Different types of disasters may require a different response if a family
wishes to maximize their chances for long-term survival. Therefore each family should have several different disaster plans
that they could successfully implement depending on the circumstances. These plans should include:
1. Staying at your home
and being able to survive for a reasonable period of time without any outside assistance, and
2. Quickly and efficiently
evacuating your home and traveling to a predetermined destination.
Staying at home is probably the best overall strategy
for most families in a variety of different disaster type situations. However, there are a few scenarios where your continued
long-term survival may necessitate the evacuation of your home. For example, consider each of the following situations:
in a city, suburb, or in the country: The only option is to leave and to leave quickly. Even if the fire doesn’t reach
your home, the smoke could make it impossible to breathe. If your home does survive then the smoke from the fire will probably
saturate many of your possessions and they will have to be replaced.
Flooding From Heavy Rains or Hurricanes: During
severe flash flooding many homes, trees, and cars are completely swept away. If you stay, you die. In other areas only the
first floor of a home may be under water. You might be safe on the second floor, or in the attic, or on your roof. In most
flooding situations the water does eventually recede and you can go downstairs. However, the building foundation is now weakened,
the floors are warped, the walls are cracked and peeling, and the appliances are ruined. It these cases it frequently costs
less to rebuild from scratch than to repair all the damaged areas. And living in the home during the repairs is not an option
because the mold and mildew that is now growing in your floors and walls will produce air-borne spores that will make you
sick and gradually kill you. If this situation your only option will be to leave. (Note: If you become unexpectedly stranded
in your home during a flood and you can’t evacuate, then you should quickly transfer your most important possessions
to the second floor or attic to reduce the possibility of their becoming water damaged.)
Drought: The lakes dry up.
The city water supply is exhausted. The city must be evacuated. You may stay if you wish but why would you want to? What type
of people do you think will become your new neighbors? How will you survive when your current supply of food and water is
eventually gone and the drought continues? Without rain there will be no way to replenish your water supply and no way to
grow more food. Without water how will the city survive if someone’s very small cooking fire accidentally gets out of
control and quickly spreads throughout a very, very dry building? In a very short period of time the entire city will be in
flames. And if the city has already been evacuated then you will not receive any warning until you see the flames or smell
the smoke, assuming it doesn’t happen while you are asleep.
Epidemic: Is the disease spreading by water, air,
human contact, or some combination of methods? What percent of the population is dying? Staying inside your home in this situation
would probably be the best solution unless the flu is being spread through the air. If that is the case and you are living
in a heavily populated area then how long will it take the virus to eventually make its way into your air supply? If you had
a gas mask or face filters then you might be able to escape to a remote region of a national forest where the virus will have
a smaller chance of reaching and infecting you.
Martial Law: Why was it implemented? What are the restrictions? And
do you really want to live in a heavily-populated area that is being policed by the military and where you could be executed
by anyone in the military for any reason at any time without any type of trial?
Political or Religious Persecution:
What if all registered Republicans are suddenly declared to be enemies of the state? Or all Democrats? Or all Protestants
or Catholics or Muslins? Some of you may be laughing right now and saying this is impossible and it could never happen in
this country. I truly hope you are right. But what if you are wrong? What if you suddenly heard on the news that you are now
a member of a group of people that has been identified as being enemies of the state? What would be your plan for survival?
If you remain where you currently live it would only result in your immediate arrest, trial, and either imprisonment or execution.
During World War II in Germany there were millions of Jews, Christians, and several other groups of individuals who learned
this lesson the hard way. And Germany is not an isolated example. This has happened many, many times in many different places
in modern history.
None of these things are pleasant to think about but the above threats are real. If any one of them
should occur where you now live then you may need to evacuate your home or apartment very quickly in order to have any chance
for long-term survival.
How to quickly evacuate your home or apartment is not something most people take the time to
think about. However, over the past few years the increasing number of families that have had to quickly evacuate their homes
is extraordinary. Entire families and communities have been uprooted and moved to another area and in many cases they will
never be able to return to their homes or to the life they once knew. Hurricanes, flooding, and forest fires have resulted
in the loss of billions of dollars worth of possessions and have claimed an unknown number of lives. Devastating winter weather
has crippled many areas and left hundreds of thousands of homes without electricity or heat in the middle of winter and forced
people to seek refuge and basic survival in community shelters, schools and churches.
Flash floods and forest fires
happen so quickly that people do not have the time to carefully consider what they should take with them. Later when they
return and find their home and possessions reduced to cinders, or ruined from water damage, they wished they’d had more
time to think about their choices before they were forced to evacuate.
Therefore, before a disaster strikes, prudent
individuals will make a simple list of the most important things to salvage in the event of a disaster. Later, if a disaster
should force them to evacuate their home then they can consult their list and quickly execute their plan and collect and save
their most important possessions. They could salvage the things they would need to survive under difficult circumstances,
and things that would make their transition to a different life style not only possible but also a little easier for their
If you survive a disaster then you can start over. If you have a plan, starting over will not be as
difficult as someone who evacuates without a plan. Unfortunately some of the people who survive without a plan will eventually
resort to robbing and/or killing. Predators do not discriminate and they will prey on one another as well as on the helpless.
Human predators are usually a self-correcting problem during a disaster, if the disaster lasts long enough.
If you must evacuate your home you should have carefully considered ahead
of time where you will go. Your destination should not be a last minute decision because your choice of a destination is as
important as carefully selecting which items to take with you.
Bug-Out Destination Options
Let’s examine several different destination
options. In each of the following situations you should attempt to pay your expenses using whatever credit cards you have
available and save whatever cash you might have for a future emergency. If your family has more than one car then you should
quickly load each vehicle to the maximum, without overloading them, and then drive out of the disaster area. Before you start
you should have consulted a map and selected a minimum of two alternate routes that lead to your final destination. Then listen
to your car radio as you are driving to see if there are traffic or other problems along any of your planned departure routes.
The quicker that you can be underway the better your chances will be that you can get your family to safety.
destination could be any one of the following:
Family: If you have family members who live outside the impacted disaster
area then they may be willing to provide you with shelter for a short period of time until the disaster has passed and you
can return to your home. However most families live on a very tight budget and they will not be able to feed and clothe you
for an extended period of time. It would be nice if you paid for some of the groceries while you are there, and also made
a contribution to their utility bills. If it later becomes impossible for you to return to your original home then you will
need to find new employment and a place to live as quickly as you can to relieve the pressure on family relationships. If
your new job does not pay enough so you afford to rent a place of your own, then you should give at least half of each of
your paychecks to the family you are staying with to help pay their bills. You should also remember that you are still a guest
in their house, and that every member of your family needs to abide by their rules.
Friend's Home: The above comments
about family also apply to very close friends. However the relationship is much weaker and friends should only be imposed
upon for the absolute minimum amount of time. Even if you have discussed this situation with your friends in advance, it would
still be a good idea to minimize the amount of time you stay with them.
Motel: A motel located outside the disaster area is a good option if you
can afford it, and if the disaster is forecasted to be relatively short in duration. Once the disaster passes you may be able
to return to your normal way of life. An Extended Stay Motel might be a better option because you can pay by the week or month
and each room also has a few kitchen appliances, such as a refrigerator and a microwave. Before paying the rent always politely
ask if you can see the actual room you will be renting.
Boarding House: Depending on the size of your family you may
be able to rent a simple room in a boarding house on a weekly or monthly basis. You can read the “For Rent” section
of the local newspaper to locate one these places and then you can call to see what their rules are. You should phone several
places to find the best deal based on what your family requires.
Forest Campground or recreational vehicle (RV) Park: If the weather permits, then a campground or RV Park may be an option
if you have an RV, or if you have a good tent and some camping gear. Many RV Parks have a separate campground area for tents.
They also have a community shower area, one for men and one for women, and they have drinking water available near the campsite.
A good tent is not an expensive investment and every family should have a tent to avoid being forced into a Government Shelter
for survival. Even if you have no money you can still camp for free in most National Forests as long as you don’t stay
at one of the official forest campgrounds. However, you will need to move your campsite at least once per week to a different
area to comply with forest regulations. (Note: If you own an RV then it might be wise to find an RV storage site close to
your planned evacuation destination. The monthly rental to store and park an RV is about the same everywhere but the advantage
of parking it near your planned destination is that your RV would already there. If you have family members who live on acreage
way out in the country then they may be willing to let you park your RV at their place for free.)
Government or Community
Shelter: As a last resort, you may temporarily reside in a shelter. A church operated temporary disaster shelter is usually
less restrictive than other types of shelters. However, before you go to the shelter it would probably be a good idea to rent
a temporary storage facility and store all your equipment, supplies, and personal belongings in the storage unit. Many of
these monthly storage rental units are large enough to drive a car into so you could park your extra car inside and still
have room to store all your equipment and supplies. You are also allowed to put your own personal padlock on the door to your
rental unit. (Note: Some storage units will not allow you to park a car inside the actual rental unit but they will rent you
space inside the fenced area to park your car on a monthly basis. In this situation completely empty your car into the rental
until before you park it.) If you have cash, or if you can get cash from an ATM, then you should pay the rent in cash to avoid leaving an electronic trail
to the location where you are storing your remaining possessions. If possible pay the rent for a minimum of three months in
advance and get a receipt. Your entire family could then get into the remaining vehicle and drive to the shelter location.
Just remember that some shelters are easy to get into but almost impossible to get out of until the authorities are ready
to release you. If you become a voluntary prisoner at one of these shelters you may discover that life in the shelter is unbearable
and that you are not allowed to leave simply because you now realize you should have never entered the shelter. When you first
enter the shelter, there is a strong likelihood that government shelter personnel will carefully search you and confiscate
any weapons, knives, drugs including prescription medicines, tools, children toys, money, makeup, wallets, purses, keys, and
any extra food you may be carrying with you. It is unlikely you will get all of these items back when it is time for you to
leave. In some cases you will only be allowed to enter the shelter with the clothes you are wearing and a new identification
card [or wrist band] issued to you at the shelter. This makes escape from the shelter less feasible because you will have
surrendered all your possessions including your driver’s license, credit cards, money, and keys. This forces you to
follow any rules the shelter may impose because you are now defenseless and you know you now have no other choice in the matter.
Savage brute force will dominate inside these shelters and your family members will be subject to beatings, rape, and having
their daily food rations forcibly confiscated by the strongest residents in the shelter. In a worst case, these evil individuals
will continue to grow stronger as your family members continue to grow weaker and eventually die of disease or starvation.
These are some of the reasons why a church or community volunteer shelter would be preferred to an official government shelter.
The preceding discussion has focused on: (1) the need to evacuate, and (2)
several different possible destinations. It has not reviewed the most important things to take with you when you evacuate
your home. Here is a link to a list of practical and useful items.