When you think of your prepping supplies, what are the most important items for your survival? To me, food, water, and a fully stocked emergency kit are pretty high up on the list. However, a printed map displaying alternate routes to avoid traffic and congested areas could be equally important to your survival as a #10 can of food!
This week we came across a great article from Commonsense Homesteading that gives advice on how you can use a map in your prepping gear to keep you out of harm’s way during an emergency. This article gives tips for how to use your map effectively if you live in the country, city, or the suburbs.
Here are some helpful tips for using a map in an emergency:
#1. Print out a map of your area, laminate it, and put it with your prepping supplies (you might not be able to rely on Google Earth, Mapquest, and GPS on your phone or in your car during an emergency).
#2. “Know your exit routes, map them. Have multiple exit routes, don’t plan on just one.” Depending on the emergency, some common routes may be unusable or totally congested. You’ll want to know what your alternatives are.
#3. Get to know your neighbors. If you live in the country, map out where their homes are within a five mile radius on your map, how long it will take you to get there, and what resources you could potentially share, trade, or sell to them in the event of an emergency. If you live in the city, get to know your closest neighbors and get their contact info. Have the contact info for local authorities.
*As our recent "Hurricane Sandy: Neighbors to the Rescue" post suggests, those who get to know their neighbors and work together with their communities are more likely to get through an emergency situation than those who do not.
#4. Know the Terrain and high-risk areas including rivers and other waterways or flood zones, bridges (which could be vulnerable to collapse), or highways prone to fog or ice.
#5. Map out routes to your family or friends for shelter. Also map routes to storage units or other places you might have supplies waiting.
For more information, tips, and tricks for getting the most out of printed maps during an emergency, check out the article at commonsensehome.com