Every family preparedness kit, glove compartment, backpack, “get home bag” or “bug-out bag” in America will soon have an Emergency Survival Chart.
It’s not pleasant to think about but the world is a pretty crazy place right now and the need for the Emergency Survival Chart is here. Lately, I’ve had numerous conversations with friends and loved ones about an uncertain future. Often I was asked things like, what are the possible scenarios? What kind of gear should I have? Where would I go? There are countless scenarios that could cause mass panic in America and overwhelm our first responders, communications networks, transportation systems or electrical grid. Anyone who recently lived in Houston or Puerto Rico knows this all too well. An ESC helps solve these problems and is impervious to the disasters that would affect our dependencies on phones, computers and everything electrical. Floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanoes, earthquakes, or coronal mass ejections from the sun are just the naturally caused possibilities.
Let’s be honest, there are many more problems that man can create. Economic collapse (something like the Great Depression), civil unrest, terror, pandemics, WMDs, EMPs, and war, to name a few. These are not “conspiracy theories” or “tin foil hat” ideas. They are common sense threats that our government and military plan for and train for on a regular basis. We cannot simply ignore these problems and hope they will go away because they are difficult to face.
I quickly realized the amount of information I needed to convey and I knew a short answer wouldn’t suffice. Now I don’t consider myself a survival expert, and I was unprepared to answer many of the questions posed to me, but I have had some survival training and I knew enough to get started putting information together. I knew if something bad happened I couldn’t be with everyone I cared about so I wanted a way to give them something now, that they could use later, even if they found themselves in the worst case scenario. So what did I want them to have and know, if I wasn’t there with them? Basically, I narrowed it down to two main goals: Try to prepare them for anything and encourage them to have as many back-up plans as possible. The ESC does both of these things. It plans for as many contingencies as possible and it is the ultimate back-up plan if electronics fail. I can tell you right off the bat that an app on your phone can’t be relied upon and a road atlas from a gas station just won’t cut it.
Let me admit right away that I can’t take complete credit for all of this, because the design of the ESC is loosely based on a product called an EVC (Evasion Chart). Produced by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in partnership with the Department of Defense’s Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, military personnel who go into high risk environments are often provided with EVCs. In fact, the company best known for printing the game “Monopoly” helped Uncle Sam print maps on silk, rayon and tissue paper for POWs during the Second World War, and EVCs have been an important piece of survival equipment for aircrews ever since.
“When Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady was shot down over Bosnia during June 1995, one of the items he acknowledged that assisted in his survival was the Evasion Chart (EVC) he carried in his vest pocket. In addition to using the chart to pinpoint his exact location, he used this unique product in a seemingly unusual way, but in fact one way that it was designed for–as a protection against the elements.”
The ESC is a way to put all the information together in a compact, light-weight, durable and useful design. Consider an ESC an inexpensive, but invaluable insurance policy for you and the people you love.
When I was a SEAL I was required to put together my own Escape and Evasion kit (E&E kit) for this purpose. Everyone was allowed to add whatever they wanted to carry and guys were always looking for newer, lighter, and better gear to put in their kits. Now the internet is full of videos describing these type of things but in those days they really just included basic requirements like a good knife, an emergency signaling mirror, fire starters, water purification tablets and maybe an emergency blanket and some green and black face paint. Among the most important items were always a compass around your neck and a good map in your cargo pocket or secured closely to your chest. Today, there are countless new camping products, survival devices, three day packs, “bug-out bags” and E&E kits on the market. There are incredible new things available like small water purification straws which can treat hundreds of gallons of water and laser signaling pens that can be seen for miles.
What is missing from all these kits though? What is something that everyone must go figure out and find for themselves?
A good map of their area. This project has taken me almost three years to get where it is now. It was a painstaking process of finding and analyzing the most relevant, up to date, and accurate information available. No product like this has existed for the average civilian until now.