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Preppers on Vacation

Think about your absolute worst case scenario SHTF event….and then think about it happening while you are on vacation. What is your contingency plan? How will you keep your family safe?

Think about your absolute worst case scenario SHTF event….and then think about it happening while you are at Disneyworld.

Or in Hawaii.

Or on a road trip to the middle of nowhere.

Or bicycling through Tuscany.

As a prepper, have you considered what would happen if the poo hit the oscillating blades while you were on vacation?  No matter how well prepared you are, how much food you have stored, or how armed to the teeth you are, if you aren’t where your preps are, they aren’t going to do you one lick of good.

Sometimes I think of this chilling fact and it makes me never want to leave my general vicinity.  Because the fact of the matter is, in the world we live in today, anything could happen at any time.  My feelings of security for myself and my family are in place due to my preparedness.

My husband shares the same sentiment as every time he travels further than an hour away, he takes his 72-hour bag. Non-preppers wouldn’t understand this behavior, but preppers would appreciate the preparedness mindset and know that emergencies happen when we least expect them to.

This being said, your prepping mindset should not mean that you cease to live and enjoy your life.  Travel is an enriching experience for adults and children alike and the rewards are manifold.

You can set your mind at ease by packing a vacation prepper’s kit. Remember, “It is better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.” My kit has the following:

  • Vehicle 72 Hour Kit (which always remains in the truck)
  • Local maps for destination and route
  • Sleeping bags
  • Tent or emergency shelter
  • Waterproof matches
  • Cash in small denominations
  • Hunting Knife
  • Weapons (check the laws for your destination first)
  • Basic tool kit
  • Vehicle repair items and manual
  • 5 gallons of gasoline (at least)
  • Small camp stove with fuel
  • Canned goods
  • Can Opener
  • Bottled water
  • Comfortable walking shoes for all family members
  • Extra socks
  • First aid kit
  • Warm clothing (even in the summer)
  • Documents like identification and health insurance paperwork for all family members

Of course, no matter how well prepared you are, this does not inoculate you from hardship during a disaster.  Take precautions and plan your trip carefully.  The suggestions on the following list will not all work for every vacation or situation, but you can use them as a springboard for your own travel preparations, based on your unique situation.

  1. Pay attention to the news.  Note local events.  Is there a huge event occurring at or near your destination that could result in civil unrest or riots?  Perhaps you can change the timing of your trip.  Are there hurricane or tropical storm warnings for the area that will be hosting your beachside vacation?  Rescheduling would be wise.  Let information be your guide and help you to avoid risky situations.
  2. Locate potential shelter along your route.  Carry with you an address book (a physical paper copy) that has addresses and contact information for friends or family with whom you can seek refuge along the way.  Consider mapping these locations from points in your main route so that in the event of a disaster you won’t be trying to figure out how to get there.  Let your contacts know when you will be passing through to make sure they are going to be around and are open to lending assistance.
  3. Know when to get the heck out of Dodge.  If you are in the middle of your family vacation and an event seems to be brewing, pay attention and follow your instincts.  You need only think back to the gridlocked lines of vehicles leaving New Orleans to recognize that getting out first is often the only way you will get out at all.
  4. Do not succumb to the mass hysteria.  In the unlikely event that a disaster hits while you are on vacation, your clarity of mind will put you ahead of all of the unprepared and frightened people around you.  Remain calm and think for yourself.  Avoid large groups of people and be prepared to evacuate on foot, if need be, to resist being swept into a mob, possibly separated from family members and corralled into a facility by FEMA.  (Remember the nightmare that was the Superdome?) Following the crowd may well be the most dangerous action you could take.

Mental preparedness is the key to survival in any situation.  Even when you are away from your supplies, you still have the advantage of knowledge, skills and awareness.  Your ability to immediately accept that these bad things can happen puts you a step ahead.  You will not have to waste time processing the shock of “Oh my gosh, did the power actually go out indefinitely/did a terrorist action just take place/did the city just get locked down???”  You will be immediately able to take positive actions to get your family to safety, and hopefully, home to your supplies.  Your prepper mindset will take you out of the situation one giant step ahead of the unprepared, who will still be paralyzed with shock and indecision.

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on August 13th, 2012