This morning when I crawled out of bed I was hit by the cold realization that I am not prepared. The internet was out, and my mobile phone would not connect. I don’t have another way to connect to the world to find out if this is the day. Somewhere in my unorganized pile of survival gear there is a radio. Its -20C outside so I don’t want to go rummaging through plastic containers in the shed looking for it. I feel helpless. At least the power and heat are on.
What if the internet and mobile service never come back? What if this is the day preppers have been prepping for? There were no warnings. If there was I didn’t see them, but then I stopped watching the news years ago as I felt I was being brainwashed by the media. As I am not involved in any prepper community the information available in those areas did not reach me. What else am I doing wrong? The gas tank in the truck is empty, my emergency food is buried under a mountain of someone else’s boxes as I rented out part of my garage, my bug out equipment is also my camping gear which is spread throughout bins in my shed, and last week I was injured at work and have a sore leg. At least I can get to my gear and put it together if I need to. I’m not sure bugging out would be the answer because I don’t have winter gear, and baby, its cold out there. Even if I had gas in the truck bugging out isn’t an option.If I need to walk on my sore leg or carry a backpack I won’t get far. There is also the problem of not having a bug out location to go to, driving or walking. Therefore bugging in it is.
I am doing renovations on the house I live in with intentions to sell it. It has no wood stove or even a fireplace. The only source of heat is what the grid offers, electric and natural gas. I don’t even have a full bottle of propane for the BBQ. There are a lot of little scrap pieces of wood that would make a campfire for a while, but that would have to be outside. I could heat up some river stones and bring them in to keep pipes thawed out. Would that even work? Drain the water and wrap the main pipe to insulate it. Tape a Hot Hands warmer to the main pipe and another to the bottom of the water heater. That water heater is ancient and it probably would not survive any rough treatment like being frozen. If I capture the water from the pipes I will have potable water to drink for a few days. Even my bug in plan is failing.
Now I feel obligated to make sure a few other key people are OK too. My renters (good ones are hard to find), and a few elderly people in the neighborhood who may need assistance. See that they have heat and water and quiz them a bit on what’s been going on in the news. Hopefully this is just a maintenance outage and a sturdy prompt to wake up and pay attention.
Due to this non-emergency emergency I have some questions.
- What constitutes an emergency and when is it considered bugging in?
- What emergency requires bug out protocol and what might affect that decision e.g. Weather, fuel, or mobility.
- Is no cell service or internet reason to flee to a safer location? No, but it might make a good practice run.
- What gear do I need that I don’t have? Why don’t I have an inventory?
- How did my bug out plan rot so fast?
- Is there a prepper community I can join in this area?
- What did I do right?
To answer the questions, I need to consider my own personal situation. A solid plan that is maintained and tweaked at least once a year is vital. Life continually changes and the plan needs to reflect that. Non technological equipment like a simple radio would be valuable for gathering information such as the weather forecast and what is happening. Not that I trust the media to tell us the truth in all matters. Some radio stations are government funded and therefore subject to government propaganda. Keeping all gear organized and easy to find in an emergency is something that should not have to be said. Add an inventory list on paper to that.
What do I have going for me today? I have a 5 gallon jug of potable water and two weeks of non-perishable food in my pantry. Most of that food is stuff I don’t like well enough to eat on a regular basis but it would suffice if the option is nothing. I can get around to the neighbors to see what is happening, if anything. Maybe it is only my house that is not connected to the internet right now.
Mark today as a failed and short trial run. If it was a day to survive by bugging out I would have perished. Bugging in fared better, but only because I have power and heat. If you had an emergency situation happen today would you be prepared?