BOB’s; or, Surviving Somewhere Else – #6
Can it really happen? Can your whole world go into the potty in moments?
You better believe it.
One of my hobbies is Volunteering for the American Red Cross. The more glamorous occasions sent me to Louisiana and Mississippi to assist folks flooded out of their homes. But the harder thing I’ve volunteered to do is sit at the door of a local High School Gym, 11pm to 7am, checking in, and standing guard over, people who are lined up in cots trying to sleep while the mountain around their houses burns.
Their children fuss and cry because the bed is wrong, or the food is different. The air in the shelter smells of the smoke from the fires.
The mother paces the floor, trying with a cell phone to call the husband who stayed behind to try to hose the house. And they cannot reach him because the cell tower has burned down, so they don’t even know if he is still alive.
Police stop by every few minutes to chat and check on their charges, folks that they would normally be patrolling around their homes.
If you had five minutes notice that you should “Run Away, Run Away,” (as King Arthur put it), what would you grab? The Children? Water? Food? Family records? Credit cards? An axe? A gun? That aint much, but would you even know where it all was?
Get ready for that moment in advance. “Grab n’ Git” kits, or the “Bug out Bag:, should have all those essentials in it. A rolling day pack can be had at Goodwill for seven bucks, and most of what should fill it can be found around the house.
Surprisingly slowly it has grown on me that there are two types of Survival Planning. They have names, and the planning stages are considerably different. They are:
Short Term! and (Surprise!! )
In growing up I was taught to do both as a thing, and it never was separated, But items purchased are quite different, with some crossover. (Back then three days wasn’t emphasized, but my father didn’t leave home without some sort of cooking fuel and several tin cans of something to eat hidden away under the seats in the station wagon. He just called that Common Sense. The cooking fuel was actually charcoal in tins the same size as a quart can of oil, if anybody remembers that.)
Short Term is the flood-waters-at-the-threshold, forest-fires-are-on-MY-mountain, planning. Normally the answer to this is to “Run Away!.” Having a “Bug Out Bag,” (BOB), that will support you for three days, (72 hours), located in a place easy to grab on your way out is recommended. It is expected you will return home within three days, after the danger passes.
Since most of us spend our time between “places” in our cars, it could just be permanently tossed in the trunk with the spare tire.
Long Term, or, Surviving In Place, or Provident Living, involves squirreling away against lost jobs, bad winters, larger Act-of-God style disasters; famine, pestilence and fallen governments. Storage/hiding places for such have been discussed elsewhere, (such as my Food Storage Storage blog #1).
Foods for short term needs are frequently individually packed, require easy or no preparation, (you might be eating as you run), and normally require annual turnover. Foods for the long term are generally bulkier, require more preparation, and per meal-unit are more inexpensive because of how they are packed. Number ten tins of various items can store from five to thirty years, depending on the food mostly, and somewhat on packing procedures.
Presented here are examples of BOB’s offered by various merchants. They are shown as suggestions on how you make your own. Merchant’s sites are URL addressed that you may see other choices on your own. There are any number of places out there that would love to help you save your butt.
From the American Red Cross, for seventy bucks.
Click “Shop Our Store” in the blue line.
2. Battery Powered Flashlight (batteries included)
3. Battery Powered Radio (batteries included)
4. Emergency Blanket
5. Food Bars (4,800 calories)
6. Work Gloves (one pair)
7. Light Sticks (3 each; one lasts 12 hours)
8. Moist Towelettes (6)
9. Breathing Mask (NIOSH-N95)
10. Plastic Sheeting (10’x10′)
11. Rain Poncho
12. Personal First Aid Kit
13. Roll of Duct Tape
14. Water (2 quarts)
15. Water Container (2.5 gallon)
17. Personal Hygiene Comfort Kit (includes shampoo/body wash, wash cloth, toothbrush and toothpaste, comb, and deodorant)
18. First Aid and Emergency Preparedness Guide
From Major Surplus – Eighty bucks: for two people, add your own water.
Click “Survival and Disaster Supplies” in the Catagories box on the left.
1. 1 Large Square Bag 14″T x 26″L x 11″D with Shoulder Strap
2. 1 Information Sheet on Survival Techniques
3. 1 Portable Folding Stove with Solid Fuel Tabs
4. 1 13-Function Swiss Style Pocket Knife
5. 3 400-Calorie Millennium Energy Bars
6. 6 Snack items
7. 2 3600 Calorie Food Bars
8. 2 Mylar Emergency Blankets
9. 2 12 Hour Light Sticks
10. 1 Heavy Duty Space Blanket/Tarp
11. 1 Forever “Shake” Flashlight
12. 1 Extra Box Solid Fuel Tabs
13. 1 Tube Tent/Storm Shelter
14. 1 5-Gallon Water Bag
15. 1 Basic First Aid Kit
16. 1 Whistle
From Emergency Essentials, this “Lite” kit for thirty bucks
Click “Emergency Kits” in the blue line, top right.
1 3,600 Calorie Food Bar
3 Hard Candies
3 Water Bottles
3 Hand and Body Warmers
1 Emergency Poncho
1 Emergency Sleeping Bag
1 Strike-Anywhere Matches
1 5-in-1 Survival Whistle
1 LED Flashlight and Batteries
1 20 First-Aid Items
1 Tissue Pack
1 Medium Backpack
1 Multi-Function Knife
All of these groups have multiple other outfits.
Please note that none of these kits mention your Rx or OTC meds, eyeglasses, keys, ammo, or ID documents. There may be other things important to you that are unique to your needs or desires that must be included by you. I would recommend a nice half-worn pair of Tennie-runners, and maybe an old tee shirt for crawling under the car. One or two rolls of TP, each in a quart zip lock bag, and a roll of paper towels. Sleeping bags, (those three days have a night between each of them). Add a hatchet for making kindling. Then think up your own stuff.
Good luck, and get packing..