The necessity to leave your home quickly, without time for picking and choosing what to take with you should be considered as a real possibility.
Survival Bug Out Bag
Packing a Bag Out Bag is one thing . Having a good Bug Out Bag list is a great starting point.
Such an event could happen at any time. Having a handy, easy-to-carry survival kit or bug out bag could be your only lifeline in these circumstances.
For many individuals, the idea of compiling and maintaining a bug out bag or survival kit is ludicrous. Many mistakenly assume that a natural disaster or emergency could happen to them. “I don’t live in an earthquake zone and this area hasn’t seen a tornado in a hundred years” I’ve heard folks around my area say.
Not only can the whims of Nature cause widespread destruction and death through earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, tsunamis, etc., humankind has developed it’s own methods of mass destruction through warfare, synthetic viruses, toxic chemical spills, reactor melt-downs and more. Any one or a combination of these life-threatening possible disasters can happen with such sudden and immediate consequences that to survive and protect your loved ones, evacuation is the only option.
Too many people that think this way end up becoming a statistic because of a lack of simple preparation. Ignoring the possibility of a disaster is not only unwise but irresponsible especially if your a parent and have a moral duty to take care of your family.
Being aware of the possible events that could happen, is the first step towards surviving any disaster or emergency. Having the sense to realize that the forest fire footage on the evening news could just as easily be your neighborhood, is a step in the right direction. A simple backpack can make an excellent bug out bag.
Awareness inevitably leads to preparation or how to be ready in case of a disaster. If you have to leave suddenly, when every second counts towards survivability, the American Red Cross suggests an easy-to-carry bag or backpack with enough food, water and gear to last three to five days while waiting for help to arrive.
When driving a vehicle might not be possible, walking out of the disaster zone could be your only chance. In such a scenario having only the necessities for life might be all you are able to manage. Your golf clubs and bowling ball should not be high on your priority list.
Bug Out Bag Contents
The Bug Out Bag’s name stems from the military term “Bail Out Bag”. A piece of kit aviators were issued to use in the event of a crash or being shot down. The name morphed over the years as it was passed down from other military and law enforcement circles and became the now famous Bug Out Bag. Other oft used names include: Personal Emergency Relocation Kits (PERK’s), Go Bags and Get Out Of Dodge Bags (GOOD’s).
The principal behind this bag is to provide for you and your family all the essential items one would need to escape and survive either a natural disaster or emergency.
Gear in the bug out bag should be tailored to your unique needs. Items such as prescription medication, local maps and clothing tailored to your particular climate and weather should be considered for inclusion.
Many pre-assembled off the shelf bug out bags may not be set up to provide for this, so extra room should be allotted to add these as required.
The bag itself must be sturdy enough to tackle almost anything you throw at it. Many of the bags used in pre-assembled survival kits are severely lacking in the quality department and may not hold up to the demands placed upon it should you find yourself in an adrenaline fueled escape from the clutches of death.
Things To Go in The Survival Kit
The real necessities fall into these broad categories:
Humans need up to 2.5 liters a day to survive. A person can go many days without food but not more than three days without water. A pocket water filter and a good canteen are advisable, but 2 liter plastic beverage bottles work fine and it’s not too difficult to rig up a harness or strap to hang a couple of bottles off your shoulder. Remember; water is heavy, over 5 lbs per gallon, so pack it or hang it off your pack, you won’t be able to carry gallon jugs very far.
Food is important for endurance when hiking and replacing lost nutrients due to stress. Also a meal is a great way to restore flagging spirits and regain energy. High energy protein bars, nuts, dried fruit, parched corn, jerky, tea in bags or instant coffee are all light- weight and nourishing if not exactly your idea of a meal.
Your list of priority foods should not be topped by Oreo’s and potato chips.
No matter what else your bug out bag contains, a good knife and a means to make a fire are necessary. While the type of knife or knives (a back-up can be a life saver) is a matter of personal choice, remember that the last thing you need in an emergency survival occurrence is a dull or broken knife. A name brand, full-tang(blade metal extends through the handle) hunting knife with at least a 6 inch blade is all you need.
If you don’t plan on carrying a hatchet or machete you might consider a bigger knife that could be used to chop firewood with. A folding pocket knife, Leatherman multi-tool or Swiss Army knife are good dependable back-ups in case of loss or theft.
4.Clothes And Bedding
Apparel and sleeping choices are dependent on weather conditions and the prevailing climate you live in.
Hopefully you have enough sense to put on sturdy shoes or hiking boots, durable trousers and at least two layers of upper body apparel. A disaster situation is not the time for high heels or flip-flops. Extra socks are very important when walking is your only option. Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you!
To stay dry and reasonably warm, if not comfortable, try space-blankets and plastic ponchos. These are light-weight, inexpensive and come in small enough packages that several take up very little space in your bug out bag.
There are rescue sleeping bags that are space blankets you can crawl into and there are 2-person rescue tube tents made out of the same heat reflecting material that can double as a signal mirror for attracting attention. In a survival situation where every ounce of weight you carry must be consciously considered, you probably don’t want to lug around a queen-sized inflatable bed or Grandma’s feather mattress.
6.Fishing And Hunting Gear
Most of your gear is somewhat dependent on environment, for instance, fish hooks and line might not do you much good in New York City, but could provide a meal or two in a rural area. You should also be aware of the current weather conditions and be dressed appropriately. Always have a heavy jacket or coat handy to your survival kit. In warmer climates, a light jacket or serape, maybe a cape would be all you would need.
7. Personal Protection
Personal protection is also something to think about. Remember that in a crisis, there will probably be no one to protect you and your loved ones except YOU. There will always be people who will take advantage of a lawless situation to further their own agendas, usually at the expense of those who won’t or aren’t able to defend themselves.
For those folks that don’t want to deal with real weapons for whatever reasons, they should consider purchasing a couple canisters of pepper spray. Pepper spray will make believers out of rude visitors quickly and is inexpensive. Even better, if it’s possible to get bear deterrent spray, do so, because it is really, really nasty. Something that will stop a charging sow bear will certainly ruin a human attacker’s day.
You want to keep any attackers out of arm’s reach because if they get a hold of you it is all over. A long stabbing weapon is preferable over a club. In other words, if all you have for a weapon is your 9-iron, don’t try beating on an attacker with it, they’ll just take it away from you and beat the shit out of you with it.
Break off the head, leaving a kind of sharp and jagged end and thrust it like a sword. You can beat on somebody all day long and not incapacitate them, but stab them in the throat with the jagged end of your 9-iron and I’ll guarantee they will have second thoughts about harassing you.
Weapons should be limited to your ability to carry them and knowledge of their use.
Other equipment that should be in your survival pack is: A container for cooking or boiling water.
- Matches or lighter in a water-proof container.
- A first-aid kit and instructions.
- A towel, hat and work gloves.
- Water purification tablets or tincture of iodine.
- A flashlight, batteries, candles.
- Any necessary medications/prescriptions, vitamins.
- Para-cord, duct tape, (duct tape is an absolute necessity).
- Copies of important documents, driver’s license, id card.
- Money (preferably silver).
- A map(s).
- Your cell phone, maybe a wind up radio.
- Garbage bags.
- Don’t forget toilet paper!
There are surely many more things you can think of to have with you in an emergency, just remember that you might have to carry all of your goodies in your bug out bag out of the danger zone.
In any disaster situation that calls for rapid evacuation into unknown circumstances and with doubtful hope of immediate aid, a prepared bog out bag or survival kit can mean the difference between life in reasonable comfort or confusion, dehydration, extreme discomfort and possibly death.
Surviving a Flood
Floods are extremely common in tropical countries – but that doesn’t mean that temperate and wintry countries don’t experience flooding. In fact, flooding is one of the most common natural disasters that occur in various parts of the United States.
It’s not going to change anytime soon, so we’d best be prepared for this type of disaster. There are generally two kinds of floods. The first type of flood develops over a long period of time due to continuous rain.
It’s generally easier to prepare for this type of flooding because you can gather your emergency supplies as you monitor the rising waters around the neighborhood. Often times, floods occur in the night and often times there is a power outage. That is why it really is important to have your bug out bag packed and ready to go, in case you need to be evacuated or make a run for it.
The second type of flooding is more sudden: flash floods. Flash floods can occur within a few short minutes, and whole neighborhoods can become submerged without warning. Flash floods can occur in the following situations:
1. Excessive rainfall over a long period of time
2. Structural or operational dam problems
3. Ice jam breakage
4. An overflow in natural bodies of water, such as rivers
5. Street drains that are unable to handle the water coming in from excessive rainfall
While regular floods carry with them some debris, flash floods are doubly dangerous because flash flood waters often carry rocks and mud. Imagine a massive wave of muddy and rocky water heading toward your neighborhood. In countries in Southeast Asia, flash floods have been known to decimate whole neighborhoods in a matter of hours.
Little can be done if the victims of flash floods have little or no knowledge of how to act during a natural disaster. While some cities in the United States are relatively safe from flooding, one can never know. Be extra alert if you live in a low-lying area near any kind of body of water (even a pond can cause massive flooding during a heavy downpour).
I know that many people have yet to experience a devastating flood – and that’s good. If you have never experienced a flood in your lifetime, that means that you either live in a very flood-protected area, or your local government is doing everything it can to prevent flooding from taking place, even during the worst downpours.
Does this mean that you won’t have to know how to act during a flood?
Not necessarily. You see, floods can take place anywhere, because every area in the country experiences changes in topography. Soil moves (though very slowly) and, over time, this will have an impact on how flood-proof a city or town is.
If you are unsure as to how safe your neighborhood is from flooding, simply ask around – I’m sure there will be some old timers in your neighborhood who may (or may not) have experienced flooding some years ago. If flooding has occurred in your neighborhood (even if it was ten years ago), then your neighborhood will probably experience flooding again if a sufficient number of factors come into play.
1. Hurricanes are more devastating than tropical storms, because they carry much more wind force, debris, and floodwater.
Both tropical storms and hurricanes can cause flooding, and both can cause massive damage to property. Coastal areas are more likely to experience the full extent of hurricanes; if you live in such an area, you may already be aware of the swiftness of the floods that strong hurricanes can bring.
2. During spring, melting snow and ice can cause flooding if you live near natural bodies of water such as ponds and streams. You may be wondering – why doesn’t the land absorb all of that melted snow?
Well, during winter everything freezes – including the soil. Frozen soil is not very absorbent, because the particles are stuck together and allow very little moisture to seep through.
3. The Northwestern region of the United States is at high risk for flooding due to excessive rainfall. Excess rainfall is often caused by the La Nina phenomenon, which affects different countries, not just the United States.
4. Wildfires can also increase the risk of flooding in certain areas. Studies show that regions that have frequent wildfires tend to develop strong mudflows during heavy downpours. These strong mudflows directly impact surrounding towns and cities.
Earthquakes, like flooding, can occur at any moment – but the good thing about today’s technology is that seismologists monitor seismic activity daily, so they can broadcast any impending earthquakes should they come. Earthquakes are a natural phenomenon that occurs when large sheets of rock under the soil suddenly release accumulated pressure and force.
You see, the Earth as a planet is always in a state of change. There are several layers of rock under the soil that we know so well; over time, shifts occur in these rocky layers, and when pressure has to be released, the ground that we walk on can shake so fiercely that buildings, roads and bridges crumble and collapse.
Countries like Japan are only too familiar with the devastating power of earthquakes. We can never know exactly when a powerful earthquake is about to strike a town or city, so it is best to be prepared for its sudden manifestation.
Again, if you have never experienced such an occurrence before, don’t rest easy – because according to studies, 45 states are actually at moderate risk for earthquakes in the United States. Though this phenomenon has historically been associated with the West Coast, facts show that other states are equally at risk.
If a possible earthquake has been announced in your area, you must start preparing for the potential disaster:
1. Make sure that you have an emergency kit ready. They are an invaluable item and will form the basis of your well being during the first 72 hours of any disaster
2. Shelves and other wooden furniture should be secured to prevent them from toppling over during the actual earthquake.
Heavy objects should be placed as close as possible to floor level. During a quake, those heavy items will most likely fall, and that can be dangerous to you and your family. Imagine vases and heavy books falling all around you; earthquakes can easily do that to your home.
3. If you have frames and other hanging decorations near couches, remove these immediately. Place these near the floor level and away from beds, seats, couches, etc.
4. Lighting fixtures should also be secured and braced in the advent of an earthquake. If you don’t have to brace your fixtures at home, remove the light bulbs instead. It’s one thing to clean up fallen fixtures – it’s a completely different thing when you have to clean up shattered and powdered light bulbs. The dust from shattered light bulbs is poisonous – cover your nose and mouth if you have to clean up stuff like this.
5. Furnaces and large appliances should be fastened or bolted down to the floor if possible. Bolting down large appliances is considered a best practice because this will prevent the earthquake from toppling your expensive appliances. However, if this is not an option, what you can do is strap them to the wall. You should obtain the fasteners and straps/ rope now, before an earthquake strikes.
6. Most houses, especially those that are ten years old or older, have minor structural problems such as cracks in the walls and the foundation. Small cracks in the foundation can become massive fissures during an earthquake.
If you’re aware that your house has such defects, it is best to have these repaired as soon as possible by a professional. A strong earthquake can easily destroy a small home if it is in a neighborhood situated near the epicenter of a quake.
7. Perform regular checks of the foundation of your home. Checking the foundation every two to three months is a good practice.
8. Most homes have a fairly large supply of insecticides and other household chemicals. These chemicals must be stored securely in a bolted-down cabinet that can be closed with a latch or lock in the event of an earthquake.
9. Remember the DCH code during an earthquake: D (Drop), C (Cover), & H (Hold On).