The Survival Mom » Evacuation http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:48:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Shelter Life: How to Thrive and Survive in a Red Cross Shelter http://thesurvivalmom.com/shelter-life-thrive-survive-red-cross-shelter/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/shelter-life-thrive-survive-red-cross-shelter/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:00:57 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18657 During disasters like wildfires and floods, we’ve all seen TV news reports that the Red Cross is opening a shelter at such-and-such High School or other public building. It’s hard not to feel sorry for people who are either temporarily Read More

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red cross shelterDuring disasters like wildfires and floods, we’ve all seen TV news reports that the Red Cross is opening a shelter at such-and-such High School or other public building. It’s hard not to feel sorry for people who are either temporarily or permanently unable to return to their home, who may have lost precious pictures or other possessions. But have you ever imagined yourself in that place?

The need for an emergency shelter can be anticipated in some cases, such as a forecasted hurricane. In larger wildfires, fire officials can sometimes predict the need for additional evacuations requiring a shelter be opened. But in most cases, a shelter is opened with little or no notice. Similarly, the evacuated residents have a sudden need to leave their homes for an unfamiliar environment and an uncertain future. Fortunately, you can prepare in advance for an unexpected stay in a Red Cross shelter.

What is a Shelter?

A shelter is an improvised group dwelling with an organized support staff, established as the result of a disaster or local emergency. American Red Cross Chapters across the country have cots, blankets, and other supplies standing by in case a shelter needs to be opened in an emergency. They also have volunteers and staff trained as Shelter Managers, Shelter Staff, and supporting services provided by Nurses and Disaster Mental Health counselors.

In most cases, the Red Cross has identified the location, such as a school or community center, has inspected it and has entered into an agreement with whoever runs it far in advance of the need for a shelter. That way they can be sure how many people it can accommodate and that it has adequate restroom facilities and other requirements in advance.

However, not all shelters are operated by the Red Cross. Sometimes a church or local government will open and operate a shelter without the help (or knowledge) of the Red Cross; there’s nothing wrong with “spontaneous” shelters, but they may not be as organized or well-supported as a Red Cross shelter.

The Red Cross

Red Cross Shelter

Shelter, Santa Barbara CA, 2009

The American Red Cross is a non-profit organization with a unique relationship with the Federal Government and most state and local governments. For the most part, they rely upon the generosity of the American people’s donations to fund their operations.

Here is their description in the National Response Framework, the Federal Government’s emergency plan: The American Red Cross is chartered by Congress to provide relief to survivors of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The Red Cross has a legal status of “a federal instrumentality” and maintains a special relationship with the Federal Government.

The “Red Cross Shelter” is the gold standard of what Emergency Managers call “Mass Care.” Mass Care is the provision of group shelter, feeding, and supportive services to disaster victims. Images of school gymnasiums, cots and Red Cross volunteers handing out sandwiches come to mind. The Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, and many other non-governmental organizations have important parts in the effort. But we all expect the Red Cross to be there when we need them.

Finding the Shelter

So you’ve been evacuated, and need a place to stay, where do you go? Your local officials advertise the locations of shelters on TV and radio news stations, via their mass-notification systems, and on their web pages, Twitter feeds, and Facebook pages. The Red Cross also notes the locations of open shelters on their web page, http://www.redcross.org/find-help. They also have several “apps” for Android and Apple smart phones with great emergency and preparedness information.

What is an “Evacuation Center?”

In some cases, especially if evacuations occur earlier in the day, an Evacuation Center will be opened instead of a full shelter. An Evacuation Center is basically a shelter without the cots. Evacuees can get information updates, snacks, and a place to hang out away from the danger. Some Evacuation Shelters convert to shelters if the need is there, but some don’t.

What about My Animals?

Shelters have to accommodate legitimate service animals, period. Beyond that, the difficulties surrounding sheltering people with their household animals led to the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-308), also known as the Pets Act. The Act direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ensure that emergency plans “take into account the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals prior to, during, and following a major disaster or emergency.”

In other words, take your pets with you when you evacuate. They are part of your family. Local governments are required to provide them shelter, just as they must provide you shelter. But understand that they may be sheltered away from the Red Cross shelter, especially at first. You may be temporarily separated.

Larger animals like horses will probably be sheltered elsewhere, like at a nearby fair ground, but help should be available. Registering with a local large-animal rescue group in advance will greatly facilitate getting help for them.

Arrival

All shelter residents are required to register and agree to adhere to the shelter rules. You will be screened for health issues, disabilities, access and functional needs, and medications. You should have shown up with your needed meds. If you don’t have them, alert the staff as soon as you arrive. They may be able to facilitate replacements. If you arrived by car, leave any valuables locked in the car out of sight. Your locked car is more secure than inside the shelter.

Can You Really Prepare for Life in a Shelter?

You absolutely can prepare for a temporary stay in a shelter. In many ways, it’s like preparing for a camping trip. You can have a small “shelter kit” prepared in advance. Examples:
• They will provide a cot, but you can bring your own, which you can choose yourself.
• You can bring bedding for your special cot as well as good pillows.
• Pack a nice towel and small versions of favorite toiletries, brush/comb, toothbrush, etc.
• If you have special dietary needs or follow a certain diet (gluten-free, Kosher, etc), you need to bring your own food. They may not be able to accommodate your needs.
• Pack a small security container (like a pistol safe) that has a way to attach to something solid, to keep your wallet, meds, etc. Theft is sometimes a problem in shelters.
• Throw in a couple of paperback books, cards, puzzles, or toys for the kids to pass the time.
• Invest in extra phone and tablet chargers, an extension cord, and a multi-plug adapter. Outlets are few!
• Pajamas are a must, even if you don’t wear them at home. A robe might be a good idea, too.
• Pack earplugs and an eye-shade if you have difficulty sleeping.
• Anything else in your daily routine you or your family members would miss, such as coffee or tea.

The Bottom Line

Prepare. Talk it through. Practice. You have more control than you think.

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My Story: Lessons we learned from hurricane evacuations http://thesurvivalmom.com/hurricane-evacuations/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/hurricane-evacuations/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:00:44 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18008   These evacuations tips are excellent, even if you don’t live in hurricane country. Pin this for later! On August 28. 2005, My family did something we had never even considered doing before. We evacuated for a hurricane. After seeing Read More

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hurricane evacuations

 

These evacuations tips are excellent, even if you don’t live in hurricane country.

Pin this for later!

On August 28. 2005, My family did something we had never even considered doing before. We evacuated for a hurricane. After seeing the path of devastation Hurricane Katrina did to our beloved city of New Orleans and in particular our home, we know we made the right choice.

Hurricane evacuations are different from many other types of evacuations. If you live near the coast, every year you should make a plan to evacuate at the beginning of hurricane season. We are preppers. This should be on your list of preparations.

Most people are safe to shelter in place for most hurricanes, but you need to have a plan in place if you are facing an above average storm.

What we did right in both hurricane evacuations

  1. If you are going to evacuate, DO NOT just go to Aunt Betty’s house an hour or two down the coast. These areas are going to take some damage as well, and the cities do not have the infrastructure to care for evacuees in addition to their own citizens. Go inland. Not just an hour inland either. Go at least a 4-5 hour drive inland. And that’s a normal-traffic 4-5 hour drive, not 4-5 hours in painfully slow evacuation traffic. (See #8, below.)
  2. Honestly, I suggest you plan it as a forced vacation. Go to a city that you have never been. Explore the town. See the sites. It will give the everyone something to do besides worry about their home. For Hurricane Katrina, we evacuated to the home of family in North Louisiana. We explored Ruston and Monroe. The kids considered it a grand adventure and enjoyed hanging out with their cousins. For Hurricane Gustav in 2008, our family no longer lived in north Louisiana, so instead we headed to Memphis and had a great family vacation there.
  3. Of course, grab your BOB, important papers, and family photos, but assume you will be gone for a few weeks. Don’t reach for those pretty suitcases. Grab a laundry basket or two. Pack your clothes in there. Why? If you are stuck somewhere for more than a day or two, you are going to have to do laundry. It is so much more convenient to do laundry with a hamper than a suitcase. A laundry hamper will also provide easy cushion for any breakables that you decide to take with you. While we are talking clothes, grab your favorite expensive perfume and a nice outfit. After a while, you will want to go to a nice dinner or church.
  4. If you have kids, take their school work with you. If you are homeschoolers, you can keep them busy during the long hours of waiting by getting school done. If you aren’t homeschoolers, you can always use it as an opportunity to do some review with your kids or study something they find interesting that school doesn’t cover.
  5. Grab everyone’s favorite blankets, pillows and loveys. When we are scared and worried, even the adults want the comforts of home.
  6. With the exception of fish, take your pets with you. If it isn’t safe enough for you, it isn’t safe enough for them. Your snake may only eat once every week or so, but your grandma doesn’t want to find it crawling around the house when she helps you clean up (This happened to a family I know). Our tropical fish did fine.
  7. Grab your prescription medications. Don’t just grab a couple out of the bottle. Take the prescription bottle from the pharmacy with you. There were people who didn’t even know why they were taking medications, and doctors were left matching pills to a PDR.
  8. Leave either very early or late at night. Very few people are ready to leave quickly. Even less want to drive at night. We left our home early in the contra flow process, but left around 11 p.m. We had no traffic the whole time on the road. Being prepared to begin with will reduce the amount of time needed to leave your home.

What we did wrong

  1. When you are grabbing the family photo albums, do NOT ignore the family photos hanging on the wall. They may be too big to take with you, but take them off the wall, put them in trash bags and put them somewhere high and safe. While our home did not have flooding (we had a 2nd and 3rd floor condo), we had significant roof damage. Pictures were knocked off walls and sat in moldy puddles.
  2. Empty your refrigerator. Do not assume you will be back in a day or two. The ketchup and pickles in the door may be fine. They shouldn’t leak. Everything else? Either take it with you when you evacuate, freeze it, or throw it out.
  3. Do you have a separate chest freezer? Great! Empty out your refrigerator’s freezer and squeeze everything into your chest freezer, and lower the temperature as far as possible. There is no way to get the smell out of a rotten refrigerator. We tried everything for a year while we rebuilt our home. We finally gave up and just bought a new one. The rotten food juices drip into the insulation. The chest freezer is worth the risk. If the power is out too long, tape it up and wheel it to the curb, still full, for trash pick-up. If the power isn’t out too long, you might still be in luck. It’s pretty much a break even point for most of us. Quick Check to know if the freezer contents are a loss or not: Put a bag of ice cubes in the chest freezer before you leave. When you return, if the ice cubes are still separate, your freezer is fine. If they have formed a solid block, consider the freezer a loss.
  4. If you have multiple reliable cars, do not take the best one. Take the most valuable, roadworthy one that has the least insurance coverage. We took our best vehicle, which was fully insured and left our vehicle that was in good condition, but was paid off and had liability only insurance. Liability insurance doesn’t pay for flood damage.

Both of our evacuations were major growth points for our family. Our family grew closer and stronger, knowing that we were in this mess together. Thorough preps were a big bonus, and made our evacuations more comfortable. I hope that you never suffer the major damages that we did, but I hope that this will help you.

Guest post by Suzi Champagne.

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Six maps you need for an urban evacuation http://thesurvivalmom.com/six-maps-you-need-urban-evacuation/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/six-maps-you-need-urban-evacuation/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:46:15 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16595 Let’s assume an urban disaster scenario, and you must leave quickly. How will you find your way? What maps do you need? We’re talking about the printed, paper in hand type. Don’t plan to rely on a GPS. They are Read More

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maps you needLet’s assume an urban disaster scenario, and you must leave quickly. How will you find your way? What maps do you need?

We’re talking about the printed, paper in hand type. Don’t plan to rely on a GPS. They are as reliable as their batteries, and constant use could mean the unit is soon powerless. Also, any electronic device can break or just quit working.

So before you worry about maps, get a good compass. I prefer one with a clear baseplate that is designed to work on maps. Invest in a good one with declination settings, and then learn how to use it. The smaller compasses that come with some survival kits are only useful as backups and for giving a general direction.

Here are the maps you need:

City map: Your evacuation will start with this map, so get one with the finest detail possible. This map can help you figure out alternative street evacuation routes if bridges and/or overpasses are closed. Also, gridlock on major highways and freeways is a given, so you might need to plot a course around them.

Topographical map: A topo map is a three-dimensional view of an area. Looking at it, you can get an idea of the terrain.

According to the Geospatial and Analysis Cooperative of Idaho State University: “The concept of a topographic map is, on the surface, fairly simple. Contour lines placed on the map represent lines of equal elevation above (or below) a reference datum.

Topographical maps show the terrain features of an area.

Topographical maps show the terrain features of an area.

“To visualize what a contour line represents, picture a mountain (or any other topographic feature) and imagine slicing through it with a perfectly flat, horizontal piece of glass. The intersection of the mountain with the glass is a line of constant elevation on the surface of the mountain and could be put on a map as a contour line for the elevation of the slice above a reference datum.”

I have the National Geographic mapping software for Oregon, so I create a custom topo map for every outing. I print them out on standard-sized letter or legal-sized paper. These sizes fold nicely in half and fit in a quart Ziploc plastic bag. This bag, in turn, rides in the thigh pocket of my BDU pants. The map is easy to pull out and check, which means it will be.

During an urban evacuation, you might need to go cross-country through a park or open space to avoid crowds or other potential dangers. The city map gives street details, but it may not show water obstacles or other physical barriers. With your topo and compass, you should be able to plot a course effectively.

State Highway map: This gives the big picture of your situation. It shows major highways and roads, and gives general directions. It could be useful for figuring out where to go once you get away from the urban scene.

Forest Service map: I carry this in my car in central Oregon. Commonly referred to as a fire road map, this is a large overview of the national forests and public lands. Most importantly, it shows fire and logging roads. The map doesn’t show if the roads are improved or not, so don’t depend on this map to tell you if you can drive on it. In some instances, the roads may have overgrown into trails. You may be able to hike or ATV them in the summer, or, in the winter, snowshoe or operate a snowmobile.

These maps help you figure alternative routes in wilderness areas. Assuming you make it to a wilderness area, a good compass, this map, and the appropriate topos will be worth their weight in gold.

These four maps should help you get out of town.

Here are some others that could also prove to be useful:

History maps: I buy any historical map I come across. Some of them, such as the Oregon Trail or Lewis and Clark maps, show routes used by historical figures. While the trails may be obscure right now, that doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. Overland pioneer routes were established because wagons or pack trains could travel on them. Those trails might be a good thing to know at some point.

River charts: My fishing obsession and map nerd-ism combine again with these charts. Every navigable river in the United States has detailed charts showing river terrain, danger areas, and topography of the stream. These charts allow a traveler to plan a river evacuation or trip. I carried a set of Mississippi River charts on my end-to-end journey in 1980. It was easy to plan overnight stops, or decide where to pull out.

On smaller streams, the maps can show take-out points, landings, and water dangers.

Hunting maps: Put out by your state fish and wildlife departments, these are useful to anyone who goes into the wilderness areas. I carry one to see the boundaries of my hunting unit, road closures, and the terrain, to some extent.

None of these maps are of any value if you don’t know how to read and use them. A good training activity including some exercise could be to take your compass and maps, create a possible evacuation scenario and practice navigating somewhere using alternate routes, streets and cross country travel.

So check out these maps, practice with your compass, and give some thought to how you might get out of town if you had to.

For more info on land navigation, visit Staying Found

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How to establish multiple safe houses in times of need http://thesurvivalmom.com/multiple-safe-houses-times-need/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/multiple-safe-houses-times-need/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 22:57:37 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12568 A few years ago I had the opportunity to speak before a large group of first responders and emergency planners for the state of Arizona. As I was leaving the conference room, a gentleman came up to me and began Read More

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image by the queen of subtle

image by the queen of subtle

A few years ago I had the opportunity to speak before a large group of first responders and emergency planners for the state of Arizona.

As I was leaving the conference room, a gentleman came up to me and began explaining to me the plans for evacuating Phoenix.

There are none.

Phoenix, like many American cities, is massive in size, both in population and geographically. Rather than trying to get everyone out of Phoenix, which would be impossible, the plan is to move one endangered neighborhood to a safer place within the city.

For example, if major flooding hit the southern part of the city, only those residents would need to be evacuated and they would be sent to shelters in other parts of the Phoenix area. If those evacuees have friends or relatives in safer areas, they have a “bug out location.” If not, they’ll be farmed out to any shelter that has room to house them.

Considering the size and scope of even a small evacuation, having plans to evacuate to multiple safe locations within your big city seems like the best possible option for those of us who haven’t yet bought the dream Bug Out Location.

Bug Out Locations are expensive and hard to come by

Many survivalists and preppers plan on bugging out when everything hits the fan or darn near close to it. However, most of these same people simply have nowhere to go.

A true Bug Out Location, as defined by survival experts, is just another name for A Second Home. If the average American could afford a second home, there would be no problem if/when a bug out becomes a necessity.

Instead, though, what if we took a lesson from the Phoenix emergency planner and rather than insisting that a Bug Out Location in the wilds of Montana or Idaho as the only option, establish a network of safe houses within easy walking or driving distances?

Here’s how this might work.

Assess the weaknesses of your home and area

Assess the most likely crises that might affect your neighborhood or city. How bad would conditions have to be before you would need to evacuate? Ask yourself:

  • How might this disaster affect the structure of our home? If the structure is no longer safe, evacuation becomes a necessity.
  • Will it cut off access to/from our home?
  • Might it generate looting and other forms of crime?
  • Do I live near an area that is likely to attract criminal activity?
image by nicola since 1972

image by nicola since 1972

Something else to consider is whether or not your home and neighborhood has been able to weather similar disasters in the past. If not, this might give you some direction on being better prepared. If so, are you just as prepared last time? What if this next big event is even worse?

Having criteria for evacuating is a really important first step. Often, people  second guess themselves over this decision and some end up making the fatal mistake of waiting too long.

The second step is to consider each possible event and determine how far you would have to go in order to be safe. This is a key consideration.

Take into consideration man-made disasters

Along with natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes, it’s important to consder man-made disasters. Which of the following are most likely in your area?

  • Riots, civil unrest — These bring with them arson, looting, random violence
  • Terrorist attack — What, specifically, might be targeted? A sports stadium? Military installation? A dam or water treatment plant?
  • Nuclear event
  • War
  • Chemical leak or explosion
  • Pandemic
  • Biological warfare
  • Economic collapse
  • Electro Magnetic Pulse or a long term power outage
  • Wildfires — Many are caused by arson or by careless campers.

How far would you have to evacuate to be safe from these events? That will give you an idea of where to start looking for a safe house.

Include personal disasters in your planning:

  • Job loss or reduction in hours
  • Sudden death of a loved one
  • Diagnosis of a serious illness
  • Debilitating injury
  • House fire
  • Bankruptcy
  • Home foreclosure
image by DRB62

image by DRB62

Not all of these will necessitate leaving your home, but many will. For example, if a bankruptcy and home foreclosure is likely, sooner or later, you’ll need to find somewhere safe to live. If you start planning ahead, even if it’s a far-fetched scenario, you won’t be as panicked if it does become a reality.

In the case of a wildfire or a nuclear event, you’ll want to be on the road to safety as quickly as possible.

So where are those safe locations?

At this point, you’ll need a map in order to start listing multiple safe houses. These should be located far enough away so they are not be in the same type of immediate danger as your home. For example, if you live in an area that is susceptible to flooding, make sure you have a safe place to go that is out of the danger zone.

For each most-likely scenario, determine how far away is far enough to be safe and start your safe-house search there.

Possibilities:

  • The homes of family and close friends
  • Commercial buildings you own, have permission to access, or are owned by friends/family
  • Churches
  • Extended family, even those you may not know well
  • Contacts through any organizations you belong to
  • Timeshares — If you have any banked weeks, these could come in handy.
  • Hotels — Make sure they allow pets, if you have them.
  • Campgrounds

Keep a list handy of all these possible “safe houses”, along with phone numbers. Discuss your plans with any individuals involved and offer your home as a refuge should they be the ones having to flee.

Get prepped before you have to

I don’t know about you, but if beloved family members showed up at our doorstep in need of a safe place to stay, we’d make it happen. That’s what family is all about.

However, if the crisis dragged on, eventually we’d have to start thinking about the expense of providing room and board to these extra people. That’s not being selfish, just realistic.

You’ll be far more welcome at safe houses if you’ve, first, asked permission to stay there in case of a disaster, and second, if bring cash to help with expenses or you’ve stored food, medicines, bedding, and other survival supplies in the corner of a garage or spare room.

If a disaster gives notice of its imminent arrival, a hurricane, for example, you have time to make a trip to your safe house, deliver food, supplies, bedding, etc., just in case you have to make a run for it.

In other words, don’t plan on being a freeloader!

Survival has never been a “one size fits all” venture. It’s all about being flexible and thinking on your feet. Multiple safe locations will give you maximum flexibility when the going gets so rough that it’s time to get out of Dodge.

Join in the discussion on this topic over on Facebook!

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Welcome to National Preparedness Month! http://thesurvivalmom.com/welcome-national-preparedness-month/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/welcome-national-preparedness-month/#comments Tue, 10 Sep 2013 18:50:56 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12433 A note from Lisa: This month was the big do-or-die month with the sale of our house, and I’ve been playing catch-up with the blog as well as a book project. Yes, National Preparedness Month kicked off on September 1, Read More

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A note from Lisa: This month was the big do-or-die month with the sale of our house, and I’ve been playing catch-up with the blog as well as a book project. Yes, National Preparedness Month kicked off on September 1, and this article is a bit late, but Happy National Preparedness Month, anyway!  :o)


survival-mom-button-prepared
Every year, with the blessing of FEMA and other emergency-related government and non-government agencies, the United States observes National Preparedness Month with TV ad, drills, and other activities.

So few Americans even have dinner planned for tonight that it’s no wonder they are so poorly prepared for when a real emergency hits.

 

My tips for covering the basics of emergency planning:

  1. Buy my book. It’s readable, entertaining, and covers the basics, plus a lot more. I recommend the print version versus the ebook because you’ll probably want to fill out the planning forms and utilize the checklists.
  2. If you have a smart phone, download apps related to first aid, the Red Cross, survival, food storage, a weather radar, and even a police scanner.
  3. Prepare for an emergency lasting at least 2 weeks with stored water, water purifiers, enough shelf-stable food for the duration, supplies and equipment to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
  4. Pack an emergency kit for each vehicle.
  5. If you work away from home, have a plan for getting back home, no matter what.
  6. Make plans for emergency evacuations. (See Chapter 11 in my book.)
  7. Have a family meeting to talk about a potential emergency and what each person should do if it happens. You may have multiple emergencies in mind, but limit this first meeting to just a single scenario.

There’s a lot more to being fully prepared, but these steps should keep you busy for a while. Remember to do a bit of planning and preparing for loved ones, such as college students and elderly relatives, that they probably won’t do on their own.

I have more to come, including prepping lessons using my book as the textbook!

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The importance of having a Last Minute Packing List http://thesurvivalmom.com/the-importance-of-having-a-last-minute-pack/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/the-importance-of-having-a-last-minute-pack/#comments Tue, 13 Aug 2013 16:08:21 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12346 I know you’ve heard more than enough about packing emergency kits, Bug Out Bags, Go Bags, or whatever else they may be called. I even have a list here on my site for what should be included. However, in a Read More

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I know you’ve heard more than enough about packing emergency kits, Bug Out Bags, Go Bags, or whatever else they may be called. I even have a list here on my site for what should be included.

suitcase

image by emmamccleary

However, in a scenario in which you’re running out the door, that pre-packed kit is going to be missing something. A lot of important somethings, actually, because many items can, and should, only be packed at the last minute.

Another consideration is that whatever you leave behind might end up in the hands of criminals. Homes left vacant after evacuations are targets for thieving low-lifes. Just know that whatever you leave behind may not be there when you get back, so plan ahead as to what you must take with you.

Click HERE for a downloadable checklist you can print out.

Cash. You may already have packed a few dollars in your emergency kit, but if you have cash stashed around the house, be sure to take it with you! A vacant home is more likely to be burglarized, plus that extra money will come in handy for travel expenses and food.

Medications. Any prescription or over-the-counter medications that you regularly take should be packed at the last minute. If it needs to be kept refrigerated, have a small ice chest and several cold packs in the freezer.

Medical equipment, such as a wheelchair, walking aids, diabetic meters, or nebulizer.

Special equipment or supplies for a special needs family member.

Firearms and extra magazines/ammo. If you have a collection of guns, decide now which you will grab at the last minute. No one likes to leave these behind, but in the case of a house fire or oncoming tornado, you’ll waste precious minutes lugging them to your vehicle.

If your gun safe is portable, then be sure you can transport it out of the house. A furniture dolly would come in handy for this task.

The right clothing for current weather conditions. Your emergency kit probably doesn’t contain heavy duty winter clothing or rain boots. In order to stay warm and dry, know ahead of time where these items are located.

Heirlooms, valuables. If the house is on fire, you’ll have to leave these behind, but other than the direst emergency, you’ll be glad you packed these along.

Photo albums. Over and over people say how glad they were that their photos survived a calamity. Place your most valued photographic treasures in a fire-proof safe.

Small safes and/or strong-boxes. If something is valuable enough to be kept in one of these, remember to take these with you.

Precious metals. If you have been buying gold and silver coins, please don’t leave them for burglars or for Mother Nature to wash away with flood waters! They can be heavy, so you may want to store them in smaller containers to make transporting easier.

The right shoes. Sometimes we have to leave our house in a hurry and in the middle of the night. Plan which shoes each family member will grab, along with socks. (Have extra socks and some moleskin packed in your emergency kit.)

Vital electronics. If you keep personal and financial records on a computer, and most of us do, you’ll want to have a plan for securing that information and, if possible, taking it with you.

At the very least, someone should be trained to download information to a thumb drive. It might be easier to just grab the laptop or unplug the desktop computer and make a run for it.

Your Grab-and-Go binder.

Perishable foods. If you expect to be on the road a while and you have the time to pack it, a cooler filled with food will eliminate the need to stop at fast food joints or restaurants. This will help you get to a safer location more quickly.

Comfort items for family members. These could be stuffed animals, favorite pillows or blankets.

Family pets and their supplies. Read this Pet Emergency Checklist to help you prepare for your animals’ needs.

Camping supplies. If there’s a chance that you may not reach a hotel or other lodging, a tent, sleeping bags, and a few other supplies will provide shelter and rudimentary living quarters, temporarily.

Click HERE for a complete list of FREE downloads that will help you be better prepared for any emergency. And, my book, Survival Mom: How to prepare your family for everyday disasters and worst case scenarios is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com, and in local bookstores. It contains a multitude of checklists and planning helps.

 

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Evacuating the big guys — horses and other large livestock http://thesurvivalmom.com/evacuating-the-big-guys-horses-and-other-large-livestock/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/evacuating-the-big-guys-horses-and-other-large-livestock/#comments Fri, 28 Jun 2013 10:25:26 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12022 Guest post by Laura McLain Madsen, DVM If you’ve watched the footage of the recent wildfires near Colorado Springs, you may have seen photos or video of people evacuating horses from the fires, and of horses that were tragically burned. Read More

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Guest post by Laura McLain Madsen, DVM

If you’ve watched the footage of the recent wildfires near Colorado Springs, you may have seen photos or video of people evacuating horses from the fires, and of horses that were tragically burned. In my last guest post I talked about packing your pet’s evacuation kit, but it gets much more complicated with a horse or other large animal. You can’t just put a horse in your car and take off.

image by eXtensionHorses

image by eXtensionHorses

The first consideration is transport. Do you have a trailer? Many horse owners don’t. If you have a trailer, keep it maintained so it’s ready to go. If you don’t have a trailer, start talking to horse-owning neighbors. If your neighbor has a trailer with more stalls than they have horses, they may be willing to load your horse on their trailer. This is a pretty big favor, so arrange the details (including an offer to reimburse for gas money) ahead of time.

Train your horse to trailer quickly and smoothly. In the photos from the Colorado fires, there are shots of people trying to bodily push horses into trailers. Trust me, you’re not going to move a 1200-pound horse unless he’s willing.

Start today—use gentle training techniques with positive rewards to teach the horse to load. In a disaster situation, you’ll be tense and your horse will pick up on your nervousness. You don’t want to be fighting a spooked horse when wildfire smoke or hurricane winds are blowing.

If there are no trailering options for your livestock, you’ll have to hand-walk them out of the evacuation zone. This is an option for smaller numbers of animals and shorter distances, but will be time-consuming, so start evacuating early.

The next consideration is, where will you go? When my neighborhood was evacuated a few years ago due to wildfire, a local equestrian center about ten miles away was opened as a temporary shelter for horses. Other possibilities are equine veterinary hospitals, fairgrounds, racetracks, or boarding stables. Make a list of facilities and directions ahead of time. Don’t wait for officials to designate a shelter location—get the horses loaded first and get on the road.

image by USFWS Headquarters

image by USFWS Headquarters

Wherever you shelter your horse, food will most likely not be provided. Water may or may not be available. A horse or other large animal goes through a lot of food and water in a day. A 72-hour kit for a horse isn’t something you can stuff in a backpack.

If you own your own trailer, keep a bale or two of hay stored in the trailer at all times. Grain is more calorie-dense, so easier to transport, but eating too much grain can cause colic or laminitis, so you’ll still need to transport hay. If water isn’t available at the equine shelter, use buckets or even large industrial garbage cans to hold and transport water. Each horse needs 12-20 gallons of water per day.

If you’ll be putting your horse in a facility with other horses, make sure you can positively identify him. Have photos from all angles of the horse, especially showing unique blazes, whorls, etc. Have documentation of permanent identification such as a microchip, tattoo and/or brand. Other means of identification are a name/address tag attached to the halter, a waterproof name/address tag braided into the tail, important papers in a zip-top bag duct-taped to the halter, or even a phone number spray painted on the horse’s flank.

Make sure your horse is current on immunizations. Minimally, you’ll want Eastern and Western equine encephalitis (EEE and WEE), West Nile Virus, tetanus, and rabies. Your veterinarian may also recommend equine influenza, strangles, equine herpesvirus, or other vaccines depending on your horse’s risk factors. Also make sure your horse is current on his Coggin’s test, a test for equine infectious anemia. This is required if you have to cross state lines.

Unless you frequently trailer your horse to shows or events, he’s probably going to be nervous about the evacuation process. Take leg wraps and bandaging material in case he spooks in the trailer and injures himself. Also take anti-inflammatory medications such as phenylbutazone or flunixin meglumine (Banamine), as recommended by your veterinarian. Other things to pack are extra lead ropes, extra halters (make sure they’re leather because nylon can melt), buckets, hoses, tack, and towels to blindfold nervous horses.

If you’re evacuating in advance of a hurricane, there are a few other issues to consider. Evacuate early, because trailering horses in winds over 40 mph is unsafe. When you return to your property, check the pasture for downed power lines, broken fencing, or branches of red maple which might have blown in (red maple causes red blood cell destruction and anemia).

Finally, in some cases, you may have such short notice to evacuate that you must leave your livestock behind. In that case, fill every trough, bucket and garbage can with water. Experts recommend leaving the animals out in the pasture rather than in the stable, as long as your pasture is well-fenced and without power lines or many trees. More horses died during Hurricane Andrew from being trapped in collapsed barns than from being injured by debris outdoors. In addition, if there is flooding, horses can seek high ground if they’re loose. Hopefully you’ll never have to leave your beloved horse behind, but make plans to cover all contingencies.

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When is it time to get out of Dodge? Experts have their say, Part 4 http://thesurvivalmom.com/when-is-it-time-to-get-out-of-dodge-experts-have-their-say-part-4/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/when-is-it-time-to-get-out-of-dodge-experts-have-their-say-part-4/#comments Mon, 24 Jun 2013 09:59:53 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11939 This is Part 4 of a 4-part series in which experts from all parts of the country and areas of expertise weigh in on the big question, “When do I know it’s time to get out of Dodge?” There is Read More

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This is Part 4 of a 4-part series in which experts from all parts of the country and areas of expertise weigh in on the big question, “When do I know it’s time to get out of Dodge?” There is no one-size-fits-all answer, which is why I wanted you to get a wide variety of opinions and observations.

Be sure to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, to hear from James Rawles, Claire Wolfe, Rob Hanus, and many more.

From Fernando Aguirre (FerFAL), blogger and author

Don’t miss my interview with Fernando and our discussion of relocating out of the United States. Is it practical? A really bad idea? Click here to listen.

I think that the first question to answer is why are you leaving. How is it that you are improving your situation by doing that? In general, the standard answer is that you only leave when staying isn’t an option. Staying in a secured, known

image by seth.squatch

image by seth.squatch

location, where you have assets, supplies and a network of people you know and trust is the best thing to do as long as you can do it.

Leaving makes sense when there’s a true risk and evacuation is the wisest course of action. If there’s flooding, tornado or storm warning and your area is recommended to be evacuated, then it makes a lot of sense to leave. Sometimes its disasters like a house fire, gas leak or nearby industrial accident that forces you out with very short notice. Again, its not as if you have much of a choice other than to leave in those cases.

Now, and maybe this is where it gets more complicated, should you leave because of economic instability, civil unrest threats or rioting on the streets? The answer here is generally no. You don’t really fix the economy by evacuating or relocating and take it from someone that’s been through more protests, roadblocks and looting than I care to remember, when there’s out of control crime and rioting on the street, the best thing to do is to close all doors and shelter in place until the situation defuses.

Hopefully you have somewhat hardened your home and have a proper tool for defending yourself and your family. No matter how bad looting and rioting gets, it eventually dies off and its much safer to stay put than risk traveling when criminals are rampaging on broad daylight. In terms of bugging out because of an economic crisis or even an economic collapse, how would it help? What you need is an income to keep the bills paid, and running doesn’t solve that unless you’re moving somewhere where you have better job opportunities.

There are some cases in which staying or leaving is even more confusing and not that obvious. Here, to a degree it becomes a matter of personal choices and the standards of living you consider acceptable.

If an economic crisis or collapse causes a significant decrease in the quality of life in your state or country, then I see the wisdom in leaving to greener pastures. Its not easy but when the situation has degraded enough it may get to appoint where things aren’t going to get much better for years to come. The level to which things have degraded may be beyond your tolerable standards. In my case, I left Argentina because the level of crime, cultural and social degradation was so big I simply didn’t consider it acceptable anymore.

Something similar may happen during social and cultural uprisings as seen in the Arab world. When there are threats of war or higher than acceptable risks for the civilian population, especially when a specific ethnic or religious group is being persecuted, in that case you may also want to consider bugging out, maybe even bugging out abroad to a different country.

As you see its not always that clear, and what some people may consider acceptable in some cases may not be acceptable for others. Either way, I believe that no matter want you should still have plans for evacuation in case you are left with no other option.

From Jim Cobb, author of Prepper’s Home Defense, blogger, and editor of Survival Weekly

One of the most common questions I get, just behind What kind of gun should I buy? and just ahead of, Who sells the best-tasting dehydrated food? is “How will I know it is time to bug out?”  Variations of this include “How will I know this is the event?” and “How can I get out before the crowd?”

It is very difficult to give any sort of concrete answer to these questions because they are, at least in part, very subjective.  For almost all potential scenarios, my pat answer is to remain at home until such a time that home is no longer tenable or safe.  But, I’ll readily admit that is side-stepping the actual question.

Here, then, are some indicators, “red flags” if you will, that things are likely to get much worse before they get better.

Stores aren’t seeing stock coming in.

We’ve all heard the statistic that grocery stores only have about 3 days worth of stock at any given time.  While that figure varies depending on the item, such as having enough toiletries to last a typical month but enough fresh meat to only last a couple days, the average for the store on the whole is likely stock levels to last a week or less.  If something causes disruption to the replenishment process, that not only makes it difficult to purchase food and other supplies, the secondary result is people begin to panic.

In our modern society, most people are accustomed to immediate gratification.  They want something so they go to the store and buy it.  Now, how often have you run to the store to pick up something and upon arriving you learn they don’t have it in stock?  It makes you feel frustrated, maybe even angry.  How dare they not have the new season of Justified on DVD!

Now, imagine that instead of a set of DVDs, it is canned vegetables, milk, or bread and your family is already getting pretty hungry.  One of the first things we’ll see in the wake of a major event is store shelves not being stocked.  The disruption may only be for a few days but you don’t want to be around when people find out they can’t get food from their normal sources.

You hear eyewitness accounts of looting in your area.

I want to stress the “eyewitness” part of that.  In chaotic situations, rumors are guaranteed to be flying left and right.  Case in point – think back to all the rumors you heard about what went on inside the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina.  No doubt about it, there were bad things going on but, as far as I know, the rumors about infants being killed were never proven to be anything but stories.

So, if you hear that a neighbor was told by a friend of their cousin who heard from a guy down their block that their uncle saw some looters, you might take it with a grain of salt.  However, if said neighbor instead tells you he saw a band of ne’er do wells going house to house as he was coming back from scouting the area, that’s a sure sign things are likely to be heading south quickly.

Emergency services are overwhelmed.

As we’ve seen in the aftermath of major disasters like Hurricane Katrina and various tornadoes in Oklahoma, law enforcement agencies as well as other emergency services can easily become overwhelmed.  Please do not take this as a gripe against them.  Thousands and thousands of good men and women work in those fields and do the very best they can to respond to emergencies large and small.  However, they are only human and they have limits.  They can’t be in two places at once and there’s only so many of them to go around.

traffic jamAt some point, triage will have to take place and decisions made as to which emergencies are more important than others.  This happens every day, actually.  Police dispatchers routinely need to determine which 911 calls get priority when things get really busy.  A traffic accident with possible fatalities on a major highway takes precedence over a complaint about an out-of-season campfire in a backyard (yes, people call 911 for such inane complaints).

However, after a major event, staffing levels may drop due to officers having been injured in the disaster, being ill, or just plain wanting to remain at home with their families and this will result in many calls for assistance going unchecked for longer periods of time, if responded to at all.  Even if attendance at roll call is 100%, the sheer volume of requests for help may become too much for any department to fully bear.  In the event that takes place, you really don’t want to be one of the people standing around, waiting for a squad car to arrive and hoping they’ll resolve a problem for you.

Above all else, trust your gut.  If that voice in the back of your head is telling you it is time to head out, do so.  You may only have one chance to get out ahead of everyone else and make it to your secondary destination rather than end up in the middle of an interstate that has become a large parking lot.

From James Smith, The Covert Prepper

When the balloon goes up: What are my indicators to Get Out Of Dodge (GOOD)

National indications

Increased activity of the following:

1)      Business closures such as Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Burger King, etc. This may be preceded by news stories of credit difficulty or stories about re-alignment, accounting method changes

2)      National unemployment above 10%. They’re lying if it’s not actually higher

3)      Zero or near-zero growth of all economic indicators

  • Don’t listen to MSM, look at John Williams’ website, ShadowStats.
  • May be masked by say growth was less than last quarter/week/month,  but will not state an actual amount.
  • New home sales, Baltic Dry Index (BDI), and Municipal bond sales will be the key indicators.

4)      Mass retirements of CEO/COO/CIO of Fortune 500 companies.

  • This may be masked by announcements of new people filling the spots, not necessarily that someone is retiring.
  • The same companies will be suffering high layoffs and low productivity.

Local indications

1)      Loss of General Services at the local level. This demonstrates a collapse of government that cannot protect its citizens.

  • Police
  • Fire
  • Ambulance

2)      Preceded by:

  • Municipal bankruptcy — This has already happened in Detroit, Stockton, and other cities.
  • Foreclosures increasing
  • Watch county sales of tax-delinquency homes
  • Unemployment increasing

Why should  you Get Out Of Dodge?

1)      Increased civil unrest

  • Race related
  • Class warfare (Occupy movement)

2)      INCH (I’m never coming home)

  • To be with a family members.
  • Large city with too many “needy” folks.
  • FEMA camps being set up to house people.
  • Look for press announcements of tenement camps (Hoovervilles) being closed down by police, and then the camps will open up as a humanitarian gesture.
image by williamtillis

image by williamtillis

Why Stay at home? When is hunkering down better?

1)      INCH is just not an option

  • Physical health
  • Age
  • Health of a family member

2)      Small town with a close network of friends and family.

3)      Rural setting is already an ideal Bug Out Location (BOL).

4)      The area is resource-rich (hunting, fishing, farming).

Creative options to Getting Out Of Dodge

1)      Go on “vacation”

  1. Provides the opportunity to come back if conditions are still within your tolerances.
  2. Allows you to leave without prior warning to neighbors.

2)      Go on weekend “fishing trips”

  1. Shorter term departure and allows you to simply not return one day after an expected trip.
  2. Does leave your home open for theft.

3)      House Hunting

  1. Provides an excuse to leave town at random times to your BOL for random reasons.
  2. Can be done for just the overnight.
  3. You’ll need to tell neighbors you’ve got to get a bigger/smaller house weeks in advance to make the cover story most plausible.

If you want to be covert about your movements, here are a few excuses.

1)      Excuses allow us to abruptly leave, but providing a cover story as to the real reason. Should anyone ask, a simple explanation is usually best as the neighbor would repeat your reason.

  • “Family is ill.”
  • “Found a job.”
  • “Moving in with family.” (Most plausible as families do tend to stick together.)

 From Chris Slife, owner of Howling Coyote Silver

Before I share the metrics that I use when considering these questions, I want to say that I believe that the ‘American Age’ is going to end badly for most people.  As I see it, there is either going to be a slow grind into the Third World, or a sudden collapse into a Bosnian-esque hell-hole.I do not pretend to know which scenario plays out.  In my opinion, there are far too many variables to know how the ‘American Age’ comes to an end.  Therefore, I want to encourage everyone to continue doing their research while continuing to live life to the fullest in the here and now.

Now, when considering the questions posed by Lisa, I ask myself the following general question:  “In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, is it more likely that I will survive by staying put (ie., bugging in), or getting out of Dodge (ie., bugging out)?”  The nice thing about the following metrics is that you can use them in a short-term disaster scenario (ie, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, et cetera) or a long-term economic/societal collapse scenario.

Metrics I use for staying put or bugging in:

  • a)  Protection / safety, water, and food are available.
  • b)  The disaster is likely going to be short-lived.
  • c)  You can live off of the supplies you ALREADY have stockpiled for a short-term  emergency.
  • d)  And lastly, you stay put if it is too dangerous to travel.

Metrics I use for ‘getting out of dodge’ or ‘bugging out':

  • a)  Protection / safety, water, and food are not available.
  • b)  Disaster is going to be prolonged
  • c)  Life is in imminent danger

I know I will get some comments about my being too ‘vague’ with my metrics, but, the reality is, there will be NO NEON SIGN flashing, “Get out now or you’re doomed”.  In considering whether to ‘Bug In’ or ‘Bug Out’, everyone is going to have to make tough decisions based on INCOMPLETE INFORMATION.  The amount of variables bombarding all of us will be overwhelming.  My suggestion to everyone is to develop their own metrics and game plan based on their own research, and then, “be like the willow and not the oak, the willow bends but the oak breaks” (Cody Lundin).  In other words, make your plans, BUT BE FLEXIBLE.

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When is it time to get out of Dodge? More expert advice, Part 3 http://thesurvivalmom.com/when-is-it-time-to-get-out-of-dodge-more-expert-advice-part-3/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/when-is-it-time-to-get-out-of-dodge-more-expert-advice-part-3/#comments Fri, 21 Jun 2013 10:30:20 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11938 Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2. The series continues with these experts answering the question, “When is it time to get out of Dodge?” From Todd Sepulveda of Prepper Website and Ed That Matters When I think Read More

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Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2.

The series continues with these experts answering the question, “When is it time to get out of Dodge?”

From Todd Sepulveda of Prepper Website and Ed That Matters

When I think about the phrase, “when the balloon goes up,” I don’t usually think about natural disasters, but instead, something man-made.  Although I

image by karma17

image by karma17

don’t typically see conspiracy around every corner, I do think that it is important to be aware of what is going on in the world.  The way I do this is to stay connected to alternative media.  I sift through a lot, but I have found that the alternative media usually releases important stories/reports 3-4 days before the mainstream media.  Three of my look-fors are:

Pandemic – It’s easy to get freaked out when the mainstream media starts talking about the latest virus, they sensationalize it so much for ratings.  But if a real pandemic was to hit, it would be devastating.  In fact, the video, After Armageddon was the show that got my wife on board.  I tend to pay attention when I read about pandemics in various parts of the world…especially if they have gone airborne.  I’ll bug out if I see virus trend maps showing movement towards my state.

Riots – I’m not talking about your ordinary neighborhood or city riot.  I would pay close attention if riots started in one city and started spreading to other cities.  This could happen for many reasons: economic, food shortages, government dissatisfaction, but no matter the reason, I would pay close attention.  Although things are good in my home state of Texas right now, I would start making preparations to bug out if I saw riots in cities like Austin and Dallas or any big city in one of our neighboring states.

Financial Crash – Again, I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill Dow Jones dropping 200+ points.  I’m talking about days of uncertainty which would spiral and cause people to panic.  Panic is contagious.  When people panic, they do stupid stuff…like riot (see above).

Some might wonder why I’m not referring to nuclear war, super volcanoes, solar flares, etc.  I feel that if these things happen, everyone would know about them instantly.  There would be no time for the balloon to travel up…it would just pop right then and there!  Barring a solar flare/EMP that fried everything, I would bug out in any of these scenarios.

Again, the key for me is to be aware.  I don’t let this all get in the way of life happening, but I do keep an eye out for what is going on.  The point to ponder here is that there will be signs and people will be talking about it.  Air has to go into the balloon before it can go up.

From Steven Aukstalkanis of Threat Journal/AlertsUSA

*The following is guidance we have supplied to subscribers of the AlertsUSA service.

Current events unfolding in Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Argentina and elsewhere provide us a clear view of what causes a widespread, sustained breakdown of social order.

While the specifics leading to their situations vary from country to country, the breakdown in social order typically begins when people, en masse, are rapidly taken out of their comfort zones.

In each of the above instances, large numbers of people were quickly put out of work, banks became insolvent preventing the withdrawal of deposited funds, extension of credit slowed to a crawl and, perhaps most importantly, social programs and safety nets were dramatically cut back.

The impact extended to businesses as well. As an example, if a grocery stores did not pay their suppliers, deliveries of stock ceased and shelves were bare. If the transportation companies were not paid, products remained in warehouses. If workers were not paid, products were not produced and companies closed.

In modern society, literally every aspect of one’s life is dictated by access to money either through wages earned or social programs. A home, basic utilities and food on the table are all dependent upon its accessibility via some means.

When large numbers of people rapidly begin having problems meeting these basic needs through lack of work,  bank failures and  insufficient social programs, dangerous levels of unrest and crime WILL occur.

In desperate times, desperate people do desperate things.

KEY INDICATORS

– Failure of multiple LARGE banks.

– Failure of multiple LARGE brokerages

– Bank holidays declared preventing withdrawal of deposited funds

– Widespread “Bail Ins” (depositor funds used to refund insolvent banks)

– Capital controls (limited withdrawals and limited movement of assets abroad)

– Bond market collapse

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. Keep an eye on overseas markets. It is highly likely that a cascading systemic failure of the U.S. financial sector will begin overseas. Europe and Japan will be likely epicenters.

2. It is critical that readers make moves NOW to exit the system. Keeping deposits in banks beyond that necessary to cover monthly bills is placing those funds at tremendous risk.

3. Regarding 401Ks and IRAs: These are the last remaining piles of unencumbered cash available for the U.S. government to seize upon. There is already legislation being drafted in Washington that will mandate the replacement of such tax deferred savings with dollar for dollar equivalents in U.S. Treasuries. The reasoning that will be used is “to protect responsible savers.”

This has been in the planning stages for years

NOW is the time to get out if at all possible. Bite the bullet, pay the taxes and get your assets back. Anything left in these accounts stands a good chance of being taken

4. In all investments it is critical you eliminate, to the greatest degree possible, all of the agents between you and your assets.

If you hold stock, the chances are good they are held by the broker in what is referred to as “street registration”. This means that in the brokerage records, the stock belongs to you, but in the eyes of the company in whom you own stock, it is in the name of the brokerage. Leaving assets in “street name” with your brokers and bankers is a financial death wish.

The preferred way of holding shares of stocks has always been in your own name as physical certificates. The second best method is to hold your shares in Direct Registration.

From Rob Hanus of The Preparedness Podcast

There are some other minor events which would require a short-term evacuation, such as a chemical spill, but there are four big events that would cause me to bug out immediately.
NUCLEAR DETONATION:  Should there be a nuclear detonation on any city in this country, regardless of where it occurred, it would immediately throw the country into chaos and turmoil, both socially and economically. The sense of security we have in America would be completely shattered and we’re likely to see a psychosis among many people. The threat, real, implied or inferred of another detonation would necessitate the need for me to get my family out and away from any large population centers and any other likely targets.
RADIOACTIVE FALLOUT: Without appropriate shelter, the only defense against radiation is distance. A radioactive cloud, whether from the fallout of a dirty bomb, nuclear detonation, or power plant meltdown, requires a spontaneous evacuation. This is one instance where getting stuck in traffic could be deadly, so you would need to leave immediately in hopes of getting out before everyone else realizes they, too, need to leave the area.
EMP: An EMP attack on the US would shutdown the electrical power grid for the entire country. Once down, it will likely be over a year before we would see electricity again. Without the power grid, there will be no food or fuel deliveries, nor will there be water, sanitation or any of the other many services we rely on for daily life. This means the cities will quickly become death traps, either through starvation, disease or violence.
In some urban areas, the breakdown of society is likely to happen within a matter of hours, though in most places, it may be two or three days before people realize the problem is bigger than they initially thought. Without radio, TV and phone communications, there will be no way for people to learn the entire country has been affected and most will opt to wait it out.
By the time people have figured out the electricity isn’t coming back, everyone else will also have realized there is no more society. Once people understand there are no more laws, no police, no fire fighters and no medical help available things will quickly deteriorate. For this reason, once you realize we’ve been hit with an EMP attack, you need to do whatever you can to get out of the urban and suburban areas and get to someplace that can grow food and supply water.
ECONOMIC COLLAPSE: Society has suffered economic collapses before, but should the collapse be so severe that we lose basic social services, such as law enforcement, sanitation services, food and fuel deliveries, and when the crime rate begins to increase, it’s time to get out. This scenario is trickier to know when to leave, especially if you are one of the lucky few that still has a job. If you have the resources to build up your defenses at home, you might be able to stay and ride out the collapse, but don’t stubbornly resist leaving. Safety of your family should be paramount.
The most important aspect of bugging out is having someplace to bug out to. Never become a refugee. Have several safe places you can go to. Having a destination eliminates one of the biggest barriers of deciding to leave. Ideally, have several retreat areas planned, and choose the best once you’ve made the decision to leave.

From Erich of Tactical Intelligence

Since the authorities will always wait until the last minute to evacuate a populace, waiting for the government to announce that it’s time to evacuate is in many cases too late. Especially if you live near a highly populated area, you could be joining the thousands of other stampeding cars all trying to Get Out Of Dodge — likely not getting anywhere but stuck on an evacuation route with all the other disgruntled (or worse) people.
For this reason you’ll want to have a set of “precursor signals” that tell you and your loved ones that it’s time to go (and let me remind you again, this shouldn’t be when the authorities tell you it’s time to go).Having this will keep you way ahead of the crowd. What you’ll need to do is make a list of events that would act as triggers that let you know it’s time to head out to your predetermined Bug-Out Location (or at minimum, a safer spot).Remember, in most cases you can always go back if things calm down or never amount to anything.

Here are a few example events:

The Economy
:

  • Bank holidays or limits on withdrawals
  • Stock market closes or the DJIA reaches ‘x’ amount
  • Dollar loses reserve currency status

Social unrest:

  • Looting/riots spreading to nearby city
  • Crime and lawlessness on the rise and reaching a “tipping point”
  • Racial violence (ie a “Rodney King” event)
  • Class violence (ie “have-nots” beginning to physically target the “haves”)

Weather conditions:

  • Any category ‘x’ hurricane
  • An Impending Tornado

National events:

  • Martial Law enforced
  • Internet goes down for extended period of time
  • Transportation or supply systems effected

Local events:

  • Power outage for more than x number of days
  • Curfews implemented
  • Police going on strike

Ultimately, it comes down to paying attention. Awareness is ESSENTIAL.

In other words, you can’t afford to live in a bubble! Stay abreast on what’s going on in your local area, on a national level and in the world and how those events could shape your future.

These trigger events are very subjective and unfortunately there is no “one size fits all”. For your own trigger events you’ll want to consider the most
probable events first and then to move on to other disaster scenarios.

It’s also very important to trust your gut in all of this. If you or someone in your family or group “does not feel right” about what’s coming, then that should also be a valid trigger event.

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When is it time to get out of Dodge? The experts weigh in, Part 2 http://thesurvivalmom.com/when-is-it-time-to-get-out-of-dodge-the-experts-weigh-in-part-2/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/when-is-it-time-to-get-out-of-dodge-the-experts-weigh-in-part-2/#comments Mon, 17 Jun 2013 18:21:29 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11935 When to get out of Dodge (GOOD) is the question a lot of survival minded people ask themselves. Sometimes, in the case of massive flooding or earthquake damage, the answer is obvious: get out now! But looking ahead to a Read More

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When to get out of Dodge (GOOD) is the question a lot of survival minded people ask themselves. Sometimes, in the case of massive flooding or earthquake damage, the answer is obvious: get out now!

But looking ahead to a time when the rule of law and the structure of our society may not be reliable, when do we know that it’s time to get out, to leave the security of our homes and, hopefully, move on to a safer location?

Last month I asked a number of survival and preparedness experts to weigh in on this question. You can read Part 1 of their responses here.

Now for Part 2, another set of experts weigh in with their assessment of, “How will  you know it’s time to get out of Dodge?”

From Nathan Jefferson, author of The Wayward Journey

The long and short answer is very binary. You won’t or you will.That’s really helpful, right? So let me clarify: in most possible scenarios you won’t really know that TSHTF right away. To help illustrate what I’m talking about I’ll use two events; Event X and Event Z.

Event X is a regional, national or even international event that leaves you wondering about your next steps. These happen dozens if not hundreds of times a year around the world and usually a level of normalcy returns after a few days, weeks or sometimes months.

Event Z, is the game changer. You aren’t wondering if TSHTF. Instead you are running around and executing your plan (you have a plan, right?) trying to prepare as fast as possible. The easiest examples would be nuclear war, invasion by foreign forces, national or international large scale events.

For this part of the discussion Event X will be our focus:

People, even the unprepared, are pretty resilient and it would normally take days if not weeks for things to slowly fall apart after Event X.

You’ve seen it on TV and in the news dozens if not hundreds of times after localized disasters. People sit around and expect someone to come help them and that everything will be all right. While there might be looting or other criminal elements around that you don’t see in your average day, things are still pretty quiet and society holds together until they eventually get better or worse. You can find hundreds of examples of things getting better; it’s the

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norm and to be expected.

It is this very expectation that helps keep the wheels on the bus for the first few days or weeks. As a prepper person who wants to help restore normalcy and keep you and your family safe you should be spending your time executing your plan, assuming things will get back to normal, but always being ready in case they don’t.

For this, you should have everything you would need for a bug out or to ‘hunker down’, ready and waiting. BOV (Bug Out Vehicle) loaded, BOBs (Bug Out Bags) stashed by the door, window protection pulled out from storage, water containers filled, etc. You are ready to bug out or you are ready to fortify, but you aren’t executing that part of the play, yet.You should be listening to the news; local, national and international. If available check the internet. Contact relatives, friends or those in your mutual support group via any means available, phone, internet, CB, Ham. You want to watch for things like:

  • Widespread rioting
  • Mass evacuations
  • People being taken to relief camps
  • Gas and food shortages
  • Warnings that utilities will be out for extended periods of time
  • Spreading unrest or turmoil
It will be up to you, based on what you learn, to make the judgment call of when to move to the next steps of your plan and bug out or fortify. If you are bugging out, leaving a day before normalcy returns probably won’t hurt, just treat it as a practice drill. If you are fortifying, you might want to wait to the last minute to do any permanent structural changes to your house, but having your protective plywood in position by windows and doors won’t hurt. For Event Z:

You know Event Z has happened. (If it is an Event X that turns into an Event Z, you should already be well on your way to being ready.) You will hopefully have some means to listen to the news and hear details such as:

  • Nuclear attack/meltdown
  • Martial law
  • Invasion or large scale attacks
  • National scale natural disaster/catastrophe (such as Yellowstone Super Volcano or meteor impact)
  • Response to other disasters has failed
  • Almost instant national unrest

If Event Z happens you will be executing your plans as fast as possible, hopefully it isn’t the first time you are testing it.

Conclusion:

An Event X that turns into an Event Z is what I believe to be the most likely; where a ‘normal’ disaster finally overwhelms the response and turns into a complete meltdown. For this to happen it would likely come from a combination of two disasters. Think economic meltdown and earthquake or oil shortage and massive hurricane, or any other two things that eventually

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overcome people’s natural resiliency.

I hope and pray we never have to deal with either of these types of events, but I’ll never stop getting ready just in case!

From Bernie the Apartment Prepper

1.  Temporary situation that requires you to leave immediately, but hopefully come back when it’s safe.  Some of those would be:

  • weather related such as hurricanes
  • flooding
  • wildfires
  • chemical spill

2.  Permanent bug out, when you have to leave and you may not be able to come back for a long time, if ever.   This is a bit more complex and involves carefully watching for signs.

For me, it would be time to leave if:

  • No trucks delivering to the stores, and it does not look like they will be coming for a long time.
  • Infrastructure has gone down:  no electricity or water for a few days, and no anticipated fix.  In this situation, people will start getting desperate in the city and you don’t want to be trapped.
  • No rule of law;  911 and police no longer responding. This means no help will arrive if you or your family are threatened, and looters will start coming in soon.
  • Your gut tells you it’s time to leave.

From Claire Wolfe, author, columnist at Backwoods Home

Of course “before the balloon goes up” we’ll see much of what we’re already seeing: militarization of police; wild fluctuations in financial markets; growing authoritarianism and surveillance; huge disparity of wealth; perpetual wars; crumbling infrastructure; lack of opportunity for young people; smart money going offshore; and (most recent and worrisome) currency wars as central banks around the world all race to make their

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money the cheapest.

But of course, all those things can go (and have gone) on for years.

The real collapse will probably be an abrupt, cascading series of events. All the pundits will scream (assuming they still can) about how “no one could have predicted it.”

My crystal ball is in the shop for repairs, but here are three things you might see right before things go blooey:

1. A sudden doubling or tripling of inflation, which the federal government will either deny or try to fight via silly patriotic campaigns.

2. The military being permanently moved into or near cities “to fight terrorism.”

3. Rolling shortages of key goods (bread, gasoline, crucial industrial supplies). These will be called “temporary” and pundits will say each shortage is caused by isolated, unrelated factors. But, one after another, they’ll keep happening.

Really, though, it’s most likely that a black swan will set the ultimate collapse in motion. Anyone who’s concerned about “when to get out of Dodge” should already have gone. Or go now.

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