Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us

by Dave Robinson

Dave Robinson

Going or Staying
Originally published January 17, 2015

Whether you call it a Go-Bag, a Bug Out Bag or a Get Home Bag, the intent is the same; to survive when things get all shaken up. Each of us packs a bag of things we think we will need when either forced to evacuate our home, or if there is a disaster while we are somewhere other than home.

I happen to live in rural, coastal Oregon. Small towns, no traffic problems, no congestion and best of all, peace and quiet. The bag I carry is specifically for getting home. There is really very little need for folks in our area to have a bug-out plan. The only reasons we might need to evacuate our homes would be wildland fires, flooding, or impending tsunami.

Now if I lived in a metropolitan area, my plan would be different. The entire climate is different. When there are more people, the dangers are increased. Traffic gridlock contributing to frustration, road rage and downright panic. We only have to watch the looting and rioting when there’s a disaster to know people will misbehave when they know they can do so with impunity. Remember, scared people behave badly! My entire plan would be to get out of the city to a pre-arranged location. AND my plan would include a tipping point when certain factors dictated the prudent and swift egress of me and my family, before it was too late!

If society collapses for whatever reason, riot, natural disaster, or governmental breakdown, it is usually to one’s benefit to get out of town! This would not be the time to try to decide what to take, where to go and how to get there.

So lets make a list. If I have to leave home in a hurry what do I take? Start writing down all the things you would need if you only had minutes to get out. Rather similar to planning a camping trip. If you have a destination in mind, good. If not, then arrange for a place you can stay for the duration. There is a term for a person escaping from a bad situation with no plan or pre-determined destination. The term is refugee!

Good ideas for your list can be found at www.ready.gov and www.redcross.org. Both websites are excellent resources. Then go online and Google “bug out bag”. This will bring up dozens of websites who want to sell you a ready made kit. Whatever you do, resist the temptation to buy a ready-made bag. The guy who put it together knows nothing of your needs and besides, it is important you know what’s in it. Remember many life-saving decisions are oftentimes made way before you ever leave home!

If you’re like me and your concern is more about getting home, then your list will vary a bit. It’s still a little like a camping trip, you just don’t know where you’re going to be. I spend 10 hours a day working a half-hour from home. In the event an earthquake closes the roads, I may have to get creative about perpetuating my well-being while making my way home.

Whether you’re an urban dweller or country boy (or girl) it’s important to plan for your survival. Today is a great day to get started!

As always send your questions and comments 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. He is the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us”.

additional columns by Dave Robinson