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#266564 - 01/14/14 03:04 PM Preparing for the Daily Commute
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Well, a year has come and gone and my maternity leave is over. I returned to work and my daily commute yesterday. As if a sign from the preparedness gods, We even had a pretty long power failure. Given that our office is in a neighbourhood that lost power for a week after the pre-Christmas ice storm, I'm a little preoccupied with prepping.

Contrary to the "everything but the kitchen sink" approach I had when I last did the daily grind, I'd like to lighten things up this time. I've basically looking at three possible scenarios: (1)bugging in at the office; (2)bugging in at a friend's house between work and home; and (3)being stuck my the Jeep during the commute.

An office bug-in is highly unlikely, however, our warehouse is in an industrial manufacturing area, and the neighbourhood is bordered by a national railway and highway, and it also houses a nuclear power plant. I've got meds, FAK & hygiene, N95 masks, LED light, food, a couple of (full) water bottles, and a bunch of other little odds and ends stashed around my cubicle and the office kitchen, and think that with my EDC and the preps in my Jeep, I should be in good shape for a short bug-in. A good friend lives around the corner, so if something should happen here, I'd likely try to make my way there, unless it's a chemical accident.

BTW - yesterday's power failure highlighted some failings in our (group) office preps, like 2/3 of our emergency lights not working, expired fire extinguishers and a missing office FAK, which I'll be discussing with the owner at the end of the week. Nobody around here really cares, and we're too small a company for a health and safety community, so things have slipped, hence my need to have my stand-alone personal preps in solid shape. Lesson learned: don't depend on your co-workers!

Spending the night a friend's house or a local motel is much stronger possibility, in the event of something like the recent ice storm. I've got an overnight bag packed in a backpack, with two changes of clothes, a thermal under layer, toiletries, FAK, LED, enough cash for a motel room, etc. I also threw an MRE and a deck of cards in there, because I'd hate to couch surf and show-up empty handed.

Getting stuck on the road during my 63KM (one-way) commute is possible too. I always keep a small survival kit in there, along with extra hats, mitts, sweater, water, etc. I'm planning to take some short lunch-time hikes on the local trails, so my day hike pack is going to live in my Jeep along with my overnight bag and a wool blanket. It's got the basics of water, shelter, fire, food & cooking, FAK, signalling and knife/saw/headlamp/etc. in there.

The biggest thing I think I need to do right now is remember to bring my cel phone with my every day. I do have a charger in the Jeep and at the office, but after a year of barely using is, I've already forgotten it and today is only day two. smirk
_________________________
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#266567 - 01/14/14 04:49 PM Re: Preparing for the Daily Commute [Re: bacpacjac]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1451
It seems like Scenario 3 might be the toughest. Do you have good cell reception all along your commute route? Do you have roadside service? I pay a little extra annually so I can have a 100-mile tow radius.

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#266568 - 01/14/14 05:20 PM Re: Preparing for the Daily Commute [Re: bacpacjac]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Welcome back to work. Don't forget that even if the owner doesn't care much about inoperable safety gear, the Canadian version of OSHA should.

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#266569 - 01/14/14 05:23 PM Re: Preparing for the Daily Commute [Re: Lono]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Lono
Welcome back to work. Don't forget that even if the owner doesn't care much about inoperable safety gear, the Canadian version of OSHA should.


Right you are, Lono. It's not a route I'd like to go, as the owner's a good guy. I'll just pick up the reigns and make it right. wink
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#266570 - 01/14/14 05:27 PM Re: Preparing for the Daily Commute [Re: Bingley]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Bingley
It seems like Scenario 3 might be the toughest. Do you have good cell reception all along your commute route? Do you have roadside service? I pay a little extra annually so I can have a 100-mile tow radius.



Great idea, Bing! I hadn't even thought of roadside assistance but I'm going to get on it this afternoon. Thanks!

I get pretty much full cel phone coverage between home and work, unless I venture too far North, then it's patchy coverage, but I usually avoid that route in the winter.
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#266571 - 01/14/14 05:36 PM Re: Preparing for the Daily Commute [Re: Lono]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 864
Loc: Colorado
Emergency lighting- I work in a windowless enclosed section of a windowless building. Since we have to wear neck lanyard ID I keep a photon light on my lanyard which is light enough to fight my way back to my EDC bag where the maglite lives.

On the occasion of a facility power failure accompanied by emergency lighting failure, after management obtained a few flashlights and placed them along the hallways they thought it would be ok to order everyone back to work in the dark(at their dead computers) because the phones still worked. My objections weren't heard until I suggested we call the Fire Marshall's office and ask their opinion. (I'm not popular here)

On another occasion a co-worker noticed that Facilities had stacked building materials against an exit door on one hallway of the enclosed section making that exit blocked and unusable. My coworker and I moved the junk. Then I called Safety who talked to Facilities who promised to not do that again. When I asked Safety about posting 'EXIT - DO NOT BLOCK' signs I was told that was not necessary.
I ordered the signs and my own expense and glued them to the doors (a little crooked). Take that!
(I'm not popular here.)

On another occasion Facilities started removing the tiles and aluminum angle supports from a false ceiling right at the intersection of two dead-end hallways. They didn't setup an exclusion zone, they weren't wearing their own protective gear, and employees and managers were grinning as they dodged their way thru the work area where people could drop stuff on their heads or stick them in the eye from stuff being handled up on the ladders.
I called the Safety people - who took 5 hrs to respond and immediately shut down the work.
(Did I mention I'm not popular here?)

Rule #1- YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN AT WORK! The company may make nice noises sometimes but they have insurance to handle your injuries...... whether they realize it or not they ARE trying to hurt you!

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#266572 - 01/14/14 06:04 PM Re: Preparing for the Daily Commute [Re: bacpacjac]
LesSnyder Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1639
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
Jacqui... does your workplace and friend have a "plain old telephone" in case the PBX or portable phones go out due to a power outage along with cell towers?

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#266575 - 01/14/14 06:41 PM Re: Preparing for the Daily Commute [Re: LesSnyder]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: LesSnyder
Jacqui... does your workplace and friend have a "plain old telephone" in case the PBX or portable phones go out due to a power outage along with cell towers?


Great thinking, Les. We figured this out yesterday too. None of the office phones worked. Even the cordless phones went down. There's rarely more than three or four of us in here, and we all have cel phones, but I think a POTS line makes sense. If they don't go for it for business reasons, I'll likely find a personal solution. wink

As for my friend, she and her family are like-minded individuals, and have very solid preps, including group gear for our Ventures group. (i.e. older Scouts). Not sure if they've got a POTS line but I wouldn't be at all surprised.


I hear ya, unimogbert. When the powers that be don't listen, it's frustrating. When it comes to basic safety stuff, it's required not an option, and I've been lucky here that I don't get any pushback unless I think way outside of the basic box.
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Mom & Adventurer

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#266578 - 01/14/14 07:58 PM Re: Preparing for the Daily Commute [Re: unimogbert]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Originally Posted By: unimogbert
Emergency lighting- I work in a windowless enclosed section of a windowless building. Since we have to wear neck lanyard ID I keep a photon light on my lanyard which is light enough to fight my way back to my EDC bag where the maglite lives.


+1
Many years ago I worked in a similar environment. We had 2 kinds of emergency lights: 1) totally inoperable and, 2) so dim as to be useless.

It was after a power failure there (thankfully short) that I started to carry a small flashlight on my key ring with me at all times.

I've been through several over the years. At the moment, I carry a Fenix E01 (no association) on the key ring.
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#266579 - 01/14/14 08:25 PM Re: Preparing for the Daily Commute [Re: bacpacjac]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Originally Posted By: LesSnyder
Jacqui... does your workplace and friend have a "plain old telephone" in case the PBX or portable phones go out due to a power outage along with cell towers?


In many of today's offices, you can't get to a POTS line from a desk, as everything is going through a digital switch/PBX.

There is a place that you can find that POTS line. The Fax. It is almost always hooked into the POTS via the standard (US standard anyway) telephone plug line.

All you would need to do is unplug the fax from the wall jack and plug in an old fashioned phone. You might even have one laying around at home. Take it to work, throw it into you desk draw and problem solved without involving the boss.
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