Guest Article by NRP & Blue, August 30, 2021.
You have been hearing stories all day of Fire Trucks and Aircraft flying. The News reports that the Fires are building to well over 50,000 acres. All reports say there is no way this could ever get across the Mountains to your area.
The air is thick with smoke and it seems there is a shift in the winds bringing more and more Cloud Cover and more Smoke.
But all is well and you figure the place is safe, after all this is America and we have the very BEST Firefighting Equipment and People in the world.
You pay little attention to the News for the rest of the day and you just settle into your normal routine around the house, have a good dinner, and hit the hay around 10:00.
You are awakened at 2:00 in the morning hearing a Truck drive up to the house and hear the Knock on the door; you slumber slowly and ask who is there before opening the door.
There stand 2 Firefighters with the look of panic on their faces.
“You have to leave NOW, one of them says, the fire is totally out of control and is heading this way FAST!!!” they almost yell. “You need to be gone in 15 minutes; we cannot stop the fire or save your home, head south”. They hurry back to their truck and head to the next Homestead 2 miles away.
Ever realize how short of time 15 minutes is?
So what are you going to do, what are you going to try and grab and take? The Family is in full-on Panic Mood, the kids are crying, the dogs are going nuts and you now have 10 minutes after waking everyone up and getting them dressed.
The questions are racing through your Brain of 10,000 questions and you’re got nothing done yet. Where are you going to go, where can you stay, what about food, clothing, did you fill the truck with fuel, how do I turn off the gas/electrical/water? You make a wild dash to the Barn and open the gates to the BLM land so the Horses and Cows can at least run.
You’re now down to 5 minutes to get out, you see the fire breaking over the ridge behind the house and you yell for everyone to grab what they can and run for the truck, you yell for the Dogs and you all load up, OHHHH GOD!!! You forgot the Keys, you run back into the house, finding them you make a dash for the truck, jump in and haul butt away. In the mirror you see the fire racing across the dry field straight to your House, Barn, and Garage.
Cresting the hill south of you, you take a last look back and see a C-130 Slurry Bomber making a scarfing run towards your Homestead.
You believe this cannot happen? Thousands of homes in the West have burned this year alone from Wildfires. Tens of Thousands of people have been evacuated and many have no home to return to, nothing left.
As I write this article ‘Hurricane Ida’ (Category 4 hurricane) is heading straight towards New Orleans Metro, just a small town of around 1.2+ million people. Should hit landfall on Monday, think people are Bugging Out, Panicked, waiting for someone to ‘save them’ ????
It’s time to go, for some reason you need to leave your home, usually in a hurry.
I could list a hundred reasons as to why, tis not my intent to do so.
The intent of this little sit-down chat is to try to convince you that there “May” be good cause for you to have a preplanned evacuation plan in place for “If/When” you are faced with a situation as above.
Now before you go and start that old yacking about “Ahhhh that could never happen to me” stuff, go take a look at the numbers that have been evacuated this year alone just because of the current fires in the West. Or how about the flooding and hurricanes back east, toss in the hundreds of other catastrophes that have accrued in the US alone ‘This Year’ alone.
Ok, here you sit, wondering what the heck it really would take to get up and leave in 15 minutes.
Well let me tell ya, you’re not going to be able to save everything you have, let alone everything you have stored and have “stashed away”.
Also you are NOT going to be able to haul everything even if you tried.
Ok, here is where I’m going to get myself into trouble……
Take a good hard look at that Photo above….. Go on, I’ll wait……
That photo is from a website telling you what you need to pack in your “Bug-Out-Bag” (BOB) for the family. Does anyone seriously believe that family of 4 is going to make it more than a day with what they have in those Back-Packs? Seriously?
Now I’m not going to tell you that having those BOB’s the Family has is not a good idea, but people sure as heck better get a ‘REAL’ picture of what it will take to “Make It” if a disaster hits you, and your homestead.
Ok, with that said;
Yes, I have a “Bug Out Bag”, it’s totally made up to get me from the Homestead to another place I have secured to get to. I have ZERO delusions that what is in that BOB will sustain me for more than a few days, and that’s the best I believe anyone should ever count on.
Obviously, this BOB will be the very, VERY last resort, for I have also ZERO delusions that I can walk/hike for 200 miles to get where I would need to go, so I don’t even consider that.
I will say I also have a “Get Home Bag” (GHB) that is in my vehicle 100% of the time. This will get me home from 99% of the trips I make, to the store, visiting friends, short trips, that sort of thing, usually no more than 30 miles.
So, where are we going to go from here?
Remember the Story from above?
They had 15 minutes to “Get Out Of Dodge” (GOOD) a term that is used meaning to “get the hell out of the area”.
I recommend packing a full extra set of items that you may need in a handy canvas bag (I like old Parachute Bags from a Military Surplus Store).
You have seen the list before, but here is a few items to get you thinking.
Clothing, at least two weeks’ worth. Don’t forget an extra pair of shoes
Documents and copies of Photos for identification, proof of where you live.
First Aid Kit
A “Flash Drive” with all your Computer Documents and Photos on it
Health Records, for the Pets also
Do an Internet Search for some complete lists.
Ok, to the core.
Look at those people running from that fire behind them above
First of all, how much warning time were they given? And why are they just now leaving?
Second, I sure don’t see many vehicles that are full of “Stuff”, filled to the roof. How many are towing a small trailer, how many campers?
Where do all these people think they are going to stay? In hotels that are full? In a government camp? A rescue shelter? Friends, family, become Homeless? I don’t know, I’m just guessing here.
All I can tell you is what I have set up;
A small Camp Trailer, assuming I can drive away from my Homestead, which I probably can if I leave early. I have it totally stocked with everything I would need for 2 months. But guess what, If I can’t take the Truck and Camper than I hoof it cross country with my GHB/BOB and head for a BOL.
Where am I going to go? Well it don’t really matter if I have the stuff to “survive” for two months, in that amount of time either I will be heading back home or finding a new place to stay permanently.
The point is if I need to ‘GOOD” I can toss my BOB and a few cases of Water into the truck, get the Dog loaded up, hook to the Trailer and be goneeeeeeee in 5 minutes. And YES I have practiced that.
Does all this sound crazy? Well maybe so, but I know one thing for sure…..
I sure as heck don’t want to be staying in a “Shelter” such as what was set up for Katrina, the Super Dome, remember that? 5 days to get just Water there. How about the more current “Shelters” for people to stay (Look them up on the Net), do you really want to take your Family there???????