Friday, February 1, 2008

10 Real Life Reasons Why You Need to Be Ready to Bug Out

It's been a busy few months around here with a record number of natural disasters which have necessitated "bugging out" by hundreds of people at a moments notice. While most disasters did not require a long term change in circumstances, these events, none the less, show how important it is to have a handful of cash and a bug out bag on hand at all times. Here's the short list:

  1. As I write this, Snoqualmie Pass is closed. A friend has been waiting for two days to cross this major east-west corridor and get home to the other side of the state. After waiting for hours for the pass to open then hearing that an avalanche would keep the freeway closed for an indeterminate period of time, he is now holed up in a hotel (with his car BOB) waiting....and waiting.

  2. A month ago while at a meeting I was speaking to a colleague in Washington state. Suddenly she yelled "there's a f^&*ing tornado heading my way!" and the phone disconnected. Come to find out, a freak tornado had come out of nowhere--an event that is exceedingly rare in that part of the country. Thankfully no one was killed or injured but there was widespread damage and some people were forced out of their homes for a period of time.

  3. From reading prior posts, you will note that a windstorm came through our area of the country leaving many homes without power for over a week. Yet another example of a reason people (especially those with the elderly or small children to care for) can be forced to bug out for a while.

  4. Following the windstorm there was a "hundred year" flood that closed another major highway for a week, and wiped away homes, bridges, businesses, and farms. Many families were given less than a hour's notice to evacuate their homes, only to return to a piece of land with nothing left standing on it.

  5. If you followed the wildfire situation in California, you will note that once again, families were given sometimes only minutes to flee their homes with what they could carry. These people also returned to basically a bare piece of ground and ashy remnants of their lives in many instances.

  6. Snow. We've had lots of it this year. In areas that rarely get more than a couple of feet of snow at a time, some people ended up driving down the mountain and staying at hotels while they waited for the twenty plus feet of snow that covered roads and even their homes to be cleared.

  7. "Storm Traps Amtrak Riders". That's one of the many headlines today. What was supposed to be a few hour ride is now a multi-day event for a train-load of passengers. At least with your bug-out-bag, you will be prepared for events like this.

  8. I know more than a couple of people who have received notice that their loved ones were at the state trauma center a couple of hours away. In all cases, these people had to run home, grab what they could for an indeterminate length of stay at the hospital, all the while focusing soley on their loved one. Being able to grab your BOB which has everything in it, creates one less thing to worry about in this type of situation.

  9. Domestic violence is another situation that can require an immediate bug out. In many situations when counseling victims of domestic violence, the women a. didn't have any money, b. had to leave with just the clothes on their backs (foregoing important documents, toiletries and other basics), and c. had no where to go and ended up in a shelter. In many of these cases, they would have had a better time of it had they a. had a secret savings account with lots of money in it, b. had their BOBs ready (ostensibly in preparation for a natural disaster), and c. could use aforementioned savings to resettle themselves in another area.

  10. Finally, you never know when a chemical spill (a train derailed next to a major military base causing a localized evacuation), hostage situation (in one multi-hour, event the entire neighborhood was evacuated), or other freak event (a crane fell through a man's apartment killing him instantly and causing other tenants to be evacuated until the structure could be checked) will occur. All the more reason to have cash and BOB on hand at all times.

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