USMC Extreme Cold Weather Rucksack Contents.
— U.S. Military Forum (@USMilitaryForum) March 31, 2018
Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Michael Wilhelm. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.
WHAT IS A G.O.O.D. PLAN?
Basically a GOOD Plan is life’s Plan B. Plan A, is what we are currently living. We live in society that pretty much provides for all our basic needs and then some. Plan A is where the electric is always on, clean water comes out of the faucet, when you dial 911 someone shows up to help you. Plan A is where babies are born in hospitals, our kids are educated in schools to prepare them for employment, were adults working at jobs to receive monetary compensation so they can exchange it for things they need and want. Plan A is where some people get married, have kids, enjoy comfortable retirement, and then die. Plan A is commonly referred to as the “Center Holds”. We live a life of electricity, gas for our cars, food available nearly everywhere, and a government that provides a degree of law and order and responds to most emergency that may befall us.
Most of us are on board with Plan A. But what if Plan A fails? What if the Center doesn’t hold? What if events, beyond your control, fall upon you and change all you know and expect from life. Do you have a Plan B? What if you find that you can no long stay in your current home due to lack of power, water and food? What if your neighborhood is no longer safe and you have to leave, to “Get Out Of Dodge”. Where would you go? How would you get there? How would you live once you got there? What is your Plan B?
The primary purpose of this document is to get you thinking about Plan B. And to provide a very basic understanding of things to consider if you decide to develop a Plan B. As with Plan A you layout goals and acquire resources that will support you Plan A goals. Same with Plan B, you develop goals, then start acquiring resources.
The purpose of a GOOD Plan is to get you, and your family, to a place of safety and survival before SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan). Your plan needs to be executable and based in reality. A good GOOD Plan will answer three questions.
- Where are you going?
- When do you leave?
- What are you taking?
Finally, you need to communicate your GOOD plan with your family. Doesn’t help to have a plan if no one’s aware of it.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
A GOOD Plan assumes that you will be leaving your current / normal place of residence for a Survival Retreat. However, if you currently live in a place that meets the basic requirement of a Survival Retreat, then there is no reason to leave.
A Survival Retreat is a predetermined place that you would be living at for at least a year. By predetermined I mean that you know where the place is, you know how to get there and, if you don’t own it, then you are expected by the owner or have their permission to stay.
The basic first requirements for a retreat is no different from any piece of real estate, it all starts with location. A retreat that is remote, and off the beaten path is preferred over one that is in or next to populated areas. Your retreat needs to be defendable. It needs to have access to fresh water, and a fuel/energy source.
Fresh water can come from rivers, streams, lakes or rainfall. A retreat fuel/energy source is either one that you have stockpiled like gasoline or diesel fuels. Or ones that you have developed like wind, solar, and/or hydro. Additionally, there are natural energy sources like trees, and coal that can be harvested and burned.
Consideration should be given as to how the retreat will support your family. It is large enough? If you plan to grow food, is land suitable for gardening? Can you protect the food you grow from wildlife?
As to defending a retreat, the best ones don’t need defending. Meaning its location is such that access is difficult or well concealed. The goal is to be able to fend off a small band of four to six attackers. What is the most likely avenue of attack? What can you do to neutralize that avenue? For attacks by groups larger than six you need to have a means of escape. The escape route needs to be concealed and will get you and your family out of harms’ way.
Another consideration is your route of travel to the retreat. Ideally you will be leaving before there are roadblocks. But in case you don’t and the primary route is blocked. You need to have a secondary route. Neither route should depend on things like ferries or airplanes. Both routes should be ones that if needed you could walk.
Other things to consider when selecting a retreat
- What is its condition, are repairs needed?
- Does it have a means of heating and cooking without electric or gas?
- Is it physically large enough to support your family?
- If you don’t there full time and you stockpile resources, can it be secure?
Ideally you have stockpiled enough food, water, and other survival gear at your retreat that will support your group through at least the first year. This will give to time to establish a mean of addition food source, like a garden, bartering or developing your hunting and fishing skills.
An eye-opening exercise is to make a list of all the things you would need for you and your family to survive for a year without being restocked, access to support systems like medical services, and no power, running water or sewage service.
How much food would you need, how about clothing, medical supplies, weapons and ammo? What knowledge or skills would you need?
Once you have the list, cross off all the items you currently have. I think you will find that other than a camp stove and sleeping bags and some clothing you are in need of a lot of shit.
WHEN DO YOU LEAVE?
In developing a GOOD Plan there are two terms that need defined and given consideration that help in determine when to Get Out Of Dodge.
The first term is tipping point. A tipping point is a moment in time that due to a series of events or one major event the odds of society collapsing and going off the deep end, are the same odds as the center holding and life pretty much continue as it has, otherwise a moment when things could go either way. Pandemics, economic collapse and national wide civil unrest are the events that would lead to a tipping point.
A collapse of society is better known to “preppers” as TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). While TEOTWAWKI indicates once things go to hell, they stay that way forever. I believe that after a period of time things will return to a more civilized / normal way of life. The challenge will be to survive till it does. This leads to two questions, how bad will it get? And how long will it last? The theory is, the worst things gets, the longer it lasts, the longer it lasts, the worst things will get.
The second term is trip wire event (TWE), this is an event or events that when it happen, tells you it’s time to GOOD. The term trip wire comes from the practice of stringing a wire around your camp about 4” off the ground. The wire is connected to a device that can warn you that an intruder is attempting to enter your camp. A TWE is a warning that in the near future shit is going to hit fan. The challenge with TWE is that different events that would result in TEOTWAWKI would have different trip wires. For example, a TWE for a pandemic is different from those for an economic collapse. Though a major pandemic would, or could cause an economic collapse. If you wait to GOOD till the economic collapse you’re leaving too late. TWEs are also flexible and always being reevaluated.
Another challenge with TWEs is selecting ones that when they happen there is enough time to allow you to GOOD before TEOTWAWKI. Like a trip wire around your camp site. Too close to the camp and there’s no time to react. A TWE needs to be before the SHTF, meaning before the electrical power is off, before the grocery stores are out of food, before all the gas stations are closed, before police and firefighters stop showing up for work, before there are roadblocks (either those set up by the government or the ones set up by morons with guns).
Also when considering TWE you don’t want ones that are not so far in advance of the SHTF that you GOOD before it’s necessary. The same is true for a campsite tripwire, too far away can having you react to something that was not really a threat. Staying put till the right time to GOOD will allow you to continue gathering supplies.
In putting together a GOOD Plan you can categorize TEOTWAWKI events into one of two types, CONSIDERED EVENTS and NON-CONSIDERED EVENTS. A Considered Event is one that could happen and you can prepare for it. A Non-considered Event is one that is damn near impossible to happen or if it does no amount of prepping will save you.
Below are Considered Events that I believe warrant the execution of our GOOD plan.
Power Grid Down:
There are three main power grids in this country, Eastern, Western and Texas. All are susceptible to hacking or physical sabotage. The loss of one grid would have a direct impact on the other two. Experts estimate that if the grid is taking down by a hacker it could take months to a year to get the system back up. Experts also say that it’s not a matter of if the grid is hack but more of a matter of when.
This event will have plenty of warnings but when it happens it will hit hard and fast. The impact will push many people over the edge. Don’t wait too long to GOOD. Another challenge in this event will be to have a stockpiled a resource that will have value after the collapse that you can use to barter with for things you don’t have but need to survive.
Pandemic is basically an outbreak of a disease that is highly contagious, deadly and wide-spread. It could start in any part of the world. The primary goal will be to get away from areas of large populations or if you can’t get away, have a means to isolate yourself from those who are infected.
This event will undoubtedly happen during a pandemic and economy collapse. But there is a long list of other event that could result in wide-spread civil unrest. The primary challenge will be security, protecting your family and resources.
The following are Non-considered Events that I have no intention of planning for.
- Global thermonuclear war (this would not include a single nuclear attack by a terrorist)
- An attack/invasion by aliens from outer space
- A plague that results in people who die becoming flesh-eating zombies
- The earth being sucked into a black hole
- The earth being hit by a planet killing asteroid (ELE, Extinctions Level Event)
WHAT ARE YOU TAKING?
Ideally you have stockpile resources at your retreat and the items you’re taking are minimal. For the most part you will need damn near everything you didn’t stockpiled. Your GOOD Plan should list out what you’re taking. The recommendation is to pack based on priorities of, security first (weapons and ammo), first aid/medical, then all the non-perishable food you have in your home, any camping gear you have, any type of fuel, and if you have one, take your generator. If space allows, load up clothing, linen, “How To” books, tools and any items that might be used for barter. My recommendation is bring the dog but leave the cat (unless you are willing to eat the cat).
WHAT TO EXPECT IF SHTF?
Besides for being prepped up with survival supplies and resources, you need to also prep your mind. You need to be mentally prepared for the weeks and months ahead. Prepare to make tough decisions. Decisions that may, and can mean the difference between life and death. So what can you expect? If you think about it, about a week or so after SHTF there’s a good chance basic services, like police, fire and medical responses will be gone or greatly decreased. Once power is off for the entire area for more than three days there’s a good chance things are only going to go from bad to worst. If you turn on a portable TV or radio and the only broadcast is emergency information message telling you to stay at home and wait further orders or tell you were the nearest FEMA camp is located. You can bet the economy is near to or in the process of collapsing.
Once the economy has collapsed the only person still working will be mostly be the first responders and the military. And they will stop showing up once they sense that their families are at risk. Once that happens there goes the last means of public security. Hopefully before any of this happens you and your family will be at a survival retreat. Regardless were you are you will be on your own.
Without securing items like food, water and protection will be mostly gone. If there is no public security people will stop showing up for work and stay home to protect their family. There will be hard times in the first weeks and months. Due to the lack of resources like food, drinking water, medical support and electricity there will be a lot of people dying. The first to go will be the physically impaired. People that cannot fend for themselves, or cannot move under their own power, people who depend on regular medication to stay alive. Nearly all these people will be dead in the first week or less. The next group to go will be the poor. With little or no resources to start with, most will holdout in their homes and apartments waiting, hoping that “someone”is coming to help them. Prior to a total collapse some of the poor and unprepared will be “helped” by the government in being relocated to a FEMA camp. These camps will offer food, shelter, and security until the military collapses. At that point the things with fall into chaos as it did at the Superdome during Katrina. The camp will collapse into a “dog-eat-dog” environment. It will be brutal and deadly. In my option these camps are to be avoided at all costs.
As to the healthy but unprepared a number of them will be injured or killed trying to find a means of survival or escape the cities. Without medical attention the injured will succumb to their wounds/injuries. In a SHTF world, if you are not prepared, a broken arm or leg, a laceration that is allowed to become infected can kill you. The unprepared people who last the longest will and can pose the biggest threat by forming into predatory gangs. These gangs will be armed, mobile and lethal. They will do whatever they want to secure food and resources. As they consume the resources in an area they will move on to other areas of opportunity. Some will travel by vehicle once they figure out how to connect a generator up to a gas pump. Ours will move on foot. The leaders of these gangs will more in likely have been criminals prior to SHTF or maybe military training or both. Due to being forced to “live off the land” these gangs will likely be mostly male and consist of less than 20 people. There are two options for dealing with these gangs. The first, and best option, is to avoid contact. Stay concealed and under the radar. The second is to attack and kill them before they attack and kill you. My guess is that most of these groups will relocate to parts of the country where the climate is mild year round.
In a long-term survival situation, there are lots of areas you will have to be mentally prepared for. Of all of them death will be the most challenging. Death of a love one or a vital member of the group can leave you mentally vulnerable and weak. Your challenge will be to morn but not let the event push you into a feeling of hopelessness. Every member of your group needs to be physically and mentally strong. The way to strengthen your body is through exercise. The same is true for the mind. Your group will need to hold regular meeting to discuss events that can happen. This will help to prepare the group mentally for impactful events. Discussing responses to events and making a plan will help to prevent confusion and inaction if the event occurs.
DESTINYSURVIVAL Land Navigation Interview gman Over the last 9 years or so I’ve produced approximately 3,500 LIVE radio broadcasts and have re-broadcasted countless more from other great pod-casters on the 24/7 feed here at Prepper Broadcasting. The rewards are not monetary, what money we bring in pays the costs to run the network if we are fortunate. … Continue reading DESTINYSURVIVAL Land Navigation Interview
I have no doubt that most of you are aware that wildfires raged across eastern Tennessee earlier this week decimating Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas along the way. These fires are not the only ones that have been burning across the southeast in recent weeks, but the they are the first to directly impact large and heavily populated cities. This was the scene earlier this week in Gatlinburg and throughout Sevier County…
Fire on the mountain (language warning):
The mountains of eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina and northern Georgia are an outdoor lover’s playground throughout the year. If you live in the region, you have probably visited Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, enjoyed the natural beauty of the area and the warm hospitality of their people. We grew up just a few hours away and visited often, never minding the ride to get there, but rather enjoying the magnificence of the view throughout the trip and we always felt right at home once we arrived. It is for this reason and many others that this disaster is personal for us and we wanted to do whatever we can to help. Watch this space for possible updates and any future wildfire relief efforts.
To this end, I spent most of today (Wednesday 11/30) on the phone with several national and local agencies trying to get the first hand scoop from the experts on the ground on the best way to have offer the most benefit to the most people possible. What follows is what I learned.
As of my writing this article, the local chapter of the American Red Cross reports that in terms of their ability to meet the immediate needs of the community in terms of basic supplies (food, water, shelter, clothes, toiletries, etc.), they and all of the local agencies they are talking with are “at capacity” after having seen a tremendous outpouring of support from the state and region. That’s GREAT news! However, the reality is this will not be a 72 hour, five day or one week disaster and that is where we can step up and really make a difference. From every person I spoke with today, the main way we can help is by donating money to support the ongoing efforts that will be required to help Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the good people of eastern Tennessee going forward. With that in mind, my work today led me to three agencies where you can donate funds and be certain that your money will go directly to help the people of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the good people of eastern Tennessee. If you would like to make a donation to help with the wildfire relief efforts that are ongoing in these devastated areas, based on my personal conversations I can suggest the following agencies with full confidence and without hesitation:
The East Tennessee chapter of the American Red Cross is currently housing 1,400 people nightly in shelters that have been displaced by the wildfires, additionally providing food, transport and pet care to everyone. For reference, keep in mind that it takes $1000 to provide this assistance to 100 people daily, so know that every dollar you donate will be making a real difference in the lives of every day people just like yourself.
If you would like to donate to the East Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross, please send your check to:
ATTENTION LORI MARSH
American Red Cross East Tennessee
6921 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, Tennessee 37909
You can follow the East Tennessee Chapter on Facebook too.
GATLINBURG RELIEF FUND (SMARTBANK)
This fund has been established by the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce and will disperse all raised funds directly to local impacted citizens to be used at their discretion. This will put funds directly in the hands of those that need it most.
If you would like to donate to the Gatlinburg Relief Fund (SMARTBANK), here is the link to donate with a debit/credit card:
If you would like to send a check/money order please make it payable to: Gatlinburg Wildfire Relief Fund
Please mail the check to:
P.O. BOX 1910
Pigeon Forge, TN 37868
Check out the donation link on the Smartbank Facebook page:
If you would like to take a longer term approach to this disaster and offer help to those that may have lost everything and do not have adequate insurance to help them get back on their feet, the TVCH is a good option. For more information, visit tvchomeless.org and to donate money, call 865-859-0749. If you know of anyone that has lost their home, the Homeless Assistance Hot Line is 888-556-0791.
If you are interested in doing what you can to help our nearby neighbors get through these very trying times, I hope this information helps you make that happen. Remember friends, disaster doesn’t care about our schedules and does not play favorites. There, but for the grace of God, go I. Disaster can strike anyone, anywhere, at any time. I hope you will do what you can to help.
To keep up with the most up to date information regarding the ongoing disaster unfolding in eastern Tennessee and how you can help further, check out the great coverage from WBIR , WATE and the KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL. Please be aware that unlike the three mentioned above, I have not spoken to all of these organizations and agencies listed on those pages personally.
Andrew Duncan captured drone video of the damage done by the fires in Gatlinburg and Sevier County.
Please help us maximize the impacts of this post! If you have a presence on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.), SHARE this post with your friends and family and let’s see how much good we can do together.
Some our deepest longings, played out in box office hits, call for swift justice against wrongdoing. Yet, our society is built on the foundation of the rule of law and justice for all — the very antithesis of this spirit of vigilantism. We go to great lengths to ensure even criminals receive equal protection. We settle for procedural justice, knowing it isn’t perfect, while longing for a primitive yet perfect justice, where the criminal meaningfully pays for the wrongs he committed.
Yet, who among us is capable of determining and executing this perfect justice? We reject vigilantism in real life because it is private, unaccountable and quickly corrupted. We fall back to a legal system built on procedure, and vicariously enjoy our desire for vengeance on the movie screen.
Must we always choose between the two? Is there any hope for real justice in the world?
God has revealed Himself as an avenging God (Nahum 1). We recoil at the thought, but the omniscient, holy God is the only one capable of dispensing perfect justice. We are conflicted, because we know this vengeful God can finally judge evil — but we also know that puts us in jeopardy, because we, too, have done evil. So we imagine that God is like us, that He hates the things we hate, and will put the Hilters and Stalins and serial killers of the world in hell … but not people like you and me.
But what kind of God is that? The sort of God who is partial and plays favorites isn’t one to trust.
Because God is perfectly and always good, He isn’t partial; He must put an end to sin, and all sinners, for His justice to be perfect. Therefore, a good God must be a God who judges all evil—including the evil in me. If real justice is what we seek from God, the irony is that very goodness is what we can least endure about Him in our own lives, because He demands perfection.
And in Jesus Christ, the God of towering, unimpeachable and unbending justice shows mercy to any and all sinners who bow their head and put their faith in Him.
What is our situation (Romans 3:10-20)?
In a word, bad. Everyone is in trouble—separated from God. We are spiritually condemned. We are characterized by faithlessness, unrighteousness, sin and rejection of God. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans makes it clear that we’re depraved. We have rejected God.
You have a problem with justice—or, perhaps, it’s more accurate to say that justice has a problem with you. If you don’t understand this, you won’t understand Jesus’ claims.
Paul’s indictment is also aimed at you. People have two defenses they tend to make against the accusation that they are sinner—either: “I’m not that bad,” or “God isn’t really that good.” The Bible says you are, in fact, that bad. The human reaction to these truths might be a resolve to “do better,” but Paul sweeps that hope away. No one can make themselves righteous.
God is holy—He does not just fudge to get His children out of trouble. The perfect Judge will condemn sin, including yours and mine.
Where does that leave you?
How can we be saved from this Judge (Romans 3:21-26)?
Your greatest need is for God to declare you righteous, and Paul declares that need can be met. God’s throne is built on righteousness and justice; this demands our sin to be dealt with.
How can He show mercy to the guilty?
God showed mercy and provided Christ to prove His commitment to justice. We often act on a presupposition that we deserve to be forgiven. But if you understand who this God is, you know this isn’t the case. God owes you nothing.
Christ’s death was an atoning sacrifice. Jesus took God’s wrath on our behalf, and God punished all our iniquities. This means the justice that demanded our death now pleads our case. God’s sword is no longer raised to strike us, but rather, to defend us.
This salvation is for all who will come (Rom. 3:26). It’s not something you work for or earn; it is a free gift by grace (Eph. 2:8-9). You must reject any notion that you play a role in your salvation. It is all by faith alone, in Christ alone, by His grace alone.
So, why would God send people to hell?
The world says, “How can God be love and send anyone to hell?” But heaven says, “How can God be just and allow anyone into heaven?”
The one who minimizes the gravity of hell minimizes the gravity of the cross. If hell isn’t real, Jesus was all bluster. If hell isn’t real, we ought to say, “Give it a rest, Jesus. We all know you’re just being metaphorical.” But not even one door in hell is found the word “exit.”
The fact that God is love doesn’t mean there is no hell. It means that if God abides in you and you in Him, there will be no hell for you.
Jesus talked more about hell than He did about heaven during His three year ministry (Matthew 13:41-50; Mark 9:43-49; Luke 16:19-31, etc.). And the Bible isn’t sentimental about heaven and hell—not hesitant, not mushy. The message is clear and alarming (Isaiah 65:13-15).
All sin costs. It is very easy to go to hell. Simply do nothing. Or lots of things. Either way. Part of our sin is that it blocks out a feeling of sin. The “little” sins of everyday life will send us to eternal hell. The Quran says that God sends bad people to hell. The Bible says that, at the cross, God went to hell for bad people (Galatians 3:13). If God let every person run head-long into hell, He would still be just, and His reputation would remain untarnished.
The wages of sin cost God His Son and Christ His life. It costs believers repentance and unbelievers hell. Sin always costs. The next time you think you’re a good person, remember that God had to kill His Son to keep you out of hell. God says the worst about me (I deserve hell) & the best (I am loved & justified), so what you say about me is held in this perspective.
There are many paths to hell, but only one way to heaven. If everyone escapes hell and goes to heaven without trusting Christ alone, then Jesus was just wasting his time. Salvation is not just getting man out of hell and into heaven, but getting God out of heaven and into man.
Why, then, is it that some people are more sad by how many people unfollowed them on Instagram and Twitter and unfriended them on Facebook than by how many unbelievers went to hell today?
And if, at your church, you never hear about the righteous wrath of God, unleashed either at the cross or in hell, run.
The word of Christ’s finished work changed me, rescuing me from sin, hell, shame, depression and suicide. No church marketing gimmick can do that. If we really believed in hell, our teaching, preaching and evangelism would be far more convincing.
One of the most loving and merciful things Jesus did was preach about hell. Unless you believe in hell, you will never know how much Jesus loves you. Hell is full of sincere, religious people, never born again, and heaven is full of immoral people who repented and believed in Christ.
Friend, if we didn’t wake up in hell today, we should be dancing. If we don’t know we deserve hell, we don’t know Christ.
This is why the great preacher C.H. Spurgeon said:
“When men talk of a little hell it’s because they think they have only a little sin and believe in a little Savior.”
God is good, and He’s a refuge to everyone who trusts in Him. But because He is good, He will also judge those who oppose Him to the bitter end. The cross is proof of that. On the day you appear before God, He will be good. The only question is what His verdict on you will be. Trust in God, trust in His goodness, and find Him to be good to you—all through Jesus Christ.
From my experience working in disaster response, I know the work and thought that goes into running a shelter during a disaster. Emergency management workers try very hard to make shelters safe and comfortable. However, the lack of privacy, resources, and independence makes me pretty hesitant to choose to go to a shelter as long as I have other options. Personally, it would take a very severe reason for me to evacuate or “bug out” from my home in the first place. Leaving the house would entail me having to leave many of my in-place systems and make me more
The post Introduction to Emergency Kits (like BOBs, INCH, GHB, IFAK, EDC, and GOOD bags) appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.
If you’ve bounced around our website, read any of my books or the books I’ve consulted on (Steven Konkoly’s Perseid Collapse series) or ever listened to any of the podcasts where I’ve been a guest, you have certainly heard of the BOLT Kit. Simply put, the BOLT Kit is the realization of the vision of what we believe the bug out bag should be. The difference between every other bug out bag you’ve ever heard of and the BOLT Kit is a focused relocation philosophy that is underpinned by a plan, the gear and a skill set necessary to make it a success. You can find a more detailed look at the BOLT Kit and what makes it unique here.
As great as that original post and the previous paragraph are, this post is about the relocation concept and philosophy that allow the actual BOLT Kit to function effectively. As I stated in the earlier post…
At Practical Tactical, we believe in developing a plan in advance of the chaos that will keep you from becoming a refugee should you ever have to leave your home due to an emergency. We think of it as the software to go along with the hardware (read as gear) of preparedness. If you leave your home or primary residence without a definite destination and a well thought out and practiced plan on how to get there, you have instantly become a refugee and that’s a bad spot to be in. During a time of crisis, history has shown us that the life of a refugee is cold, hard and short. Whatever you do, you do not want to become a refugee.
In and of itself, that’s pretty self-explanatory. Don’t go anywhere unless you know exactly where you’re going, how you’re going to get there and oh by the way, make sure you’ve practiced your plan. But stick with me as we take a deep dive on this idea and look at it a bit closer.
So events have conspired to force you to leave your primary residence and it’s time to go, but where are you headed? We believe that there are several reasons you may have to leave your home that do not announce themselves as the apocalypse by crashing down in the capital letters with a dramatic score of music. In other words, there are a wide range of incidents that could force you from your home that are not the end of the world, but more of a personal, local or regional crisis type such as a house fire, a flood or a protracted period of severe weather or severe weather impacts (think crippling ice storm that lasts for weeks or the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy).
In these types of events, heading off the grid may not be in the cards for several practical reasons. The situation could be that despite this event that has thrown your world into chaos, life still goes on all around you and you still have to head in to work or your children still have to go to school. Who knows. It could be something as absolutely commonplace as you’ve decided to sell your home and you have to be out of the residence before your new home is ready and you need to stay in the area to finalize the sale. This is why having a scalable approach built in to your BOLT plan makes a lot of sense. If the situation dictates you can still fully activate your plan, but if it’s not some teotwawki level event you have given yourself several totally viable BOLT hole options.
As a part of your overall all BOLT plan, you develop BOLT holes appropriately distanced from your primary residence according to the incident level and threat you are facing that extend out from the location of your primary residence in concentric circles. Imagine a ringed target. Your home is the bulls eye and there are BOLT holes placed along each of the outward expanding rings of the target. Based on the severity of the incident, your BOLT holes are correspondingly further out on the pattern from your primary location and ideally will cover all 360 degrees of the pattern.
LEVEL ONE: If a pipe bursts and floods your home or a septic system backs up and renders your primary residence unlivable for a few weeks, you could have a BOLT hole set up just minutes from your location where you have arranged to stay with a neighbor, a family member or a close friend or maybe your plan is to check in to a local hotel for the duration of the event. If your home is completely destroyed in a tornado or a hurricane and the duration of your crisis event is possibly measured in months and not days or weeks, you may want make other arrangements. LEVEL TWO: The next level of your plan would go into effect if the entirety of your local area is impacted by an event like a contaminated water supply or an earthquake that destroys most of the local infrastructure. In a case like this, your BOLT hole would need to be farther from your primary residence to take you outside the threat area. Family and friends are always an option if they are located in the region that fits the plan, but you should always explore all of your options. As you can see, this concept can have as many rings as you deem necessary (LEVEL THREE, LEVEL FOUR, etc.) based on your situation with the ultimate destination of your BOLT plan taking you to your final and most long term BOLT hole location. Because no plan holds up to first contact, you can arrange to preposition a cache of supplies at each of the stops along the way that will supplement your original BOLT Kit and help you make it to your next BOLT hole should the ever evolving situation and facts on the ground dictate you continue to move.
I hope this sharpens the BOLT concept for you as you develop your disaster plan. Keep in mind that in order to successfully effect your own survival…whatever the situation…you must embrace the idea that there is more to the story than your gear or even your plan. To give yourself the greatest chance of success, you must develop a solid plan, outfit your kit based on that plan and support it with the skill set necessary to use that gear, then put it all to the test in real world practice. If you are resolute in your motivation and meticulous in your preparation, you will sleep well knowing that you and your family will be ready whenever the balloon goes up and that peace of mind is what the daily hard work of preparedness is all about.