Now that you have assembled your Get Home Bags, per last week’s assignment, it is time to make plans for when you may have to use them. Disasters can strike anywhere and at any time and you could end up having to make your way home or to another safe location unexpectedly.
Sit down and give some thought to your regular travel schedule. Naturally most of us go to work on a daily basis. Where else do you travel in the course of an average week or month? Do you routinely visit relatives out of town? Shopping trips? Doctor appointments?
Make a list of all the out of town places you go on a regular basis. Then, for each one of them, plan out multiple routes to get back home. Consider you may be on foot during your journey, depending on the nature of the disaster. Pay close attention to bridges and other potential obstacles. You may want to plan routes that take you around cities and towns, rather than going straight through. While direct routes will be quicker, it may be beneficial to avoid large groups of people.
Once you have your routes planned, test them out. Get to know each of those different routes intimately. If possible, travel them at different times of the day and night. Landmarks can look very different at midnight than they do at noon.
Consider how long it would realistically take for you to make those journeys on foot. The average person can probably walk no more than two or three miles an hour. If you’re in better shape, you’ll do better than that. But remember, you’ll be loaded down with your emergency kit. The hope though is that you’ll be able to use your vehicle for most if not all of your journey.
If realistic planning dictates you’ll probably have to spend at least one night “in the rough” on your way home, scope out likely places to hole up. Look for reasonably safe places you could rest up for a few hours before continuing on, such as parks. You may not have the luxury of being able to secure a motel room for a night.
Look for locations where you can resupply on your trek, particularly where you can find water. Rivers, streams, lakes, other natural sources of water. Be sure your emergency kit has several means of filtering and purifying water.
Your assignments this week:
1) Plan multiple bug out routes from all your normal travel destinations, including your place of employment. Ideally you’ll have at least three routes from each location.
2) Begin traveling those alternate routes on a regular basis. Pay attention to how the routes “look” at different times of day and in different seasons.
3) Add a few gallons to your water storage.
Have a great week everyone!