Went shopping yesterday and found some really neat preparedness and EDC (every day carry) items that I thought I would share with you.
Envirosax - found at the FranklinCovey store, these polyester bags are strong and roomy enough to hold two plastic bags worth of groceries -- but roll up and button down to roughly the size of a golfball. You can get them in singles or purchase a pack of five with a pouch to hold them all -- the pouch fits comfortably at the bottom of my Tom Bihn Medium Cafe Bag. They are absolutely gorgeous and come in a range of beautiful prints.
Pocket.doc and Life.doc from Buttoned Up - the Pocket.doc from Buttoned up is the size of a tiny notebook, but unfolds like an accordion. Inside are forms for your emergency plan, emergency contacts, and medical information forms for each member of your family (up to four). It's a great item to include in your purse or EDC kit.
It's too big to EDC, but the maker of the Pocket.doc also makes the Life.doc Organizer, which is a large three-ring binder with sections to record and organize all of your important information -- legal, medical, financial, home, and caregiver info for elderly parents. Best of all for us anal-retentive types, it comes with a CD so that you can type your information into your PC and then feed the forms through your printer. Each divider tab has a pocket for storing loose sheets of paper, notes, business cards, and the like. This is a perfect item for a disaster kit or bug-out bag and I would go so far as to suggest that every family needs one of these. Available from FranklinCovey, Amazon, and any number of online stores.
Ironkey USB Drive - this USB drive is made to government specifications. It's rugged enough to carry on a keychain and sports an encryption algorithm that ensures that no one will be able to access the files on it without knowing the password. Some people EDC a flash drive like this one that holds files containing scanned copies of all their important documents -- birth certificate, passport, credit cards, insurance, ID, etc. I wish I liked the idea better, but realistically I think the applications for emergency use may be limited. If you truly need to show someone a copy of these items in an emergency, they probably are not going to have a laptop just sitting around ready for you to plug in the USB drive and pull up your information. Not to mention, in the event of an EMP attack, this thing and the things it plugs into won't be working no way, no how. The truth is, paper is an amazing technology that still hasn't been surpassed by all of our electronic wizardry.
It is a very cool toy, though. EDC it if you want, just don't rely on it in an emergency.