Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Prudent Prepping: Key Points

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Now we concentrate on what to do in, and how to plan for, the long term via Prudent Prepping.

Prepping is important for emergency planning, but should not be ignored when facing every day 'disasters'. Like I just did.

I lost my truck key.

Yup, I did. I don't have a long dangley key chain with a bunch of other stuff attached. No neck lanyard printed with a company or sports team logo and ID card. Just what I call a 'guy keyring': A remote fob, two house keys (for different houses), my truck key and a key for a vehicle I don't have any longer. The keys were on a split ring, the thing that has to be pryed apart to wind a key around and around, after breaking a fingernail* to get the gap big enough to allow the first key to start its journey to safety.

*(There's actually an easier way to do that. -- Erin)

My key looks like this now, and I think I know exactly what caused my problem: the black plastic loop at the top of the key is just that.

There isn't any metal there, and after twisting and turning against the hard metal of the split ring, it cracked and then broke.

Lucky for me, I was home when the key decided to break. I park in the same spot, walk the same path and put my keys in the same pocket. Every time. This routine is what saved me an expensive service call and a lost day.

Why do I say that? The answer is very simple.

I don't have a spare key.

(Oh, I own a spare key. It's someplace, likely in all my stuff that hasn't been unpacked. I think. Either that, or it's at the-house-I-don't-have-any-more, which is as good as lost. I also didn't have a spare key hidden on my truck.)

The next morning I go out to my truck, pop the lock, roll the keys in my hand to the truck key-- and nothing. Since I don't keep my keys in a bowl on my desk, hanging on a hook or placed where someone could get access and remove one (as a joke), I knew it was accidentally lost. I go look in the dirty clothes pile for the shorts I wore that day. 


I take everything out of the basket. 


I go out to my truck to see if it might have fallen off inside.


I look in the catch-all dresser drawer for my spare key.

Panic time.

At this point, I'm stressing out. The roomies did not see a key on the floor and it wasn't in a pocket, so I'm hoping it fell off someplace safe. It more than likely didn't fall onto the street, since there are lots of walkers in my neighborhood and the truck wasn't missing. This leaves the 50 feet of walkway and landscaping I walk past to get to my door.

After 45 minutes of poking around the weeds and bushes I find it in a pile of leaves, under a plant, half-way to my front door. It must have fallen off while I was taking the keys out of my pocket to unlock the door. I'm only an hour late to exercising so the day isn't a total loss.
All of us should have a disaster plan with papers, contact info and our preps ready to go in an emergency. I do (at least for the big stuff) but it was this little thing that could have prevented me from acting quickly when speed is important.

Have a spare key, whether at home or on your vehicle.

The Takeaway
It's an old saying, but "two is one and one is none" really is true. Believe me.

  • Two (all metal) keys, flexible key loop and hide-a-key box. Ace Hardware, $15.47 

One final, unrelated point: When you use the Amazon links in our articles to purchase those items, a small percentage of the price goes to help pay for this blog, without raising your cost one penny. Please consider this option when buying your gear.


As always, if you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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