Just two months ago 188,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes in Northern California due to a fault in an emergency spillway leading water from Lake Oroville when levels are too high. While it may not be the scariest thing you’ve heard this week, it is difficult for those people. This is just one instance where having a bug-out plan in place is critical.
If you’ve never been in an evacuated area, put yourself in their shoes for a minute. Where will we go? What do we take with us? This may just be a safety precaution, but what happens if we lose everything?
The truth is, millions of Americans are evacuated annually due to forest fires, hurricanes, and other dangerous events.
Thinking about a disaster and bug-out plans can be stressful. So here are some ideas to help ease the stress and get you started.
Do you have family close enough to get to but far enough away that they won’t be affected by the same events?
Staying with family can be a great way to ease the stress of an evacuation. They’re always the ones saying “You can come stay with us” once the disaster has occurred. Wouldn’t it be much better if you had a plan to stay with them ahead of time? The real advantage with family is that there shouldn’t be any trust issues. Yes, we all have those family members we don’t trust, so don’t discuss it with those ones.
Have a chat with that family and offer an exchange of services so to speak. If something happens on your end, you can stay at my place. If something happens on my end, I’ll come to you. Use a recent event if necessary to get the conversation started.
Leave some personal items at the family members house and have them do the same. It can be as simple as a bag of clothes. Make sure to include a few toys if you have kids.
The real advantage here is that you don’t need to actually prepare much. Your family member will already have the necessities to survive. If it looks like the event is going to be something that puts a stop to food distribution, take some food with you. In the case of a personal emergency, like a home fire, you should still be able to pick up food wherever you go.
A friend’s home can be a bug-out plan
The real advantage to having a friend as part of your bug-out plan is that you’re more likely to have common interests and lifestyles. You chose your friends, you’re stuck with your family. While the disadvantage is that this may require a little more preparation. You may be less comfortable imposing on friends than family.
To make this situation more comfortable, planning ahead is key. Make sure that you and your friend have discussed this ahead of time. This means that they will know that you would have done the same for them.
In addition to a small bag of personal items, add something of value. This can be some spare cash or even a valuable baseball card if that’s your thing. You don’t need to tell the friend that it is in your bag, just have a way to pay them or give them a thank you gift for their help. While they may be happy to help, knowing that this gift or payment is available will make you more comfortable.
Find a legit bug-out retreat
Whether you purchase your own or go in with a group, a real bug-out retreat is the ultimate in preparedness. This can be a hunting cabin or that old house your grandmother left the family out in the mountains. This is an especially appealing option because you can set it up to meet your needs. Plant some fruit trees or store some memorabilia. Whatever you can do to make life a little more comfortable during an emergency will pay off if you ever need to use it.
You may be able to find a relatively cheap property that meets your bug-out plan needs. Or you may be able to go in with a group of people to establish one. There’s no need to spend millions on a bunker. Just a place that would provide for your needs during a disaster situation. Keep in mind that any place you buy will require upkeep.