Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Getting Prepared for Beginners Series #4 Getting to My Family

Just a map of an area close to where I am.

Like I told you last week, my first concern in an emergency is to get to my family and make sure they are safe and do everything I can to keep them safe.

Part of accomplishing this is know where your family is, at least the general area. I am not telling you to stalk your family. What I am saying is know where your family should be.

My wife and I both work. We work different shifts and my wife works at a hospital. In the event of a major emergency, my wife is to report to work if possible. This places my need to be at home even higher.
My work is 27 miles away from my home. Due to all of the routes that I could take, my drive time is right at 45 minutes with no stops.

There are at least 5 routes that I could take to get home, only two of them consist of only major hiways. The other three are primarily back-roads. Back-roads have benefits but they also have drawbacks. Benefits include much less traffic, not as likely to have wrecks, and normally several ways to work around problems. Drawbacks include easier to be blocked and if you do have any problems it could take longer for help to arrive.

To illustrate my point I will tell a story. Last year there was a storm coming. I left work to try to get home before the storm hit. I was traveling in my normal path when I noticed that people were turning around at the bottom of a hill. A tree was across the road. No big deal. I turn around and go home a different way.  
As the storm begins to hit, I watch a tree fall across the road in front of me. I turned around only to find a tree had fallen behind me as well. There were 4 or 5 vehicles caught between the two downed trees. Luckily, one person was pulling a trailer with a backhoe on it. He was able to unload the backhoe and move the tree off the road. 

Lessons learned from this experience:
  • Have at least 3 routes to get home.
  • Know all of the routes well (travel them occasionally.
  • If weather is an issue, take a chainsaw with you.
  • Have a backpack with basic supplies.
  • Make sure your cell phone is charged.
  • Be prepared for anything that is likely to occur.

Why the backpack?

Those of you who live in the southeast, will remember what some news stations called Snowmageddon 2014. There were people trapped in interstates for over 19 hours in both Birmingham and Atlanta. If these people had had some basic supplies there time dealing with this situation would have been a lot easier.
We will talk more about my backpack and what I have in it in the weeks to come.

like I said I work 27 miles away from home. if something traumatic were to happen while I am at work and with the average adult walking speed of 3 miles per hour it would take me 9 to 10 hours to get home. So, you can see that it is very important that I get as close to home as possible before I resort to walking. Every 3 miles I can drive saves me an hour of walking.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties a 30 mile road march was no big deal. I have done them. Now I am in my mid forties and even though I am in decent shape for my age, walking 27 miles would hurt really bad. Keep this in mind. Your age should play a part in your planning.

I hope this series is helping you to form your...

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More Posts in this series:
#17 A Case for Long-Term Preparedness

If you would like an incredible ready made Emergency Car Kit, This one is tough to beat.