Is Your Vehicle Bug Out Ready?

  1. GPS1504
    You\'ve thought of everything you\'ll need for when the SHTF. You\'ve made a list and checked it twice. Your BOB is so flawlessly arranged that it brings a tear to your eye. In your mind, you have taken all the necessary precautions and are ready for what could be an uncertain future. You almost dare feel safe, but then you get to thinking about your vehicle. Will that vehicle be able to perform when faced with new-world challenges? Does it have 4 wheel drive capabilities?

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    A few hurricanes ago, I had a Volkswagen Jetta. It was not the car I wanted, but at the time, with gas prices being outrageous, I needed a vehicle that got decent gas mileage and so I bought it. Of course, as luck would have it, the gas mileage relative to the size of the car turned out to be not so great unless you did 80 miles per hour all the time. The car was also very low to the ground, and I lived in an area surrounded by water. Talk about a recipe for disaster.

    When the inevitable hurricane rolled in, my road flooded on both ends as is typical. The ends are low-lying, but the middle, where I live, is high. I knew I wouldn\'t get water in my house or have my car flooded, but what if I had to leave? To put it simply, I would not be leaving, because I bought a small car that could not make it through the flood waters.

    As well all know, driving over flooded roadways is not safe. It is hard to perceive depth and rushing currents can sweep you away. Having seen this road flood a hundred times before, I was confident in my knowledge of water depth. It was quite easy, actually; all I had to do was see water and immediately I knew it was too deep for the Volkswagen and I was trapped. Being trapped is a bad feeling, especially when tornadoes start to appear in your neighborhood with alarming frequency.

    Being in this predicament was nerve-racking, so I did the only thing I could do, which is to hop in the trusty Jeep and get out. It has 33\" tires and 4x4 capabilities, so getting out was not a problem. When traversing the road near the beach, however, reality body checked me once again, and hard. The storm surge created wave action literally on that road. The Jeep was buffeted with waves and held steady, even if vision of the road was lost from time to time as crashing waves sent water splashing over the hood and onto the windshield. I was safe in that Jeep, but all the while I could not stop thinking about that Volkswagen. The Jeep may have been able to laugh off those waves, but the Volkswagen could not boast the same ability and very well may have been swept off into a ditch, or worse, sucked into the ocean upon a retreating wave. Then what?

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    All it took was one harrowing hurricane season for me to face the reality that there are some jobs a car simply cannot do. I traded that car in, and thus eradicated my fears of not being able to move about as needed in a disaster situation by purchasing a truck. I feel much safer now, and have many more capabilities at hand, such as navigating rough terrain and accelerating faster away from a threat, not to mention bed space for storing precious items.

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    When considering your ability to escape disaster, is your vehicle prepared? Do you have the right vehicle for the job and can you navigate off road in the event that roads are demolished or even absent in places where you might have to seek refuge? Does your bug out vehicle have a place for extra gas to be stored without the fumes affecting you and going to your head? Don\'t forget that some vehicles can even be altered to incorporate living quarters so you aren\'t as exposed to extreme weather conditions and could give you the element of surprise when fending off scavengers.

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    There are many things to consider when it comes to a reliable BOV. For a lot of us, money is something to consider so you want something you can use as a daily driver that will also be there for you when the going gets tough. You can also save money by adding your own components (cattle guard, KC lights, etc.) rather than buying an already outfitted vehicle. There are many durable vehicles on the market that might put a dent in your gas bill while commuting, but the reality is, you may have to compromise now to be able to survive later, and survival is priceless.

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