-4 adult sized motorcycle helmets (2 mx style, 2 with full face shield)
-1 heavy duty looking snowblower
-propane bbq with empty tank
-2 snow shovels
-1 gardening shovel
-a few brooms
-approximately 8,002 different tools, including hand and power ;)* (techies!)
-about 72,000 pounds of paper and cardboard marketing materials ;)*
-maybe 12 miles of wiring of differing types ;)*
-lots of great spaces to hide supplies, especially a large storage cabinet in the men's washroom that's camoflauged by cleaning supplies that they clearly haven't thought about using in there wink
-the CEO is an RC airplane addict who drives a big 'ol truck and likes toys and gadgets. I suspect there may be useful stuff in his office but won't go in uninvited unless it's an emergency

*;) = over-estimation but there is A LOT
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/22/11 07:15 PM

With respect to first aid kits, I found out, back when I was responsible for these things in my office, that it paid to keep a box of bandaids and a bottle of aspirin right next to the FAK. This minimized random rummaging and disruption of the more serious contents within. I suspect that about 99% of the situations involving the typical FAK, especially in a typical office, can be handled with a bandaid or aspirin.

Make sure you do indeed have sturdier stuff inside the main kit. Would you perchance have any sort of accident history in this office? Be sure you can handle a fracture. We had one in ours during my tenure. Needed a bit more than a bandaid.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/22/11 08:17 PM

Thanks hikermor.

Good idea to minimize rummaging with seperate bandaids and asprin.

It's a pretty sendentry low-risk place, which probably explains the lack of a FAK (forethought?) Only 5 us work there full-time right now (doing desk work), with about 10 techs coming and going through the day. I've done a little research and there are no major allegies.

I'm thinking asprin, tylenol, ibuprofen, saline, polysporin, bandaids, gauze pads, pressure pads, triangualars, a SAM splint or two, CPR mask, gloves, tweezers, nail clippers, a blanket and water will be a good start to cover most of our needs.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/22/11 08:36 PM

Do you have any outsiders visiting - clients or customers? That can add to the risk profile, although it sounds like you have a pretty mellow place.

I think you are doing good to have a FAK - you just never know...
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/22/11 09:30 PM

No clients coming to the office Hikermor. It's pretty quiet. We are in an industrial zone though, so I could get called into action helping out in a local accident.

I worry a little more about health issues like heart attack, than I do injuries. (We're all over 40 and half of us are over 50.) The other major concern would be a tech cutting themselves while prepping for a job, someone getting clipped in the parking lot, or the CEO hurting himself with one of his toys out back. The snowblower is hopefully done for the season, but the bbq will come into play now the summer is on the way.
Posted by: LesSnyder

Re: Office Kit - 04/22/11 09:42 PM

if you have a PBX phone system, does dialing 911 require an additional "9" to get an outside line?... might want a sign if so, and having the exact address printed on a stick on label helps prevent brain a teacher I was spoiled as we had 2 full time RN's in the building, with epi-pen, sting kit,diabetic meds, and an AED in the building
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/22/11 10:40 PM

No 9 required, Les, and every phone has the address and phone number printed beside it. We've also got 2 portable phones in the office that link directly to our security company, which is voice response.

A nurse or AED would be nice but it looks like I'm it! Upside is that I can get them to pay for my re-certs, which will free up our Scout group $$$ for my wilderness training. wink
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/22/11 11:36 PM

I'm not sure I can get them to spring for it but it's worth a try Izzy. There are several larger companies around and I think I might do so sniffing around to see what they have.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/23/11 01:11 AM

You're right that we've got regs like that here too. AED seems limited to places like community centres, arenas and health centres though. We slide under a lot of radars because we are so small. I'm trying not to rock the boat, but make sure we've got our bases covered without coming off as a nutter.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/23/11 02:19 AM

I would suspect that your office is small enough that it wouldn't really make a lot of sense to require an AED there -just start the staff running at noon and doing calisthenics in the parking lot. You will need a whistle and a clipboard....
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/23/11 10:29 AM

LOL @ hikermor!
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Office Kit - 04/23/11 12:53 PM

I take it with the impending job move, you have to find someone else in this office to handle preparedness issues.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/23/11 01:51 PM

Yup, assuming the move happens. I want to be prepared in the meanwhile though (it will be at least a couple of months, until the school year ends) and I want to leave the place in better shape then I found it.
Posted by: Aussie

Re: Office Kit - 04/27/11 12:41 AM

That list of equipment looks like a great start for an episode of “The Colony” (which I’ve been watching it over the Easter break).

What’s “missing” ?

-a torch/flash light – at work we have some rechargeable ones which are permanently on charge. Esp if you are there at night

-something to make in fire in (safely), seems like there would be stuff lying around which would be suitable, but a small stove or heater which you could use to heat a small room or cook on could be good (refilling that propane is a good start I guess)

-I know that you’re prepared, but some blankets and bedding for “the office” could be good. You can justify it as part of the first aid supplies to make a casualty comfortable.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Office Kit - 04/27/11 02:05 AM

Thanks Aussie! I've got those covered for me, and stashed some extra flashlights for everyone else in an unused desk drawer.

As a side note, there was a collaspsable fishing rod in the office this morning. I laughed because it made me think of the colony episode we watched this weekend. of course, it made me laugh again when i read your post.