Something happened to the main power feed for my town, and then the backup power feed failed. Someone said it was related to the wildfire about 15 miles north of here, but I do not have any proof of that.
First thing I realized was that we do not have a radio here at work that works off batteries. Once outside power is cut, we lose all communications with the outside world. My boss pulled out a hand crank radio, but the hand crank was locked up to the point where the handle could not be turned.
I thought about getting a $10 am/fm radio with some lithium batteries to keep at my desk. The power does not go off very often, but when it does it would be nice to get some news from the local radio station.
Second thing was that I needed a flashlight. I have a small AAA light on my key ring, but something a little larger would have been nice. My little AAA light does good for close in work, like plugging computer wires into the back of a computer, or lighting up a small room. To make sure the battery has plenty of life, I used an energizer lithium battery.
A hand crank flashlight would probably do good, but when you want to light up a road or a field, nothing beats a good 200 lumen light.
Third, I need a water bottle to carry water in case I had to walk home. Its only a few miles from where I work to my home, so it would have been an easy walk. The only real issue would be the 100 degree heat and water. There is a puny little 16.9 ounce / .5 liter bottle of water on my desk, but I would like to have something like a 32 ounce bottle of water for the walk home.
Fourth, the phone lines where overwhelmed. When I tried to call my wifes cell phone I got the classic “all circuits are busy” message.
Fifth, even though the power came on about 30 minutes before lunch, jack-in-the-box, mcdonalds and sonic were either closed of their computers had not come back on yet. Sonic could not even serve a couple of teas because their computers were down, same with jack-in-the-box, and mcdonalds was closed.
It was amazing to me how a small little power outage could disrupt peoples lives so much. A lot of places that pay their employees by the hour closed and sent their people home.
I do not have what some people call a “get home bag”. I work about 4 miles from my house, so walking would not be a big deal.
My wife and I carpool to work. She drops me off in the morning, then picks me up on the way home. If we met anywhere, she would probably drive by here to pick me up.
Get Home Bag Ideas
If I had to walk home, here are some items that I would like to have in my get home bag.
- 32 ounce water bottle
- Rain poncho – even if its a light duty one
- LED light, something like a Surefire G2X Pro
- Mainstay rations
- Road map
- Phone number / contact list
- Rope – 550 cord
- Small first aid kit
- Paper, pen and sharpie / felt tip magic marker
- Money – at least $20
- Pocket compass
One of the first packs that comes to mind is the Maxpedition Noatak
The Maxpedition Noatak is large enough for all of my basic gear + some. The built in compartment for a water bladder is a plus, and then there is a place for a 32 ounce water bottle.
If I wanted to, the 32 ounce water bottle could be turned into a personal survival kit, and just use the water bladder to carry water.