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Showing posts with label Bug Out Plan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bug Out Plan. Show all posts

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Survival Planning, Prepping and Bugging Out With a Handicapped Family Member

Urban Survival Skills received this request for advice concerning prepping and bug out with a disabled child. I edited the letter to provide some semblance of OPSEC for the writer but want to post this to reach a larger group for potential advice to this prepper with a special needs child.

I am a single parent of a severely disabled child. My child is wheelchair bound, tube fed, in diapers, and developmentally at a pre-schooler level. My child is on medication for seizures. I'm stockpiling Nutren, diapers, and feeding supplies at our family farm which is a fairly short drive away (approx. 28 miles) though a suburban area. I am very concerned about getting myself and my child to the famr as well as having meds for long term care in the case of disaster. Could you please give advice on:

1) How do I know when to bug out?
2) Bug out bags. My child is 80 lbs and I'm 115 lbs. I can put a bag on the wheelchair chair and carry a bug out bag myself, but what weight? What are top priority items?
3) I have a small 4 wheel drive vehicle if driving is an option. Any advice on choosing route, stopping for extra fuel, etc.?
4) I have safety concerns about walking alone with my child. Advice? I am still learning to shoot and getting a gun soon. I am in pretty good shape, but small.
5) What can I do to get seizure meds for long term?

We are working on getting the farm prepared with food, water systems, generators, etc. at the my relatives adjoining property. Getting there with my child safely is my biggest concern. Any advice you have is appreciated. Thank you!
Okay readers, lets help this person out. Here is my initial response:

When to Bug Out. This is an individual call and not a one size fits all protocol. It is based on how safe and prepared you are where you are currently at, and, how far you have to go and the associated risks involved with that movement. I can advise that it would be too late when there are riots in the streets over food, or lack of food; too late when mass of refugees flood the routes; too late when cell phone communications are down; and, too late when martial law and therefore freedom of movement is restricted.

  It may be time to Bug Out when utilities (water and electricity) are intermittent and there are long lines at gas stations and grocery stores with associated shortages. It may be time when your and instincts tell you things are not going to get better. I advise multiple means of communications between you and your family members or friends that are going to bug out and rally on the farm. Develop a brevity code as well so if and when you have comms (voice or text) you can minimize transmission times and therefore chances of misunderstandings or intermittent service cutting you off.

Bug Out Bags. I think the priority are all the meds and supplies necessary for your child. Food, water and all gear necessary to support a walk from your house to the Bug Out location (the farm). This may include food that does not have to be cooked. Depending upon where you live and the seasons, factors, you may need sleeping bags or cold weather gear and things like that. In your case a short walk to your Bug Out location (the farm) could be accomplished in one day, but if you are pushing a wheelchair this may turn into 2 maybe even 4 days depending again on factors outside your control such as weather, threat, etc.

If you have selected Bug Out routes you may elect to emplace a small cache or two to support the movement to your Bug Out location (the farm) as support in case you can't make the distance as planned or the threat is too much that it reduces your travel speed.         

Bug Out Vehicle. A 4x4 is ideal, especially one that's good on gas and has a short wheel base for mobility. If you never let your vehicle get below 1/2 tank of gas you'll have plenty to make the Bug Out movement, based on the travel distance you mentioned. But I would advise an extra 5 gallon fuel can or two. Keep these full and rotate fuel every month. Or you can just get them filed when you think the collapse is beginning and when fuel is till available. You should have several routes if possible. When you have to Bug Out, choose the route based on the current events and threats. You need to drive routes as a rehearsal. You should also look at several foot routes in case you have to move over land on foot. Look for routes that provide cover and concealment and will not be routes for the refugee traffic or obvious routes for anyone else.  This is going to be hard to move a wheel chair over.  Maybe you can look at an ATV with a small trailer to move your child with?    

Walking Alone/Security/Weapon Choice.   By all means learn how to shoot and buy a gun. Actually a handgun and a rifle would be good. Weight and bulk of ammunition is going to impact what you can carry overland on foot. Think about pre-positioning additional ammunition and firearms at the farm. But if you are planning on Bugging Out by yourself, driving or walking, you will need to protect yourself. A semi-auto, magazine fed rifle such as an M-1 carbine, Mini-14, M-4/AR-15 type clone - these are all lightweight (as they come) and would allow you the firepower to defend yourself against multiple bad guys. And here's a hint, almost everybody will be a bad guy.

I have recently been in contact with a lady who just could not afford a modern magazine fed rifle such as an M-4/AR-15 type.  She already had a .22 LR revolver, so she ended up buying a Ruger 10/22 semi-auto .22 LR rifle and a couple of large capacity magazines for it.   Certainly a person would not want to have their safety dependent upon a rimfire cartridge,....but the first rule of a gun fight is to have a, gun and ammo compatibility plus affordability was paramount to this lady.      

Lastly, Medications. I know this is a primary concern of yours. Medications have a shelf life, which is usually several years after the expiration date if you store it in a safe and controlled manner. Research what Vet (animal) meds could possibly be used to mitigate or treat your child's seizures.   Locate the nearest Vet. Many rural vets operate out of a truck with a refrigerator. Vets can also serve as make shift Doctors too in an emergency. You may be able to stock up some meds if you don't use them but continue to get scripts for them but be aware that this is likely illegal. 

You may need to have some silver in order to barter for some meds during a collapse.  Consider having a silver bullion in 1 ounce rounds of bars in case this is the case.  

You have tough conditions to work out, but I know you can do it as you have no other choice.  Get to know your neighbors around the farm (your Bug Out location).  If the houses are close enough you may be able to string a couple of TA-1 military phones and wire between to facilitate communications.  Make sure that stocking food, seeds and having a safe water source are taken care of at the farm as well. 

I hope readers will respond with some additional advice. Many, if not most, of the readers will have better ideas.  Good luck and be safe.       

Friday, June 29, 2012

Evaluating a Reader's SHTF Preps

I recently received this via e-mail: "Urbanman, please give me some feedback on my preps: For firearms I have: a Colt 5 shot 38 special snubnose and 400 rounds of ammunition; a Woodsman 22 LR with 4 magazines and two bricks of ammunition which is 1,000 rounds; a 12 gauge ITHACA riot slide action shotgun with 150 rounds of mixed buckshot and slug; a 1903 Springfield rifle and 120 rounds of .30-06 ammunition; a Mini-14 rifle with four magazines and over 400 rounds of ammunition. I have a extra custom gastank in my truck bed so I can carry an extra 40 gallons. I have enough canned goods to easily last 30 days plus I have enough survival food in dehyrdated packs to last six months. I have a good tent and some sleeping bags but my main plan is to head to my wife's uncle's farm is about 340 miles away if the chaos is bad enough. What do you think?"

UrbanMan's comments: HTM, I am posting your e-mail and using it to push the agenda that equipment and material does not readiness to survive SHTF make. It takes more than equipment, guns and food. It takes long range planning, and contingencies in case those plans are not executable. While you have a good start on a Survival battery of firearms, taken the initiative to make your vehicle capable of longer road time, are on the way to a decent amount of stored food, and have a Bug Out location (Uncle's farm) which is probably a rural area reducing threats from a population gone mad, I don't have enough information to render a good opinion. Not do I want to know more and you should protect information (practice OPSEC) about your capabilities, preps and planning.

However, I would ask these questions to provoke thought on your end:

How many routes do you have to the farm? Have you thought about mechanical or other failures on your truck which would force you on foot? If so, could you get to the farm via other means? Have you thought about caching some supplies along the route and at the farm? Can you get everything you need into/onto your truck (in a hurry) to take with you?

Who else would show up at the farm? Is the Uncle and wife's family also prepping? Are they as prepared as you?

Is there a full year water source at the farm? Can you grow crops there? If so, do you have a stockpile of non-hybrid seeds? Can you build a greenhouse and grow some crops during cold weather months? Have you considered how you would store your harvest, such as canning?

What about your stocks of first aids items,..bandages, disinfectants, anti-infection creams, medical tape or cobain wrap, etc.

Is there sufficient hand tools at the farm? What about common tool sets and a decent supply of nails, screws and bolts?

Do you have a power supply at the farm? Such as solar or wind generated power for small power needs like re-charging batteries, running low wattage lights?

Do you keep any cash on hand for immediate purchases before the U.S. dollar is no longer acceptable? Do you have any precious metals such as silver or gold?

Concerning the firearms,....I would get a few more Mini-14 mags,...I would have much more ammunition on hand, especially for the Mini-14. Neither handgun you have are really suitable as a defensive handgun, but the first rule of a gunfight is to have a gun.

Don't take offense to my questions as they are given to create thought,.....we can all get better and to continue getting more prepared is the name of the game. Good luck.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Urban Survival - Bugging In Reader Comment received the following comment on Bugging In from Jonathan: “(Bugging In) That's my plan-A. To dig in. Since I have no secondary property or location in which to bug out. I have the home field advantage in that I know the area and the people. Have established good relations with neighbors. Have the reputation of 'being there' for everyone when they need help fixing something or borrowing a tool. Which could be a good or bad thing. Only time will tell. My Plan-B is head for the woods (public land) for a limited time if we had to leave our
home for a limited time.Civil unrest, natural/man made disaster etc. Maybe not the best plan. However if we HAD to leave the house, that's my current plan.”

UrbanMan comments: Jonathan, you sound like a confident person with a plan. I don’t know how many times I have written that Survival is a Team Sport,…dripping survival prep to your friends and relatives,….developing your team to survive Armageddon,….developing relationships with your neighbors,…..being prepared for strap hangers to show up to your location asking for help, whether you know them or not.

In the worst case of a collapse, people are going to be looking for leadership. The person they hold in high esteem will be able to make a huge difference in keeping a team or community together, leveraging everyone’s contributions and capabilities. The worse the collapse and the situations we find ourselves in, the more difference leadership will make.

In order for the team or community to survive, organization of effort, security and basic sustainment needs to be addressed,…in other words, the best team in the world will turn on each other once the food or water runs out.

You also have a good idea with a Bug Out plan. Can’t stress that enough – to have a Bug Out plan just in case your Bug In location is untenable and if staying there, death would be certain. Hopefully your public land destination has a full time water source and defensible terrain. It gets out living in tents or lean to’s, so a fixed site may be better but it also draws attention. Think about cache some supplies either enroute to, or close to your Bug Out location.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Survival Bug Out Bag and Planning Review

I was sent a video of a Bug Out with the person describing each and every object in his BOB with explanations on the contents and how he intended to use it or how useful it was. The sender wanted me to review the video and comment on the contents.

I jotted some notes down and gave the sender a reply in person a day or so later and my reply went much like this:

The BOB was a orange and blue-purple Alpine type rucksack. Greater for climbing - stays close to your back, and good for if you are lost and a helicopter was looking for you,...but would require a cover if you were moving through the brush and wanted not to be seen so easily. Plus the bag did not have a hydration bladder. There are many excellent rucksacks with hydration blivets to based your BOB around such as Camel Bak, Spec-Ops, etc. You should have an in the pack water blivet of 70 ounces,..100 ounces is better, if you BOB does not have one, then buy a Camel-Bak replacement blivet and place it inside your BOB.

In fact this BOB had only two quarts of water! I think a minimum of 2 gallons is more like it.

This BOB had a 7 lbs tent. Now I think tents are good as they can protect you from the elements, and being wet in the cold is a big danger. But I would put my money (and weight) into a good sleeping bag system. An old army poncho (OD green in color) and individual camouflage net would be my next two items along with the sleeping bag. I just think a tent should be auxiliary gear carried in your vehicle but not necessary for the BOB and takes up room and weight for more important items.

This BOB on the video had three MRE type meals and beef jerky in his food sack portion of the BOB. They take up a lot of room. I think the food value for the space and weight could be re-done giving more value. Main-Stay bars, soups packets, mixed nuts and other light weight foods that provide fats and carbs.

The BOB had a pocket sharpening tool that is only usable for a thin bladed knife. I think combination stones (coarse on one side and fine on the other) is of much more use and applicable to sharpening axes, scissors and other bladed tools besides thin bladed knives.

The last thing in this BOB I wanted to comment on before my main point was the 50 foot of rope. This rope selected seemed to be of a 5/16 inch diameter. I would suggest smaller diameter rope (more bang for the buck) and I highly suggest at least 50 feet of para-cord which is a hollow nylon hose type line covering multiple strands of 55 lb test that can be gutted and used for many, many things.

But my main comment is that I cannot really review the applicability of the BOB unless I knew the gent's Bug Out Plan. After all, the BOB has to be oriented to support the execution of the Bug Out Plan.

It is, of course, a great idea to consider valid and likely contingencies an to carry things that you know would be valuable for use later on during the crisis, but it is unreasonable to think that the Survivor will be living out of his BOB for months and longer. The idea is to facilitate survival movement to the Safe Location and those contingencies you have identified enroute.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 9

I completed buying the medical items from my list I made during Neomi’s visit and completed emplacing the Survival Caches at my Safe Location. On my way up to the Family Cabin, I reviewed the primary route, with the exception of the detour to my Son’s college, and looked at several key points I was concerned about on the Alternate and Contingency route. My Emergency route, completing my PACE plan for my Urban Survival Bug Out Plan, as you will remember is moving over land on foot, navigating to the Safe Location and my Survival Caches.

On my way up the thought that I did not have a shovel hit me, so I deviated to a Wal-Mart and bought a D handled shovel and walking through the sporting goods area, I also picked up a pack of fish hooks and some mono-filament fishing line to drop into my Survival Caches near the Cabin. Reason being is that there is a stream running close to my family’s run down cabin which I do not know or not if there are fish in it, but, there is a small lake about 6 miles form the cabin – so better to be safe than sorry.

The land navigation practice went okay. I was able to plot a compass heading on a map and I walked about 1,600 meters (about a mile) to the little draw I plotted on my USGS map. I did not use the GPS, but I did see the need for a way to tell distance. I talked to the Survival Cadre about that and they said I could use a “pace count”, where I measured how many steps it took me to walk a measured 100 yards or 100 meters then use that count in the woods to keep track of distance.

On my way back I took stock of my Urban Survival Preparations and Skills to date:

Bought two guns, a shotgun and a pistol;

Prepared a Survival Bug Out Bag;

Prepared my Toyota RAV 3 with a second full up spare tire and camouflage system;

Bought two gas containers so when events and circumstances dictated, I would keep them filled up in my garage to ensure I had fuel for “Getting Out of Dodge”
Selected a Safe Location that is fairly remote and has access to water;

Emplaced a small Survival Cache near the Safe Location;

Became familiar with my firearms;

Learned alittle about Map Reading and Land Navigation;

Started looking at how I would defend my home in the early days of a collapse before I executed my Survival Bug Out Plan;

Brought a Friend (Neomi) into my Survival Planning and she is prepared with a Bug Out Bag, Survival firearms, a vehicle and a foot route to link up with me at my home if a collapsed came on sudden;

My next Survival Preparation Plans are:

Continue buying ammunition, albeit small amounts, each month;

Purchase a couple of cases of Mountain House Food from EarthWaveLiving and some #10 cans of dehydrated bulk food from Honeyville Grain;

Ensure I continue buying a little extra each grocery store run keeping bottled water in one gallon jugs, large bags of dog food and canned/dehydrated meals in my pantry;

Make plans and prepare more Survival Caches for emplacement at my Safe Location – I’m not doing to put a whole lot of stuff up there at first. I think I’ll concentrate on maybe 3 months worth then later a six month minimal supply for three adults,…that would be Me, Neomi and my Son. Be Safe, Stay Ready!