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How Fast Can You Get Out? Quick-Escape Prep Saves Lives! Graphic © off-grid.info. Background image – Pixabay
How fast can you get out – starting RIGHT NOW? No, seriously. This tutorial could save your life…
It’s the middle of the night. All is quiet… and you’re off in dreamland. BAM! The front door comes flying off its hinges. It’s a home invasion. You have about 20 seconds – if that – before they figure out which room you are in and storm in, guns or machetes drawn. Bonus points if you have some additional obstacles between the front door and you.
Could you be out the back and away, before they get to you? No. You are in your underpants and you don’t even know where your wallet is, or the key to the sliding door.
Alternately; you wake up and smell HORRIBLE acrid, stinging smoke. DAMN. The house is on fire! Your car keys, phone, laptop with 10 years work on it, cash, water bottle, everything…. is uhhh…… scattered all over the house. You need to get out NOW. Going back through the toxic smoke-filled house to try to find your stuff could be the death of you. You know better than that. You quickly slip out through the back, and now you are semi-naked, coughing and shivering while all your stuff goes up in flames. You would love to get in your car and turn on the ignition to run the heater… if only you had your keys…
(Or any other scenario). What else could happen?
Introducing: The Quick-Escape Kit
As the saying goes, stay ready. What you need to be ready is this: A quick escape emergency kit!
The quick escape kit is not a heavy pack. It’s set up so that you can deploy it with literally zero seconds notice and be gone.
Yes, you might be “all bugged in” with a year’s supplies, off grid power and everything. But if your house is on fire or about to get leveled in 10 seconds, you have zero seconds to try to figure out what to take and what to leave. You don’t even have time to think about it!
The quick escape kit facilitates an instantaneous escape move. Grab. Run. That’s it. That’s literally all you have to do. No hesitation, no vacillation. You KNOW that you have what you need and it’s ready to deploy instantaneously.
You keep it by your side during the day and by the bed at night.
Now let’s think about what this kit might contain. Tailor of course to your personal requirements. Screenshot or print this list?
First, your grab-and-go clothes. Have them READY:
★1 Boots (ideally something that you can just slip on / zip up swiftly. Lace-up is too slow.)
★2 Trousers aka pants. The belt is already in position on the pants and they are set the right way round so you can put them on in pitch darkness without hesitation or fumbling!
★3 Jacket. Have the keys, phone and wallet already in it. You can charge your phone during the day or evening before you go to bed. Bonus points for a lined leather jacket or other jacket that is both warm and has some protective capability.
These are the clothes you need to be wearing, to be out and about. You can put underclothes on later, when you are in a safe place. That’s a few more seconds shaved off your escape time!
★4 Backpack Now, the pack: In addition to the clothes, a small to medium backpack, let’s say around 20L to 25L, depending on your requirements. This would for example contain:
★5 Water bottle.
★6 Snack bar of some kind for instant energy.
★7 Waterproof jacket, the thin fold-up lightweight kind.
★8 Spare keys.
★9 Self defense item. Your choice of whatever is legal / appropriate in your area. See tactical flashlight…
★10 Credit card / cash / ID / Passport.
★11 Phone. Containing all your emergency contact numbers on speed dial.
★12 Mini power pack / USB charger.
★13 Tactical flashlight.
★14 Tactical Gloves / Work Gloves.
★15 Glasses or lenses if required.
★16 Underclothes: Spare socks, underpants and t-shirt.
★17 Small laptop / iPad (or at the very least an external backup drive that contains a copy of your important work / documents / passwords), enabling you to get another device and suffer minimal loss. You can get 128GB USB sticks now, which can be attached to a keyring, carry all your vital data and save even more weight.
★18 Essential medications and mini-first aid kit.
★19 Small pack of toiletries. You can get mini screw top bottles and put in some conditioner, liquid soap etc – and that saves a lot of weight on taking whatever big bottle it came in. Think of this as being an “overnight bag”. All you need is some running water and you can clean up.
★20 Miniature Toolkit. Watch out for a tutorial on this coming soon!
★21 Anything else, within reason, that you absolutely cannot live without.
Don’t over-pack. This is your “I need to run” kit. Keep it minimal. It saves you from having to even think whether you can really just GTFO or not, and it doesn’t slow you down in any way. If you have any spare space in the pack? Throw in a respirator.
So you can see that this kit is pretty close to your EDC. For many it’s going to double up and be the same bag. You leave it by the bed, with the jacket, pants/trousers and boots prepped, so that you can jump out of bed, put pants and boots on, grab the bag and GO GO GO.
Escape Drill (Vital!)
The next thing: PRACTICE! Set an alarm and rehearse. Get your moves down fluid and smooth out any bumps. Learn to get out in pitch darkness. You might need to do this if the power is out and the house is burning! Can you find the right key on the keychain by touch? Learn to do this! It could save your life!
Rehearse your quick-escape until you don’t have to think about it any more.
Target: Ten seconds to be out the door. See if you can do it.
While others would be thinking “huh, what the, where’s my, I can’t see, oh shit”, you are already GONE. Down the road, on the phone to your emergency contacts or sending messages to your team.
This training will also save you minutes when you slept through the alarm and are late for work / appointment / flight! Super useful!
Notes: Note that there isn’t any “bushcraft” / wilderness survival type gear in this pack. That’s intentional; it’s not really for that. This kit should contain the things you absolutely need so that you a) don’t have to linger around a location that you must leave immediately b) can get to a better location smoothly.
Family / Group Considerations
So far we’ve only considered your own personal quick-escape kit. What if you have family? You’ve guessed it – you need to have a kit that covers for them too – and you need to rehearse getting everyone to safety if something happens. Have your escape route(s) planned. The good thing about the get-out-fast kit is that the kit for 4 people will not typically be 4 times the size of the kit for one person. You only really need one emergency pack and it makes sense to have just one. It’s far quicker than trying to round up 4 kits. If the leader of the group has the pack, and the rest of the group KNOWS that the leader of the group has it, they just have to get their clothes on and help each other get out.
Another useful idea is to have an emergency meeting point, and be sure that everyone in your group knows where it is. That helps in case you get separated: You know that if you head for the meeting point, you stand the best chance of being able to find each other and to make further plans.
If you get this far you will be light years ahead of most people. Congratulations – you are officially ready for action. Adjust the pack contents according to your personal circumstances and don’t forget to REHEARSE. Rehearsal will reveal the missing items, bumps in the road and the weak spots in your escape plan.
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