Friday, January 29, 2010

To Bug or Not To Bug

To Bug, or not to Bug, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them.

Aye, there's the rub. Either way you could end up shuffling off this mortal coil.

Of course whether it's best to stay or go depends on the situation. If you live on the coast in the southeast and a category five hurricane is coming your way you'd do well to Bug Out.

But to Bug Out i.e. beat a hasty retreat to your er…retreat carries its own set of dangers and difficulties. You might find you're jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

To "Bug In" or "Shelter in place" (as the government likes to call it) or just plan stay home which is what many people will do anyway is appealing; all the comforts of home, none of the hassles of travel, the reassurance of familiar surroundings. That's assuming, of course, that your Bug In Location (BIL) is adequately stocked for the duration. You do have at least a weeks worth of food at home right? And water?

Assuming a tsunami is not headed for your beach front property there may be no immediate urgent need to evacuate. By staying home you relieve the pressure on whatever facilities that may (or may not) have been set up to handle refugees. The government doesn't have to feed, house or medicate you and yours thus freeing up resources for others.

On the other hand an earthquake's aftershocks or an unchecked forest fire may force you from your home just as you've settled down in front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn to watch coverage of the disaster on FOXNews.

The phrase "Watchful waiting" comes to mind here. Throwing your family and Bug Out Bags (BOB) in the Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) and making a mad dash for your Bug Out Location (BOL) every time some drunk driver hits a power pole gets old fast. If something out of the ordinary happens test to see if it really is TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) before sounding the alarm.

Are the lights out all over town or just in your neighborhood?
If you can see lights on in some other part of town it's likely you're experiencing the results of some drunk driver's inability to drive around a power pole.

Does the telephone (landline or cell) still work?
Corded telephones will usually work even with the electricity off. If your corded phone won't work that's an indication that something's wrong beyond the power being out.

Cordless phones usually won't work when the power is out, but cell phones will work if the cell towers still have power.

Does the (car or battery/hand cranked) radio still pick up signals from local and/or out of town stations?
If your self powered radio works whatever knocked out the power to your house is local. Did you remember to pay the electric bill?

Does the TV in the back of the headrests of your luxury SUV still work? If FOXNews and the other satellite networks are going on as if nothing has happened check to see if the local stations are on the air and if so do they have anything to say about the power outage?

The more of these trip wires have been er… tripped the more likely it is that you should start loading the BOB's into the BOV for that mad dash to your secret BOL in the bush.

But what if whatever is happening nearby is a WTSHTF (When The $#!t Hits The Fan) event?

Wouldn't it be prudent to practice loading your BOB's in the BOV? And maybe there's some other stuff you'd like to bring along if you were going to be gone for an extended length of time. Just as an exercise you understand. And maybe some canned goods just in case. After all if it all turns out to be nothing you can put it all back and give yourself credit for not only being prepared but exercising too.

You did gas up the BOV didn't you?
And you've got cash in case the ATM's don't work, right?
Of course if it's just a prolonged power outage you'll want to eat what's in the fridge first.
And you've got a lot of canned goods on hand in case the politicians have to make their "everything's under control" speeches for a longer period right?

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