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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I do not subscribe to the whole "bug out" idea that has so permeated the prepper community. An entire industry has grown up around the idea of "bugging out". Personally, I think it more a romantic notion, and the application of this strategy in real life would be anything but romantic.

Even so, we do maintain BOBs... of sorts. Maybe it would be more accurate to call them "Evacuation Bags".

I first considered what would cause me to evacuate the house on a moments notice. It wasn't a hurricane or tornado or societal breakdown. The answer was fire! A house fire would be the primary event that would mandate a swift evacuation of the house by all occupants.

So, at Zero3darkthirty, what would I need to grab to take with me should I not be able to re-enter the house (maybe forever) when the smoke alarms sound?

I considered the fact that I would be in my skivvies, and would have no time to dress. So, a complete change of cloths from the skin out went into our little bags for each of us. Could it be cold outside? You bet. In went wool watch caps, gloves, and a heavy fleece. One area of refuge during an evac in inclement weather would be a car, so I had extra keys made and put a set in each bag. Besides, we might need to move them away from the house anyway to avoid damage.

Each bag has a container with money inside - both quarters and small denomination bills so that we will have a little jingle in our pockets if needed.

Each bag contains a small "thumb" drive. I had gathered all of our important papers - birth certificates, insurance policies, driver liscences, contact phone numbers, gun inventory w/serial numbers,... whatever I thought could be needed or important, and scanned them onto the computer and then stored them on the thumb drives. Its a long and arduous process obtaining replacements, so having clear copies really help. All I would need to recover the documents would be a friend's computer and a printer.

Thats about it! Nothing exotic. Just enough to ensure we are somewhat comfortable after an emergency evacuation of the house and can more easily recover from a major loss should we suffer one. Of course, the main area of preparation for an emergency event such as this is a good insurance policy.

I hope this may have given some of you an idea or two, especially regarding the protection of your important documents that would absolutely be necessary to kick start your life.
 

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Thumb drives for scanned documents, love the idea. You might want to consider putting a book, or piece of a book, of checks in the bags. If you still have checks that is. Otherwise, maybe an extra debit card if you could manage it. Also, lists of any credit cards, with contact numbers- scanned onto the thumb drive.
And since your main focus is fire, maybe a drive big enough to hold scans of all your most precious photos? In this day and age, they are so expensive to buy that I often buy the smallest package, which means a 5x7 for me, wallets for grandmas. So in a fire, I would probably lose the only available copy large enough to scan and reprint at a good quality. So scan as soon as you get and update the drives regularly.

Thanks for the ideas, you got my brain to moving today!
 

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Don't know where you live but bugging out for many is a potential scenario. You're evacuation bag is a BOB, but suited to your needs.

Besides, or in addition to your thumb drives, consider external drives you would connect to your PC. These wouldn't go in your BOB, but pre-stashed off-site. Something in the 1-2TB range. I've found that thumb drive capacity is limited and therefore only holds pertinent documents in the BOB. I like to back up my computer including thousands of pictures onto these drives and then keep them off-site, at 2 different locations. One is kept more then 100 miles away (at a relatives) and the other is more local but separate from the homestead.
 

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Don't know where you live but bugging out for many is a potential scenario. You're evacuation bag is a BOB, but suited to your needs.

Besides, or in addition to your thumb drives, consider external drives you would connect to your PC. These wouldn't go in your BOB, but pre-stashed off-site. Something in the 1-2TB range. I've found that thumb drive capacity is limited and therefore only holds pertinent documents in the BOB. I like to back up my computer including thousands of pictures onto these drives and then keep them off-site, at 2 different locations. One is kept more then 100 miles away (at a relatives) and the other is more local but separate from the homestead.
another good one. I actually have an external hard drive with most of my photos on it already. Need to update and maybe send a copy to my brother in North Carolina, and keep another one at our future home.

Oh, and while I really don't see us leaving over any economic upheaval, takeover, earthquake, storm, etc we do have a bunch of chemical plants in the area, so I can definitely see the potential for us to have to evac in a hurry.
 

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Love the idea of the thumb drives.

With photos, we have an off-site backup service that saves all our files, and our digital photos are a part of that. And at one point I was working on scanning in all film photos (need to get back to that project) - but I never thought about school photos and other 'professional' photos. In case of fire, it would be good to have those scanned and backed up, too.

Thanks for the ideas. I'm on the same page as you in terms of BOBs. You might consider a small first aid kit with burn solution, in case anyone gets scrapes or minor burns on their way out of the house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wish I could take credit for the thumb drive idea, but I can't. I got it from a great site named "theplacewithnoname.com". Its one man's thoughts on what preps should be made in anticipation of evacuating ahead of the land fall of a hurricane. He experienced Katrina. Great site. Please take a look.

We have hundreds of digital photos. Some have been copied to CDs. Off-site storage is a smart idea. I just haven't gotten around to it.

Maybe an option would be to contract the services of a company such as Carbonite where all your computer records, including photos, can be safely backed up and stored to be retrieved intact should you loose your hard-drive.
 

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The Future?
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I guess my idea of BOB is different from ya’lls! When SHTF :shtf:the last thing I will worry about is my flash drive! By BOB is about per survival and does not contain provisions for my lap top or anything else that may hender my survival.
 

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The wanderer
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There's another thread on here from last year with the idea of storing important information on a flash drive. I don't know if that's the same as a thumb drive.

There's a lot of reasong people might have to bug out. Storms/hurricanes/tornadoes, earthquakes, advancing military troops, riots (that should be fresh in people's minds), nuclear fallout/lack of shelter against such, etc. It's good to have a bug-out kit of some kind, just in case.

Our family likes to think it's infallable and we won't have to bug out, since we live in a very remote part of NW Montana. But we could have raging wildfires or advancing military (we're close to the Canadian border, not that the Canadians themselves would invade), or things we haven't thought of. Perhaps volcanoes or Yellowstone blowing would make the air unfit to breathe?

So we have things we might need all assembled and into kits, ready to grab and go.

If I lived any place else I'd darn sure want to have a kit ready to go. Too many reasons why a person might need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I enjoy sites like this, which should be obvious. I pick up good information and can possibly share some as well. I also enjoy a good polite debate on related issues.

It can be easy for someone interested in prepping to quickly become overwhelmed and sometimes discouraged due to the abundance of opinions and associated information floating around.

My experience has been that its impossible to prepare for everything. Cities can't do it. States can't do it. Neither can the feds. There isn't enough resources available for it, and that includes funding.

I prepare for what is most likely to occur in the area where I live. I have done that by doing a risk assessment. I look at what has occurred in the past and the frequency of occurrence in order to ascertain the future likelihood of occurrence.

What is obvious in my area is that the largest risk is from a severe weather event. Its not an invading army, a nuclear attack, or an alien invasion. I can also pretty much discount riots and flash mobs. It could, however, be a flash flood that would isolate me for a time if I'm home, or an ice storm, severe thunderstorm, or similar weather event that would result in wind damage and a loss of electrical power... maybe for several days or even a week. In most every instance I would have enough warning to give me time to prepare further, if required. The only time I can foresee me having to immediately evacuate my house is (as I pointed out) a house fire.

Back to BOBs. I have a greater use for a "Get Home Bag". It is much more likely that I may be marooned in my vehicle away from home and need to get home than having to leave home in some emergency. It could last for a number of hours or even a number of days. I remember an ice storm that swept the area that prompted the state police to close a large section of an interstate, trapping all those attempting to drive in those icy conditions until the next morning after conditions improved and the section was reopened. I still think of those travelers - some in business suits - most all in no position to spend a dark cold night in their cars. I keep a bag in my vehicle. You should, too.
 

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Great idea on the drives...I can see that idea would be very useful in a housefire incident. Ive put photos on them but it'd do me no good if the drives are in my house...

I hope to bug in but have the means to bug out since I live in earthquake zones...so long as the ground doesnt fall in elevation (it's possible with a huge cascadia subduction movement) I'm outta the Tsuamni zone...but...one never knows...
 

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Family friend just lost everything in fire except for 3 of their 4 cats. She was home when electrical popping started ( old house). It happened so fast she only saved her life. In crisis BOB not first. Consider storing BOB out of house shed, barn, neighbor, family....
 

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good point TaziGirl...
I have my truck set up as well as my shed. Idea was I might not be home to bug out or in...so truckie is ready for me and my pets..and shed idea was in case we get a huge earthquake strong nuff to bring down my house or deem it unsafe. I doubt the shed will fall but even if it does...I got a tent and all the fixins so...course if a tsuamni is over 70 feet and reaches into where Im at..welp...the whole town is screwed so...

Anyways...if roads are unpassable due to fallen trees, poles, chaos and whatnot. The 7.2 quake we had here a few years back sent folks into total chaos as it didnt happen to many months after the big quake and Tsuamni that flattened indonesia area so it was fresh on folks mind and you should have seem and heard the shtf here...sirens going off, cars roaring and tires screachin...neighbors freaking out...

I knew I was safe and hunkered down, stood outside with my scanner and just listened to it all. We ended up with no wave thankfully but it rattled a few cages. What became of it was our town got a reality check and many spent alot of time and energy trying to educate folks to be prepared, not freak out, where to evacuate and if your in a area where you should. But alot blew it off...alot still dont know where to go or what to do when folks had to evac in March with the surge from Japan.
Anyways...I appreciate this site..alot of great ideas and so glad folks are willing to share them. :wave:
 

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File encryption is a good idea, and you do not want to use a "password protected" zip file. These are easy to break, and people will steal anything. Freeware exists to make true, self-extracting encrypted files.

The BOB concept fits those who live in suburbia. Closely spaced dwellings such as subdivision homes and apartments are unfit for any long term failure of utilities. Or needy neighbors that hear you generator running, smell your prep food cooking, see you dumping your honeybuckets, etc.

Mutual aid plans among friends is a better idea... and a BOB is still needed. But even more so is a place of relative seclusion where a group can meet and help each other without the meddling of immature neighbors, nosy officials, etc.
 

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I enjoy sites like this, which should be obvious. I pick up good information and can possibly share some as well. I also enjoy a good polite debate on related issues.

It can be easy for someone interested in prepping to quickly become overwhelmed and sometimes discouraged due to the abundance of opinions and associated information floating around.

My experience has been that its impossible to prepare for everything. I prepare for what is most likely to occur in the area where I live. I have done that by doing a risk assessment. I look at what has occurred in the past and the frequency of occurrence in order to ascertain the future likelihood of occurrence.
Just to return some polite debate, what makes you think you can't prepare for anything that comes your way in a "Bag"? All the "Bag" needs to do is help you to survive for 72-96 hours. It should provide water, food, fire making, some protection from the elements and some self defense. That WOULD prepare you for anything.

And as far as overwhelmed and discouraged, coming in and saying everyone who prepares a BOB is probably just a romantic idealist, makes for even more confusion. Now the new person who comes in says; "Wow, maybe I just want do anything, heck it seems some even think you can't be ready for anything that comes along....what to do".

Give people the benefit of a doubt, they are smarter than you give them credit. They will read, ask questions and make a decision on what they want to do. That's all.

Just some more thoughts...

Jimmy
 

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We also have 3 thumb drives in each of our BOB's each different colors. One has our emergency contact/ documentation/ etc. on it. that one is Red.

the second one has our pictures/ family movies etc on it its green.

the third one has our prep files/ reference files and such it's silver.

As I said each BOB has one of each. I am currently looking into a couple of small notepad/notebook the small ones with a 5" screen that runs about $175 each for the bags.

As far as bugging out Unless you have a pre set location then it IS NOT an option. So many times I read people osting that when the SHTF they are going to load up the family and head for the "Hills" but never know exactly where that is or what they plan on doing when they get there. I guess many of them expect to find food, water and shelter in huge amounts just sitting ther with their name on it and ready to use.:dunno: Maybe thats a good idea. :nuts: then we can just head for the city and gather up everything they left running in a blind panic?

Anybody want a brand new hummer and a rolex? I have a dozen of them:D;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just to return some polite debate, what makes you think you can't prepare for anything that comes your way in a "Bag"? All the "Bag" needs to do is help you to survive for 72-96 hours. It should provide water, food, fire making, some protection from the elements and some self defense. That WOULD prepare you for anything.

And as far as overwhelmed and discouraged, coming in and saying everyone who prepares a BOB is probably just a romantic idealist, makes for even more confusion. Now the new person who comes in says; "Wow, maybe I just want do anything, heck it seems some even think you can't be ready for anything that comes along....what to do".

Give people the benefit of a doubt, they are smarter than you give them credit. They will read, ask questions and make a decision on what they want to do. That's all.

Just some more thoughts...

Jimmy
I stated that the idea of bugging out once TSHTF is a romantic notion to many. I equate it with those who think they will "live off the land". I don't know how many times I've read someone's post where they exclaimed how plentiful deer and other wildlife are around them, indicating that they will enjoy an ample natural food supply. Hogwash! Everyone and their second cousin will be out after that game and it will be gone in a month's time.

If an event occurs that is severe enough to force you to leave your home, what makes you think it will only last three or four days? Do you foresee being on foot during that time and dragging along your family... all the time walking through a disaster area that initially caused you to leave the safety of your home in the first place? Or, do you intend to load up the car/truck/RV and hit the road... to where? Suppose there isn't any safe place to go, and, do a little research about Houston evacuating ahead of the last hurricane landfall. Traffic gridlock for hours and hours. No gas. No motels, no food. You definitely will not be the only traveler on the road! Whether on foot on in a vehicle you will be alone and exposed. It will be extraordinarily stressful and both mentally and physically exhausting. You could well find that you jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

And what if you have a "safe" place in mind? Maybe where you camped before or enjoyed a great weekend and you arrive to find a horde of others who had the same idea?

Are you armed? Chances are good that if you are out and the "authorities" find you have a weapon, you won't have it long. Then what? Now you are not only unarmed, but unable to protect yourself and your family.

All of that is why my opinion regarding bugging out is what it is. Some may pull it off, but most won't, and will end up in a shelter somewhere if they are lucky.

My comment about newbies becoming overwhelmed is simply due to the vast amount of opinion, advice, equipment, supplies, and every other tidbit in what has become a lucrative industry - emergency preps. They get advice on preparing for a nuke event, an EMP event, societal collapse, financial collapse, terrorism, a fascist take-over, gun confiscation, pandemics, not even to mention numerous natural events from floods to volcanos. I stand by my statement that it is impossible to prepare for everything, especially all in a knapsack.

The issue I see too often is that too many people want someone else to tell them what it is that they need to do. They are unable to do an evaluation on particular risks that will most likely affect them where they are and formulate a plan of their own. There is no "one size fits all" plan.
 

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The wanderer
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If a family needs a deer a week to survive, that's 52 deer a year. Times all the other families/people/groups that also need deer or other game to eat. Plus all the panicky people who think they better kill a bunch while there are still deer or other game to kill. Who knows how they'd preserve it. If they're on the trail, they won't be canning it. They could cut the meat in strips and smoke/dry it over a fire, and hopefully not attract predators (animal or people).

There may be some who know enough about hunting, foraging, and fishing, AND can get far enough back in a wilderness area to do so, but most won't. I recently read a book called "Bug Out" about how and where to bug out, and the author mentioned 3 wilderness areas here in Montana as 'good places to go' because of the large number of game animals. However he didn't mention that the climate most of the year would wear down and kill most people trying to live out there, if the grizzlies, wolves, and mountain lions that are so prevalent didn't kill them first.

I've done a lot of backcountry camping, even alone, and I've hunted, fished, and foraged most of my life, and I would NOT want to try to live out there.

If a short-term SHTF situation drives you from your home, then thank goodness you have some sort of bug-out bag or kit. If a long-term situation drives you out, it's not going to be pretty. Try to have a place to go, or at least useful skills or something to offer to become part of someone's homestead. That won't be easy, but it's possible. We would take in people who would be an asset to our homestead if they stumbled into our yard. Knowing who to trust and knowing how to figure that out is a whole other subject.

Even though bugging out long-term is not ideal, there are many who won't have a choice. All they can do is prepare for that the best they can.
 

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The only one responsible for yourself, is you!
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*pulls flashdrive from safe, adds photos, puts drive in BOB*

:2thumb:
 

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I stated that the idea of bugging out once TSHTF is a romantic notion to many. I equate it with those who think they will "live off the land". I don't know how many times I've read someone's post where they exclaimed how plentiful deer and other wildlife are around them, indicating that they will enjoy an ample natural food supply. Hogwash! Everyone and their second cousin will be out after that game and it will be gone in a month's time.

If an event occurs that is severe enough to force you to leave your home, what makes you think it will only last three or four days? Do you foresee being on foot during that time and dragging along your family... all the time walking through a disaster area that initially caused you to leave the safety of your home in the first place? Or, do you intend to load up the car/truck/RV and hit the road... to where? Suppose there isn't any safe place to go, and, do a little research about Houston evacuating ahead of the last hurricane landfall. Traffic gridlock for hours and hours. No gas. No motels, no food. You definitely will not be the only traveler on the road! Whether on foot on in a vehicle you will be alone and exposed. It will be extraordinarily stressful and both mentally and physically exhausting. You could well find that you jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

And what if you have a "safe" place in mind? Maybe where you camped before or enjoyed a great weekend and you arrive to find a horde of others who had the same idea?

Are you armed? Chances are good that if you are out and the "authorities" find you have a weapon, you won't have it long. Then what? Now you are not only unarmed, but unable to protect yourself and your family.

All of that is why my opinion regarding bugging out is what it is. Some may pull it off, but most won't, and will end up in a shelter somewhere if they are lucky.

My comment about newbies becoming overwhelmed is simply due to the vast amount of opinion, advice, equipment, supplies, and every other tidbit in what has become a lucrative industry - emergency preps. They get advice on preparing for a nuke event, an EMP event, societal collapse, financial collapse, terrorism, a fascist take-over, gun confiscation, pandemics, not even to mention numerous natural events from floods to volcanos. I stand by my statement that it is impossible to prepare for everything, especially all in a knapsack.

The issue I see too often is that too many people want someone else to tell them what it is that they need to do. They are unable to do an evaluation on particular risks that will most likely affect them where they are and formulate a plan of their own. There is no "one size fits all" plan.
You obviously live where nothing happens. Here we deal with hurricanes and tornados. I've been thru all of them since Camille and the last one, Katrina. Let me till you will be happy to have 3-5 days worth of food till the Calvary gets here. A way to protect yourself and your family. Here it is not illegal to have a handgun on your person in a natural disaster, in fact it is pretty much required. People will go medieval on you when things get rough because they were the idiots that had no plan and provisions.

I wasn't speaking of living off the land. I was speaking of living out of a bag of supplies you have for a few days while help is on the way. I can tell you have no clue how it is to have your house washed away or totally smashed and no one is in any better shape. No way of leaving. You have to worry about the moment, not the long term.

You won't be a problem in a SHTF situation, because if you plan for a "risk assessment" scenario, and something else comes along, you won't be around long. Or you'll be one of the whiners crying about how you didn't know....

You are the dangerous type to listen too.

And with that I have nothing else to debate you on. So you will get the last word.

Peace.

Jimmy
 
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