Being away from home when the SHTF……

As I write this I am sitting in a hotel room approx 160 miles from home. I considered the question – “What if the SHTF while I was away from home?”

There are more questions going through my mind.

What could the SHTF event be?

– Would phone lines or email still be up so I could contact my family?

– Would there be electricity?

– Would the person I drove here with be able to drive back home? Would the roads be passable?

– Would marshall law and curfews be enacted?

– Could I walk all the way home? Could I find a bike to ride?

– Would the small amount of supplies be enough to get me home along with some foraging from the hotel and along the way?

– Would my family be there when I arrived?

– Would my non-prepper wife know enough to do some of the right things until I get there?

Oh crap.

I don’t have the answers. I have a soft briefcase with a few supplies but not what I would ideally need. Not even close really. Due to the circumstances of my trip I could not haul a full-fledged Get Home Kit.

I have some things to think about, plan and do when I get home. One of the most important of which is to better prepare my wife.

Take care all –

Rourke


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15 Comments

  1. As always information that most of us never think of. Being away from home in s SHTF scenario is similar to my personal fear of being in an earthquake while driving over a bridge. I know, the chances are much less of either happening to me, but both situations are out of our hands. Any prepping done to survive either is more than the rest of the population will do.

  2. Sometimes its good to get away, it seems to make things a bit clearer. Sadly it sometimes makes your gaps in your preps seem a bit wider than you would like them to be. Good use of your down time on your trip though. Hope you have a great time while away. Yep you need to get your wife better prepared for those times you might not be at home. Great post and an excellent reminder too.

  3. Good questions and I’ve asked them myself when I was in a similar situation. As a result, I created several “processes” or mission orders that would be executed in my absence in the event of a crisis. In order to keep a serious subject light-hearted, I gave the processes silly titles that would hopefully relate to the crises at hand. For instance, the procedures for losing our electricity was called Operation Candelabra and listed the order of tasks that needed to be completed, to include obtaining personal sidearms and explained why, citing several real life examples.

    Good on you to plan for shtf even when you’re not there.

  4. All great points that I have thought about myself. It’s very difficult to be prepared on a business trip that includes a airplane. I like to travel light with no carry-ons, which means that prepping items are some of the first to go. I’m usually a bit nervous the entire trip. A recent trip that was via person auto was so much nicer because I was able to take a full bag in the trunk. Your prepper press seems to be the perfect place to do a quick article or e-book about how to remain prepared while on a business trip that includes a flight (but don’t tell me to ship my ready bag to my hotel at $30 each way!). Thanks

  5. I travel a lot, and usually fly. That means a lot of the things I would have in the BOB are not available. However, keeping in mind Dave Canterbury’s C’s, I can carry cordage (paracord bracelet), cover (waterproof anorak), container (water bottle), cutting (really? yes, a small pair of sewing scissors are allowed by TSA), combustion (you can’t take a lighter, but no one has ever cared that I have a ferro rod), clarifying (e.g. water purification tabs), communication (cell phone and a compass/whistle), and consumption (I have at least two granola bars and some tea bags).

    In addition, I have some first aid supplies, a filter mask, and some gloves. So bugging in (preferred) or out are covered for as much as 72 hours. I carry a small amount of cash in small bills, and 90% silver dimes.

    But more importantly, I know the routes for evacuation wherever I go, and local contacts to find if I have to stay a while. My family knows what to do on their end (stay or go), and we have pre-defined rally points as well as friends/relatives to contact if we can get a message out. They have ham radios; I really can’t carry one very well when I travel. But I do have a small SW radio with SSB so I can listen.

    This cannot possibly prepare us for everything. The best preparation one can do is spiritual because all of us will have our final day here on Earth sometime. Best to do some preparation for the imperishable pending life after this one.

  6. Network my friend and try and get at least one in an area/state so something might be possible. This is also a strong argument for Skills vs Stuff which is the common “prepper” trend. Skills will take you across the Country and stuff helps but may not be possible. 160miles aint that far, till ya start walking anyway LOL, but maybe you could find a place to ride out the storm till safe travel was possible. Forums and e-mails are great but face to face is where it’s at because you can show up here but till I can validate your stuck like chuck. You give up OPSEC but it’s a trade and only you can decide if it’s worth it.

  7. Good questions! I’m not much of a traveler these days but my wife travels some for her job. I’ve tried to pack a small bag for her with first aid, light, travel food and a multi-tool. That’s all she’d let me get away with. Being the non-traveler up until recently (more reliable vehicle) I’ve still always kept an extra pack with supplies, water and extra clothes in my truck. Then there’s my EDC bag so hopefully I can take care of myself for a couple of days. I hope that I don’t find myself having to walk home from somewhere but if it comes down to it I know how. At home I tried to put together kits for both of us along with a some supplies beyond our normal pantry. This includes flashlights all over the house (I likes me a good flashlight!!) I’ve tried to make it all clear and easy and since its just the two of us now it should be easy but who can say when things fall apart for a while. You make the best plans you can and hope that you have the mental and physical ability to implement them if/when the time comes. I really like the mission statement idea with the funny names…I should try that on my better half…hah!
    Good discussions as always.

  8. Everyone in the “prepper community” tries to prepare as best we can and to the level we are comfortable with. Some times, for some reason like work, family or vacation we have to travel far from home and the majority of our supplies and comfort zone.

    I think you came up with some good questions and I’m betting you will work out some good answers that fit into your life and level of preparedness. What people feel comfortable taking on a trip will vary from person to person.

    I sure know the feelings you described in your post Rourke. I get a little uneasy driving around town with anyone who is not a prepper because I know there’s nothing in the vehicle other then my EDC.

    If you end up making any changes I’d enjoy reading an update post.

  9. You raise a concern that I have as well. I travel on business alot (22 weeks total in 2011). The locations I travel to are spread all over North America from Florida to Quebec in the east and Brtish Columbia to California in the west and several locations in between. I tend to believe in an economic meltdown that the signs would be clear early enough for me to avoid the travel. Some things are better done in person, but there are times when WebEx will suffice. An economic melt down is what I feel is the most likely SHTF trigger. But, God forbid, we were hit with an EMP while I was traveling by air 400+ miles from home with only what I could get through the TSA. You have to have the family prepared to survive without you.

    If you feel you have the skills, but would still need your full BOB or GHB to eventually make it home, then you might consider shipping your GHB via UPS or FedEx to your travel destination in advance and then back home again after the trip. To some this likely sounds really paranoid and expensive to ship a 40 to 50lb pack several times a year “just in case”, but what else are you going to do?

  10. Travelling in anything but your own vehicle has become fairly-hellish over the past decade-or-so.

    If you have a regular travel-schedule, you could possibly make friends in the area and ask “OK if I leave/ship a backpack here, in case I need it next time ?”. Might be worth a shot.

    Luckily for me, I haven’t had to take a train to NYC, or fly to Altanta, Boston, Minneapolis or Detroit on 2-days notice in a few years, and I’m happy about that. A few personal trips, with my vehicle-kit, long and short-term EDC kits and actual luggage pack 🙂

    For flying:
    If you have a little notice, and a little cash, you can at least Fed-Ex overnight a multitool to your hotel in your name and back, so you aren’t utterly “tool-naked’. Purchase a butane lighter as soon as you cross the TSA-barrier when you land. Save your ticket-stuff and receipts – dry tinder. No one ever questioned a bunch of energy bars and a plastic trash bag in an empty “Nalgene”-type water bottle wrapped in duck tape or some paracord in my carry-ons. Be prepared to write-off your home preps if you are more than 100 miles away. Hopefully, if you have family at home, they know what to do.

    Do what you can to protect yourself, and try to get home or to your BOL.

  11. Just a quick up date on TSA security at airports. You can carry a lighter on board an airplane through security (bic type only no zippos) and or matches. small screw drivers and cuticle scissors, any liquid under 3oz. hand sanitizer, shampoo, toothpaste etc.
    You can in checked bags have, tools this includes multi tools, knives etc.
    You can even check a rifle but you need to plan ahead, and fill out the necessary paperwork, This is how hunters are able to use their firearms on hunting trips to other states (depending on the state regulations). Or you can have them shipped to a local gun shop from your gun shop.
    I travel quite a bit for work, (not always to the same destination), as soon as I know where I’m going, I start looking for Army surplus stores, and gun shops that are local to where I am.
    Some places you truely are on your own, but others you are not…just plan ahead scope out the lay of the land and find what you need. You will find some very interesting characters, and make some friends along the way.
    …..Just my two cents……

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