Preparedness for when you have flown far from home

Mission objective: Get back home. At least that’s what it will be for most situations.

I recall the September 11 (2001) attack. Many of my work colleagues became stranded in place. Why? Because they were working in other cities (having flown there). All private and commercial airline traffic was immediately grounded in the United States and Canada.

I used to fly a-lot back then. Part of the job. That day I was local. I was not stranded. Though my work mates were.

What did they do? Some of them immediately rented cars and began the drive back home. It took days (for some). But they made it.

Why am I talking about this? Well, though I personally haven’t flown in 10 years (thankfully!), I know that others who are preparedness-minded DO FLY (because of their jobs). So the question is, how do you prepare for the unknown possibilities of SHTF while you’re far away from home (having flown there)?

I’ve written a few articles on the subject. You might want to visit them and read the comments too (links at bottom). It’s been awhile since I discussed this particular topic. So I’m looking for your input so as to help others with the thought process of preparedness for this.

Things To Take With You

I’ll get the discussion going by letting you know some of the items that I used to bring along with me when I flew all over the place…

Flashlight. A good quality small flashlight ). Always kept one on the nightstand next to the bed in the hotel. Otherwise it was with me in my bag wherever I went.

Small portable AM/FM/Shortwave radio (related article). News and information will be critical immediately following an ‘event’. It will help to understand the potential scope of the problem. Better decision making that way.

A good pocket knife. I couldn’t do “carry on”, but I would tuck one in my luggage (if I had luggage other than carry-on). Always had a pocket knife as part of my EDC (related article).

Cash. 20’s (nothing larger). Cash is King. At least for awhile…

Food bars (related article – and my suggestion). Great for keeping you going.

Water. I would take at least one water bottle on the plane (not sure if you can do that anymore). Also would be sure to have some water bottles on hand during the trip.

Backpack. Instead of a traditional type of carry-on bag, I would often use a soft backpack instead. If I needed more space for the trip, I would also carry on a nice bag on wheels – extendable handle. Good quality.

Navigation. Map your way home. Today’s cell phones have excellent GPS navigation capabilities. (Getting home?). The only thing that would inhibit you in this regard might be a EMP-event (which would be total/major SHTF!), or major power outage whereby your phone battery eventually goes dead. Though a car-charger would still work (if the vehicle runs). Prior to my travel, I would look at mapping of the area. Had a good idea prior to hitting the ground where I’m going and how I might get back.

Okay, I got the ball rolling. For your flyers out there (or former flyers), what do you carry with you for preparedness, just in case? And/or what measures/precautions would you take (or do).

This content was originally published here.

Even without an SHTF scenario, our roads are teeming with drivers looking for potential targets. From criminals to assailants, the reasons you may have for evading and avoiding someone while in your vehicle are innumerable.

We use our vehicles for a vast percentage of our transportation needs, and the chances of us being attacked while in a vehicle in dangerous zones are very high. In order to travel safely in your vehicle while the threat of attack or ambush looms, you must learn the basics of evasive driving.

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A vehicle is a weapon; it kills thousands of people every year and can be wielded effectively by anyone from an angry teenager to a maniacal terrorist with little effort. Using it defensively requires much more effort and patience.

Techniques for avoiding pursuit and damage on the road are not as straightforward or as simple as they may seem. Take the time to practice and never drive beyond your abilities. Driving recklessly is as likely to harm yourself as it is others.

Disclaimer: The tactics methods we talk about in this post are unlawful and dangerous in many cases. This article is not an endorsement of the methods, nor should it be regarded as a training source. Only conduct the techniques in this article under the supervision of trained professionals and always obey the rules of the road.

Different vehicles have very different capabilities. This may seem like common sense, but it is worth saying. Having the proper vehicle goes beyond make and model, however.

The appropriate vehicle is also reliable and well taken care of. You don’t have to worry about it failing you at an inopportune moment. Clean the windows, have a full tank of gas, ensure the fluids are good to go, as well as the brakes, tires, etc.

The best vehicles for escaping a road incident or attack will be a midsize or large sedan that is low to the ground. These vehicles are the best compromise between mass, handling, durability, and maneuverability. Lighter and faster vehicles can’t handle getting bumped well, while vehicles with a higher center of gravity can roll during sharp turns and maneuvers.

The environment will ultimately dictate the optimal vehicle. Muddy backroads will have a different “best” vehicle versus the highway versus salt flats and everything in between.

Other Considerations:

You must ensure you are well-versed and comfortable in your vehicle. Like any weapon or tool you plan to use, it must feel like an extension of your body. Know how wide it is, how it turns, and feel the road through it.

Vehicle Modifications

This is where you can get a little James Bond with it. The following are some vehicle modifications suggested by the sources we used for the post:

In-Car Equipment

These are some other modifications or considerations regarding your vehicle.

Keep all gear neatly stored or tied down inside your vehicle so they don’t become a hazard or become damaged.

Basic Driving Awareness and Routines

You should already be applying the following tips in your general driving practices. Awareness of your surroundings are key to safety on the road whether or not the other drivers intend to harm you.

If a threat occurs, assess it using the five W’s:

Random attacks like those from drunken or angered drivers, those that occur in everyday life, are generally easy to see coming. Hidden ambushes from motivated individuals can be much harder to spot. Be ready and aware.

Evasive Driving Techniques and Philosophies

This is only a small example of a vast skill set. If you think of it like learning a martial art, this is the stuff you’d learn in the first month or so. It takes decades to get a black belt. However, these basic skills we are providing can be incredibly effective when properly employed (reminder, please see disclaimer).

If You are Being Followed or Have a Tail

For celebrities and politicians, being followed is a constant concern. For the everyday person, less so. But if you are well-stocked when the SHTF, you can expect your profile to rise. Sometimes you cut somebody off in traffic, use an ATM, or have the wrong bumper sticker, and they are following you home to get revenge (like in this story, or this one).

Which brings us to our first and most important point about being followed: Don’t lead them to your home or stockpiles. Don’t assume your home is where the tail began (they may only have an idea of where your neighborhood is). Don’t lead them to those you love.

Often a tail is simply a case of childish harassment, or it may be a legitimate government official. Attempt to identify the level of threat and act accordingly.

Often driving to a well lit or public area can dissuade the majority of petty tails. Never leave your vehicle or box yourself in when traveling to these areas. Lean on the horn and attempt to signal help that way.

If you believe you are being tailed, take the following actions:

To try and shake the tail:

Use legal maneuvers and speed when possible. Don’t make it known you are aware of the tail unless necessary. Giving away that you are aware may cause them to escalate tactics. Be prepared.

Evasion Tactics During a Chase

Chases can begin in many ways. If a tail knows you are aware of them and they don’t call off the tail, you can consider it a chase. The difference between a tail and a chase is simply that the pursuer knows you are aware of them—it is a cliche that they must occur at high speed (more on that in a second).

If you can’t call for help or reasonably get to a safe area without endangering your location or others at a secure location, then you must lose your pursuers on the road.

As we stated before, a “high-speed” chase is a bit of a cliche. You will not want to go above 60 mph unless necessary or on a highway. If you can’t navigate turns or avoid obstacles, you are only endangering yourself further. Drive to you and your vehicle’s realistic capabilities.

A blowout at top speeds will end your chase (and life) pretty dramatically. Be cautious of the damage and strain you are putting on your tires:

Methods for losing your pursuer without engaging in breakneck speeding:

Either through maneuvers or by using the natural flow of traffic to cut off pursuit and send them astray. Suddenly take a side street and don’t allow them time to react. If your pursuer is coming on to you quickly in another lane, use a quick stop and turn down a road away from them.

If traffic or a sudden change of direction allows you to get out of eyesight for a bit, you may be able to sneak into an alley or behind a house. Don’t get out of a vehicle, and don’t get yourself trapped in an enclosed area looking for a hiding spot. Make sure the terrain you are on is not proving tracks that give away your position.

If your vehicle can handle terrain the pursuit vehicle can not, you may need to jump a median or cross a lawn. Do so at a safe distance so you don’t damage your tires. Hedges and small fences may be passable by some vehicles but not others.

Other Tips:

Dealing with Firearms

If you think the vehicle chasing you has a firearm, you must not allow them to get alongside you and must maneuver to cut them off. Even small arms can be effective at 300 meters so get as much distance as possible (this is when going fast is allowed).

The J-turn: A Basic Evasive Turning Technique

This is an example of one of the most effective and basic evasion techniques, a reverse 180. Sometimes also called a “J-Turn”.

A Bootlegger’s Turn is similar to this maneuver but is done while still traveling forward.

Practice this technique as various vehicles react very differently to this maneuver. Conducting this maneuver repeatedly will likely damage your vehicle in some way, so judge how to practice and when to use this maneuver for yourself.

Make sure everything inside your vehicle is strapped down (including you) before trying these turns. There are a ton of high-level maneuvers you can learn.

Destructive Techniques: Ramming, Crashing and Avoiding Them

Attack EscapeSometimes contact between vehicles is invertible. Either they will try to run you off the road or you will need to get past a blocking vehicle. Practicing this can be hard without participating in a destruction derby.

Sideswiping is often just as dangerous to the vehicle coming in as to the one being swiped. If your goal is to keep moving, try and avoid any side contact. The wrong angle can send you spinning out of control.

Trained pursuers will often try and use the Pursuit Intervention Technique or PIT to stop a fleeing vehicle. This involves touching your car to the back quarter panel of the vehicle you want to stop, then accelerating at an angle into them.

To counter this technique, you must attempt to drop your speed below 30 mph where it is very hard to spin a vehicle. Real-life example of a police PIT stop.

Road Hazards, Barriers, and Ramming

Very often, an ambush will involve blocker vehicles. This occurs frequently in the third world; someone will pretend to have a broken down car to get you to stop. Sometimes robbers or assassins will purposely get in small fender benders in order to get you to stop.

Very often, you must use your vehicle as a weapon or battering ram in order to effectively escape. Doing so incorrectly can lead to the vehicle being disabled and you being killed (either through the crash or by your pursuers).

Ramming a roadblock should only be done as a last resort as even soft debris can damage your vehicle or windshield and impair your vision or maneuverability. You also don’t know exactly how reinforced a roadblock may be.

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Sources Used in This Post:

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This content was originally published here.

In a natural disaster, civil unrest, or other public emergency, being able to communicate up to 5 miles or more is very important. 

When there isn’t a working cellphone system or the internet is unavailable, it can wreak havoc. People that take their phone everywhere, or rely on it for all forms of contact with other people will be at a serious disadvantage. Sadly, as we have seen already in some disasters, these individuals can and will mentally shut down or be unable to function at all.

While many people today take their cell phones and internet access for granted, there are other effective ways to communicate in an emergency. Here are some older ways of communication that you should learn how to use.

Types Of Non-Cellular or Non-Web Radios and Phones

Many people today think of radios only in terms of their capacity to receive signals. While this is important for obtaining timely information in a crisis, there are other radios that you can use to transmit information to others that have a compatible receiver.

Codes and Why You Need to Learn Them

In a major crisis, there may be times when you will not be able to transmit information using voice and words. Instead, you may have to tap out sounds, or use a series of light flashes to communicate important information. Here are two code systems that will be well worth learning. They can be used with anything from drums to flashlights and mirrors as well as for communication over electronic networks.

Morse Code

Was invented by an American Samuel F.B. Morse, and first used in 1844. It is a relatively simple code that turns letters, numbers, and punctuation into a series of dots, dashes, and spaces.

The most important advantage of Morse Code is it’s ability to be used in almost any circumstance. It works as long as it’s possible to make a signal of some sort. Morse Code is usually transmitted by on-off keying of an information carrying medium such as electric current, radio waves, visible light, sound waves, and signal flags.

Morse Code was used extensively from the Civil War through Vietnam, and was also the standard format for ocean communications until the Global Maritime Distress Safety System replaced it in 1999. Most people will tell you that Morse Code is obsolete, and no longer worth learning. As a prepper, however, you may appreciate the following advantages:

5X5 Tap Code

This code was originally used as a way for prisoners of war, penal incaceration, and others to communicate with each other without individuals outside group knowing what is being said. It’s a short range communications system that only travels the length of the medium being sent on.

5 x 5 Tap Code is similar to Morse code in the sense that alphanumetric characters must be translated into a system of taps. The sounds can be made by tapping on anything available such as pipe, metal bars, the walls of a room or cell, or any object that can transmit the tapping. It can also be used with a Morse Code on-off sending key.

The code itself uses a square to make a 5×5 grid of letters in the English alphabet. Since the alphabet has 26 letters, C and K are both located in the top row third column spot to avoid an uneven grid.

In order to interpret the message, a listener must be able to gage the timing of the taps.

How To Use The Tap Code

To use this system each letter is identified by tapping two numbers.

As an example, to specify the letter “O” tap three times, very short pause, then tap four times, and a little longer pause.

To Spell Out The Word “HELP” In The 5X5 Tap Code

H      E       L        P

2,3    1,5     3,1      3,5

Other Methods of Communicating Over Long Distances

Aside from instantaneous transmissions, there are also other methods that will take more time. Most of these rely on the use of animals. These methods can be used during or after an EMP as well as other situations where no electricity or electronic transmissions are possible.

Homing Pigeons

These pigeons have been used for centuries to carry messages back to their home cages. Pigeons are good at remembering where they live and figuring out how to get back home even if they are transported a great distance away.

To use homing pigeons, your transmission point will be to a pre-set location that the pigeon has been trained to return to. When you need to send messages, just place the message in the pigeon’s message case and strap it to the pigeon’s leg, then let the pigeon go.

Homing pigeons will go straight back to their cage location. They will not make side trips or divert from the course that will get them home. Surprisingly, a homing pigeon can travel faster than a car over short distances. Unless people are looking for homing pigeons or notice the message case, it is not likely the bird will be intercepted.

Despite their advantages, there are some limitations to using a homing pigeon. First, they can get lost. Predators can also capture and kill them. You may need to send multiple birds with the same message, especially if they are going through a dangerous area.

Horseback Pony Express Type Mail/ Communication Carriers Or Mule Trains To Carry Mail

Today, just about everyone takes text messaging and emails for granted. In a major emergency, you may have to go back to paper letters. Even the post office or other mail carriers may have to rely on animals such as horses and mules to carry mail from one location to another.

Where we use trucks, trains, and planes to carry mail at varying speeds, this type of system might use relays of horses and couriers for express mail. Other mail and packages might be placed on freight wagons and then dispatched to local carriers.

Before the arrival of cell phones and the internet, people were able to communicate with varying levels of speed and efficiency. In time of need, we can use these older systems to transmit and receive vital information. The important thing is to remember how these systems work, how to set them up, and how to use them.

This content was originally published here.