Primarily, it was an experiment. It was an experiment in fear. It wasn’t too many years ago that I would travel without any EDC, and I had no preps at all. It wasn’t too many years ago I wasn’t paying attention to the economy, politics, etc. I wanted to test some of my own fear on this business trip. How did it work out? Well, I’m back, unscathed, with no major disaster, with the exception of the stock market decline last week, giving me the fear of economic decline. In truth, all week long, in the back of my mind I had the tingling feeling that I should have brought with my my travel EDC. It again has changed and expanded upon, which I will outline in another post, however, it is my safety net when traveling, and as it seems, gives me mental solace while traveling.
So, what does that have to do with my secret fears. Well, in many ways, my little experiment spawned some thought around what some of my fears as a prepper (or human being) in general are. They are a little extreme, but in the back of my mind not unlikely.
So here are a list of my fears while traveling:
1. EMP. Yes, an EMP. But not necessarily “just” an EMP. It seems I am deathly afraid of an EMP that is not isolated to a small area, but an EMP that may be detonated above the United States while I am in the air, in a plane, going my work destination. It is a certain death from 35,000 feet in the air. No amount of preps are going to save you (me) in the event of an EMP while I am in the air.
I would much rather be on the ground in familiar or unfamiliar territory during an EMP than in the air. As far fetched as some people think it is, it is close to the top of my fear list.
2. Earthquake. A real fear for me, since I spend some time in southern California pretty consistently. I have been in a couple of “light” earthquakes out there that have made the TV and Radio. In both cases they happened at night/very early morning. I slept through both. Both were on the news the next day, and both were in the 4.0 range. However, I am fearful of a much larger earthquake while on the west coast where it paralyzes ground and air transportation to getting home and not having adequate preps with me while on the road, and having to depend on government in an urban and suburban environment.
3. Economic Collapse. Yes, economic collapse, while traveling. I always try to keep an adequate amount of cash on my person while traveling. However, if the banks close, if the ATMs are not working, if the credit cards are not working, it may be near to impossible to get home in the short term. While it didn’t happen this past week, I watched the financial news eagerly wondering what might happen while on the road, wondering if I should carry extra cash in an envelope which might be enough to buy an emergency plane or bus ticket at the airport if necessary to get me home. Maybe bring with me a several of those silver coins that I have recently acquired to sell in a pinch. Note, however, there will be added weight. Sigh…
4. Riot. Deterioration of rule of law is a huge consideration. When I travel it is generally to a city. After looking at what is happening in London with the riots over the past couple of weeks, there is uncertain speculation that this is coming to a city near you soon if our country’s job and financial situation does not improve… I am not limiting riots to cities however, but generally speaking, this is where they happen, and get reported on first. Not sure I want to wake up to a riot outside my hotel while traveling.
5. Being Stranded. A few weeks ago, when I was on the west coast, I drove to Las Vegas for the weekend. Not to gamble mind you, but to visit two long time friends that coincidentally live in the Las Vegas area. During my drive through the desert to visit my two old friends, you pass many exits that seemingly go to nowhere… You pass the exit to Death Valley, etc. I look down at the thermometer on the car and see 105 degrees, etc. What if something were to happen, back to my EMP argument, if the car stops running, many or all of them stop running and you are stuck in the desert. I usually bring with me several large bottles of water in the trunk when I drive from LA to Las Vegas (I do this about once a year), but being from the northeast, my only survival training for the desert is watching Dual Survivor with Cody Lundin, co-hosting. This is only one example of being stranded, however.
6. No Communication. Based on some of the above, communication may be cut off. Not being able to know if my family and friends are okay, or let them know if I am okay is a real fear.
7. Injury. Injury while traveling during a man made or natural disaster and having to depend on medical care services that are already strained with many people waiting for medical services, is not my idea of fun. And again, while I travel to cities, mostly, this is a real possibility…
Those are my main fears while traveling… Are they founded? I think so. I think they are all realistic, personally. I thought about them a lot while traveling in southern California last week. I probably will not be traveling without my travel EDC again anytime soon. While it may not be perfect, it is certainly a little piece of mind, whether or not I may ever need it.
Did you at least carry a knife? Pepper spray? A small flashlight? A multitool?
@PrepperJim — Of course… I always carry a means to cut, build fire, see, and carry water. However, I left my “Travel EDC Kit” (https://suburbansurvivalblog.com/my-business-travel-preparedness-kit), at home. In fact it is greatly expanded, and must still be checked in my luggage while in transit. I will post a followup to this post from last year in a few days with the updated gear…
Hate to break it to you, but depending on where you’re travelling you might also fret about hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, terrorist attacks, winter storms and blizzards, heat waves, nuclear catastrophes, volcanic eruptions, comet impacts, natural diseases and pandemics, wildfires, floods, hazardous material spills, coronal mass ejections, and possible alien invasions. Have a nice day. 🙂
I do fret about those things. I was in the Pacific NW recently, I tend to focus on the disasters in the area that I am visiting at the time. i.e. if I were to go to FL this week, I would certainly worry about Hurricanes, however, this week looks like Minneapolis. As for spills, etc. They are always a concern. I was in LA last summer for business, and there was an overturned tanker with something all over the freeway. Wasn’t sure what it was, but they shut down the freeway and it took forever to get from point A to B.
I have been unemployed for over 2 yrs. I had my own business and I had to let it go to help my daughter recover from a major accident and several surgerys to help her walk again. I had the ability to do this as my better half had a secure job with a retirement plan and medical that would see us through the hard times. Now I ant even find a job. My family expects me to return to my earning status asap so they can continue to live at their old life style. Where is this going along the article lines is I carry as many EDC items with me where ever I go. I am back to using mass transit and my bike as transport. People I use as references no longer live or work at the numbers I give for them. Its getting harder to maintain prep items because we are using many of them to just get by. Recently I had major surgery and had to use a cab to get home because my better half could not take the time off to get me home. Her secure job is very threatened. I have cached items that I might have to recover just to continue to live day to day. My edc items are becoming my BOb.
@Dave, wow. I am sorry to hear you are having trouble finding a job. Your comment, however, makes me feel my fears are not so bad. This is proof that everyone lives in their own bubble, and until they get to see or hear about someone else’s bubble, they don’t understand how good they have it. What kind of work is it that you used to do? Where specifically do you live? Feel free to email me directly at jack [at] suburbansurvivalblog.com. I know a lot of people. Maybe I can talk to some people if it makes sense or they know of something in your area. I am at work at the moment, but can shoot an email to friends I have out west in the NV and AZ areas, and depending on where you live if it makes sense, it might work out or they may know someone.
I travel for a living too. Your fears are my same fears.
I carry what I can but I am going to start checking a bag and carry more.
I am very interested in your travel edc so looking forward to your post.
EMP strike while in the air is my worst nightmare and keeps me up at night sometimes.
I sometimes wish I remained oblivious to that particular nightmare since theres nothing one can do about it.
@Stacey — we clearly sped too much time in the air…
I don’t envy you, having to travel for work. I used to 50% of the time, but haven’t in nearly 6 years. Got a new job doing 8–5, M‑F 20 minutes from my house. It’s great.
Love your travel EDC. One thing that I like to have in all of my bags, is a whistle. In line with the post, I have a fear of being able to hear searchers, but them not hearing me.
Thanks for what you do here, and giving us a forum.
@Wicker67 Interestingly, a whistle is one of those items I do not carry as much as I should. Might be my ego getting in the way, but it is something so simple that should be in more of my carry…
That said, you are welcome regarding the blog. I do what I can, but the other contributing writers help out a lot too, and the sponsors keep the blog running on it’s own, so that is a HUGE help.
My fear about this happening is simply the fact that we are going to be back to where we were in the “dark ages”. People need to become more aware of this and also become more prepared. Seeing as how this month is almost over and it’s no longer going to be Preparedness month, I still feel people need to be more aware. I am constantly going to informational websites to find more out about EMP. I go to EMPact Americas Radio Blog every Wednesday and listen to their show. Wednesday October 5th, a man named Fritz Ermarth is going to be talking about EMP at 12noon. If you go to their site you can read about him and what he’s done and what he’s doing, he is a widely considered to be a true hero of the Cold War. To read more and to listen to this show when it airs; here’s the site: http://empactradio.org/pvp/episode69-fritz-ermarth/