Posts Tagged ‘Disasters’

Everyone has an opinion on bug out bags and I won’t get into the merits of which is better, Molle or Alice Attachment methods, or which is better, Olive Drab, Woodland Camo, Multi Cam, SWAT Black or a non military/non law enforcement color for your pack.  What I will say is there are three common bug out bag mistakes that many people make and once you are aware of them you can properly avoid them.

  1. Essential equipment must be easily accessible.  Things you need to access frequently should not be buried in the bottom of your pack or in hard to access areas.  If it’s essential and frequently used pack it so it is readily accessible.
  2. Adjust your packs shoulder straps and waist belt beforehand.  Don’t wait until an actual emergency occurs to find out your pack doesn’t fit.  Get it properly adjusted and ready to wear before you need to actually use it.
  3. Carry your pack as a test.  If you can’t make it to the end of the driveway without having to drop the pack then the pack and items inside are too heavy.  Don’t make your pack so heavy that it cannot be carried for a significant distance.  Determine what is really essential to your survival and carry only those items.

If the SHTF and food and water become hard for people to locate, expect government officials, police and fire departments to consider you a hoarder if they find out you have bulk stocked up on food and water.  Keep these preparations to yourself; as being prepared to them will be nothing more than an opportunity to these officials to seize your items and redistribute them to the masses.  Why should a 3 month supply of food and water needed for your family be taken and given to others who were not properly prepared!  Use stealth when stocking up on your survival supplies.

You cannot survive without sufficient clean drinking water, sufficient food, followed by sufficient shelter and a sufficient means of self defense.  These four things are absolutely, positively essential to your survival when disaster strikes.  Without these basic essentials you will not survive; so it is worth repeating……. You must have sufficient clean drinking water, sufficient food, followed by sufficient shelter and a sufficient means of self defense.  Start preparing today!

Do not buy a survival retreat as a secondary bug out location even if it is deep in the woods and off the beaten path unless you or someone in your family is going to live there year round.  Here’s why!  Let’s say you’ve got a nice retreat location 60 or 90 or 120 miles away from your primary residence, in a location you think is hidden from sight and you’ve stocked it with supplies such as food, water, guns, ammo, etc.  If you are not living there year round, here is what’s likely going to happen.

If the SHTF, others who are roaming around looking for a place to hunker down and survive are going to find your uninhabited retreat and make themselves right at home.  When you show up waving your deed showing you own the place are they going to care?  Heck no.  You will likely be chased off or worse yet; shot and killed and your stashed survival supplies will be used by these new occupants.

Unless you are going to live year round at your retreat so you can use it for yourself and your families survival and be there to defend it; it is a better decision to fortify and protect your existing home. Hopefully that home is already in a rural area or the suburbs as remaining in the city if the SHTF is only asking for trouble.

Preperation is so important to your chances of surviving a disaster that I wanted to share the following key points with my readers.

  • Wherever you currently reside, if you look around; you most likely already have the essential elements for survival; food, water and shelter.  Review what you have and stock up on more of these items to get you through your anticipated disaster scenario.
  • Disaster scenarios can be temporary such as hurricanes or floods, long term such as social unrest or political upheaval or permanent such as a nuclear disaster.
  • The danger increases and your survival chances decrease if you are unprepared for a situation.
  • Prepare for the disaster scenarios that are most likely to occur in your given area.
  • Ameneties we are used to having may not be available if disaster strikes; so plan accordingly.
  • Whenver possible and safe to do so it is better to shelter in place, in your home then to leave. 
  • Never become a refugee as that opens you up to a myrad of potentially new dangers.
  • Proper mindset and decision making skills are essential.

The time to learn vital skills is now, before disaster strikes, not afterwards.  Being prepared skills wise is so important I believe everyone should know how to do the following in order to increase their survival chances.

  • Know the proper ways to defensively use shotguns, rifles and handguns and what the appropriate use for each is.  Skills include loading, unloading, clearing malfunctions, zeroing your sights so your point of aim equals your point of impact and target acquisition.
  • Know the difference between cover and concealment as it can save your life.  Cover is anything which you can get behind to stay out of sight which can also stop a bullet.  Concealment is anything you can get behind to stay out of sight which cannot stop a bullet.  You need to always know which is which when moving from cover to cover.
  • Know how to purify water to make it safe for drinking, know basic first aid and know what can and can’t be eaten to stave off hunger.
  • Know how to start an emergency fire to stay warm or signal for help and know how to build an emergency shelter to get out of the elements.
  • Know how to think creatively, stay positive, stay focused, work independently and as a team member and get along with others.
  • Know the difference between friend and foe.  Sometimes how one appears and how one really is are not the same thing.
  • Know when to speak and when not to.


Many times  disasters occur without warning.  It could be anything from hurricanes, to extended power outages, to violent crime, to societal breakdown, etc.  It is always best to prepare in advance for potential situations which could occur, rather than be caught unprepared if and when they do occur.

Here are some things I consider important enough to prepare right now. 

  • Stock up on non perishable food and water now.  At least 3 months worth per person.  This also includes a 3 months supply of food and water for each of your pets.  A cool, dry basement is a great place to set up shelving units to hold these supplies.
  • Batteries; yes you will absolutely need them for everything from flashlights to radios.  Stock up on as many as you can.  I keep mine in ziploc bags which are then placed in lots of empty coffee cans by battery size.  Keep your rechargeable and disposable batteries in seperate areas.
  • Maintain your perimeter security by keeping doors, windows and garages locked, walk your property daily to make sure it is secure and use wireless motion detector alert systems.  Big dogs work well also.  Mine is an Alaskan Malamute.
  • Keep your communications gear fully charged including cell phones and 2 way radios.
  • Obtain proper training and get your pistol permit.  Also obtain proper training in the use of shotguns and rifles as well.  Have your firearms and sufficient ammunition available and train on a regular basis with each of your firearms.  There is no such thing as having too much properly stored ammunition.
  • Have a sharp knife, as well as reliable hand tools available.  Also have a sufficient quantity of spare plywood and nails and screws.
  • An 8,000 to 10,000 watt generator is a must, along with a power cord to attach it to your previously installed whole house power outlet and a sufficient supply of safely stored, stabilized gasoline to run the generator. About 20, red 5 gallon each gasoline cans should do it.  20×5 = 100 gallons.
  • Keep well supplied first aid kits available.
  • Have a written survival plan and familiarize yourself with it.