Please do yourself a favour and follow the link below to listen to a woman’s first-hand account of dealing with the wildfire in Canada:
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1)It can happen to anyone, at any time. NO EXCEPTIONS. PERIOD.
Next time I read about someone claiming he already lives at his Bug Out Location and doesn’t plan on ever bugging out I’ll buy a plane ticket, fly wherever he lives and tattoo on his forehead “YOU CANT LIVE AT YOUR BUG OUT LOCATION”. By definition, a Bug Out Location is a place where you go when your main place of residence is compromised and no longer viable. The moment you are living there, it no longer counts as an alternative place to go to because it has now become the place where you are living. This is just as ridiculous as people that believe they don’t need to worry because they already left the city which will succumb to zombies in the coming apocalypse. Fire doesn’t care that you live in the forest or in nice suburbs or the middle of the city. As long as it finds fuel it will burn it down, rural or not. Forest fires spread with terrible speed, same happens in dry grasslands and bushes. Floods don’t care either. No matter where you live and how good your home setup is, there’s always the chance of one disaster or another forcing you to bug out so you need to plan for it.
2)You may have days, hours, or seconds
Sometimes you have days or several hours to plan and carry out your evacuation. Sometimes it’s a matter of minutes, seconds and sometimes you don’t make it out at all. You need to have a plan for this spectrum of possibilities. What do you do if all you manage to do is escape the burning house with nothing but the clothes on your back, which may as well be your underwear in the middle of winter. What do you grab if you have a minute or two? What do you throw in the trunk of your car if you have a bit more time?
3)You may be able to go back home in a matter of hours, days or never.
You may be evacuating due to an approaching storm and after it clears you may be back home the following day… or the storm turns into a massive flood and completely destroys your entire neighbourhood killing anyone that stayed and leaving your with nothing at all to go back to. The same can be said of a fire, which leaves you with nothing but a patch of charred dirt and ashes.
4)Have your kit organized and ready to go.
Don’t have a 120L rucksack ready to invade Iraq as your only Bug Out Bag. Organize your gear in layers. Have a bigger BOB but also have a smaller one in case you cant carry your huge backpack plus five tons of food and ammo. Its important to keep a small bag, fanny pack or satchel (VIP Bag) with your important documents, cash, maybe a handgun. The idea is to keep it in your safe and if nothing else, you take this smaller bag. Recently a grandmother drowned in Texas along with her four grandkids during a flash flood. She couldn’t even make it out of the house garage. I doubt she would have been able to carry 100 lbs of gear. Maybe you have to help others evacuate, maybe there’s wounded or hysterical people, maybe you are hurt yourself. If you have just seconds to escape you may or may not be able to carry a small bag. What this gives you is options to work with, but you need to plan and organize this ahead of time.
5)Have your vehicle ready to go at all times.
Your car must work. It may be a matter of life or death. You better have enough gas to make it out of there as well. This too can be a matter of life or death even with a perfectly functional vehicle. The lesson here is, refill your tank when its 1/3 or ¼ capacity, but also keep fuel ready at hand. Not in your uncles farm or your cabin in the woods, but ready to go in your current place of residence. Keep your car’s kit in order. It may be all you have left if your home is destroyed. Extra clothes, some food, water, first aid kit, USB and copies of important papers. Don’t forget a phone charger and maybe keep a spare dedicated phone in your vehicle.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.