Just Another Reason to have a Bug Out Bag!
As most people know Sedona, Arizona has a fire that is still burning called the Slide Fire (no this isn’t the bump fire accessory for an AR-15). I live about 10 to 15 miles from the fire which made for quite a hazy past few days and even sore throats and headaches here in Flagstaff. At the moment the fire is dying down as we had a little bit of rain and it is now 55% contained. As of yet I have not heard of any structures which is a blessing, but there were evacuations and pre-evacuation notices. This fire got me thinking about how to be prepared and another reason why a bug out bag is valuable.
Many times bugging out and using your bug out bag is not something that you only have ten minutes to pick up and run, but this instance was one of these situations that people had to get as much stuff as they could and get out. I finally see the full value of having a bug out bag and how it can help. The biggest way I see the bug out bag being valuable is that instead of having to pack food, tools, camping gear and other things you are able to pack some of the items that have sentimental value and cannot be replaced or other things you may value rather than necessities. It may even be good to have different types of bug out bags like one with some clothes and other things that is more of an emergency or evacuation bag. Weather and natural disasters are probably more likely to happen than a full social breakdown so make sure not to forget to prepare for these.
If you believe your area may be hit by some type of disaster remember to prepare for that. If you live in the everglades fire is probably going to be much less likely than flood. Here are some disaster specific things to put in your bug out bag.
- Smoke type respirator (This only filters out so if there is not enough oxygen you still have a problem)
- Fold Up Shovel to build a fire trench (These are good to have even without danger of fire)
- Flash drive with copies of important documents
Hurricane (usually better to stay put or evacuate prior to the hurricane)
- Poncho or tarp to keep your stuff as dry as possible.
- Some type of tie down like a tree stand harness to make sure you are not blown away.
Some other things that can be valuable during evacuations and natural disaster are.
- Sign up to your city’s alert system if they have one. Many city’s have some type of system that you can sign up to, to get updates by email or text about extremely important news like evacuations. This may give you a little extra time to get some things.
- Setup an evacuation plan and discuss it with your family. This evacuation plan is most likely going to be different than your bug out plan. An evacuation plan may consist of going to a family member’s or using your RV and going to some certain place. In these circumstances you will most likely be using a vehicle so making it the same as your bug out location that you must walk to does not make much sense as that location is likely to be evacuated also.
- Make a list of things that are extremely important to you that you for sure want to take. This is in addition to your necessities, so this may be items that hold sentimental value like some pictures, a family heirloom or a gun passed down from your grandfather.
- How can you help other neighbors and friends? If you know a neighbor who is disabled or elderly you may discuss with them what they would do or how you may be able to help if a disaster and a subsequent evacuation were to occur. You may also have an agreement with a friend who is not in the same vicinity that you will stay at their home and vice versa in a time of need like this.
Even though we like to prepare for all of those events like EMP pulses, zombie apocalypses, nuclear bombs, and virus outbreaks these types of evacuations are much more likely to happen and can happen quite regularly in many different areas. The good thing about these types of scenarios is that they are normally quite short term so they are a good place to start to prepare. These scenarios are also good exercises to see how prepared you are and how fast you can get your stuff and go.