*Trials of a Probie*
Or... Why Prior Planning is a Good Thing
By: GamblingGuy
24 April 2012

As a brand new probie, and somewhat overwhelmed at the prospect of being able to contribute, and realizing that although I thought I knew stuff, I don't, I decided that I should start testing my preps.

The problem was what to test? I finally settled on a nice, simple scenario:

Something has happened and I have to get home from work without benefit of my truck...

Now of course I have carried a bag in the truck for years that has the basics of a get home kit, so I knew that I was covered for good shoes, warmth and snacks should I need them. As a plus, it's only 4.5 miles from my office to the house and I knew that I could walk that easily. I decided to leave the office at 1645. I foresaw a nice quick win in doing this.

Of course, nothing goes as planned. So, I got down to the truck to pull the bag and swap shoes and get the heavier jacket. First off, I had forgotten that I took the bag out of the truck that morning to take the truck in for servicing. Frak... Being full of myself and not wanting to bail out on my first self-assigned task, I decided to do it anyway. Let me mention here that I was wearing wingtip shoes, slacks, button down shirt and a light jacket. Oh, and it was 39 degrees. I also grabbed my computer backpack as a substitute for not having my get home bag (for the weight).

I have always prided myself on situational awareness, but it looks like I need to work on that too.

I have always known that, about a block away from the office, is a sketchy neighborhood. But I've never really cared as I whizzed on by. In that one block I was offered crack/meth twice and noticed several individuals looking at my computer bag with what I will assume were less than honorable intentions. Although nothing came of it, I noticed that my head was now on a swivel and the nice little walk home was starting to be a bit more interesting than I had assumed it would be.

Next on the hit parade was walking by the local state university and a bunch of off campus housing. Although nothing happened on this trip, I can't help but wonder how all of those young 'ladies' and 'gentlemen' will be acting in a real emergency. And let's not forget that this campus did have an Occupy Wall Street contingent. I did notice a railroad track and right-of-way that might be viable as an alternate route. I will have to do some more exploring.

Not much happened the rest of the way home, except it got colder and, of course, started to rain a bit. Okay... The weather was miserable.

Lessons learned:

  1. I have already started putting together another get home kit and will store it in the office.

  2. There is no way I want to walk that far in dress shoes again.

  3. Need to explore my new town a lot more and find alternate ways to get home.

  4. Need to look at getting a bicycle to stash at the office.

  5. Most importantly, I need to pay much keener attention to what is going on around me.


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