Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Prepare: What If You Had To Walk Home?

I work about 20 minutes from home. That's 20 minutes, by car, without traffic or roughly 15 miles.

While stuck in traffic this morning, it occurred to me: "What if I had to walk home?". Let's say there was an EMP burst, solar flare or other event which rendered most modern transport useless? What if the roads were closed by the authorities (like how 9/11 grounded all flights) and people were told to stay put or walk at their own risk?

Fortunately for me, it's a straight shot from my office, to the main road, to my home and the weather mostly cooperates. However, what if I had to walk?

First, I try to wear well broken in shoes to work and I always keep a pair of athletic shoes in my car. So my personal transportation mode is covered.

Next, I generally dress for the season and keep some backup clothing in the car for "just in case".

So my first concern would be about what to bring with me and how to carry it. I carry my work stuff (laptop, etc) in a backpack. The first thing I would do is dump all the heavy electronic junk and leave it at work. Laptop, power cable, extra chargers, etc would all go in my desk. Next I would comb through my bag and remove any extra unneeded weight. Papers, notes, pads, envelopes, etc. would all go into the desk as well.

Then I would prioritize what I am carrying. Does every object provide for either food, water, navigation, heat, light, clothing or personal aid? If not, it stays.

Then I would take what I needed from work to augment my personal supplies, both in my bag and in my soon to be abandoned car.

There are always sodas and bottled water in the break room. Based upon my walk, I would take a minimum of six bottles of water and fill up any other containers I have in my car which can carry about a quart of water. Any more than that would weigh too much.

Next would be lightweight snacks. I carry some with me, but there's more in the break room as well. That means crackers, candy bars, etc which I can carry in my bag for the walk home.

Finally, I would want a hat, an umbrella or something else to keep the elements off me such as excess sunshine or rain if it happens.

Weapons? It depends upon the situation. Most of my route home is not through bad neighborhoods and I am a big believer in the first 24-48 hours of an emergency most are too shocked or stunned to do much of anything but wait for "SOMEONE" to come along and tell them what to do. Regardless, we all have tricks up our sleeve.

In the end, the answer is to be ready for the long walk, get prepared and start walking as soon as ready.

One more note: If at an office or school, buddy up with other walkers and go together if possible in the same direction as long as possible. It's common sense.


Frugal Queen said...

i used to walk five miles in each direction to school and back each day, it used to take me an hour in each direction. no i just walk the mile and a half each way to catch the train each day - it takes me 16 minutes each way. I then have a mile walk at the other end to work and in reverse at the end of the day - if you are prepared, then you need to practise - regards froogs

vlad said...

You might prefer the Montague folding bicycle to walking.


Anonymous said...

This is my personal nightmare. I drive an 18 wheeler from mid Michigan to Chicago for work; average 250 miles one way. I'd either have to beg or buy a bike or start walking.

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