My little sister is graduating high school this month and heading off to college in the fall. Eek, I can’t believe it! Time goes by so fast! She’s graduating a year early so she’ll be younger than most of the other freshmen, and she’s going to be living about 2 hours away from home.
I, too, went to college 2 hours away from home, and I distinctly remember the simultaneous excited to get away from small town, Texas, and be on my own exhilieration combined with the fear of being alone. Going to a new town, a new school, and a new life that I knew absolutely NO ONE in. It was terrifying, eye opening, and thrilling all at the same time! I don’t know how my sister feels, but I imagine she feels somewhat the same way.
My Mom, knowing how much fun I’m having learning and blogging about preparedness, asked me several weeks ago if I would put together a small emergency kit for her as a graduation present, and while I was excited about doing so, I wasn’t sure how she would take it. I mean, I had absolutely no desire to be prepared when I was her age. My 17-18 year old self just wanted to make new friends and fit in at my new school. If someone had handed me an emergency kit, it probably would have ended up in the bottom of my closet never to be seen again. I thought about it for awhile, and decided to ask my sister about it to see if she was at all interested, and if so, what she would like. I gave her a few options: I could make her a kit to keep in her car, much like my Emergency Car Kit, only it would (obviously) be tailored to her needs instead of mine, a full out 72 hour kit/Bug Out Bag to keep in her dorm room, or a smaller kit that she would keep with her at all times, maybe in her purse: an Every Day Carry Kit. She kind of half-heartedly agreed that she would be interested, and she decided on an EDC kit for her purse.
So, here’s what I came up with:
I wanted it to be cute and fashionable so that she would actually like having it with her, but I also wanted to make her something that was easy to get to and functional, with as many little preps as I could fit in a small package without it being too bulky. Since she’s going to college in a new place, I gave her a few items to help defend herself if needed, BUT they had to meet school rules, and she isn’t comfortable with firearms so those were obviously not included. Purple is her favorite color, and she loves Vera Bradley. So… here’s what’s in her kit:
The Case: A Vera Bradley Small Cosmetic bag in Plum Crazy. The inside has a waterproof lining, and VB makes quality, sturdy cases that are durable AND cute. 🙂
On the zipper: I included a pink, police strength pepper spray, and a purple Fox40 whistle (The only kind I trust since I was a Lifeguard for a few years) They’re LOUD and extremely hard to break so I knew it would be ok on the outside of the case.
Inside the case:
- A purple lighter wrapped in purple duct tape
- Mini Cree Flashlight– Unfortunately doesn’t come in purple, so she got a red one instead. (Not pictured)
- Mini pen and notepad
- Purple mini sharpie
- Purple Camo Pocket Knife (It was actually much bigger than I thought it would be, but still meets school requirements to be allowed in dorms and classrooms. Please double check your University’s policies to make sure your child/friend/sister/brother doesn’t get in trouble)
- “Purple Fabulous” Paracord– Purple and Pink colored with an awesome name 😉 (I cut it down to about 15 feet for space reasons)
- Purple chapstick
- Purple Bandana
- Mini First Aid Kit put together by your truly. Includes: Neon pink, orange, and yellow bandaids, alcohol wipes, a pair of non-latex gloves, hand sanitizer, and OTC meds (Asprin, Benadryl, and Motrin).
Separate from the kit:
This was sort of an impulse buy, but I found a Purple Mini Stun Gun on Amazon for only $10 so I bought it 🙂 According to university policy, she cannot carry this into her dorm or classrooms, but it IS allowed in her vehicle. This little thing scared me to death the first time I turned it on and pushed the “fire” button. While I’m not a fan of having to be within arms reach of an attacker to use the device, it’s pretty darn scary even from 10 feet away haha. It will at least make someone think twice before trying to harm her so it makes me feel a little bit better.
Things I may add (or tell my sister to add):
There’s not too much room left in the bag, but I’m sure I could squeeze a few other things in there if needed. This is what I have not included, but am still considering:
- Emergency cash in small bills & quarters
- Zip ties
- Hair ties/clips
- Safety pin(s)
- Small multi-tool like the Leatherman Squirt
- Keep a Filter water bottle and granola bars/snacks nearby or in her purse
What About You?
What do you think? Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Are you a college student or do you have a college student in your family who carries an emergency kit? What do they have in theirs?