Prepping for Disaster at Work


You have a bug out bag in your car and near the front door of your house so you can grab them easily in an emergency. There is plenty of food and water in your pantry and your car. Your back yard has a thriving garden in it. In your mind, you are in great shape for any kind of a disaster. So you go to work and it happens. You are stuck at work when disaster strikes and you are not able to get home or to your car for several days or more. You might think this is a stretch, but earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes are just a handful of possibilities that can leave you stranded at work with your car inaccessible. Another possibility is that you are pinned or trapped at your desk. If you don’t want to drink from leaky pipes and eating wandering cockroaches and mice, you should consider prepping at work.


If you work in an environment where you have a desk area or a locker, you should make some room somewhere for your prepping supplies. While there are probably restrictions on some of the things that you can have at your workplace, there are still many things that you should be able to keep at work.



Water is by far the most critical of things that you will need in a disaster. Get as much water as you can fit into your desk or locker. I try to keep a couple of cases of bottled water at my desk since I drink it anyways and just cycle through them. Keeping your water in a place where you can get to it if you are pinned under your desk can also be very convenient. If you are on a factory floor, just keep a small cooler near your workstation if you can. Water should be your first priority at work.



You will need to eat. Store some food that is simple to prepare and easy to open without tools such as a can-opener. Having a couple weeks worth of food at your desk is not unreasonable. I like to use them as my lunches and just add meals and snacks as I eat. You might not have a way to heat your food, but at least you will have something to eat.



Keep a Leatherman or similar type of tool at your desk. You never know when you will need something like this. I have found that I have needed simple tools for every day work as well. If you can keep a kind of a fire starter or a book of matches, this will be helpful as well. Keeping some small tools, like a pocketknife, with you at all times is also a good idea.


Survival Bag

A survival bag at home and in your car are great. But if you can’t make it to your house or your car, you will need one in the next most likely place that you will be. Your work. Stash a survival bag behind your desk or somewhere that it is unlikely to be found. This survival bag should have similar items in it that you might have in your regular survival bags, but you should consider your work environment as well. Following the rules at your work will assure that you can keep paying for your prepping supplies.


Telling everybody that you have a stash of food and water and supplies at your desk. While I am sure you would love to take care of everybody at your work in an emergency, this can be quite impractical. It is best to just keep quiet about your prepping until it becomes necessary.


Another idea would be to talk to your supervisor about your workplace setting up a plan to help your teammates with a few days worth of supplies if something were to happen. This might be unrealistic in many situations, but you shouldn’t get into trouble for making a sincere suggestion.


Let me know in the comments if you have ideas or suggestions relating to prepping at work. I am definitely open to ideas.  Your ideas may help others as well.



by Shane White

6 thoughts on “Prepping for Disaster at Work

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  • August 6, 2012 at 10:16 pm

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  • August 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Shane White,

    You have some good points in your article and I'd like to add.

    To make room for your supplies, find an old paper box, fill it up with water and food, and place the box under your desk.

    Don't forget the back of your chair. It makes a great place to hang a warm coat, so you can grab it as you evacuate the building.

    Food wise. If folks have a refrigerator at work, they could bring in a week worth of meals, every Monday. Saving money and being prepared at the same time.

    Your bag could also hold the gear you need to get home, if a person rides the bus, subway, or other mass transit, like walking shoes, a durable rainsuit, full water bottles, and some munchies for the trip

    Almost lastly, ask if the company has first-aid, workplace safety, or other prepper type classes that you can attand. My brother was able to attend a first-aid course that included starting an I.V. at work. He's not military either.

    Lastly, like you said make sure to follow the workplace rules. We had one guy get fired for bring his hunting bow (in his car) to work.

    • August 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      Great tips. Especially the first aid training. That is very important.

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