Letter Re: Getting Home, by D.K. Vet


I enjoyed the article by D.K. Vet on the topic of getting home while traveling away from home. I often travel for work as well, and I plan for getting home in much the same way as the author. One specific issue that has always concerned me, and I hoped would have been addressed by the author, is the challenge of getting back into one’s hotel room to access my “get home bag” in the event that a power outage happens to occur while I’m out of my room. As most of your readers likely know, nearly all modern hotels now use electronic access cards for entering locked hotel rooms instead of traditional hotel room keys. How would you suggest one get back into his/her room if the power is down and these electronic access keys no longer function? Thank you for your consideration of this question, and many thanks for the excellent material you provide on a daily basis. – R.B.

HJL Responds: The hotel card entry system on the individual doors is powered by batteries. When the power goes out, the doors will still work for as long as the normal battery lasts. That should give you plenty of time to retrieve your belongings, unless your door is already running on weak batteries. In any case, almost all doors still allow key access so that the manager will always have access. What is not known is the effect of an EMP upon such a system. Since there are no wires connected to serve as an antenna, they may survive such an event just fine. The programming machine is generally powered by regular electricity, so no new programming will occur unless alternative power is restored.