Skip to comments.Letter Re: Population Density, Traffic and Getting Out of Dodge
Posted on 11/26/2012 9:42:52 PM PST by Kartographer
Coming home on Sunday I saw 15 accidents in a 20 mile stretch, one accident involving six cars in a tailgating fender bender. Most others were 1-2 cars, or single run off the road flat tire accidents.
This was under a 'holiday' weekend Wednesday and Sunday. What is going to happen when these folks are 'bugging out' like they hear on television? And if there is a real emergency? Where are they going to go if everyone along an Interstate Highway is bugging out at the same time? All points of the compass are going to be a parking lot within 10 miles of any major population center. Then What? Everybody gets out and walks? They wouldn't make it 100 yards before collapsing.
I don't think I can last long enough to get a piece of property and make preps, outside from the city. So I am trying to prep on site, until after the wave flows over us. I fear the European crisis and the Middle East war expanding. It is coming like a freight train and I can't get out of the way.
(Excerpt) Read more at survivalblog.com ...
I can think of a worse case scenario, but it involves a wedding.
I live where I'm going to die, so land navigation isn't a top concern, even though I've got maps, compasses, and everything but a 2nd LT.
Hey a 2nd LT. could come in hand especially if you can run fast than he can! ;-)
Marcella has a story about trying to evacuate that is both illuminating and heartrending, if we can get her to share about emergency travel.
ATV with an oversized fuel tank,a boat an ultralight or a hot air balloon, take them as suggestions.
First off forget the highways. Either get above the road, around the road or use the river.
I recently picked up a used snowmachine that in a pinch will work as a bug out device. Out of most disaster scene movies trail bikes win the day.
So unless you have a Sikorsky Skycrane at your disposal to bring you car along and to get past the massive fleeing orgy of crazed armed soccer moms I would forget about using the roads, plan on living where you can use a river, or better yet a swamp with an airboat, even zombies fear crocs.
I still think the whole “bug out” idea is suicide, unless you are willing/able to do it via the back country on horseback.
The first 3% might get out before some clown with a near-empty tank runs out on the road ahead of you and you are trapped - open and vulnerable, prime pickings for people on foot or atv’s who are searching for supplies.
What about finding a ‘hideout’ somewhat close to home, away from the neighborhood (which will be burned to the ground) and away from the roads? Forming an army in advance of SHTF times, consisting of people in the neighborhood would be nice. Unfortunately, too many citizens are in 0bamabot mode and stuck in ‘normalcy bias’ mode. Not so sure they’d make great ‘soldiers’ anyway and would probably be a liability or even a turncoat when the food supply runs low. ‘Donner pass’ comes to mind.
For the vast majority of Americans, there will be an abundance of LUCK involved in staying alive. No doubt about that, given today’s total breakdown in morality and ethics. Mad Maxville here we come..
“Marcella has a story about trying to evacuate that is both illuminating and heartrending, if we can get her to share about emergency travel.”
I’ll post that for you shortly.
You don’t have to speculate what would happen during a mass bug-out. Just go back and look at the Katrina evacuation. Remember all the people who ran out of gas on the highway and blocked the entire road for hours?
Gridlock happens in a mass bugout. You would be better off living on the shore of a lake or navigable river and bugging out by boat. That would mean keeping a prepped vehicle in storage and keeping it ready to roll at a moment’s notice, and keeping it in a place of low density where you won’t experience gridlock there either.
I guess another way would be to live on the edge of town with ready access to dirt roads that connect to highways at some point. If you lived right at the edge of a desert, prairie or mountain and could just 4-wheel overland to a highway an hour or so away, then you could also avoid the density.
About the only thing you can count on is that there will be many unexpected things screwing you up at the worst times.
If your bug out location is in the country and you are in the city make sure you have multiple routes to get to the location.
Preferable via the not very well known gravel roads.
I can do it on foot. I have the equipment at the front door ready to go. I can be in a place that is safer than a thrashed house in about 10 minutes, without a flashlight, in the dark, without glasses (which are all in the bag if I'll slow down).
Depends on the situation. I worry mostly about tornados and straight line wind damage, and wildfires than anything else.
I don't intend to rape, pillage, steal, or bear false witness regardless of the circumstances.
I will however, make quick value judgements about risk to myself and those I protect. Followed by whatever action is required.
I never intend to abandon my morality.
There are worse things than dying.
Good of you to bring this to the fore. Bugging out is not the panacea most seem to think it is.
Yes, I was counting on morality and ethics, and nothing else to survive. /s
I wrote this for Survival Podcast where I post prepper articles and I added a little more detail for you about the nature of the surgery:
An example of my not being properly prepared when an unexpected emergency happened: This happened when this whole area of a hundred miles or more, mostly north and south and lesser miles east and west, lost power in the evening and no one knew why.
It was hot Texas summer, and a few weeks before this happened, my husband had very bad surgery and he was too weak/sick to stay in a very hot house. This surgery was unusual and most who have it do not survive. The surgeon did a bypass of his aorta artery that goes down the abdomen into his legs, and replaced that aorta with a nylon aorta, so the incision went from his ribs down his abdomen and into both legs.
I had to get him out of the house to a cool place. A neighbor said she talked to her sister who lived about 50 miles west and she had power. We determined to go that direction.
First, I had to gather what both of us needed to exist since I had no idea why power was off so didn’t when it would come back; news from the power company was they didn’t know why it went off and didn’t know when it would come back (strange situation but it happened). It was dark in the house - had to find a flashlight, go upstairs and gather clothes, personal supplies, all his necessary medicines and mine, go back downstairs, still using flashlight, grab a gallon jug of water, some kind of food to sustain us in the car since I didn’t know how long it would take us to get out of the massive car jam of thousands of people trying to get out of the area and didn’t know how far west we would have to go to find lodging once we got in an area with power.
Yes, I was frantic inside the dark house trying to find vital items we needed. I wasn’t even sure where a flashlight was when the power went out. It was pure luck we had a decent amount of cash and the car had just been filled. Without power, gas stations couldn’t pump gas and no ATM machine worked.
It was pitch black outside and no traffic lights. We got on the freeway and it was a nightmare with what seemed a million cars trying to get out of the area. As soon as we could, we took a farm to market road to the west to get away from the cars on the freeway. Going was slow because we didn’t know when we would come to a crossroad since no traffic signals worked so we watched for crossings constantly.
After we made our way west to power, we had to keep going more miles to find a vacancy in a hotel as others had gotten to that area before we did. We lost time because we couldn’t leave the house quickly to get ahead of some of the traffic.
Look at all the mistakes I made - my husband’s life was truly in jeopardy due to my lack of preparation to be able to leave the house quickly with what we needed and we would have been totally stuck in place if the car had needed gasoline. I was prepared for staying in place for a hurricane right then but not for quickly leaving my house. I vowed this would never happen to me again.
Don’t let the above happen to you. You can easily prepare now to leave your house quickly to go to a place of safety. A simple way to do it, is, gather what’s needed for a few days including a change of clothes, every necessary item you would need including water and already prepared food (food items such as those individual packets of tuna, crackers, granola type bars, cheese/cracker packets, etc.), plus a flashlight, pack it in a box and station that box close to the exit you use to get to your car. Make sure you know where a flashlight is in your house and always keep it in that place with good batteries.
After researching, I bought two Life Gear’s Wings of Life survival backpacks. Each is a three day survival pack with food, water and essential survival gear. Won’t list what’s included in them because the list is extremely long; you can look them up on the web if you want to know. There is also room to pack a change of clothes and other items you that are essential to you, such as personal medicines.
These two backpacks are in my most secure room fairly near my front door - the bathroom - that’s the most secure room in my house in case of a tornado. If the house falls down and we’re still alive in the bathroom, we’ve got three days of everything we need in those backpacks - and if we need to leave the house quickly at any time, all we need to do is grab those bags and we’re gone.
I did prepare another bag (on wheels), with more food and a way to warm it - think soup with meat/veggies and instant oatmeal, small can coffee, canned heat and Sterno stove for heating/cooking) and other items (one being camping metal plates/cups/utensils, plus two Melitta plastic filter cones and paper filters to make coffee). That bag is stationed not far from the bathroom to grab and roll out with us and the backpacks.
I wrote this article when my husband was still alive. He lived years after that and died a year ago last August with cancer of the brain.
Bugging out may not be a panacea for all SHTF scenarios, but a bugout plan and supplies have a lot to recommend themselves in many natural disasters/emergency evacuation scenarios.
Luck favors the prepared.
I have heard both sides: that bugging out will make you die, and bugging in will make you die. Only you and your tribe know your situation best.
There was an article on another prepper forum (wish I had saved it for now) about a group in lower Michigan who planned to bug-out on horseback. One weekend, they put their plan to the test. They were riding something like 75 miles, sixteen people in the line of march. By the end of the trek, none of the original horses were with the party, and thirteen of the sixteen riders had quit. That’s over an 80% attrition rate.
I think the bug out scenario most might be concerned with is the total collapse of the economy and government, and the fate of good folks living in large metro areas subject to the collapse and all the suspected problems associated with food, water, sanitation, law and order, fire protection, education, etc, etc.
Much will depend on the state of the State in which you live as well as the population of the metro area. Any where on the Eastern seaboard, has a huge bugout problem because of folks trying to leave the large metro areas. Can the western part of the eastern seaboard absorb the millions of people leaving metro areas?
I don’t know why, /s but I’m starting to enjoy the fact that I’m six hundred miles from the nearest population center of any size or concern. Folks also should acccess the last time there was a major bugout scenario like Katrina, and try to factor in the known regional, problems times the entire USA.
Thanks for sharing!
Sorry for your loss.
better get to know your neighbors...
invite sound family members into your home....the more bodies to protect your house/family the better.....
we're going all have to learn to become families again...
Or, .... the correct firearms, the needed number of compatriots, the perfect volumn of ammunition, ... and nuetralize everything that moves in an ever increasing circle around the currant location.
Horses adn people in poor condition. Trail riders cone into our area for recreation. Few can make over 10 to 15 miles in a day and heaven forbid doing that several days in a row. A well conditioned cow pony can do 30-50 miles a day for several days on reasonable terrain.
Morals and ethics are the only thing keeping you from being murdered today. Other peoples morals and ethics.
“if the economy collapses, whatever that means, we’ll have feral inner city yutes riding around in stolen cars with stolen gas with their stolen guns....no one will be safe....rape, assault, murder”
They won’t be riding far. Look at what just happened in NY/NJ. They only went to neighboring towns. They sure won’t be walking far either.
It won’t be just “feral inner city yutes” who do loot. Here in Florida after hurricanes the looters are out before the wind dies down.
Looters, thieves, rapists and so forth will hit every area up until the roads are blocked and the gas runs out. Then it will be the govt forces doing the stealing.
It is like paradise. Literally. And it is how we feel about it. Every day.
The monthly payments are less than the taxes were on our place in Seattle. The commute is longer, but I drive it at 65-70 mph almost all the way. I still enjoy it.
I've built a few buildings since, and a large garden about 40 feet in front of the house, but here it is a month after we moved and I had completed the rear deck.
I can shoot deer or Turkey out my bedroom window, though the latter is very skittish. We have 22 chickens now that free-range around the house. For fun I hand feed them cracked hickory nuts from our trees. They climb all over me trying to get at them. Evenings are quite often just as beautiful and inviting as the photo suggests. And when the SHTF, it won't be pretty, but we'll survive. Probably.
I highly recommend going Galt. It can be done.
Thanks. This is an excellent story because it shows an atypical scenario and unexpected emergency. Also, that shelter from heat can be as important as shelter from cold. And it demonstrates why a bug-out kit is needed. No matter how strong your intent to stay put, some situations can force you to move and create a need to move quickly.
That is the most awesome picture...congrats to you.
If you EVER plan to sell that place, please let me know.
Interesting thread. Thanks for posting — and for adding me to your ping list!
Welcome to the Bluegrass, FRiend!
Beautiful! I love the Bluegrass.
I’m sure many here have read Rawles’ books - Patriots, Survivors, Founders...
the stories contain several bug out scenarios.
“I can think of a worse case scenario, but it involves a wedding”
Ok, now that just made me spit coffee. Thanks for the morning chuckle!
wouldn't that make it attractive to people trying to do what you are doing?
Until you read my post had you ever considered doing it?
Also I don’t mean doing it at the time of the trouble but beforehand. Moving hundreds of gallons of potable water while SHTF isn’t as easy as bugging out. The place should be prepped before hand.
Besides people bugging out are like a stamped they follow the leader and don’t stop to ask where he’s going. Few will have the wit enough to evaluate their options.
Besides before I mentioned it did you ever consider such a plan?
My homestead is fairly defensible - heavy brier/bramble scrub woods around most of it with a clear shot up the drive which is 300’ long and funnels over a culvert bridge as the main opening in the mix. Wooded areas behind and to both sides, with access being via neighbors’ lands mean folks would have to go through them to approach me. I’m also an old deer hunter from NY who used to have to nestle down in such areas with my rifle waiting for a shot...
I would have no problem with 30 miles a day except for one small item.... my butt would fall off, and I'd never walk again.
Riding a horse is truly something you need to do on a regular basis to do it well over a long period of time.
Same with bicycles, btw. I recently got a bicycle for local trips and blithely headed out to the grocery store, a 4 mile round trip.
Since it had been 35 years since I'd been on a bike, it quite earnestly kicked my @$$.
I can do the ride today with no problem, but you don't just wake up one day and do it.
either COA has its risks versus benefits
having now been given something else to consider I still don't think it's an option
having some experience with ne'er-do-wells I would put the odds at 95% that your location becomes compromised prior to ever needing it...the type of location you describe are routinely utilized by homeless, gangs, crack ho's and others
I think that in my area the likelihood of location compromise is more at 100%
just my $.02
The family estate owned a building like what you talk about, and we spent a lot of time, effort, and money protecting it after ferals noticed it was empty.
We finally sold the building this year, thank goodness.
Good topic. How to GET OUT if you want to, AND what is your plan to get ‘home’ so you CAN BUG OUT as planned.
What follows is *my* thoughts. Your mileage may vary. AND you may not plan to bug out. So be it.
1. The best tactic overall as posters have suggested, including you, is to bug out *before* general realization sets in. Being able to sense sooner and react/adapt faster/better is *KEY*. That awareness is a BIG part of prepping— more than just stockpiling. AND as MANY have pointed out, *IF* the first time you try your load out is when you bug out, you are screwed. Plan, practice, drill at least once. Have your list, prioritized; know WHO is responsible for WHAT, and in which vehicle. Know WHERE your stuff is in every room. Make sure you don’t have to waste time debating and discovering. Some ‘family’ members may get there an hour after you leave, and they should have their manifest waiting for them. Leave a pre-determined tell tale behind if you want to, but the fact that you have left should be obvious.
2. Have a pre-planned code to send to your ‘family’ to let them know ‘you’ are headed out and they should too. Much like “eject eject eject!” make it systematic that they do not NEED to respond or confirm, but should if they can. BUT they should execute the evac order ASAP. Your plans may mean everybody meets at the house and goes, or people just go from where they are — up to you. My plan is not your plan.
3. Have PAPER maps in each vehicle that show alternate routes — so you can adapt, overcome, improvise — if your primary route is obstructed or dangerous or both. *IF* you are truly paranoid, DO NOT mark your final destination on ANYTHING hard copy or otherwise easily be discovered. Have code words for rally points along the way.
4. split up possessions among travelers/vehicles so that if you lose one vehicle for any reason, or one person won’t/can’t make it, you don’t have a single point of failure.
4.1 If in a multi-vehicle ‘convoy’ approaching suspicious civilians, assume your first vehicle will get the most attention. Recommended formation is scout vehicle first, guns/shooters second, people and possessions third.
5. Have CHARGED and TESTED mobile radios in all vehicles with known frequencies and privacy pre-determined. Your cell phones WILL become unreliable. A set of four GOOD Midland “LMR” radios with earpieces (Bass Pro Shop e.g.) will run you $170+/-.
6. Have your barter items ready. Have your CHARITY items ready. But have it ALL under tarps.
7. If you are *still* mobile and en route at the 72 hour mark in a SHTF scenario, you should PRESUME some people are desperate and will act barbarically. at 72 hours, travel should be presumed to be treacherous. That is three days into BAD times.
8. For us, and not for everybody I know, two out of three of our available vehicles are 4X4. We have the option of going off paved roads to get out of blockages if we must, and towing any other vehicle that’s 2WD. AND since our last mile requires 4X4, one vehicle gets parked as close as possible, unloaded, drained and stripped in a full SHTF scenario
9. (IF) When the balloon goes up, you may not BE where you want to be. Have a GET HOME kit and a GET HOME plan at all times. Also have your family prepared to LEAVE without you. Sorry. My family NEEDS to get out of the Atlanta area FAR before 72 hours ... whether I am in town or not. I know where to go if I can.
10. *IF* you MUST stop along the way, what’s your plan to be safe RIGHT THERE?
11. On these threads, people seldom mention footwear. Do you have 100 mile footwear (shoes AND socks)? Imagine the worth of a decent pair of shoes in a barter situation — when someone else has bare, freezing, cut feet - they need socks and shoes
12. THINK THIS THROUGH, end to end.
so much more is waiting to be discussed. Hope and pray it never HAPPENS.
Some relatives did this many years ago. The front showroom was filled with junk and looked vacant. The problem with that is it appeared vacant which made it a prime target for vandals. The garage was in the center section but was only one vehicle wide so it was a hassle to get to another vehicle. The back was the residence which had it's own problems. They never knew what was happening on the roadside of the building and never knew when someone was approaching until they were at the door. Again, being away from the street, it was out of sight from passerbys if there was an emergency. The whole set up creeped me out and even as a kid with no thought of SHTF, I could see the problems. Nothing wrong with the concept, but they didn't think things through.
Sorry for your loss, thanks for sharing. I had a somewhat similar situation, except it was a chimney fire and my dad had just gotten home from having a stroke and still couldn’t walk yet. My mom and I had to ‘bug-out’ pretty quick, but thankfully she had all her meds in one place.
We didn’t have to deal with other motorists as in your example, but we only had about 5 minutes to get out of the house safely. The car tank was 3/4 full (like it always is), it had an emergency first aid kit, blanket, wind-up flashlight, and packaged juices and water. My mom was diabetic so she always had to have little snacks and juices in case her sugar suddenly dropped. In retrospect there is a lot more we could have been prepared for, as in your preps, with a 3-day supply easily reachable when even 5 minutes of prep is a luxury.
We lose power here so often that we have flashlights next to our sofas, beds, and in hallways—the pluggable, rechargeable lights that are light-sensing and turn on automatically.
Both are with Jesus now, so I have less to worry about in a natural disaster (usually snow, ice storms or hurricanes here) or a serious SHTF. I’m in my bug-out location, but if a wildfire or something took this out (I’m surrounded by woods, most of which is state forest), I need to formulate a back-up plan. I’m thinking a dual-sport motorcycle might be a good option for me. I already know 5 different ways to get out of this area w/o going on a major highway and ride them 8-9 months of the year on my regular motorcycle.
Good tread and some really good advice/points to ponder. I had thoughts of buying several acres with a large shop building and then parking a motorhome or fifth-wheel in the shop as “home”. May need to rethink that after reading this as it appears that the real problem with a bugout location is the very strong possibilty that it will NOT be unmolested awaiting your arrival. This ain’t the ‘50’s!!
That's the same with most things. There's a learning curve. Those people who have a freezer stocked with heirloom seeds will starve to death unless they have a garden already going. Same for those who have a gun or other weapon stored in a closet who haven't used it in years or never used it. Just walking further than the end of the block will do many people in. Sure, they claim they're going to go all Mad Max but many couldn't change a flat tire much less be able to get out of Dodge in their low to the ground not so Smart cars. They'll be sitting on the side of gridlocked highways blubbering because their gps and i-phones won't tell them what to do.
Katrina and Sandy showed us that getting out of Dodge is all about timing and a good set of paper maps. Look to the warning signs and act while there's still time. Be prepared to move at a moment's notice. Have various routes marked out and drive them ahead of time. Never let the gas tank get below half and/or have extra fuel stored. Know where you're headed and have back up destinations.
Back during the Cuban Missile Crisis, my parents never let the tank get below half. Many people had backyard shelters though those might not have been anymore safe than our teachers having us do drills by crawling under our desks. We had two destinations, one an hour away and the second an hour beyond that. Both were/are relatively self sufficient and away from the city. BTW, we're living in the first one now and still have part of the other one but the parcel the house is on was sold and has illegals living in it, sigh. We've wanted to put one of those little pre-made cabins on it but just don't have the budget.
Katrina and Sandy also showed us that the zombies will stay in the city and won't venture far outside the metropolitan areas. Anyone outside an hour's drive (normal hour's drive) is probably safe for a two month upheavel. FYI, you Texas folk, stop by your local tourist center or chamber of commerce and pick up FREE maps of surrounding counties. They're brown with blue writing on the front. IIRC, they're published by a company in Llano but the owners are only there part time and won't return calls so you're on your own getting maps outside your area. They show the little nothing back roads, show locales such as churches and cemeteries, and mileage down to 10ths so are handy to have in your vehicle.