When the unexpected happens, everyone is basically caught off guard, then they begin to react. They will rush to prepare, and it will become chaotic, dis-orderly, and confusing. Just attempting to mobilize to grocery stores, gas stations, or other resources can become extremely difficult, and in some cases, dangerous.
Understanding how, when and where to navigate can aid in difficult times, or disaster scenarios will improve your success rate, while positioning you as a leader to those around you.
In a crisis, the typical methods of getting around may not be available or reliable, so have a plan to maintain mobility, as you will need to regularly venture out beyond your shelter or home.
If a disaster is prolonged beyond a couple days, some transportation will not be an option as fuel or electricity may not last. As options become fewer, the traveled distances will become shorter, so plan to have your bases covered with multiple options as needed.
Here are the general ways we typically mobilize, and how disaster may affect them: • Public transportation: Buses, trains, trams, trolleybuses, ferries, or rapid transit all require elecrtricity or fuel. When the grid is down, or fuel supply is delayed, these will not be available beyond the reserve fuel, or battery back-ups. • Motor Vehicles: RV's, cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, and ATVs Taxi cabs, Uber, ect. also rely on some type of energy, so we can rely on these per our personal fuel and electric reserves. • Animal-powered transport: Horses/mules/donkeys (Buggy/Wagon), Dogs (sled) will not be as affected by fuel or electricity, but will require food and water. • Human-powered transport: Cycling, Skateboarding, Roller skating, Rickshaw (passenger buggy), Skiing, Snowboarding, Ice skating, and Sledding will be avaible providing the weather and surface conditions comply. • Foot/Walking are always an option, but distance and weather will be huge factors. As your options may vary by region, be sure to analyze the available ways you can still get around in the event that powered vehicles are not an option, as even the most reliable vehicles require energy and fuel to operate. If fuel is unavailable, alternative transportation will be required, so don't get stranded. Be aware of how far you can get with a full tank of gas in your vehicle, and try to plan the best times to travel in order to avoid heavy delays, and wasting fuel.
FUEL PLANNING and STORAGE
Obviously, available public transportation and motor vehicles will be our first option, then the ones that require human or animal power will be the last resort, but there are ways to extend the window of usage for motor vehicles if we plan ahead. If you calculate and plan using an average of 20 miles per gallon for automobiles and ATVs, storing 10-50+ gallons of fuel will help you if gas station pumps are down, or if there are supply chain issues. The length of time fuel will remain usable in your gas tank or gas can is dependent on the fuel type. Without using a stabilizer, regular gasoline has a shelf life of three to six months, while diesel can last up to a year before it begins to degrade. On the other hand, organic-based Ethanol can lose its combustibility in just one to three months due to oxidation and evaporation. However, if you use fuel stabilizers, it will slow oxidation and volatile compound evaporation, and extend the shelf life of the gas. A stabilizer can lengthen gasoline’s shelf life to as long as 1 to 3 years, depending on which product you use. The other important thing to know about fuel stabilizers is that they work best when they’re added to new gasoline. They can’t slow the degradation of old gasoline, and they can’t make contaminated gas work effectively. Sta-Bil has a good gas stabilizer, and diesel stabiler (SOLD SEPARATELY) Generators require fuel, but can assist with charging electric powered vehicles in emergency situations. NOTE: It's not recommended to charge an EV using a gas generator, but if you have an inverter to stabilize the current, you can use a gas generator. Also, remember using solar power may help generate your own electricity to charge your electric bike or car.
Horses, mules, donkeys, or sled dogs are a timeless solution to getting around as we all know, but few of us have animals that we use like this anymore. However, they are definitely a reliable source of transportation if it comes to this. In cold snowy regions, dogs are a popular way to move cargo, supplies or people around using sleds. It is a good idea to know the closest resource for these alternative methods, as well as how long it takes to get there by foot if you had to walk to get there. Time can be of the essence, and underestimating the travel time and distance to commute to a ranch, farm, or stable can be surprising if you've only ever driven there by automobile. Chart the distance on a map and make a simple plan of how you'll make the trip while you have time and resources to do so.
When fuel and solar charging isn't available for automobiles, a bicycle will increase your range and ease to mobilize. These are inexpensive and available almost anywhere, and when coupled with a backpack, food and supplies can be both quick and efficient. A small buggy for supplies, or even a passenger is an additional level of readiness. Remember to at the very least pack a patch kit, and compact hand-air pump in case of a flat tire. A compact set of light tools may also come in handy for basic repairs. In an urban setting where there is plenty of concrete or asphalt, skating, rollerblades and skateboards are small, light and compact solutions that make it much easier to get from point A to point B. These are budget friendly and can often be readily found at yard sales, thrift stores, or departments stores. Remember, when typical transportation methods are not an option, these will be in high demand, so get them as soon as possible or foot travel will be your next option. If walking becomes your last option, be sure to protect your legs, ankles and feet! If you must walk long distances, your footwear needs to be up to the challenge. Here are some basic points to consider when planning: • The different seasons will either bring heat, cold, or moisture, so consider thermal boots for winter, waterproof for damp conditions, or sandals for hot/wet climates. • Distance will impact your planning. Some shoes will actually cause more damage than good, so prepare with durable, comfortable footwear if you are walking a long way. • Terrain will be a big factor as going uphill and downhill can cause major foot pain. Actually going downhill is more painful than going uphill if your boots or shoes are not appropriate. Be sure to protect your ankles and arches if rocks, or uneven ground will be in play. Twisting an ankle can lead to serious consequences, so do not trail hike in tennis shoes. Wear protection for your legs as well, as briars, thorns and other things can cause injury to bare legs or inadequate pants. • Weather will play a huge factor in your walking travels. Rain, ice, temperature shifts, wind and heat will not stop for you, so remember to take some type of rain guard like a raincoat/poncho, lUV protection like sunscreen and chapstick, travel size first aid kit and adequate provisions in the event that you become delayed with weather. Many have lost their life because they underestimated the changing weather potential for their journey and became trapped and unprepared.