Last night I was teaching a class until 10pm and had my 13yo son with me. He assisted by moving equipment and helping the students get set up. We were getting ready to start moving gear out to the truck and when I opened the door, I noticed that a thick fog had settled in for the night. My son was fairly apprehensive about traveling in these conditions, even expressing that we should grab a hotel 25 miles from home. I calmed him a bit and told him we could take the back roads home.
Luckily for us, my class is a couple miles off the route to one of my retreat locations and I have a pretty good memory of the route. Visibility was down to 10 feet in some places and to calm my son down further, i handed him my phone with the GPS system activated. He could watch the road and be able to ready himself for cross roads and turns. It became a fun game for us, me telling him what was coming up and him telling me if I was right.
About the second or third cross road we came to, there is a stop sign. As I approached it, I watched a truck fly through it without even slowing down. My son was rattled a bit, and we approached every intersection with extreme caution. It took quite a while to make it home, but thanks to some pre planning, we were ready and didn't have to brave the traffic of the main highways or interstate.
The lesson being, make sure you know you AO well. I learned this lesson 12 years ago the hard way, when I was cut off from my house and child care by a tornado outbreak. It took me 4 hours to get the 3 miles from my house to the babysitter.
Home field advantage is huge when things go bad. Use it to your advantage as much as possible. Taking hikes and bike rides in your area will allow you to glean navigational data that can't be found on maps and GPS systems. Take special care to look at the railroad right of ways in your area, they can be helpful when everything else is packed solid. As a kid, we used to use railroad tracks to go between towns because they were straighter and faster than hiking the roads. We even talked our bus driver into dropping us a ways from our houses so we could walk home along the tracks instead of sitting on a bus for another 30 minutes.
You have some homework! It's warming up in our area, so I will be out in the sun as soon as I can get free from work!
Stay Frosty, my friends!