Grid-up bugouts of the non-universal TEOTWAWKI type (more like Hurricane Katrina) allow you to take advantage of modern infrastructure even if you have limited means. If your escape happens during a time where resources allow a hotel may be a better choice for those who have lost their primary residence (rural or urban) and do not have a fallback location yet. In the event of a major power outage the cellular infrastructure has several days of generator power at each tower so the ease and reliability of mobile telephony may have advantages over ham radio for contacting family. In unaffected areas ragged dirty survivors and strange vehicles may be treated with suspicion a good appearance is key when interacting in normal areas. The following are some things to consider for your Bug Out Bag (BOB) — also known as a Get Out Of Dodge (G.O.O.D.) pack:
Think about getting a plan that includes Internet make sure that your phone supports Bluetooth or IR, a data cable which works with your computer will also work. I suggest having a paid up prepaid SIMM chip taped in the battery cover purchased cash from a convenience store in case you need to switch phone numbers. A 1-800 type calling card for pay phones is a very useful tool.
PDA or Laptop:
Having access to web information has clear advantages, make sure you have car charger if in a vehicle. If in a pack PDA with a keyboard makes more sense wi-fi or cellular telephone connection will get you online.
Both a AA/AAA/9V battery charger and power cables for your gadgets keep you going, A crank charger is an excellent idea especially for your cellular telephone.
Available worldwide (both 120 and 220 VAC models) this small tool will heat water to boiling quickly or heat a bucket of water to bath/washing temperature in about ten minutes.
A flat universal sink/tub stopper and a lighter bungee type clothesline are all you need to keep your clothing presentable if you must interact with the otherwise normal world. Dish soap works very well for hand washing.
A standard [loose fitting] car cover often has the power to make your car somewhat invisible, in a suburban/urban neighborhood especially in sunnier areas these are more common.
Most important is that it makes the vehicle anonymous even if you need to sleep inside you are mostly protected from security or police or neighbors shining the vehicle at night.
A USB type keychain drive [commonly called a “thumb drive” or “stick”] allows access to your files, even in a library. Reduced size hard and scan copies in a double ziplock of marriage, military, birth, home and vehicle titles, education docs, certifications, licenses, resumes, previous employer and finance info are high on the list of docs to have.
Computer files can also be stored on email or file storage sites.
If possible have duplicate ATM/debit cards as well as credit cards in your BOB. Several hundred dollars in mixed bills cash several sealed opaque pouches is a good idea too.
Eating out at restaurants may be convenient but is a terrible waste of cash unless Uncle Sam is picking up the tab. Cook using your immersion boiler or in the coffee maker provided with most rooms many recipes are available on the net, avoid the temptation to use a liquid fuel stove inside for obvious safety reasons.
[JWR Adds:] The majority of your cash should be carried in a money belt, especially if think that you might end up in a public shelter. You will probably want the majority of it in the most compact form available–large denomination bills. Here in the U.S., we are unfortunately limited to $100 bills–the largest denomination in circulation. However, in Canada C$500 bills are still in circulation, and in Europe there are EU500 bills. Both of those take a little searching to procure, but are generally available without paying a premium.] About money, if you become displaced you likely will have a very high cash burn rate as well as loss of work income all add stress especially if you have family worries included. A single male may find shelter in a youth hostel or less secure in a low rent hotel. Both options leave you wide open to loss of your gear to theft. Keep your vehicle in mind as a shelter. A much better idea is to be in contact with your particular religious community in the place you are staying and be placed with a family. This, or a real hotel are the most viable options open to a displaced family.