Have you noticed a trend in the prepping community? It’s not new, yet it could mean the end of many folks who might not make it in the coming collapse. I’m talking, of course, about the tendency to buy tools and gear and ignore survival skills and think about disaster scenarios.
Today I want to talk about one such scenario: getting home. Many people ignore the fact that either they or their families might not be home when it hits. They might not get to use their stockpile or their bug out bag simply because it’ll be out of reach.
So, how what can we do? Sure, having a get home bag (already covered here) is important but what about the actual journey home? That’s harder to talk about since there’s no real way of knowing where you’ll be or what dangers lay between you and your house but… let’s give it a shot.
Whether or not you’re within walking distance from your home, you might be forced to go on foot. Getting home may depend on a variety of factors such as:
- the distance (if possible, rent a place that’s as close to your work place)
- your physical condition (if you can’t run 100 yards, you’re in no shape to run home or at least walk at a brisk pace for a few miles)
- the obstacles you may encounter (downed trees, cars etc.)
- the people you will run into
- whether or not the phone lines and the power grid are down
This last one is also the most problematic but the good thing is, getting home on foot is also the most flexible. Unlike a car, or a bus, you can avoid obstacles and even run if something is blocking your way and wants to kill you. You can hide in small places or inside buildings, you can climb walls and jump obstacles and you don’t risk being trapped inside your vehicle or the subway.
A few things you can do right now in order to prep for this scenario:
- walk as much as you can (you’ll also save gas money)
- get to know your town or city by walking every possible route
- mark on a map all alternate ways to get home from various locations across town (the supermarket, the mall, work, your kid’s school etc.)
- get into shape to improve both your aerobic and anaerobic performances
#2. Using Public Transport
Taking the bus, the taxi or the subway may or may not be a good idea or even an option during a disaster. If a riot occurs, who’s to say you won’t end up in the bus with some of the protesters? Even if they’re not there when you get on, they might come on board at the next stop.
If you go to work by bus, I suggest you print out a map of your town or city and mark every possible route home, even if that means changing several buses. You’re also going to need a small radio (smartphones have this functionality but some of them require headphones for it to work).
As long as you’re talking the bus, you might as well consider a more consistent bug out bag than if you had to walk with it on your back. The more items you pack, he better, but keep in mind the weight will make it harder for you to walk and run.
#3. Taking the Bike
Of all the ways to get home, I think bikes are the best. Because they are small, they allow you to advance through traffic jams, narrow streets and even stairs, you can quickly ditch them if need be and continue on foot and they also allow you to carry a get home bag without feeling the weight on your shoulders.
By the way, if you’ve had a bike for some time now, you probably know about all the pouches you can attach to them. I highly recommend you look into getting some.
#4. Taking the Car
If you’re driving to work, you’re in luck. You can hide your gun(s), plus other items to assist you in case someone wants to take you off your vehicle. You can also pack a more survival items inside the truck and, of course, take more people with you.
However, if you’re not a good driver, getting home in your car may be a recipe for disaster. You’re going to be under a lot of stress, maybe even panicking and so will people around you. If this is a problem, I suggest you drive more and even take driving lessons.
Cars have one other big advantage (besides speed and mileage): you can actually store a foldable bike in the trunk that you can use in case you have to abandon your vehicle.
On The Move
How will you know which route to take to get home? It’s all about being prepared and informed. As long as you can listen to the radio to hear the latest developments, you’ll be able to avoid the most dangerous hot spots. This means you should have at least an AM/FM radio with you or, at the very least, have a phone with integrated radio.
Keep these in mind as you’re on the move during an SHTF event, whether you’re bugging in our out:
- Try to stand out as little as possible. Remove all accessories, hats, ties and so on. Ideally, you should have a change of clothes inside your car.
- If it happens at night, stay away from well-lit areas to avoid becoming a target.
- Download maps of your city on your phone so you’re able to navigate even when there’s no signal.
- Stay in touch with your family, if they’re already home safe, they can guide you via phone based on what they hear on the news or on the radio.
- If trapped in a large group of people, don’t move in the opposite direction from the group. Move at an angle until you see an opportunity to escape.
- Keep cash on you so you can pay off attackers to leave you alone or to get water and snacks from vending machines.
- Whatever vehicle you’re using to get home, you may have to abandon it. There won’t be time to think about whether or not it is worth leaving your car and everything in it up for grabs, if the situation demands it, you should just do it.
Before we wrap this up, let me give you one last warning. Whether or not you’ll get home safe in a disaster isn’t just about which mode of transportation you use. It is your ability to keep your cool and be able to think and move fast when it finally happens.