Old School Methods Still Have Their Uses
Why You Should Have a Paper Map for Emergencies
During an emergency situation like a natural disaster or power outage, your phone or GPS may not work. Cell towers and internet access can go down, leaving you without digital maps or navigation. That’s why it’s wise to keep a paper map on hand for backup during emergencies.
Here are some key reasons why a paper map is an essential part of emergency preparedness.
Reliable Backup Navigation
If the power goes out or cell towers are down, most smartphones and GPS units will be rendered useless. But a paper map does not depend on electricity or internet connectivity. Unfolding a paper map provides you with a trusty backup way to navigate and find alternate routes if needed. Knowing how to read a map is an invaluable skill when technology fails.
Paper maps give you full functionality without requiring wifi, cell service or satellite connections. You can view and navigate the map anytime, anywhere without worrying about getting a signal. This makes paper maps ideal for situations like camping in remote areas or disaster-related blackouts where you may lack digital connectivity.
Doesn’t Run Out of Batteries
Phones and GPS units rely on batteries that need periodic charging. But paper maps don’t need any power source – they are ready to use anytime! You don’t have to worry about conserving juice or carrying chargers with a paper map. This makes them extremely dependable in prolonged emergency situations or off-grid environments.
Easy to Replace if Damaged
If your phone or GPS unit gets lost, broken, or water-damaged during an emergency, it can be difficult and costly to replace quickly. But paper maps are very inexpensive and can be easily purchased at convenience stores, gas stations or map retailers. Damaged or forgotten maps can be conveniently replaced on the go.
Packable and Portable
Phones and GPS units may run out of space to store offline maps and navigation data. But paper maps can be easily folded up into a compact form factor. You can pack maps in your glove box, bug out bag or emergency kit without taking up much space. Their portable nature also allows you to take them on hikes or outdoor trips where you may need backup navigation.
Having an old-fashioned paper map on hand can provide peace of mind and backup navigation when technology fails during an emergency. Be prepared by keeping local maps with alternate routes in your home, vehicle and emergency kit. The reliability of paper maps makes them a vital component of emergency readiness.
There need not be a debate regarding the value of digital maps v. print maps. Both offer great value depending on your circumstance. Digital maps can provide a general surface understanding of direction. Print maps offer a profounder knowledge of the cartography of the region being explored keeping you oriented to North. Being able to visualize at least 3 geographical points around you provides a mental map where direction of your movement becomes instantly clear.
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