Wednesday, September 12, 2018

National Preparedness Month Day 12--The Bug Out Plan

As the people along the Carolina coast are making perfectly clear this week, everyone needs to have a bug out plan.  If you must flee your home due to an impending disaster (hurricane, wildfire, tornado, etc) where will you go, how will you get there, how will you pay for the evacuation, and what will you take?

Ideally (and with enough money) you would be able to hop on a plane (or hop in your car) and head out to a pre-determined bug out location which could be a hotel in another state, a vacation cabin, a friend or relative's home, or maybe make the exodus in your RV and have all the comforts of home with you.  You would take your BOB with you as well as any other things you can't live without, and you will have plenty of money/supplies to keep you and the family fed, watered, and sheltered until you are able to return home.

On the flip side, there were several buses headed out of coastal North Carolina this morning with the poor, the elderly, and the otherwise ill prepared who were given free transportation to shelters outside of the storm area.  Many of the buses had to stop at several shelters until they found a place to leave these people as shelters were full and moving the buses along further inland in the hopes of finding a place to house these people for an indeterminate time.  It is great that the people who have very little are offered shelter, food, water, and even medical care all for free yet these people have no control over what happens to them.  A couple people who I talked to who were on one of the buses said the normal two hour drive to Raleigh turned into a 16 hour ordeal until they finally found a shelter to take them in.  They have no idea how long they will be at the shelter and no idea what, if anything, they will return to.  If the hurricane is as big as the news is making it out to be, their homes may be washed away.

Thus the need for a bug out plan.  You need to have several options for where you would bug out to, several options for leaving your area (FWIW there wasn't a single plane, train, or bus ticket to be had out of the area yesterday or today), a plan for when to leave (earlier is better, the people leaving today were caught in a very slow, many mile long queue of backed up of traffic), a plan for having or acquiring gas/food/water/other supplies en route if needed as well as at your destination, a plan for a longer than usual term stay at your destination (depending on how much of the coastal towns are wiped out by the hurricane, authorities may not allow people to return for quite a while until electricity and other vital services are restored), and a plan for what to do after you return (this may include clean up and restoration of your home or, worst case scenario, you may return to a flat patch of ground and that's all).

As part of your preparedness planning, make a general bug out plan with as many details as possible and have as much money and other financial resources available for such an emergency.

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