unixknight

Your vehicle, and your route out of town

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In thinking about preparedness, many scenarios would involve evacuating the area.¬† I've done a little research and some pondering, and have some thoughts to share.¬† Also, people with better ideas than mine are invited to speak up! ¬†ūüėé

There are plenty of scenarios that might require you to get out NOW.

  • Tsunami coming (if you live near the coast)
  • Terrorism (They're looking to use nukes or dirty bombs.¬† Either way, you need to GET OUT)
  • Massive civil unrest
  • Zombie outbreak (Joking but not joking.¬† The Zombie plague scenario has been used by Government agencies as a fun way to educate about emergency preparedness to represent problems that require the most extreme measures to survive)

If there's a situation where you need to evacuate... and I mean RIGHT. NOW.  Could you do it?  Could you be at least 100 miles away from the city you live in quickly?  If you would be relying on roads,  you're screwed.  Understand that in any emergency evacuation scenario, people who stick to the roads are dead.  If your entire evacuation plan involves packing the 72 hour kit and the kids into the family minivan and heading for the highway you may just as well bunker down instead and try to survive in the basement.  If that's not an option, then you're in real trouble.  

In the event of a severe emergency requiring immediate evacuation, you need to think about the vehicle you're going to use to carry yourself and your family to safety.  Considering the roads will be hopelessly jammed, you need to choose an overland route that will get you away from the area without relying on highways, road bridges or road tunnels.  

You need a 4x4.  I don't mean your AWD Subaru or that full size SUV with the street tires and custom rims.  I'm talking about a vehicle that can:

  • ford water at least 3' deep
  • drive over fences
  • push other vehicles out of its path
  • keep from being taken by force
  • handle mud, snow, sand or debris

It's not as hard as you might imagine to get such a vehicle.  If you don't have a ton of money to spend, look for something old, something you could avoid having to do a state inspection on (in MD, a vehicle that's over 20 years old is eligible for historic tags, meaning it doesn't need state inspection.), something that replacement parts would be relatively cheap for (because junkyards) and something that would, in the meantime, be useful for hauling stuff around in.  Such a vehicle can be had for less than $1500.  We're talking an old F-150 or Chevy fullsize.  

Know what else such a vehicle can do?  It can drive on...

...Train Tracks.  The ground clearance on your Bugoutmobile should be high enough to roll over rails.  Now you have a way out of town that won't be as packed as the main roads, a vehicle that can handle it, and if the railroad ceases to be an option you can still handle terrain or whatever else.  You won't be the only person to try this, but it's better than the roads.  That also means you can use railroad bridges and tunnels.

 

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IMO, when something like this happens, complacency is by far a bigger danger than road conditions.  Absolutely a bigger danger for fires, chemical spills, hurricanes, tsunamis, and acts of war/terror.   You have A Big Honkin' Event (tm).  You think to yourself "Better hunker down and ride it out".  The news is telling you about evacuation areas and danger zones.  You think to yourself "It won't make it here."  Your cell phone goes off, telling you the Sheriff is evacuating your neighborhood.  You say to your family "We'll stay behind and make sure looters don't get our stuff."  It is really, really hard to shake off complacency and throw a bunch of your most prized possessions in your car, and abandon your house.  Especially when you don't see the immediate danger.  

Stuff got a bit easier for me to understand, once I learned that cops deal with "massive civil unrest" every Saturday night at closing time downtown.  It also got easier for me once it dawned on me that most evacuateable things are of limited scope and short duration.  The fire gets put out.  The riot ends.  The zombie outbreak is contained.  The tsunami comes and goes.  The earthquake happens, and then there's a scary week of aftershocks, and then it stops.  Even with massive hurricanes that take lives and remove power from millions - law and order might go away for an hour or a day or a week, but humans require order, and we all work to get it back as quickly as possible. 

True blue tinfoil-hat-nutcase prepping is cool, but it presupposes something without an end date.  Economic collapse.  EMP burst affecting the continental US.  We all wake up one morning and find out AOC has been president for two years, and the brownshirts are knocking at your door because you're a Christian.  Zombie outbreak that is the new normal.   But that really never happens in the US.  Every disaster we see coming, breeds it's own demise.  Take Y2K for example.  It would have been horrible, except we saw it coming for a decade and corporate America funded staffing to run projects that had nothing happen.  Boring!  

Anyway, if you end up driving on train tracks to escape the Golden Horde, come on over to my bunker out in the middle of nowhere.  Just come quick.

Quote

Top 10 responses to "Oh, if something bad happens, I'll just come to your house!"

10. Not without six months of your own supplies, you won't.
9. Yeah, your family means so little to you, I'll be sure to pick up your slack. Why don't you bring all your credit card debt while you're at it.
8. Sweet! We needed a decoy to walk the wire and be the first person shot!
7. Just be sure you show up with a ladder. Not sure how many corpses you'll have to climb over.
6. I may give you the shirt off my back, but try to take it, and I can only spare half a buck worth of subsonic copper hollow-points.
5. Hey, bring all the barter goods you want - I love to haggle. A roll of TP will get you past the dogs.
4. Be sure to bring some good boots, cuz you'll be up to your ankles in horse crap earning your keep.
3. Fine by me. I hear people taste like chicken.
2. Make sure you come early - the first five help me shoot the next fifty.

#1 is a tie:
1. "Don't do that, Mommy will just shoot you and make Daddy bury you in the backyard." (Are my kids great or what?)
1. "What, you thought I was gonna bunker down somewhere people can find me?" (Note found in my empty house)

 

Edited by NeuroTypical

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17 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

IMO, when something like this happens, complacency is by far a bigger danger than road conditions.  Absolutely a bigger danger for fires, chemical spills, hurricanes, tsunamis, and acts of war/terror.   You have A Big Honkin' Event (tm).  You think to yourself "Better hunker down and ride it out".  The news is telling you about evacuation areas and danger zones.  You think to yourself "It won't make it here."  Your cell phone goes off, telling you the Sheriff is evacuating your neighborhood.  You say to your family "We'll stay behind and make sure looters don't get our stuff."  It is really, really hard to shake off complacency and throw a bunch of your most prized possessions in your car, and abandon your house.  Especially when you don't see the immediate danger. 

Good point.  I guess that's an area where maybe following promptings goes a long way. 

OH one other thing that is worth noting with your Bugoutmobile.  Another reason to get something old is that you want a carburetor.  Fuel Injection systems are controlled by computer, and if the source of the emergency comes with an EMP burst (as with a nuclear weapon) then that computer is toast.  A carburetor is not affected by such things.  Even if you have a new-ish carbureted engine that is computer controlled, you can still get it to run.

Edited by unixknight

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When we bought this manufactured home I made sure it would out of the tsunami area. The roads here are in the danger zone, but we are okay with that. Neither of us is in any physical shape to Bug Out. We are staying here at the house. Little by little I am stocking up on the water - potable and flushable/washable. Hubby now likes the Idahoan Mashed Spuds made with all the water from a can of kitchen cut green beans and water to make 2 cups of liquid.

To my surprise and utter delight Hubby loves sprouts. Not just the Ho Hum Mung Beans, but alfalfa, radish, all variety of dry beans, amaranth, clover, fenugreek, all of the lentils, mustard (yellow & brown), all the different whole peas, spelt and whole raw sunflower. Am looking for onions, just got broccoli and of course the 20 pounds of black chia that I don't grow - but add to dishes that will be cooked. The water I use to soak them in gets used to water my house plants, then as I add water that drain off gets put into ice cube trays then added to soups, sauces, gravies.

By learning and doing now before a shtf scenario, we are better prepared. I make my own powdered laundry detergent and auto-dishwashing detergent, body lotions made with coconut oil, tea tree oil, and other essential oils. Also on the very top shelf in the guest closet (which is on the wall where the cathedral ceiling is) are all the styrofoam ice chests that are to use when the power goes off for a day or two and not just a couple of hours.

I just bought a new, never out of the box StoveTec Biomass Cook Stove from a sister at church for $50.00. Now to learn about it and practice cooking on it. Now to be on the lookout to purchase a good power generator that can power the microwave and my electric roasters.

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I have a husband and 2 boys that I am 100% sure is capable of surviving anything survivable.  If you can't survive with nothing but your brain, you can't survive.  If you have to have a bug out vehicle to survive, you won't survive.  If you have to have a 72-hour kit to survive, you won't survive.  Survival is a fight between you and yourself.  ;)

 

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On 3/5/2019 at 8:36 AM, anatess2 said:

I have a husband and 2 boys that I am 100% sure is capable of surviving anything survivable.  If you can't survive with nothing but your brain, you can't survive.  If you have to have a bug out vehicle to survive, you won't survive.  If you have to have a 72-hour kit to survive, you won't survive.  Survival is a fight between you and yourself.  ;)

 

I agree that a survival mindset is a critical factor, but I also have to say that having the right equipment increases survival odds a great deal. For instance, I can have all the will to survive in the world, but if I don't have a coat and it's 30 below zero, I'm not going to successfully traverse any meaningful distance. Thus I ensure I dress for the weather when travelling even though the vehicle will warm up eventually. I also keep extra coats in my vehicle just in case - for family members or other unfortunates who didn't plan as well. No matter how bad I want to, or how tough I am, I will eventually yield to the physiological fact that my body will shut down if my core temperature drops too much.

Perhaps your main point is to not be overly reliant on gizmos and gadgets, which I can agree with and respect, but if you're actually asserting that being prepared with some basic equipment to take care of essential needs (sustenance - food, water/temperature regulation - shelter, clothing, fire making) is not useful or to suggest that making plans and precautions is fruitless as long as you have a survival mindset, then I will respectfully disagree.

Edited by SpiritDragon

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19 minutes ago, SpiritDragon said:

I agree that a survival mindset is a critical factor, but I also have to say that having the right equipment increases survival odds a great deal. For instance, I can have all the will to survive in the world, but if I don't have a coat and it's 30 below zero, I'm not going to successfully traverse any meaningful distance. Thus I ensure I dress for the weather when travelling even though the vehicle will warm up eventually. I also keep extra coats in my vehicle just in case - for family members or other unfortunates who didn't plan as well. No matter how bad I want to, or how tough I am, I will eventually yield to the physiological fact that my body will shut down if my core temperature drops too much.

Perhaps your main point is to not be overly reliant on gizmos and gadgets, which I can agree with and respect, but if you're actually asserting that being prepared with some basic equipment to take care of essential needs (sustenance - food, water/temperature regulation - shelter, clothing, fire making) is not useful or to suggest that making plans and precautions is fruitless as long as you have a survival mindset, then I will respectfully disagree.

There's a reason my boys are big into Scouting.  The Scouting Motto used to be "Be Prepared".  It's part of a survival mindset.  But, grit comes before preparation.  Because preparation without grit becomes reliance on things that may fall outside of your control.  Whereas, grit before preparation makes it so that you prepare for the most likely of scenarios but if the most extreme SHTF happens and something happens to your coat in 30 below zero, you'll have a chance of figuring out what to do to use the natural world around you and survive without a coat.

This is the same concept used in the Filipino martial art of eskrima.  Eskrima is open hand combat but it is not weaponless training.  Rather, it trains you to use anything you can find as a weapon, may it be any straight stick-like material of any length, any sharp object single edged, double edged, sharp tipped, etc.  So that, preparation does not necessarily have to rely on carrying weapons on your body because there would come a time when you won't have one.

So my boys go hunting with their dad once in a while.  They usually go with their rifles.  But, they have also hunted without rifles.  They've even hunted boar with spears and a pack of dogs...

 

Edited by anatess2

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On 3/4/2019 at 10:45 AM, unixknight said:
Quote

If there's a situation where you need to evacuate... and I mean RIGHT. NOWÔĽŅ.¬† Could you do it?¬†

Yes.   

Quote

Could you be at least 100 miles away from the city you live in quÔĽŅickly?

Yes.   I live in a bigger city now than I did 3 month ago, but in every direction there is a whole lot of open road and no traffic.   It still wouldn't be that bad if the entire town evacuated.   Even if I went the speed limit (75 to 80), it would take about an hour and 15 minutes to travel 100 miles.   Maybe a few more minutes if everyone was evacuating.   If there was an emergency though, you wouldn't need to do the speed limit.   I could easily to 100 miles in less than an hour.  

Quote

You need a 4x4.

Over the last thousands of years, people have evacuated plenty of areas long before 4X4's were invented.  A 4x4 might be nice, but not 100% necessary.    The early Mormons (oops, I meant members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) evacuated Kirtland, Jackson County,  Nahvoo, Winter Quarters, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, etc. and they didn't have 4x4s.   

 

Edited by Scott

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31 minutes ago, Scott said:

Over the last thousands of years, people have evacuated plenty of areas long before 4X4's were invented.¬† A 4x4 might be nice, but not 100% necessary.¬† ¬† The early Mormons (oops, I meant members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) evacuated Kirtland, Jackson County,¬†¬†Nahvoo, Winter Quarters, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, etc. and they didn't have 4x4s.¬† ¬† ÔĽŅ

The early saints weren't fleeing from radioactive fallout, bioweapons, mass panic or total societal breakdown.  If any of those are the reason to get out, you'd better have something faster and more able to roll over obstacles than an oxcart.

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21 hours ago, unixknight said:

The early saints weren't fleeing from radioactive fallout, bioweapons, mass panic or total societal breakdown.  If any of those are the reason to get out, you'd better have something faster and more able to roll over obstacles than an oxcart.

The earth is gonna be unlivable in 12 years unless you get rid of your fossil-fueled vehicle and cows, dintcha know?  ;)

 

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On 3/6/2019 at 10:19 AM, SpiritDragon said:

I agree that a survival mindset is a critical factor, but I also have to say that having the right equipment increases survival odds a great deal. For instance, I can have all the will to survive in the world, but if I don't have a coat and it's 30 below zero, I'm not going to successfully traverse any meaningful distance. Thus I ensure I dress for the weather when travelling even though the vehicle will warm up eventually. I also keep extra coats in my vehicle just in case - for family members or other unfortunates who didn't plan as well.

Interestingly, I have at least three coats in the car right now, but they're all for my own preparation.

  • London Fog raincoat - not a trenchcoat (that's hanging on my closet door) but one of the above-the-knee¬†length unbelted coats mainly for keeping dry, though I do have the warm liner in at the moment since the mornings have been fairly chilly.
  • Medium weight leather jacket - excellent at blocking cold wind, and less formal than the London Fog.¬† Not as warm or water repellent as my trenchcoat, but at least in theory we should have some warning if there's going to be a late hard freeze so I can switch coats around.
  • Work jacket¬†- got it free from the last job, and it now serves as my "beater" jacket that I can wear into the shop at work without worrying that it'll get filthy.¬† Also the only jacket I own that specifically states it's machine washable.¬† Doubles as shirt protection for roadside repairs and such.

There's probably also a sweatshirt under the passenger seat that can be yet another layer if it's that cold.  Obviously in a pinch, they can be shared; I'm not going to leave someone to freeze while I've got two spares unless they're really annoying.

As for 72 hour kits, I consider them mostly a comfort item, beyond things like a spare knife, butane lighter, emergency blanket and a couple of bottles of water.  I don't absolutely need to eat in 72 hours, though it wouldn't be fun fasting that long even if I wasn't moving around much.  I do, however, need to stay warm, which generally includes staying (or getting) dry, not get too warm, and stay hydrated.  My emergency kits generally focus on first aid and things that will be of use in a situation going well beyond 72 hours.  That said, I do usually include a couple of "fast burn" energy items and some more filling foods in the car kits, where bulk and weight isn't an issue.  If I have to leave the car, I can reconfigure the kit before leaving.

Edited by NightSG

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