This is a guest post by Hal B and entry in our non-fiction writing contest – where you could win $100 cash.
Most of your readers already have some level of preparedness with hopefully extra long shelf life food and water or are considering putting together a Bug Out Bag, Get Home Bag, preparing a retreat or a combination of some of the above.
One concern seldom considered is a threat, natural disaster or terrorist attack while we are away-on business or vacation. In most instances when away on business you will likely have only your suitcase and laptop. And, courtesy of the FSA folks, if you flew you certainly will be limited.
If on business, make sure the family is able to take care of itself should something happen that would hamper your scheduled return. A disaster response list for them is important some nothing is forgotten. Also, and assuming it’s you threatened by the crisis,they have to know that it may take days for you to clear the area, whether a major power blackout or devestation. And, evacuation should take into consideration the possibility you might prudently attempt to stop at a friend or family member’s on the way.
All this is contingent on the distance to get back home and hazards confronted.
Communications is a key benefit, both a small, portable am/fm radio so you can better determine the extent of the affected area and the best routing home. Also, ham radio can really be an asset here if you happen to be licensed.
But a different, and even more serious challenge can confront you if you’re impacted by a disaster of some sort while on the road vacationing. In this case you have the whole family to worry about. The first thing to do is try to have a local radio station on while travelling and preferably, a CB radio.
You want to know about the threat as soon as possible; the worse thing you can do is drive right into the middle of something when you could have turned off because you didn’t know what was ahead. Think about driving into a city while a riot or chemical spill was going on and then not being able to get out, for example.
And even before departing on that vacation, save some room for your emergency supplies (not enough room in this article to cover this subject) to include some easy-serve food and water. But the big issue to consider is lodging or you and the family. In any emergency you have to consider the worse case. Any-thing less will simply be easier to handle.
So, recognize that you ARE on the road, that if there is a major disaster occuring, you are only one of thousands affected! Assume the motels outside the affected area will be filled. People escaping a hurricane sometimes have to travel hundreds of miles to find lodging. In the disaster you may be confronted with the roads will likely be blocked anyway. So what are you? Nothing more than a refugee!
Hopefully, you will be contacted by the authorities who will direct you to a shelter at a nearby armory or school gymnasium. Is your travel gear separated so you can grab a some bag with toiletries and maybe a change of clothes because you are not going to be allowed to carry in the family’s five big suitcases. And maybe sleeping bags might come in handy, especially if it’s the winter season.
And if it’s not, might you want to have a family tent with you rather than sharing the night with several hundred noisy and upset people. If you’re the outdoors type, a nearby park might be a preferable option. In any case, advance thought has to be considered so you are not as exposed to whatever threat might occur when you’re possibly hundreds of miles from home and all its security.
What have you done to prepare for disaster when away from home – let us know in the comments below…