With the shifting climates, there are places around the US seeing a lot more frequent threats from nature than they have in the past century. Hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts. They can be scary things, but many of us are utterly unprepared.
Why? Well, it's tough to want to plan for something that might not happen. We tend to think it will all be fine until it's a bit too late.
I think I have a better idea.
Let's plan a vacation. This might be a vacation that you decide you need after a week of too much stress at work, or it might be a 'vacation' spurred by an earthquake. But if we have to be preparing for something, let's at least be prepared for something fun while we're also making sure we are prepared for when things go wrong.
For your vacation, you may well be able to find an opening in a hotel. That's great. Let's keep that on the table as an option. But if you have an emergency vacation you might need to be prepared to sleep on the side of a highway.
For this, we're going to need a tent. How big of a tent will depend on your family, and the quality you need is going to depend on the average temperature of your locale, but with Amazon or Wal-Mart you don't need to break the bank to find a decent tent. I have one that cost me $3, fits two people, and folds down to a size that can be stored under my driver's seat.
Spending the extra money on a tent that has a rain fly and a footprint will save you some misery if you are at risk for being in a particularly rainy area.
If you are truly taking an emergency vacation and your tent doesn't have a rain fly, remember that you can pull under a bridge or overpass for some protection from the rain.
A mummy-style sleeping bag with down lining will keep you warm when the temperature drops, which is critical in making sure you don't wake up exhausted from shivering and poorly rested.
Wool sweaters and rain-proof jackets. You may also want a large warm jacket depending on your climate, but remember that you need a rain resistant option for if you need to set up shelter in a downpour.
"Oh... I didn't think of that..." Yeah, I know. Worth the money every time, these can be used to dry yourself, your camp chairs, whatever, and then hung to dry.
A wool blanket can help add to your sleeping bag warmth or used beside a small fire to keep your back warm.
You need a good one. I've had a Leatherman multi-tool since like age 12, and they last FOREVER. Don't go cheap or you're going to wind up with dull blades and useless parts.
Make sure your phone works in case the system is still working. Your phone can be your map, compass, flashlight, and survival guide.
If you get into an emergency scenario it's likely to be somewhat local. You're going to want to be able to drive far enough away from that area that you can gain access to clean water and food, and if everyone is draining dry the gas stations trying to do the same, you may waste a lot of time or not even be able to find a station with fuel remaining. Keeping extra around doesn't hurt and a couple gallons can get you priceless miles in these situations.
A cup or canteen.
Your weak city slicker hands will probably want some protection while doing various cool survival tasks, as well as a little warmth.
You'll thank yourself.
Alright... I'm sorry about that. I just didn't think you'd get prepared for an emergency unless you thought it was going to be a vacation. I'm sorry for deceiving you. But now that you've got the supplies, you are in fact ready to get out there and take an emergency vacation and get away from it all if you need to.
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