After living in an area for a few years most of us have become familiar with the surrounding streets and highways; when venturing into unknown areas, our trusty GPS guides us to our destination. But what would happen if you needed to evacuate and the GPS system was down, or if you needed to evacuate by foot and had no way to charge the GPS?

Paper maps may not be as common as they once were, but they are still available and useful. I prefer using a paper map to plan longer trips. You can only see so much detail on a GPS screen a few inches across - but a paper map can be spread out to show detail for an entire state.

Don't get me wrong, I love my GPS and won't be giving up on it any time soon, but keeping paper maps can be an important piece of your emergency planning and disaster preparedness strategies.

You can find a collection of maps for all 50 states bound into an atlas for around $10. These books are good in the sense of having all state maps grouped together, even if they aren't as large as the individual state maps. Full state highway maps are the largest and show the most detail, even if they are hard to fold. In many cases you can request these maps for free from state tourism or transportation offices.

Use the links below to request your free state highway maps
The request process varies by state - just look around the page and you should see if you need to email, fill out a form, or call to request your free map.

Free Alabama State Highway Map
Free Alaska State Highway Map
Free Arizona State Highway Map
Free Arkansas State Highway Map
Free California State Highway Map
Free Colorado State Highway Map
Free Connecticut State Highway Map
Free Delaware State Highway Map
Free Florida State Highway Map
Free Georgia State Highway Map
Free Hawaii State Highway Map
Free Idaho State Highway Map
Free Illinois State Highway Map
Free Indiana State Highway Map
Free Iowa State Highway Map