Prepping Intensive: Module 4
Survival Away From Home
Some other materials
Module 4: Get Home On Your Own Challenge
If only we could count on being in the comfort and safety of our homes when every emergency hits! Unfortunately, for some of us, it’s more likely we’ll be out running errands, at work, at school, or otherwise on the road. In those cases, could you walk home or to some other place of refuge?
This week’s challenge is all about calculating distances from your home to places you most frequent, and then determining how long it would take to get home.
Other than home, what are 5 other places you commonly frequent and how many miles from your home are they? Examples: your workplace, grocery store, kids’ school, a family member’s home, or church.
1. _________________________________________ Miles _____________
2. _________________________________________ Miles _____________
3. _________________________________________ Miles _____________
4. _________________________________________ Miles _____________
5. _________________________________________ Miles _____________
Now, suppose you were at each of these locations during an emergency and had no way to get home other than to walk. How long would that take? This information will help you make decisions regarding the contents of your emergency kits/bug out bags, possible forms of alternate transportation, and points of refuge along the way.
Before making random guesses, actually get out, walk ¼ of a mile, and track the amount of time it takes. At the end of that walk, are you tired out or could you continue for another full mile or more? If you typically have other people with you as you travel to and from these locations, you’ll have to take into consideration their walking speed and any mobility issues.
So, take that ¼ mile walk and calculate how long it takes: ___________________ minutes
Based on your own speed of walking, how long will it take for you to get home from each of the locations you listed in STEP 1?
1. _________________________________________ Minutes _____________
2. _________________________________________ Minutes _____________
3. _________________________________________ Minutes _____________
4. _________________________________________ Minutes _____________
5. _________________________________________ Minutes _____________
What problems, if any, do you foresee getting home from these locations? With this information, what might you need to add to your bug out bag, get home bag, or in your vehicle?
One final consideration is the routes you could use to get home from each location. Over the next couple of weeks as you go to these places, be on the lookout for multiple routes home – routes to avoid parts of town that could become dangerous rather quickly, routes to avoid bridges or other chokepoints. Which route is most direct? Which would take you to intermediate safe refuges, such as the homes of friends or your church?
Additional tips for preparing for and surviving this challenge, be sure to read “Get Home On Your Own” in the Articles section of Module 4.
Weekly To Do List
No Cost Preps
- Download the US Army Field Hygiene and Sanitation guide. This is another good one to print out. It was written for situations when you’re away from home so it would be a great addition to a bug-out bag. If you can’t print it out, it can be found here on Amazon.
- Stash some supplies in the bottom of your child’s backpack – water, a snack, any tools that might be useful, and a map. Be sure your children understand the importance of OPSEC and be sure that the supplies you put in their pack won’t get them in trouble if the teacher finds them.
- Put together supplies to leave at the office. In some types of emergencies, you might need to shelter-in-place at work. Pack a change of clothes, a light sleeping bag, food, water, and emergency lighting.
- Devise an efficient route for picking up the kids from school. Be sure that anyone who might be picking up the children already has permission to do so in the school office.
- If you have kids away at college or living many miles from you, have a conversation this week about their options in a worst case scenario: staying put, if they have the skills, gears, and mental attitude to survive, heading home, or heading to some other safe location. Help them assemble a bug out bag that would provide for their needs (sanitation, sustenance, shelter, survival, security, and sanity) on their journey.
- Put together an EDC for yourself and for each person in your family.
- Add a comfort item to your bug-out bag. Some examples could be a religious text, a book of photos, or a journal.
- Make copies of each family member’s birth certificates, marriage licenses, all insurance policies (auto, health, homeowners, renters, etc.) and the front and back of each credit and debit card. Refer to the Grab-n-Go Binder printable for a complete list.
- Find multiple routes home from work or school. Map out alternative backroad ways to get home, as well as directions if you must go home on foot. Be sure to find hiding places along the way and safe, temporary refuges with people you know. Figure out some places to lay low now, before a crisis situation. Sometimes staying out of sight is the best way to stay safe.
- It isn’t enough just to buy water filters. Take them out of the packages and then take the kids on an outing to a nearby creek to test them. It’s essential that you know how to use these before you actually need to use them.
- Photos document your family’s history and provide a source of great memories. They need to be preserved. This week, go through the photos on your cell phone and the phones of other family members, select the ones you wish to save, and then save them on a site like Flickr or in the cloud, perhaps on Dropbox. Once the photos are transferred, you can then save them to DVDs and/or thumb drives. As a backup, give copies to family members.
- Learn to DIY. If you don’t already know how to use a set of jumper cables, learn that skill this week! Write down the instructions and keep them in your vehicle emergency kit.
- Do you know how to build a shelter with found items in the forest? This article has 15 different designs. Pick one and head out with the family to practice.
- Take a trip to the range and do some shooting. If you have children, discuss gun safety with them to insure against accidents.
- Test your fire-building ability. Not only should you be able to start a campfire with matches or a lighter, but you should consider learning to use emergency methods like a magnesium fire starter. While you’ve gotten the fire built, be sure to roast some marshmallows and hot dogs with the family to make it fun.
Low Cost Preps
- If you have children, pick up some travel toys or games to keep in the trunk of your vehicle. If you end up stranded, you will be very very glad that you have something to entertain the kids.
- Add a survival manual to your EDC kit and/or bug-out bag. The SAS manual is very small but very comprehensive.
- Get a very detailed map of your state. Begin tracing different routes out of town. These routes should take you in different directions, because you’ll never know from which direction (north, south, east, or west) a threat will come. Plan on actually driving each route over the next few weeks and watch for potential points for bottlenecks or roadblocks, areas that could possibly become flooded, and anything else that would hinder your progress.
- Stash at least a 6 pack of toilet paper in your vehicle.
- For the next five weeks, set aside at least $10 per week and add it to a small compartment in your bug out bag. Your stash of cash should contain small bills, all $1 and $5.
- Read the book, The Gift of Fear. This book discusses how learning to tap into your instincts and paying attention to survival signals can help keep you safe from violence.
- Select 15-20 of your very, very favorite photos and have prints made — photos should all be the same size. This week, label the back sides of each photo with names, dates, and locations, and then laminate each one. Punch a hole in the upper corner of each photo and store on a book ring. Keep this in a bug out bag. It will be a great comfort should you ever have to leave everything else behind in an emergency. You can also make these for your children with photos of their loved ones and pets.
- Get a bucket of emergency food that you can quickly grab to take with you in the event of a last-minute evacuation.
- Get a tent. A tent can come in handy in many different scenarios, including a warm space when the power goes out during the winter. If you don’t have a tent, begin looking for one online and in stores, such as Walmart and sporting goods stores. They often go on sale at the end of the summer. Learn how to set up that tent BY YOURSELF!
- Get a sleeping bag. Do you have extreme-weather sleeping bags for each member of the family? Look for a good sale or begin picking them up as you can afford them.
Emergency Evacuations by Lisa Bedford, is a complete guide to planning, preparing for, and then carrying out any type of emergency evacuation. Enjoy this freebie, regularly priced $8.99, on AmazonEmergency Evacuations