Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Get Home Kit

If you are a typical American you'll spend nearly half your time away from home. A third or more of your day is at work and then there is the time you spend running errands and being with friends.

And you know what that, is perfectly fine. You have a life that is worth living. We are social animals and we aren't meant to be bunkered down at home all the time.

That just means you need to realize that you need to have an alternative way home in case something goes wrong.

The most common problem is not your car dying but someone else having an accident and you regular way home is all clogged up with a traffic jam.
Have you tried using some alternate routes to and from work?
How did that work will the last traffic jam you avoided? The first time I tried an alternative route during a traffic jam, I found I had picked the same one everyone else had. So it was slow going as well. I then scouted out yet another route that worked better the next time.

Some of you bike to work, having an alternate is great if the weather goes really bad quickly.  I was folding laundry while watching a BYU-Utah football game it was a nice day lots of people in shorts when a snowstorm blew in. It went from sunny and 72°F to freezing with snow in half an hour.

The simplest Get Home kit is calling your family or a friend to get a ride home.

It could also involve carrying enough cash for cab or bus fare home and programming a taxi and mass transit phone numbers into your cell phone.

If your home is not too far away; keeping a spare pair of walking shoes and socks and a bottle of water at work is useful too. A walk is much more pleasant if you have something to drink. New York City has been evacuated a few times this decade and a lot of people did it on foot. Many store owners were wonderful and gave away bottles of water to the evacuees, but one of the mistakes a lot of them made was throwing the bottle away when it was empty. Hang on it so you can refill it, often for free. A few energy bars would have been helpful too.

I had a co-worker that bicycled to work, who kept a spare bike tire and some other small parts in his desk in case of emergency. Another one got a cheap used bike and kept it locked up at work as an alternative ride home. He painted it flat brown and nobody tried stealing it.

Finally, there was the guy who had all the stuff in the back of his truck to rebuild the engine in his truck. He was always tinkering with his truck so it convenient for him to do. He'd even take a spare differential when he went off-roading. While I carry some old belts and a partial bottle of windshield wiper fluid, I wouldn't go nuts like that.