I had to recently check my bug out bag at the urging of my son when some severe thunderstorms were blowing through the area. I do this 2 to 3 times a year and it takes a bit of effort but the timing was right and so I went along with his suggestion. I’m glad I did as there are always things such as food and water that need to be rotated out and it also gives me a chance to evaluate the contents of the bag. I continue to listen to the survival podcast and other shows and as such my education on topics such as bug out bags continues to expand. I’m always learning new ways of evaluating situations and contingency plans and this also helps in my regular day to day life.
My history with preparing bug out bags goes only as far back as my salesman days in Japan. I believe it wasn’t until after my first child was born that I thought more about what the aftermath would be like of a major earthquake in the area where I lived. My first bag was simple. Just some canned fish, some other snack food, and a couple of 1 liter bottles of water and probably a flashlight and radio. Eventually we added diapers and baby wipes and spare baby clothes and a few old clothes for my wife and I. That’s pretty much how the bag stayed for about 3 years. Even after my daughter was born in 2003 we probably didn’t do anything to make the bag more efficient. We were pretty busy then with huge situations and the idea of the bug out bag took a back seat to trying to bug out of Japan. Following our move to the USA in 2003 we still didn’t add much to the bug out bag and probably only rotated some of the food that was more than likely way beyond expiration.
I became interested in preparing a more versatile bug out bag following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I realized that if disaster struck my family it would be up to me to provide that initial care and comfort. Since I became a listener to the survival podcast in 2009 I have gained new knowledge about bugging in and bugging out situations and preparations and I realized that with most things you rely on bug out bags are not meant to be packed once and thrown in a closet somewhere only to be brought out in time of emergency. It something that you must check on a quarterly or semiannually basis to make sure that the supplies enclosed make sense for general situation is which you may need to bug out.
Over a ten year period our bug out bag has grown from one large pack to include an army duffle bag and another back pack. The bags themselves were not necessarily designed as bug out bags but they serve the purpose well and will continue to be of service until the need for better bags becomes more apparent. In today’s show notes I link to other articles and websites with great bug out bag preparation and in depth explanations on the planning and implementation of bug out bags. First the survival podcast come has several episodes on bug out bag preparation. Like firearms there is no single best bug out bag or bug out bag supply list. Everything must be personalized for situations, experience and skill. Listening and reading this other information will provide you with a well-rounded education on the subject of bug out bags and how to decide and implement something that’s just right for you. I emphasize that I am not an expert on this subject but I am someone who has taken the advice of the experts and put together what works best for my family and I.
Our bug out bags are designed to get us to a safe place and provide enough food, water, shelter and security for a 72 hour period.
What’s inside my bug out bag – it’s not necessary to write this the list as I’ve included in today’s show notes.
- 8 – 2 liter bottles of water
- Collapsible container for water
- Water purifying tablets
- 12 cans of Vienna sausages
- 12 cans of soup
- 6 cans of fruit
- 6 cans of chicken
- 12 granola bars
- 3 day supply of vitamins
- Roll of duct tape
- 2 complete first aid kits
- Bottle of isopropyl alcohol
- Bottle of hydrogen peroxide
- 2 cans of coffee
- Hand sanitizer
- 3 rolls of toilet paper
- Pack of wet wipes
- 2 loud boat whistles
- 2 walkie talkies
- 2 lighters
- Spare batteries
- 2 flashlights
- Fire starter
- Roll of paper towels
- Plastic bags
- Spare set of clothes and underwear for the whole family
- Baby powder
- And a bottle of the good stuff
Other things not in the bags but that I would bring along – tent, camping supplies, an evening’s worth of fire wood items related to security such as money and defense. The vehicle we drive usually contains a full tank of gas and has a 24 hour supply of water, food, heat source, candles and road travel emergency equipment such as spare oils, jumper cables, rope, duct tape, flashlights, spare batteries, etc.
What I found lacking –
Food and water for the dog, Playing cards, games
Lighters, small flashlights, communication devices, maps, sources of heat
Why do I need the bug out bags for living in Fairfax County? What could happen that I say to the family okay we got three minutes get the bags in the car and we gotta roll.
The first thought is an impeding hurricane such as Isabelle which rolled through the area in 2003. The next is tornados. Back in 1973 the home we live in now had its roof tore off by a powerful twister and the home was unlivable for several weeks. With tornados I don’t know if we’d risk leaving before we knew of one coming since such warnings are not usually provided in advance enough to escape a busy area. First we’d bear out the storm in the home in a closet or the north east corner of the basement. Then if we had to leave we could or we might be stuck and have to bug in due to too much road debris. Same thing with a hurricane.
Beyond that the scenarios are of the order that forces beyond our control require us to leave because our safety is in jeopardy. I won’t list out what might force us to bug out but living near DC and a nuclear power plant require prudence and planning for my family and I. Flooding is one disaster that the news is full of these days and that could be another reason to get the hell out dodge before it’s too late. And it’s not unreasonable to think about what this area would look like under water. I try to begin the focus on bugging out or bugging in based on localized events first, then regional and then national. I recommend that line of thinking as you contemplate building or improving your bug out bags. In conclusion I emphasize that hurricane Katrina should have been a wake up call for all Americans. When disaster strikes we and our neighbors are our best source of resilience.
That’s it for today now go and do something useful.
Bug out bag supplies and links
TheSurvivalpodcast.com – http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/the-bug-out-bag
For gardening production update go to Production Gardening 2011
HOW TO DO YOUR OWN PODCAST
- The best Audacity and podcast set up tutorial site. http://www.how-to-podcast-tutorial.com/17-audacity-tutorial.htm
- Audacity – http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
- Lame – http://lame.buanzo.com.ar/
- 5 Minutes With Jack – Ramblings of an insane entrepreneur. How to market your podcast and why. http://www.jackspirko.com/
!!! HVAC SERVICE UPDATE !!! – Reference Episode 8 – http://www.hvac-911.com/
BT TECH LLC is now HVAC-911 Serving Fairfax County and beyond. http://www.hvac-911.com/