USB Flash Drive
USB Flash Drives are an inexpensive addition to your daily carry. An ordinary drive is relatively durable, but extremely rugged models like the Corsair Survivor and IronKey are available at a premium.
In the event of a major incident in which you become separated from your essential documents, copies on a USB Flash Drive can help to prove your identity and so on when you get back in touch with civilization. This should be as well protected as possible because it contains a lot of potentially sensitive information about you. It should be treated with the same caution as the original documents themselves.
Due to the files being very small compared to the overall size of modern USB Flash Drives, it may be beneficial to include additional files such as aerial maps of your local area, survival information, important family photos, etc... Take digital copies of anything you may wish to keep with you should you be forced to leave your home.
During a PAW, particularly following an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) producing event such as a solar storm or nuclear exchange, electrical devices may be rendered unusable unless shielded. During any disaster where the power grid is down finding a computer to access your data may be difficult. This can be overcome by being self-reliant and having an alternative power system available.
Due to the sensitive nature of many of the documents you may be carrying, you should secure your data by encryption; this can be accomplished in several ways.
- TrueCrypt is a free, open source application that is available for Windows, Mac and Linux that will provide the best available encryption for your data. It is also a good idea to include the application files for each platform (Windows, Mac and Linux) on the key itself so that everything you need to access the files from a computer is stored on the Flash drive. This may require administrator rights in order to use.
- FreeOTFE is another free, open source application that is available for Windows PCs and PDAs, which also includes support for using encrypted "volumes" on both Windows and Linux.
- IronKey is a rugged, self-encrypting USB flash drive.