Monday, March 6, 2017

Bugging Out, When To Leave: REDOUT

We’ve had a bug out bag for years. We’ve prepared with as much being mobile as possible. For instance. We have a lot of materials for medical purposes. They are now all in two large plastic trunks on wheels and with handles. They are portable. If we ever have to leave and feel we have the need and the room, we’ll grab both trunks. My wife used to work in a hospital and has more training than the average person so that why we have so much first aid stuff. The point is, we want everything as mobile as possible in the event we must leave and have time and room to take a lot. I don’t want to leave because I’m better prepared at home on my property than anywhere else. While teaching bug out bag classes I’ve talked to a lot to people who are thinking about bugging out. Often the question comes up, “When do you leave?” Of course this is a very tricky question with multiple answers. The most accurate answer I’ve come up with is, “Depends.” Because it does depend. On what is going on and how severe and what is expected and what do have intel on that is actually happening. I’ve experienced black-outs where the electricity was off for several hours. There were no mobs in the streets. No looting went on. People dealt with it even though it was annoying. I imagine after a week of that and the realization that the electricity is not coming back on, things might have changed.
So when do you leave? If it is too soon or things don’t get worse like you thought, you have to come back to your lives. That may involve work or school and that may be a little embarrassing or at worst, the loss of a job or other problems! But really worse is bugging out too late. That could be life threatening. So it is a pretty important question isn’t it?
I spent some time in the military and I like acronyms. So for this bug out dilemma we’ll use the acronym REDOUT. With this explanation of what REDOUT is we may start to have an idea of the criteria for evacuating.
Before we talk about leaving, I need to emphasize, you must have a place to go. The place you go must have resources in place, or at the very least, have some basics that will aid in your and your families survival. If the location has plenty of good water, then you may have the means of taking with you, or providing, food and shelter. Do not think that you’ll survive in the wilderness. I feel like I have extensive wilderness survival training yet our plan only involves the wilderness as a last resort. Do not depend on the wilderness as your default bug out location. Have a place to bug out to.
“R” is for: Resources almost gone.
When an event goes down, if you’re able to “shelter in place” then do so. But if you’re resources won’t sustain you anymore, it’s time to go. Notice how we say “almost” gone? This is because you need resources to leave with.
“E” is for: Environment is no longer safe
Often this will involve a natural disaster rather than angry hoards having a battle in your front yard. Chem spills (these happen more often than you think), hurricanes, earthquakes, black-outs, tornados, floods, wildfires, etc. These are the likely scenarios you may have to deal with.
Remember that in a situation like this almost everyone will be leaving with you. Be prepared for that with alternate routes and plenty of gas. Also, within your plan have alternate ways to communicate with your family and everyone must have knowledge of rally points to meet and routes to evacuate.
“D” is for: Destination to go to.
As was mentioned above, you must have a place to go. You may just feel that your bug out location (BOL) is where you need to be for a short time. If you live in a city for instance and you feel for a time it would be better to leave, then you will already have a plan, and a place to go in your plan. We have several BOLs. One close to where we live. One a few hundred miles away. And one in another state. We have also an ultimate, if the world really ends, location where we will meet family and friends a few states away. Depending on where you live, a BOL may be used more often than someone else.
If you live in an urban setting you may feel you need to stay home and protect your stuff. You must be the one who weighs this decision. Decide now what danger you are willing to be subject to. You have to decide ahead of time because it will be very difficult in the heat of the moment. As was also mentioned, have several routes planned to get away to safety. Take these routes in practice run. Make it as real as you can before real danger comes so you will have some experience in your bug out.
“O” is for: Overwhelming force against you
Gangs roaming the countryside are pretty much a no go. First, where do these gangs get the resources to just go without a planned destination. If they were in Texas they could drive their motorcycles 200 miles without seeing anyone or any building! The same goes for other places. I can just see a gang out of gas and out of water in the Arizona desert. Then again, most homes are not fortified to be able to stop 3 guys with a few guns and fire to get you to come out. But also by the same token, why burn down a house and everything in it if what you want, is IN it?
If you find a true force, maybe military units going house-to-house, maybe that would a sign to go. But if it is just a well-armed mob who thinks you have food, this also might be a sign to leave. No matter how I slice it, I’m still fooling myself if I think my family is going to be able to be a well-trained, disciplined unit defending our citadel. It probably won’t happen. I would rather meet with family and friends at our ultimate BOL and defend that!
“U” is for: Unprepared for the situation.
You should never find yourself here. Yes, you can never prepared for EVERYTHING! But you can certainly be ready for most things. Don’t plan for specifics because that may leave you vulnerable to something else. A year supply of food is good preparation for most situations. So you can prepare generally and maybe some specifics. For instance we have some pandemic kits that we put together that are specific to a pandemic but may also be used in CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) events also. Use sense in your preparation plans. But there are also situations that you may just not be ready for. The situation may require bugging out.
“T” is for: Threat is increasing
If whatever is threatening you is growing (storm, wild-fire, etc.) then this may be your sign to leave. The key to this is intel or information. Radio, T.V., internet, or even shortwave or ham radio may be the deciding factor in your bug out. During a disaster electricity and cell service is affected. Having a battery operated device, and the means to recharge or spare batteries, may be well worth having in a disaster. Make sure these items are available and that they work would be a life-saving activity. Knowing how to use this equipment is also an important skill.

There are many things that go into the decision to leave your home. Sometimes other family may not feel the need to leave. Others may say it’s too soon. But you must make this difficult decision ahead of time, now, when most things are good. Share your preparation and feelings about situations with your family and selected friends. You will probably already have an idea of their reaction to your plans. Remember OPSEC (operation security). Being careful not divulge what you are doing and how you are preparing to just anyone.
Preparing these things ahead of time and making some of these hard decisions now will make it easier when the real deal goes down. Planning and preparing will ease the stress of a bad or dangerous event. If you are prepared you will have more opportunities to help others than if you were only worried about your family. Planning ahead will only help you. Bugging out is not fun but with some preparation you will have a better idea when the time is right.

Semper Paratus
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