Preparedness: BugOut!

In the ideal situation, before projection onto the wall of Plato’s cave, we would all live in areas removed from potential disturbance. Our homes would be our castles ready to stand against all of nature and man at need. All our preparations would be at hand, our stocks updated as we used things in day-to-day life, and we would have not a care in the world.

For all that I find it pretty good, and in fact in some ways much better than deserved, the fact is that life is not ideal. Storms can and will hit. The earth will rock upon occasion (even in areas not normally known for that). Trains can and will derail, even as trucks will crash. Politicians will do stupid things and we bear the brunt of it.

The net result is that you need to be prepared to do the bugout boogie at need. The enemy may be in greater numbers than expected; the water is coming in higher than expected; the train that derailed not far from your home was carrying nasty stuff; and, any number of other things make your best option that of leaving your well-prepared abode.

You really should have bugout bags ready to go, though few seem to truly do so. Even my own bugout bags right now could stand some updating, I admit. These bags should have everything you need to get by for a while: clothing, gear, supplies, and yes weapons. At least two of my bags are packed so I can literally sweep my medicines and supplements into one of them, get one or both to the car, and take off in about five minutes time. Give me ten minutes, and I’m even better off.

Your main (and any secondary) bugout bags should all have copies (in waterproof containers) of your driver’s license, important papers, etc. These need to be kept updated (I need to check mine as my medical has oddly updated a few times since getting hit by lightning). I also recommend keeping originals on you, again in waterproof wrappings.

Any cash is distributed and hidden, and where I can I have some redundancy in my packing. I include a fair bit of camping gear in my bugout prep: shelters can be interesting and in some cases governments have taken/tried to take food and more away from those coming in. There may not be shelters set up for the emergency, and motels may or may not be an option. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Thus, I have my camping gear either ready to go or in some cases parts of it in the car already.

Things, generally, are not worth your life. If there is time and if there is room, I would grab a photo album or two, and any other small extremely sentimental items and take with me. They would also be one of the first things I leave behind if I have to stage down.

Staging is the part of bugout that far too many seem to miss. As I’ve noted before, I want to start out motorized if it all possible. That said, you may find roads blocked or impassable, something may happen to the vehicle, etc. The best staging I’ve ever heard about (think I’ve discussed this before) involved an RV towing a car that had off road motorcycles on a trailer behind it. There were bicycles attached to the RV as well. The idea was to take the RV as far as possible (hopefully all the way to safety). If there were issues, drop to the car and tow the motorcycles, bicycles, and max supplies. Car can’t get anywhere, use the motorcycles and have one of them tow the trailer with the bikes and other supplies pulled from the RV. If problems came up with the motorcycles, drop to the bikes. Last resort is always shanks mare.

The thing is, every time you stage down, you are losing mobility and supplies. You plan for it, but you also try to keep from having to stage down if at all possible. Keep the maximum options open to you.

Watching Ian, and thinking about a couple of situations here, I need to step up my own bugout plans. While the ideal is to stay in place, that may not be an option in any number of circumstances. So, I’m going to be working on that as I can in the coming days. The last thing you want to be doing is trying to prepare to bugout as the disaster is hitting.

Just a quick thought for the morning.

BTW, before I forget: kudos to the disaster preparedness people in Florida! From the reports I’m getting the county offices really hit the ground running, did what they could, asked for what they needed, pre-positioned what they could, and otherwise were as set as they could be for Ian. In turn, the state-level operations responded to requests quickly, efficiently, and otherwise made sure yet more people and supplies were in pre-po for the aftermath. Real problem is going to be that you can’t plan for everything, and it is quite likely some who should have bugged out didn’t for any number of reasons. One being economics and just not even able to afford the gas to get out. Meantime, with what I have right now, it looks like one heck of an effort led by the counties — which is how it should be done. Pay attention, as good or bad there are going to be a LOT of lessons for learning courtesy of Ian.


If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.