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A person’s home is their castle. For preppers, almost every aspect of their survival plan is centered around them being at home when disaster strikes. But what if disaster strikes while you’re away from home? Everyone spends some time away from their home for one reason or another, be it a vacation, a business trip, or visiting family for the holidays (like I will be this weekend).
The question is, how would you respond if a disaster occurred while you were away on one of these trips, and what can you do to prepare for that scenario? Here are a few tips…
Put Together an EDC Bag
An EDC (everyday carry) bag is one of the best ways to ensure you are prepared no matter where you go. First, it’s important to define what an EDC bag is and how it should be treated.
While a bug out bag can be stored in your home and is meant to be grabbed in case you have to quickly evacuate, an EDC bag is something you carry with you wherever you go. It doesn’t necessarily have to be on your person at all times, but it should be stored in a spot where it is easily accessible at all times, such as in the trunk of your vehicle.
This is important because if you don’t have your EDC bag with you when disaster strikes, it will be completely useless.
Taking an EDC bag with you while traveling shouldn’t be too much of a hassle if you already have luggage. If you’re flying, just use a larger suitcase than you normally would and put your EDC bag in there (they won’t let you carry most EDC items on the plane). As soon as you land, get it out of your luggage.
Speaking of EDC items, what items should you carry in an EDC bag? While the answer to this is wide-ranging, a few great items to consider are:
- Knife and/or multitool
- Portable water filter
- All weather blanket
- Mini first aid kit
- Over the counter medications
- Mini solar panel with power bank
- Firearm (so long as you aren’t flying)
- Protein bars
- Tactical pen and paper
- A change of warm clothes
- Anything else you might need/want in a disaster situation
A big part of disaster preparation is having the right items when a disaster strikes. If you commit to having an EDC bag with these items at all times, you’ll be better off than 99% of other people.
Use Your Wits
It’s great to have useful items in case disaster strikes, but the most useful item you have goes with you everywhere: your mind.
While using your wits is always important in a disaster scenario, it is especially important if that disaster happens to strike while you’re away from home.
Being caught up in a disaster in an unfamiliar city will require intense levels of problem solving and decision-making that will tax even those with the most honed survival instincts. For this reason, one of the most effective ways you can prepare for dealing with a disaster while away from home is to start honing your problem-solving abilities and situational awareness.
Research how to survive scenarios and environments that may not normally be applicable to you. For example, if you live in Miami, desert survival may not be something you’re concerned about, but if you’re in the middle of a road trip across the country and happen to be in the middle of Texas when an EMP goes off, desert survival skills will be crucial if you want to live.
The bottom line is, the more you know, the more you’ll be prepared for. Since travel forces you into environments and situations that are outside your normal routine, it’s important to know how to deal with every possible environment and situation in case disaster strikes while you are there.
Plan Your Trip in Advance
While knowing as much as possible is great, travelers do have the advantage of knowing where they’re traveling to, and this is information that you should put to use.
For example, if you are traveling to a small town in Idaho, take the time to learn about the place before you leave. What type of shelters do they have? What are the woods surrounding the town like, and are there any dangerous animals you need to know about? Are there any freshwater sources nearby? What about food sources?
If you are traveling outside your country, it’s important to consider how the government, as well as the citizens, will respond to a disaster. Will you be able to trust government officials to help you, or will you be better off steering clear of them? Will you be able to return home, and if so, what is your plan for getting there?
Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time will make you far more prepared to deal with a disaster than you would be if you were trying to figure it out on the fly.
While you are researching the place you’re traveling to, be sure to hop over to Google Maps and get a feel for the layout of the place. Satellite imagery has made it easier than ever access images of anywhere in the world (even POV images thanks to Google Street View), allowing you to memorize the layout of a town, city, or stretch of wilderness before you even arrive. Being able to use this knowledge to swiftly navigate your new environment could prove incredibly useful in the event of a disaster.