Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us

by Dave Robinson

Dave Robinson

Evacuation: To Go Or Not To Go
Originally published April 15, 2013

There is a concept among preppers known as “Bugging Out.” I remember the term from watching reruns of M.A.S.H. Whenever Radar O’Reilly, Major Henry Blake and Hawkeye were ordered to move their Mobile And Surgical Hospital unit to a new location, they would make plans to “bug out.” Today’s preppers use the term to describe an evacuation process to be executed when the current abode becomes too dangerous to stay put or uninhabitable.

The likelihood of evacuation in our area is usually minor. Our weather events don’t equal the hurricanes of the East Coast and Gulf Coast states. Nor do we get the blizzards of the northern regions of our country. We have had isolated instances of evacuation due to flooding and landslides in the past, and for those living in the tsunami inundation zone, bugging out could certainly become a reality.

You can be assured if I lived in a major city or in the hurricane zone, my preparation plans would include how to get my family and supplies out of town on short notice. (Or in prepper lingo, “Out of Dodge.”) Living in rural Oregon we have several things to our advantage. Our relatively sparse population is far more self-sufficient and more good-neighbor minded than big city folks. If you’ve ever watched the news during a big storm or hurricane in a dense-population area, you see looting and other outlaw behavior.

There seems to be a segment of society always on the cusp of criminal behavior. This group of potential criminals allow themselves to be drawn over the line of unacceptable behavior at the slightest provocation and pillage, loot and even worse when they know the police have their hands full with other matters. You can bet your emergency generator this group has never laid in an extra flashlight battery or can of Spam. Their “plan” such as it is, will be to take your supplies in the event of a disaster. This is precisely why, if I lived in a metropolitan area, I would be planning to “get out of Dodge” if necessary.

If you have relatives or loved ones in the big cities, send them a copy of this column and suggest they make plans to ‘bug out’ if the need arises.

Speaking of tsunami inundation zones, if you’d like a copy of the latest map showing where a tsunami is likely to reach, send me an email and I’ll forward it to you free of charge. Specify if you live in the Coos Bay area, or in the Coquille River area. Also if you’d like to read more on the topic of bugging out, there is an excellent blog titled, “Listening To Katrina.” The author was forced to evacuate his family in the face of Hurricane Katrina. The blog is over 100 pages long so consider your ink supply before you hit the “print” button. He has a very balanced and intelligent approach to preparedness and bugging out. Another of my favorites is a book titled, “One Second After,” by William Forstchen. This book has been cited on the floor of Congress as one all Americans should read.

As always send your questions, suggestions and inundation zone map requests to disasterprep.dave@gmail.com.

Note: Dave Robinson is Bandon's Postmaster and has worked for the postal service for 30 years. He has a background in law enforcement, served in the Air Force in Vietnam, worked nine years for the Coos County Sheriff's Department, and serves on the Myrtle Point School Board, where he lives.

additional columns by Dave Robinson