At the time of this writing the current news anxiety is the massive heat wave. No matter what you think there is always some serious catastrophe going on, and for many, many people the need to leave that community- bug out, as they say in California- is a real deal. Bug Outs have different applications for different threats. Most earthquake threats imply that the people have a kit packed in their car and ready to be out of town for a few days. A Katrina disaster had a different focus and as millions fled the storm damaged area their intention-or realization- was that they would be gone for weeks if not months. In reality many have never returned.
So we have to assess the threats that may happen. Nebraska is not likely to get hit with a hurricane, but floods are a reality.
The mid-west may dry up and affect the wheat-corn and soybean crops; livestock may have to be slaughtered with the undercurrent of NO WATER.
So we must assess the threats in your area and be prepared to bug out when the going looks rough, be it for a week or longer hoping that there will be a place to return to after the calamity is over.
Looking back at the Homestead Florida Hurricane the damage was severe but the real threat was the upsurge in violence, looting, and grifting. New Orleans was the same and the police would not venture into some parts of the city that was ravaged by violence. Go back to the Watts riots in the 60’s. It was the same. Disasters demonstrate a loss of control and stability wherein the base morals of many rise to evil deeds.
The most important assessment is to pre-establish WHERE you would bug out to. Usually it is to a relative’s house located a long ways across the state. Have you spoken to them about your grand plan to arrive on their doorstep? Are they receptive? Can they provide for you? How long will you be there? What are you bringing with you besides hungry mouths? Do you have the resources to return to your home base?
Have you discussed the bug out with your neighbors? Who will remain behind and look after your property? How many “others” can you take with you? Will your insurance cover a domicile abandoned? What do your neighbors recommend? Are they preppers of a like mind? What resources do they offer?
Are you driving one or more vehicles? Do these vehicles have dual gas tanks? Katrina proved that many people were just abandoned on the roadways, as there was no gasoline fill-ups available. Is your primary evacuation vehicle in good mechanical and reliable condition? Are you pulling a camping trailer, or a utility trailer loaded down with “essentials”.
Are you prepared to meet felons on back roads who will rob you, or worse?
Do you have access to cash money for expenses in your home or are you thinking that a VISA machine is always waiting for you?
Sit down and write out questions and possible solutions. Be flexible. Certainly you will need a plan to get you out of the danger zone. Let us first look at the basic form of transportation: Feet.
You might have in mind to contact the local Red Cross Chapter, your local FEMA automated telephone number, possible civil defense numbers, Fire Department, Police Department and perhaps local National Guard mobilization center to find out what the Government strategy is and where you can hike to. Do this now-before an emergency arises.
Obviously with no vehicle transportation you are severely constrained with children, elderly, infirm with a lack of hiking experience. Let us postulate one scenario that you have to hike ten road miles to a shelter. You buy maps and notice you can halve the distance by shortcuts and mapping out alternative routs. All of the GPS handheld devices that plan routes for you are main road access to businesses at the exits. Preplan your shortcuts with a real map.
Now, buy a comfortable pair of hiking shoes and walk the route you have chosen. Familiarize yourself with buildings, street signs, posters and such you can easily recognize in a disaster-stressed event. Have an alternative route to the alternative primary route taking into consideration undesirable elements you have to pass through as well as flooding, damaged bridges, fires etc.
Within the history of desperate times children often become separated from the caregivers. Modern technology offers electronic tracking devices, hand held two-way radios, cell phones (not likely working) which depending on the child’s age can be a lifesaver. Some children require a leash. In all cases an ID bracelet is good backup.
Collapsible wheelchairs, and other “carry alls” can be used to transport the infirm. Considering you may encounter poor wheel passage, a double wheel 10 cubic foot wheelbarrow is ideal. You may need to have an extra Ox bottle for Grandpa as the shelter will probably not have such resources on hand.
Pre-stored water bottles are a must-remember it took FEMA several days to get water to the people at the super-bowl center in New Orleans during Katrina. Winter warm clothes and blankets-sleeping bags are another must have for the season you embark in. You will need a money belt for cash, cards and jewelry. Paper titles to your real estate are imperative, as well as a passport.
Foods such as the MRE’s, disgusting as they may be, are to be considered. Medicines are also carried with water bottles. You will be comforted with an “emergency radio”; those incredibly small wind up solar and battery powered AM/FM information sources.
Collection centers for the survivors harbor felons too. The hike may also cause you to be attacked. This is where you brandish your firearm. The Smith and Weston model 351 PD, .22 Magnum, is only 10 ounces, less ammunition. A good spray can of MACE, or better yet: Bear Spray is an excellent deterrent. U-Tube has several videos on the use of these sprays, and also using WASP-HORNET spray as a deterrent.
If you have a vehicle, your first consideration is having a pre-planned road map to your destination with a back up alternative. Serious survivors will have two gasoline, or diesel tanks installed. A SUV with 4WD capable of pulling your trailer weight must be considered. The vehicle must be really inspected for possible breakdowns, i.e.: radiator hoses, belts, and oil/fluid changes.
The highways will be packed with traffic and each breakdown has to be hand pushed off the road. Expect hours of delays that eat up your fuel allocation. Consider backcountry roads as another alternative route.
Fundamentally the vehicle will allow you to carry more weight. This gives you more options such as camping out in a tent (see B2L articles on tents and shelters), food, medical, weather considerations, more gasoline in bumper carry-alls, or pulling an enclosed utility trailer. A small camping trailer is a consideration, but not a large one. These are expensive items and need to be considered carefully as they do not offer real survivability so much as short-term creature adaptive comforts.
A trailer concept comes to mind that may be ideal: a horse trailer. The new models have living quarters in the front 1/3 of the dual axel models and even if you are not hauling horses, you may have other animals to haul as well as home treasures you just have to take with you. With the current heat wave the addition of a roof top mounted air conditioner comes to mind. I would mount it with a 12VDC to 125VAC Inverter and a separate large capacity 12VDC automotive battery to run it. Charging would not necessarily be a problem with small generators. The important fact is you can have air conditioning for your animals locked up in the back.
Most likely if you have to abandon your home it will be destroyed by natures forces, or looted. Include in your Bug Out, all your firearms and ammunition in secure locked “Job Box” storage. Weld this to your trailer frame. Your trailer tongue hitch needs to be the lockable type that precludes felons from unhitching you and driving off with your supplies. You might consider a “Club” steering wheel lock, or more sophisticated removable steering wheel as a security device. It is desirable to have the entire vehicle and all the trailer tires the same size. Spares are a good solution. http://www.gemplers.com/ offers very excellent military grade “bullet proof” tire sealers to keep you going.
Consider a caravan of vehicles for security and assistance to one another. There is survivability in numbers as you have varied skills to offer one another.
One group I know has purchased rural “wild land” for a Bug Out from Norfolk. Each year they all meet for a camp fest and work to upgrade their perceived needs as security issues and dangers do change in time. Probably one of the most overlooked aspects of a calamity is that the husband and wife and/or other family members are separated by distance from one another at the time of the disaster. Hence you need a rendezvous’ site to meet, probably far removed from home. This simple fact requires careful back up planning as there are children in school, elderly in nursing homes, re-calls to active GUARD duty and Re-calls to active military duty will happen, as an example.
Our lead in picture is from the Bascomb Family Album- we thank them.
God Bless us all.
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