Get a Map!
You turn on the news and find that a sinkhole just developed dangerously close to your neighborhood, and is growing larger by the hour. You have to bug out in a hurry! Your INCH (I’m Never Coming Home) bag is packed and ready, and you throw extra items you can’t live without in your truck (extra bag of dog food, ammo, Dorito’s) only to look down the street and see nothing but gridlock. You run back inside and fire up the PC to search Google Maps, but the internet is out. Now you have to hope your truck is sturdy enough to drive through your neighbor’s fences and garden gnomes.
There are many reasons you would need to bug out in a hurry- earthquake, flood, tsunami, bombing, volcano, etc, and you need to know how to get out fast, plus all the alternate routes. You need maps. The easiest and cheapest way to go about this is to do an internet search on Local Maps, Google Earth Maps, Map and Directions, or even just Map, and you’ll have plenty of options. Print out a detailed map showing all the routes out of your city in every direction, and maps to your Bug Out Location if you have one. Locate old Forest Service Roads. Forest Ranger maps also show stations with first aid and supplies. Also note the railroad tracks. If TSHTF in the worst way and you find yourself evading on foot, you can avoid traffic and road closures by following them. Then laminate or spray with waterproofing map silicone, or at the very least put into a Ziploc and keep in your vehicle. If you do print instead of purchase, be sure you have the most recent version. You would not want to be stuck 23 miles into a service road only to find a bridge washed out.
You will also need both a Topographical map and an extended area map in case you have to drive a few states away. The Topographical map will allow you to navigate the wilderness in case you have to be on foot. You can find Topographical maps free online, but the image will be so small on your printer paper that I strongly suggest purchasing a few. Amazon.com has great selection and pricing.
Two last points to keep in mind:
Make sure you have a compass and know how to use it. Maps are virtually useless without this skill!
Avoid GPS in a dangerous situation. Sure you can find your way, but others can find you, too. Even if the power grid fails the satellites will be circulating our planet for hundreds of years.