Rand McNally maps + compass

Don't count on Google Maps or Waze in an emergency. You need real-life maps in both your home and in your go-bag AND vehicle if you have one. They are crucial if the net and/or grid goes down. We have a collection of maps at home, laminated print-outs (using, yes, Google Maps) of best evacuation routes out of town, by car AND walking. Then we have folded maps of our city AND the regions we would have to travel to by foot to reach our Away Shelter. Lastly, we have atlases in our vehicle — one for every nearby state that an evacuation route might take us.


Arm yourself with knowledge on this one.


Lastly, we have a compass in our go-bag. Nothing fancy — a Coghlan's Map Compass. However, you might practice with the compass and one of your new maps. It's actually fun.

Rand McNally maps + compass



    Importance: Crucial. Your GPS probably won't work.


    Bottom line: You need old-school, physical maps of your local area, surrounding areas in which you might have to evacuate to, and the route to your Away Shelter — by both vehicle AND foot. See our notes.


    Recommended for: Home shelter, go-bag, and vehicle. 


    No. of units recommended: Maps for your home area that you keep in your home; folded maps for your go-bag, and atlases in your vehicle.


    You’ll also need: A decent compass. We like Coghlan's Map Compass for its relative simplicity and light weight. 


    Be aware: Again, these are the kinds of things that are best looked at, pondered over, and an plan devised BEFORE you need it. Look at multiple evacuation routes and then share with your family beforehand. You never know when you might get separated.


    We'll admit that, in Preparation Concierge's founder's family, the best map reader is the wife. She's dead on. But we're also teaching our five year old son how to read them. It shouldn't be a dead art, lost to GPS. However, there is a very real concern that maps aren't updated or as accurate as they once were. Not enough people are buying physical maps, so it becomes a danger that one day we won't have them — perhaps when we need them most.