Emergency Comms Bag

Grab bag, red bag, emergency bag, comms bag…a bag that contains everything you may need to get you out of a tight squeeze. What’s in yours?

We’ve been reviewing our Business Continuity plans recently, and a part of that was to ensure there’s an IT emergency bag on hand at all times with some essential kit.

With some money to spend, and fully intending to commandeer this for day-to-day server room work, this is what I put together:

  • 18.3″ Backpack – Huge fold-out bag, charging port, plenty of zipped pockets and compartments
  • HP laptop
  • Just about any cable you could ever want; cat5e patch, crossover, fiber patch, serial, USB, console, power, VGA, plus plenty of adapters and couplers
  • Spare SFPs: 2 x 1000Base-SX, 1 x 1000Base-T
  • Klein Tools Cable tester with remote probes
  • Fox and hound probe
  • Small 8 port TP-Link gigabit switch
  • Small 4 port Cisco VPN router
  • Multi-tool (pliers, knife, screwdriver etc)
  • Multi-bit screwdriver
  • Torx key set
  • Cable stripper/cutter
  • 500GB USB drive
  • 16GB USB Key
  • USB hub with extension cable
  • USB CD/DVD drive
  • Cable ties and velcro straps
  • Labeller with extra cartridges
  • Sharpies, pens and paper
  • Electrical tape
  • Various nuts, bolts and screws
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries of various sizes
  • Printed network documentation
  • Xanax

Might add an emergency mobile phone and power bank, and look to replace the laptop with something a lot lighter. Bag weights a ton!

When shit severely hits the fan, I don’t want to be wasting time looking for a particular cable or battery. I’ve made it a monthly task to ensure all items listed are present in the bag, so that when I grab it I’m confident I have everything I need.

It’s already come in very handy day-to-day though. Unfortunately our IT office is a good 6-7 minute walk from our comms room; down a flight of stairs, across four buildings, and up 5 floors. There is nothing more frustrating than going to do some work there only to realise you need the damn cable tester in your desk drawer!

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