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
- Purchase portable water filters for the bug-out bags. We like Sawyer Mini and Lifestraw. These are also great additions to the kids’ school backpacks.
- 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 at least a 6 pack of toilet paper in your vehicle.
- Go on a personal spending freeze. How long can you go without spending money on anything but preps? Bonus: Apply all that money you saved to adding even more preps!
- Consider a bucket of emergency food that you can quickly grab to take with you in the event of a last-minute evacuation.
- Start a price book. This will help you track the local sales cycles and will help you to make sure what looks like a bargain is actually a bargain.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add a survival manual to your EDC kit and/or bug-out bag. The SAS manual is very small but very comprehensive.
- Do you have somewhere to go if disaster strikes and you can no longer stay in your home? Make plans for two places to go if you need to evacuate. One can be nearby, but the other should be further away in the event that the reason you’re evacuating affects homes regionally. Even more importantly, make sure you are expected. You don’t want to be one of those folks who says “I’m coming to your house if something happens.”
- If you had to evacuate, where would your pets go? If you end up in a shelter, Fluffy and Fido probably won’t be welcome. Establish a relationship with a boarding kennel and be sure they have all of the appropriate vaccination paperwork to be able to take your pet.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Dr. Arthur T. Bradley’s book, Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness For the Family, is considered to be one of the most outstanding books of its kind. Follow his step-by-step guidelines, and you’ll be ready for a pandemic, natural disaster, or an extreme weather event.
The winner of this book will be announced during the next Sunday Night Check-In. Good luck, everybody!
- Sawyer Mini or Lifestraw portable water filters
- DeLorme map atlases
- Grab-n-Go Emergency Food Bucket
- Grid-It Organizer to keep small things in your packs organized and accessible.
- Jackery external battery pack
- Mr. Heater indoor-safe propane heater
- An example of packing cubes to organize your bug out bags
- S.O.S. Ration Bars
- Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness For the Family by Arthur T. Bradley
- US Army Field Hygiene and Sanitation guide
- SAS Survival Manual
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