You’ll probably need to walk home. It may sound obvious, but you need good shoes. You’ll also want a CamelBak hydro pack, one of the smaller, sleeker ones with two medium-size pockets. Keep water bottles under your desk, at least a gallon and a half. They’ll keep for months and months, and you can fill the CamelBak bladder when you need to. Everything else fits inside the pack. There’s a small solar panel made by Goal Zero. You can strap it on the back of your CamelBak or tape it on a window. It will power your phone and laptop. They also have battery packs that come with it and last for hours and hours. A CRKT Guppie is a multitool—a little pocketknife, a screwdriver set, and a wrench. There’s a product you can get over the counter called Silver Immune Booster. Use it like iodine or rubbing alcohol to purify abrasions or cuts. Food: You want freeze-dried meals in Mylar pouches. Get a stove in a can. It’s about the size of half a coffee can. It’s like being able to carry a campfire with you at all times. And then you want a tiny pot. Get it at a Salvation Army store. You’re just looking for something to heat up water for your food. You want comforters. If you’re religious, you want a pocket-size Bible. Photos of your family or favorite vacation. Maybe it’s a picture of a Toyota Tacoma. You might have a favorite book. A lot of people like James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh. And a deck of cards. Granted, if the building’s burning, now’s not the time to play Go Fish, but you can’t be panicked while you’re having fun. —As told to Brendan Greeley
• Vail is the CEO of the American Preppers Network, a Sandy (Utah)-based preparedness website that runs seminars and sells preparedness gear.