To avoid some of our nasty human characteristics – like hating to think about anything bad or sad. Remember that it is far easier to think and plan about this ‘sad and bad stuff’ when we are NOT under the duress of actually being in that situation, than it is to attempt to do so in the middle of a crisis. So here we go …
During a crisis this can ding our survivability quotient in two ways. The first being we often feel that a particular family or group member is the ‘expert’ at a particular task and therefore the rest of us don’t have to think about that aspect in our SHTF environment. Wrong!
If this ‘expert’ individual should get injured, sick, not make it back to our retreat or worse die – now who in your household or group can take on that task? The post crisis world is NOT the time to ‘learn by fire’!. Every member of your household or group needs to have knowledge and be developing their skills in every aspect of the post-crisis world.
This means that you need to have practices and education drills at least once a year if not 3-4 times a year.
Sure you can keep your ‘expert’ as the once this mostly falls on, however with everyone else familiar and honing their skills in that area, you will NOT be in a bad way should this ‘expert’ become unavailable.
This is just another way to plan for the worst case scenario and take control of one of the few variables to our survivability quotient that actually have some control over – knowledge & skills.
Second, most of us have wills of some kind, this is good and a copy should be in your Important Documentation Book. However, our world now and our SHTF world could be two very different things. You may wish to have a ‘SHTF Will’ that covers what to do when funeral homes and the like are not available, or if say, the disposition of your remains are taken out of your survivors hands.
The next biggie is the dreaded Evacuation or Bug-Out scenario. Many of us feel we would rather die than consider that we may have to vacate our homes. However, reality is that there are some things that could cause us to do so in order to stay alive. As mentioned before a house fire is the most common that we will likely face.
Before we can discuss the possible evacuation from our homes we need to understand some fairly standard authorative/governmental actions that occur when evacuation notices are issued or when a large crisis hits, that requires authorative/governmental post crisis action.
This means that once the notice is issued you will NOT have the time to decide and pack what to take with you, yet alone to decide where to evacuate to. Nope, you have to be ready to go within minutes of the notice being issued.
- Mandatory, which does NOT mean the authorities will drag you out of your home kicking and screaming.
- Suggested, which is used when the scope of involvement has a few too many variables. (Remember New Orleans and Katrina)
In the United States, where our states still have some independence and sovereignty, you may have only one type of notice or several additional types of evacuation notices.
For instance in New Mexico they do not have a mandatory notice, only suggested evacuation notices.
Also in the US there is this thing called the ‘No Notice Evacuation Notice’ that can be issued by any department of transportation entity, at any time and does not require door-to-door notification. This is generally issued in the case of say, a toxic spill or gas explosion and the like.
- The area that received NO Evacuation Notice will be addressed first. This is where the greatest number of people are likely to be trapped and or in need.
- The area that received a Suggested Notice will be addressed second, as this is the next largest number of people trapped and or in need are likely to be.
- The area that received a Mandatory Notice will be addressed last. Historical crises have shown this area to have no more than 7% of people who are likely to be trapped or in need.
That takes care of the authorities, what about other things that might cause us to vacate our homes or render them un-safe to stay in? Well I feel we are all smart enough to think these up ourselves, so I won’t list them. Just know they are out there and ‘Murphy’ is just waiting to throw one our way.
No matter what, we need to identify what to look for in determining if we should vacate our home, be it a potential ordered evacuation or just a judgment call our part. Discussing this NOW, without the stress of an actual crisis, is not only much less stressful, we also have more time to think about any options than if we attempt this during the crisis.
Bottom Line: If we do not discuss and plan for this, it can lead us and or our loved ones into a deadly situation.
- Will staying change anything when it comes to ‘saving’ my home?
- If I stay behind and keep my family with me, can they handle what I can handle?
- If I stay behind and send my family on, can we all handle the possibility that we may never see each other again?
Note: There is a great podcast on this subject that discusses in detail the 12 questions that are pivotal to making a bug-out or evacuation decision @ Bug In or Bug Out - 12 Questions to Ask - Episode-289
The more ‘signs’ we can quickly identify, the faster we can pack and go, and decide which secondary retreat will be best. A side benefit to this is that you and your household will have a very good chance of beating the rush to get out of Dodge!
- Stay aware. Keep your eyes and ears open and be alert to what is going on around you. Take advantage of every possible type of news communication in your area: Newspapers, TV, Radio, HAM, CB, Scanners, internet, weather alerts and the like. The more sources of information, the faster you will be able to determine if you can stay put or must bug-out.
- A rush or long lines at banks, gas stations, grocery, home improvement, sporting, camping or gun stores and the like
- An increase in police, fire, rescue and military personnel or vehicles
- An increase in barrel, barricades and their trucks
- Ambulances and medical personnel are flocking to the hospitals
- Long term care facilities appear to be removing residents
- Nearby airports or military bases appear to be ‘on alert’ and or are calling in personnel.
- Civilian air travel may be halted or flights canceled.
- Public transportation may be halted, delayed or unusually crammed.
- A sudden shift of who and what is out and about in your area. Are the streets suddenly empty or crammed? What kinds of people are out and about, doing what? What kind of vehicles?
- There is more traffic leaving your area than approaching
All these signs tend to appear before any evacuation notice is ever issued or the potential is barely reported on the local news.
Lastly we need to consider how to go about getting our pre-crisis lives back. Remember most of the crises we are likely to face do NOT fall into the mega-disaster realm, rather they fall into the personal and or local category.
This is where our Important Documents Book comes into play. It is here we should have at least copies of ALL our important documents. Again I will not go into this in detail here, as it does not affect our preparedness plan per se.
In the past I have worked a few ‘crises’ with the Red Cross and Firewise and let me tell you the people that evacuated with their Important Documents book got their lives back way ahead of those who did not!
To assist you in addressing these two related, but not required to draw up a preparedness plan items see “Budgeting for Mere Mortals” and “Preparing Your Emergency Documentation Book/Binder”
- We have identified and prioritized what crises we are concerned about, both consciously and unconsciously.
- We have identified and prioritized what goods, knowledge and skills we need to survive the crises on our list.
- We have identified and created our Who, What, When and Where schedule and map with its alternate routes and retreats.
- We have addressed the two types of mobility issues and what we plan to do about them.
- We have used methods to grab control of the few variables to our survivability quotient to reduce (or eliminate) the trials and tribulations of surviving the crises on our list.
Next time we will go over how to take all this data collection and formulate a plan that is good, cheap, flexible, viable and based on the process and procedures behind all our goods, knowledge and skills or needs, required to survive any crisis on we are concerned about.