How To Prepare Yourself For An In Office Quarantine – Stay In Place Bag

Suspicious EnvelopesThe other day on Drudge Report I read an article about how 60 people in a building in Paris were quarantined because at least one person had fallen ill with ‘Ebola-like symptoms’. Thank goodness it was a false alarm and those people were later allowed to go home.

The majority of us work at an office away from the safe haven of home eight hours a day if not many hours more. Have you considered what you would do if all of a sudden the authorities came to your office building and cordoned if off, not allowing you to leave?

First of all, it is important to mentally walk yourself through the possibility of being locked down at work for several days. That way if it does happen, it won’t be a total and complete shock to your system.

Second, it is important to always have some supplies with you. You should already have a “get home bag” with you at all times, but if you are like me, that bag is most likely in your car. Have you ever thought about having a “stay in place bag?”

A stay in place bag would be a bag that you keep in the office. You may think you could keep it in your car, but, if your building is put on lock down, you will most likely not be allowed to go out to your car.

Here is a list of items that would be good to put in your “Stay In Place Bag” and keep in your desk drawer at work.

  • A change of clothes – something clean and comfortable. This would include several pairs of socks, underwear, comfy pair of pants and some comfortable shirts. Don’t forget some comfortable shoes.
  • A blanket, maybe sweat paints and sweat shirt to stay warm. The sweat paints and shirt could be put on and off as needed where the blanket would be good for sleeping and laying around.
  • Blow up mattress, I doubt most companies are prepared to have staff sheltering in place at the office and you don’t want to have to sleep on a hard office floor. A blow up mattress doesn’t take up a lot of space to store either.
  • Sleeping bag, goes with the mattress, the situation won’t be good, so it is important to plan on making yourself as comfortable as possible.
  • Hygiene products, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, hand sanitizer, soap, deodorant, you may be able to stay in your own office cube, but you may also be made to stay in a group in a large conference room, you don’t want to be the one who stinks, believe me, others will so you might as well smell good to them and yourself.
  • Many companies have showers available, if yours does, include some shower shoes, shampoo and a towel too, it will make you feel so much better to get a shower and will be better than just washing up in the bathroom sink.
  • Continuing with Hygiene products, ladies, don’t forget about having some tampons on hand, and I don’t just me a couple of extras, have a box in one of your file drawers. Might be a good idea to have an extra roll of toilet paper too. Now remember, you will be locked down, hopefully they will bring in supplies, but who knows how quickly. On a good day people go through TP fast and it is usually restocked once throughout the day, in a shelter in place situation,  your restrooms will most likely be depleted of toilet paper before supplies come in.
  • N95 mask, that will help protect you from germs, it will also help isolate your nose from the smell of others.
  • Water shouldn’t be a problem, but it would be a good idea to have a water bottle that has a good filter in it, like a Berkey Sport bottle or a NDuR Filtration bottle
  • Keep some food snacks with you at all times, vending machines will run out of food fast, they won’t be restocked if the building is locked down. Again, it may be a while before food is brought in so have some of your own. Maybe even have some MREs in your bag.
  • Medications, if you take medications, always have some extra at work with you at all times, this include OTC meds as well, at least a weeks worth, that would be enough for you to advise the authorities and make arrangements for them to bring in more (oh my let’s pray if this does happen it won’t last a week)
  • Entertainment and reading materials. Now, chances are you won’t have board games with you at work, but you could have a deck of cards, and for sure some books to read, maybe keep an old Kindle at the office.

Think about if you had to live away from home for a week, maybe longer, what are all the things you would need to make yourself comfortable. It won’t be a home away from home, but you want to make a bad situation as good as possible.

If you have some ideas of items that could be added to your “stay in place bag” please share them with us.