Bugging Out From Hurricanes
I live on the Florida Gulf coast near Pensacola Florida, twenty miles north of the beaches. Several years ago hurricane Ivan tore this area apart. The day afterward, I drove twenty miles to my Mom's to cut two trees off her neighbor's house. This was a freebee just to release the pressure on the roof and put a temporary patch on.
The drive that usually took thirty minutes took about two hours. The traffic was massive and moving at an average of fifteen to twenty miles per hour at best. There were downed trees, many emergency vehicles and everybody in town was trying to get out of town to somewhere else. What I discovered was that cars are not built to go twenty miles an hour. What normally took a quarter of a tank for that trip consumed a full tank. Prior to a hurricane all the gasoline is consumed by residents topping off their tanks. This takes about four hours for an entire town to go dry. After an event like a hurricane it can take two or three days for the town to refuel. Of course this is just for a small local. How long would it take to refuel an entire country?
Prior to another hurricane I witnessed a trip to hell for many. I lived a half block from a main artery north away from the coast. We were about six hours from landfall and I noticed around six PM a solid line of cars heading North at about five to ten miles per hour. Now you have to remember that I live in a small rural community where we don't have traffic. It was near one hundred degrees outside and most of the cars had their air conditioners turned off to keep their radiators from overheating. My guess was that a lot of these vehicles were going to end up riding out the storm on the side of the highway out of gas and with the passengers hungry and having to pee.
So here's my advice if you plan on bugging out if things go bad or Martial Law is declared. Don't, unless it is for a short run, say an hour's drive under normal circumstances. Any distance farther than that is a mistake waiting to happen.
Plan on four times the normal fuel consumption. Bring your own spare fuel as the service stations will be empty. If you store the fuel longer than three months add a fuel saver additive to the cans.
Load the trunk with lots of bottled water, canned meals such as Bennie Weenies, fruit cocktail, plastic utensils and snacks. Make sure all of the cans are pop-top. Lay off the sodas as your stomach is going to be upset enough. Leave the MREs alone too. They will just make you full of energy while you have to sit still for hours and they will constipate you. You've got enough problems already.
Lets face it, guys are pigs. Ladies, purchase a $3 urinal bottle from the drugstore with a roll of toilet paper and Handi-Wipes and keep them in the trunk. The bottle has a two inch opening that you can't miss. If you don't have a urinal bottle, then wear a poncho. Trust me, you won't be able to or want to use the highway bathrooms on that trip. If you do, carry your own paper and soap.
Have bug-out bags with clothes, including clean underwear, blankets, etc. This will be the trip from hell so you had better prepare for it. Also prepare for it to take a full day longer than the two hours you expected. Be prepared.
Lastly, consider that Martial law will be put into play either by the good guys or the bad guys. But either way, it's purpose will be to keep the citizens pinned down. The last thing they need is for every Floridian to go to California and for Californians to go to Florida. During a national crisis all fuel will be dedicated to the government, emergency organizations and the military. Major intersections may possibly be locked down. But you can believe that fuel will be rationed to perhaps a five gallon limit and it may take you hours to get it. Good luck.
This article is just for city slickers who may wish that they weren’t if we go into a long crisis. I keep hearing from wanna-be preppers that they are stuck where they are as they don't have enough money for land in the country. This is the dumbest thing I ever heard. People, get your head out of your asses, stop doing as you were trained to do and make the decision that your extended family will survive. That's right, you have to decide to survive!
In order to solve the country land problem simply stick $50 in an envelope marked “Land” and you are done.
We have a country fall-back farm. I surveyed every house within a half mile radius of us for future organization, help and threats. What I discovered was that one third of the houses either are vacant or would be vacant in a long crisis. Most of the current vacancies were related to deaths or owners in nursing homes. You see, the average age of our neighbors is above 65. When some people die their land sits for several years due to lack of wills and also from Medicaid confusion if Medicaid can seize the property for payment for assistance given. Then there is the inheritance city slickers gain but cannot use and thus end up with divided siblings unable to move forward. I think you are beginning to get the picture here.
I suggest that your extended family go land hunting. In a crisis, there are no land boundaries, no trespassing laws and no real rules. You do as you must to stay alive. So do it. Locate several abandoned properties, close to each other, with pump houses (wells). Plan on moving in at crisis time. If the owner shows up then simply move to the next. But in the meantime, be of service to the community. Camp out back or move in. Lay low so it still appears abandoned. But at least now you have a plan to go forward.
Now back to the $50. Purchase a piece of plastic window pane that you can cut, a tube of clear silicone and an exterior door knob. On moving day break out a back window for entry. Change the back door lock and repair the window. No harm done.
Have someone prepared to power the well with a generator (simple process). Run the generator ten minutes every three days to fill up the bath tub, water heater, kiddie swimming pool etc. so that now you have safe drinking water. Purchase $25 worth of 4 inch tin stove piping and an elbow so that you can take the generator exhaust and blow it eight feet straight up into the clouds. Not only will this muffle the sound but it will make it impossible for neighbors to pinpoint the sound source. Then all you have to do is construct a $25 composting toilet that uses no water.
For $100 you have just resolved your land, shelter, water and sewage problems. Get your head out your ass and start thinking family survival instead of poor pitiful you.
Hide and Seek
One of my fondest childhood memories was playing hide and seek on summer evenings around twilight. Your only care in the world was to find a good spot and not get caught. Nothing else mattered in life.
But as life would have it, we were poor and my parents could not afford a lot of neat hiding places. Because there were nine of us kids and considering all the neighborhood kids playing, there was a shortage of good hiding places. Even so, you could always find a place to hide.
You know, in all of those summer memories I never recall anyone demanding to see my papers authorizing me to hide in that particular spot. The way we played the game it was simply first come first serve. Besides, we were just hiding there during the game, we weren't claiming that spot forever.
So too will it be if you have to relocate to a better hiding place in the event of a long emergency. I spent a lot of time studying the strategy and tactics of Robert E. Lee. With the exception of Gettysburg, he almost always fought a defensive war and chose the location of an upcoming battle. And that choice was always to a great advantage to the defender. His philosophy was probably, “As long as you have to choose, choose to your advantage.” Did you know that a dug in defender has a 3 to 1 to a 6 to 1 advantage over an attacker? The military term for this is Force Multiplier.
This is precisely why no one has ever invaded Switzerland, and not because of the popular belief that they are all armed with Swiss army knives. Then if you consider that if your land choice makes you invisible you always win as you cannot lose a battle you do not have to fight. O.K. Enough said about bugging out.
Buy Out Your Neighbors
What do you do if you don't have a brick home to bunker down in but your neighbor does? Do what Donald Trump would do - buy him out. Problem solved.
What do you do if you have a brick home, a lot of prepared extended family but not enough room in your home for all of them? Again, buy your neighbor out. Then your two houses can protect each other as long as you have the walkie talkies to coordinate things.
Isn't it amazing how easy it is to solve insurmountable problems? By the way, with the drop in home prices, I wouldn't store up more than a six month supply of rice ($60) per each current home-owner there. Post collapse I am sure they will bargain with you for the food and protection.