Friday, July 18, 2014

"Survivalists" in Oregon forced to Bug Out

Extract: Smoke from a fire is seen near Moccasin Hill, Ore. Officials say a fast-growing wildfire in southern Oregon has destroyed homes and forced dozens of evacuations.

Fernando, an interesting thing happened recently in south Oregon, a conservative area with lots of "preppers". Basically, a big wildfire hit a rural neighborhood well known in Klamath County for having lots of preppers and off-the-grid types. According to local media, people were forced to flee IMMEDIATELY ahead of flames twice as high as the
pine trees. Many lost everything, including preps. Miraculously, nobody died, but half of an area known variously as "Moccasin Hill" or "Klamath Falls Forest Estates #1" was reduced to ash. Google "Moccasin Hill wildfire Klamath County Oregon" for more info, and be aware that local media often has limits on how many free articles you can read. Thought you'd like to know about it, especially considering the new release of your book about bugging out.

(also in Canada)
Homes in West Kelowna are threatening by a wildfire that has grown to 400 hectares in size.

 extract:Homes in West Kelowna are threatening by a wildfire that has grown to 400 hectares in size. (CBc)

Here is an example of a bug out for some, and certainly a readiness
test for 60,000 if the wildfires damage the electrical-transmission


Thanks for your email.
Here’s a link to the fires in Oregon
Indeed, that’s one of the points I try to explain in “Bugging Out and Relocating”: Sometimes you simply don’t get to choose. Sure, in my case it was a country falling apart after a large scale economic disaster, resulting in poverty and crime that changed the landscape of the country, bringing the standards of living below levels I considered acceptable. You could say that’s not the kind of thing that happens every day. But in the case of Oregon and Canada, wild fires do happen with certain frequency and common house fires even more so. What about foreclosures? What about not being able to pay rent? The simple truth is, no preparedness plan is complete without a strategy for when bugging in isn’t an option.

In the case of survivalists, preppers and their homes, just like anyone else, losing all your material belongings can be devastating. Bugging out of Argentina and having to leave most of our belongings behind forced us to reevaluate how much sentimental value we had placed on inanimate objects. I’ve reached the point where I can honestly leave everything behind, I don’t value “stuff” nearly as much as I used to. Sure, I have a few belongings that I like and wouldn’t want to part with, but I’ve learned to understand what’s really important. When it comes to preparedness it is true that certain supplies and gear are important assets. You can’t live without food, water and shelter. Then again, with the right skills (and I’m not talking about starting a fire with a bow drill here folks)  supplies and gear can be replaced and bought again. Here’s where we revisit how important skills and mindset are compared to “stuff”. Also to be addressed, the importance of not putting all your eggs in one basket. 

Even if you have a well set homestead, and as uncomfortable as it may be to even think about it, you must force yourself to do the mental exercise of going through what you would do it you lost it all, if it all went up in flames or you had to evacuate all of a sudden. If you think this way you soon start thinking about reallocating at least some of your supplies and assets, organizing in a different way, leaving a bag or a couple boxes with some family or friends somewhere else. This uncomfortable exercise is good, because it takes you out of your comfort zone, your idealized scenario where everything goes along as you desire, which is the opposite of what happens during real disasters. 

Another point I try to focus on: You just can’t live in your Bug Out Location. If you think you do, then you don’t understand what bug out location means. By definition a BOL is a place other than where you currently reside, because its where you go when your current place of residence is no longer viable. Once you live there, as great and as wonderful as it may be, its no longer a BOL. 

There are numerous possible situations that may force you out of your home. As discussed in previous posts, a fire can spread through an entire house in less than 60 seconds. With disasters such as those or earthquakes, mudslides or floods it may happen even faster. Because of this, you need to know exactly what you are doing depending on the time you have. What would you do if you leave with nothing but the clothes on your back and the loved ones you managed to pull out? what do you remove if you have just a couple minutes and what you take if you have an hour or more to load up a car before making a quick exit?

The following is a short extract from my book “Bugging Out and Relocating”, page 24

Bug Out Timing 

It is important to plan ahead of time what to do when disaster strikes. Family members should know how to evacuate the house during an emergency, what to do if the main door cannot be opened or accessed and in what specific exterior location the family will be meeting once they make it outside. Clearly identify two emergency exits in each floor and make sure everyone in the house knows about them and how to access them. For such a purpose, you may need an Escape Ladder. Everyone should know exactly what to do when a family member raises the alarm and tells everyone to get out. This should be practiced at least once a year so that all family members know how to react during an evacuation. Depending on the nature of the disaster that is forcing you to bug out, you will have more or less time to gather emergency supplies.
The guideline below is an attempt to organize that which by its very own nature is chaotic and unpredictable. Still, it will give you a better idea of what your priorities are depending on how much time you believe you have. Never overestimate how much time you have. Material goods can be replaced and the difference between leaving one minute too early and one minute too late may be the difference between life and death. Keeping gear and kits well organized will help you get more of them out when every second counts. Remember to also consider how much time you may need to evacuate the disaster are if the event is not limited to your home and immediate surroundings. You may need to cover several miles before reaching safety and you don’t know what kind of delays you may encounter. 
<1 minute="" span="">
 Gather all family members and exit the building as fast as possible. You leave with your lives and the clothes on your back. House fires and fast raising flood waters are good examples of such a case.
5 minutes
Once all family members have been accounted for and they have safely evacuated the building, grab the Bug Out Bag and Documents Bag. Grab the contents of your safe such as emergency cash, precious metals, jewelry and other family heirlooms. Most of the items kept in the safe should already be in the Documents Bag (see page 37) for quick removal. Examples of such a case are house fires, approaching wild fires, floods, terrorist attacks and nearby industrial accidents.
1 hour
In this case there is enough time to grab your BOB and Documents Bag. You can also gather more gear and supplies such as food, firearms, water, camping gear and extra clothes. If prepared ahead of time and ready to roll, it is also possible to take your trailer or caravan and have a quick word or leave a note with a trusted neighbor. Time flies when dealing with an emergency and the hour will go by sooner than expected. How well you equipment has been stored and organized will determine how much of it you will be able to gather given the time that you have. Possible examples of such a situation are mandatory evacuation ahead of a storm, foreign invasion, violent uprising.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In large portions of the western U.S. house construction & landscaping is critical to surviving wildfires.

Traditional wood/vinyl-sided, wood/asphalt-shingled homes often burn like torches.

Masonry-sided, tile-shingled homes normally won't catch on fire from wind-carried embers.

Keeping combustibles clear of the home is also critical.

I saw several burned homes on the news where the front lawn was rock/gravel, but burned trees/bushes were only a few feet away from the side of the home.

100 feet of gravel around the home is frankly the minimum in those wildfire-prone areas.

Yes, I know it doesn't look pretty so few homeowners do so.