I wanted to add my thoughts. First, and foremost, I think speed is the key here. In the first minutes and hour(s) after some type of TEOTWAWKI event, whether CME, EMP or even earthquake or similar, human nature is such that people will be trying to get back to their own safety nets first. The time for bad guys to try to take all your swag doesn’t happen until after things get desperate.
We’ve all experienced a local power outage – when things go dark, and the house gets quiet – do you or anyone you know immediately go grab your homies and start accosting people driving through the ‘hood? No. You don’t. You just wait for the power to come back on, while constantly checking your mobile phone to make sure your battery hasn’t died. That’s because you have no idea of the seriousness of the event. It takes hours or maybe days to understand that things aren’t getting better. Even when civil unrest occurs – what generally happens is – hoodlums (and their ilk) wait until nighttime to begin any hijinks – and most of them still wait for somebody else to start the ball rolling.
Just in Time
What this means is that if you can figure out how to get home in a few hours from T-0 (TEOTWAWKI minus zero), you stand an improved chance of getting there without negative social contact. For me, assembling my breakdown .22, gearing up in full 5.11 camo, and busting out that new machete I’ve been waiting to unleash on the zombies; is more likely just an invitation to any well-meaning LEO, Armed forces personnel or almost anybody who identifies as one of the good guys — to interrupt my journey with a litany of questions or worse.
Whether you’re talking 20 miles or 100, I’d strongly suggest a bicycle, skates, a skateboard, a recumbent – almost anything that will help expedite the journey. Even if you can’t make it the whole way home, the more distance you cover in the first hours, the higher your chance of making it home unmolested.
Additionally, M.M. suggested stopping to communicate to friends/relatives your status; weigh carefully the impact of delaying your own journey any longer than you must. Emotionally distraught relatives may exert significant pressure for you to remain with them, until their family arrives back home, and extricating oneself from that situation can have far-reaching consequences.
If the trip is long enough, or you’re late enough in the day that darkness is coming, I’d consider staying the night at a friendly location and resuming the journey in daylight. But I’m not sure I’d sleep at all – as a husband and father, the idea of a SHTF event happening, and my family being under-protected at home, I have a singular focus, get home now. Speed wins. YMMV. Regards, D.P.