Evacuate or stay? That’s a hard question. My answer would be – Where are you most likely to be safe? You have to answer some other questions too. Does someone in your home have a medical condition where the loss of service could be life threatening? Do you have food, water and supplies to stay? Do you have transportation and gasoline to leave? Do you have money for food and lodging away from home? Are you ready to go now? Are the roads passable? Is there a mass evacuation that has brought the roads to grid-lock?

If you evacuate, you have to be among the first to leave otherwise the roads become too congested to travel. It only takes one accident or one car running out of gas to totally block a major highway.

If the life of someone in your family is threatened by a service interruption and you are not prepared to meet their needs at home, then go to where they will be safe. Service outages usually affect small local or regional areas. Friends or relatives that are 150 – 200 miles away are probably not affected.

My feeling is if you have food, water and supplies, then stay in place unless you know you are at real risk of not surviving. Why? You have a perfectly good shelter stocked with perfectly good supplies. The storm, flood, etc. may damage your home and some supplies but at worst your house will usually have one area usable for shelter and some supplies will still be okay.

If you are not prepared with food, water and appropriate supplies or if you know you are in eminent danger if you stay, then bug out.

There are only a few evacuation possibilities if you are on a shoestring budget.

My first preference is to evacuate to a family member’s or a friend’s home that is at least 150-200 miles away. You can make prior mutual arrangements to be each other’s bug out location in case of an emergency. Make sure this is a reliable and trusted friend or family member. Each location should have a supply of food, water and essentials. This type of arrangement works well on a shoestring budget.

If you have camping equipment and go camping regularly, camping is an option. Choose a campground that is at least 150 – 200 miles away from your home to insure you have services available. If you can afford the fees, a KOA type campground can give access to water, toilets and some security. Some National and State Forest campgrounds have some services like water and toilets but again it comes with a user fee.

You can opt for free camping on National Forest or BLM land. If you choose this option choose a campsite that is close to a town so you have access to food and other supplies during your stay.


Ed Rogers

Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2012.  All Rights Reserved.

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