Our biggest risk, here in sunny Kalifornia, comes from earthquakes and the stupidity of our politicians. At least we can knowledgeably prepare for earthquakes.
The last 20 years have seen me working anywhere from 25 to 45 miles from home on a daily basis. The 1989 Loma Prieta (NorCal) quake taught me some serious lessons in what I really needed to reach home or a shelter.
For those of you packing kits in autos and trucks, don't forget to add a dozen trash-can liners (8-13 gallon size) for human waste disposal. You'll need that afer a major event.
My goal is to either reach home or the home of a friend or colleauge when the highways are impassable. I'll need only up to about 24 hours to reach somewhere "safe" as I figure it. If I make it home, I have sufficient stores and equipment to live comfortably unless it takes more than 30 days to recover the area.
In my case, a 45 mile walk home would take somewhere between 12 and 24 hours (there was an 1800 ft mountain in the way). Presuming a larger event with more damage, my kit consisted of;
- Comfortable walking shoes - a must if you wear dress shoes
- Thick, cushy socks for walking.
- Thin gloves (singleweight deerskin or neoprene) for cold weather
- Lightweight windbreaker, lightly insulated. (it's Kalifornia after all)
- Hat - baseball caps are my favorite but include a watchcap for ears.
- Fire kit - matches & two small BIC lighters; plus 1 pack generic cigarettes to aid fire starting
- Web belt w/full canteen, first aid kit in 30-rd M16 mag pouch.
- Compass in case I have to "off-road" navigate.
- Folded area map (of the area I'm travelling)
- Pocket knife - multifunction or leatherman tool
- Sheath Knife - my Gerber Mk-II
- Small pistol w/holster - either a .22 or 9mm
- Magazines, charged, 2ea.
- AA Maglight w/lanyard to belt
- Flashlight 2-C cell in jacket pocket
- Rain poncho
- Spare batteries (2 AA & 2-C)
- Police traffic whistle for emergency signaling
- Six energy bars in 30-rd mag pouch.
- Spiral notebook & stubby pencil for writing notes
- $20 in cash with $10 in ones and two $5 bills
All of this folded and compacted into a small buttpack I carried in a motorcycle saddle bag.