Since this is mostly a preparedness website, the majority of our readers are preppers with different opinions and approaches to this matter of course. I read and write preparedness articles for quite some time now and I have come to understand that when TSHTF, the easy answer for what to do and where to go is…. there is no easy answer and there are too many variables to give you a definite, “hey, this is it, you should do this”. What I can do instead is to tell you what not to do and/or make you think from a different approach but ultimately you need to come with your plan for your family depending on where you live, how many people you prepare for and so on.
One of our readers shared his experience a few days ago in the comment section of
What You Need To Do In The First 60 Minutes Of A Sudden SHTF that lead to this article.
“The first 60 minutes??? I recently wrote and submitted an article to another prepper site, I don’t know if it will be published or not, about changes made to my plans as a prepper/die-hard “bug in advocate” as a result of the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif. I live in Northern Idaho………….The people in Paradise did not have 60 minutes, or 30 or even 15……..Many, a personal acquaintance or two of mine, said they had less than 5 minutes, after being warned of the fires approach, to get dressed, grab something like car keys, and flee. They were unable to take much of anything with them. The fire was spreading at the rate of 1000 feet a minute, or faster! The article I wrote and submitted dealt with putting together a “bug out trailer,” stocked with essentials and ready to roll at a moments notice if disaster threatens. The trailer would not be a war wagon but would contain essential items that a person could use in the event of a bug out, items that would make a person an evacuee rather than a refugee dependent on local government and charitable organizations for every need! If the article I wrote is not published, I will post it here if anyone is interested!”
As you can see, sometimes no matter how well prepared you might be or what your initial plan was, there is a chance that you get separated from your family or your retreat point and in the havoc caused you won’t be able to reach them. Having several backup plans can save your life.
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Another comment on the same article from Prepper Girl :
“I live in Northern California and had to evacuate due to a Forest fire that came within a mile of my home. Looking back on the experience I see that I did many things wrong. I wasted time trying to find out where the fire was. We saw the smoke, and falling ash, ( which should have told us that it was close.) I called around to friends and neighbors in the area but no one seemed to know where the fire was. We started putting our bug out items, food and water, and important papers into our 5th wheel. At that time we had a lot of animals and I spent a lot of time preparing to evacuate them. By the time we saw the police at our gate telling us to leave immediately, we panicked.
We were hitched up to our truck at this point and left, leaving some animals behind. By the time we reached the end of our road we were wanting to go back to lock up the house, leave water and food for the animals we left behind, but law enforcement would not allow us to do so. We were evacuated for 6 days not knowing if our home was gone, looted, or if our animals had survived. Looking back, I should have opened a large bag of dog food and left it on the ground. We normally leave large buckets of water available. Animal control was able to get in after 4 days and rescue the dogs and farm animals, so they survived. I know that every situation is different, and even to those of us who think we are prepared for SHTF, there are always surprises. Now we keep our trailer stocked year around and hitched to our truck during fire season. Bug out bags is always in our car. And extra water.
We cut down to a manageable number of animals. This past summer we had 3 large devastating fires all within 30-40 miles. We were ready to go if need be.”
I write a lot about preparedness, but nothing is more important than being aware of the risk of disasters in your area, this is especially the case for disasters. If you have a slight risk of bushfires or wildfires in your area, then you need to brush up on your fire preparedness in this guide.
Fire, earthquakes or floods preparedness are necessary because they are unpredictable, large, rapid and overwhelmingly dangerous disasters. Preparing and planning is a strategy to not only be ready for a fire but to prepare for everything that happens alongside it, such as power, cell phone reception and radio signals not being available, meaning there is no way to hear alerts, call for help or charge a phone.
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The overwhelming truth in all these scenarios, once again, comes down to a single focus. It’s not the EMP, the cyber attack, or the solar flare that is going to kill you. Your plans MUST include several scenarios and staying as far away from the starving masses as possible. Aside from the resurgence of long-forgotten diseases like cholera and dysentery from poor sanitation and hygiene outlined in this article After The SHTF Most Diseases That Have Long Been Eradicated In The Developed World Will Once Again Rear Their Ugly Heads, And Many Unprepared Will Die , the starving and desperate masses (even the everyday Joes) are going to be the real killers. So maybe I’ve convinced you to second guess some of your plans. Now what? Back to square one? Not quite. All the supplies and food you’ve already attained is still needed. You just need to move them far away from the population centers and you can actually do this on a budget. Don’t bank on the fact that you are going to have a running vehicle or clear roads to load up all your gear and bug out of town. Regardless, you must get out of town which means bugging out. To do so requires a pre-organized plan of action though.
Tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, earthquakes—there are few areas of the country with no natural disaster risks, and a nuclear war, terrorism, and disease outbreaks could happen nearly anywhere. So what factors drive some people to respond to those risks by being prepared to face them without both private and government services or any sort of emergency support?
I will respond to that question with another comment from this website posted by benny w wallace on Why You Shouldn’t Wait for the Government To Save You After SHTF :
”Having spent years, from 1973-2011, in the law enforcement community in rural Northern California, I had and have a working knowledge of the disaster preps and assistance available to the people of the county I worked in as a deputy…..or should I say the total lack of preps and assistance, in the event of a disaster. During the years I was there, the county experienced several relatively minor events: Flooding that was basically localized, wildfires that threatened some areas, and heavy snows that took out electricity and blocked roads. All these were temporary events, lasting 5 or fewer days. Our sheriff, being the chief “civil defense/disaster chief guru,” used his deputies as best as possible. We provided traffic control, transportation, and information, mostly because that’s all we could do. We did have a surplus Army 6x, but for what I don’t know. There were no backup supplies of food, first aid supplies, bedding or clothing available that I was aware of. Everything depended on what was “there at the time.” A shelter was available in county buildings and schools, but that was about it. I have no doubt that surrounding areas were in similar straits. The county was essentially dependent on aid arriving from outside sources to take up any slack, and the local population seemed oblivious to the fact they were living on the edge of a precipice.
With resources stretched thin handling these minor events, I, being a long time prepper/survivalist/cynic, often wondered what would happen in the event of something truly catastrophic, such as a major quake(we lived in a seismically active area) or an eruption of Mt Lassen, an active volcano within spitting distance, or any number of governmentally precipitated events leading to massive social unrest? We were totally unprepared to deal with anything approaching a major event. Trying to bring this unpleasant fact to the attention of those in charge was an exercise in frustration…..the PTB were either complacent about things, (I would use the word complicit) they were too busy playing politics to deal with such an unpleasant subject or they were of the opinion that I was “The sky is falling” type of individual. They stumbled along, smug in the knowledge that they would retire with fat pensions, while never having really served their constituents.
There will be a day of reckoning, it’s a when not if thing……What I described is a microcosm of preparedness in California and possibly America………..People seem to have overlooked past history and what the government, local/state/federal, will or won’t, can or can’t do, and it is going to bite them in the as big time! Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and placing all your needs in the hands of any other then God or one’s self is foolhardy the max! Never become a refugee!!!!”
I could go on and post hundreds of comments like the ones I posted in this article, whether you are new to prepping or you are doing it for years, there is always something new to learn in the comments, real-life experiences are the best way to learn. Please feel free to share your experiences in the comment section or email me and I will post them so the others readers can learn.
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