Getting Back Home in a Crisis

I’ve read – not to mention written – countless articles on bugging out during an emergency. I’ve also read – not to mention written – too many articles to count on hunkering down following a disaster.

Here’s what I don’t see or hear too much about: getting back home during a crisis. I’m not sure why this subject is ignored so often. If you do any traveling for business or pleasure, or engage in getaway weekends now and then, there is a decent chance you might be away from your home when an emergency hits.

If that’s the case for you when a disaster strikes, regardless of whether it’s a hunkering down crisis or a bugging out crisis, you are probably going to need to get back home first before you can deal with the emergency in an appropriate manner.

So, the question becomes, what do you need to keep with you when you travel – presumably in your vehicle – that will help you return home after the SHTF? Let’s look at 10 of these items, most of which are a good idea to keep in your vehicle even if you rarely travel.

  • Clean drinking water and, just as important, a portable water purifier and/or water purification tablets.
  • Emergency food. Store shelves will empty quickly, so you need enough food in your vehicle to get you home.
  • Navigation devices and maps. You will probably know your way home from wherever you are in an emergency, but some roads could be unusable, which might force you into unfamiliar territory.
  • Family emergency plan. Keep a copy of this plan in your vehicle so that you are following the same plan that family members at home are following as you try to get back to them.
  • Extra clothing. This would include hiking boots, several pairs of white socks, a coat, hat, gloves, and extra sets of shirts, pants and underwear.
  • Cordage. Paracord is preferable due to its strength. There are many potential uses for rope, so make sure you have plenty of it.
  • First-aid kit. Be sure to include plenty of bandages and gauze pads, antibiotic ointment, oral thermometer, tweezers, non-latex gloves and much more.
  • Flashlights and batteries. A disaster could take out the electrical grid, so be prepared to provide your own light.
  • Fire starters. A Bic lighter may be all you need in this situation, but having a few magnesium sticks in your trunk can’t hurt.
  • Miscellaneous items. I could list hundreds, but for the purpose of this article, let’s just leave it at duct tape, aluminum foil, a poncho, a hunting knife, and a gun and ammo if legal in your state.

The possibility of a disaster occurring while you are away from home is yet another reason to keep your vehicle’s gas tank full at all times. Always be ready to hunker down or bug out… but never forget about getting back home first.


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