Guest Post: LEFT BEHIND?

by HALB

 
Okay, sometime soon the proverbial SHTF and you realize you may have to depart for safer parts. We have been fortunate to have benefited from dozens of articles suggesting when, and how to leave.  The best suggestion of course, is to relocate to a safer area or retreat “before” the crash or collapse of social order. And that is all well and good, but for the vast majority of us it isn’t realistic; we’ve got kids in school, family responsibilities, a job, insufficient finances or whatever. But if the threat is such that “Leave we must” how do we properly plan for it?

 

The common guide is that if you’re at work and can’t beat the crowd out of the city, and the likely traffic jams you’ll still be able to grab your GHB, put on those hiking boots and hoof it home from work. You are hoping in the meantime that your spouse has gotten the kids out of school and has the car packed and ready. But, in all likelihood by that time even the interstates are clogged and impassable. Ah, but that’s where all that advise about having a Bug Out Bag comes in play. So, you’ve got your BOB (and even one for the spouse and kids) so you’re in as good shape as possible under the circumstances; MAYBE.

 

What are you leaving behind?

 

Your Home 

 

You remember? That place you live in, have a mortgage on and your primary investment in? We should hope, beyond hopes that the threatening crisis that might confront us doesn’t totally end the world as we do know it and that we can return home at some point and start to rebuild our lives all over. What can we do to protect our home in our, hopefully short absence? Well, there are no guarantees here but there are some thoughts and you have to pick — and prepare in advance what you think might work for you best. First off, you have to assume that gangs, and even neighbors that stayed behind, will be breaking in and stripping any empty houses of any and all useful items. After a couple of weeks into the breakdown they’ll probably be looking for food. But, whatever the reason you can expect your house will be broken into.  If you’re living in the suburbs or outskirts of the city they’d be no reason to burn your house down unless someone was a wacky pyromaniac so the chances of your house getting burned down are slim (unless resulting from a spreading area-wide fire). So, assuming again that your house will be ultimately visited, do you lock the doors as you depart or leave them unlocked reducing unnecessary damage? Your call.

 

And, if some wild motorcycle gang isn’t actually coming down your street, try to take a few moments to turn off the gas and the water before you leave. Cold weather could hit in your absence and you don’t need to have to repair frozen water pipes along with everything you’ll be faced with. The power grid may already be down due to an EMP attack or super solar flare but you can expect the electric service not to last very long under the circumstances. If the power is still on however, It may be helpful to leave a couple lights on to give the appearance that someone is still living in the house way  thereby keeping people away for at least a little while. Another thought; if you aren’t hoofin’ it and have a car you’re not taking, leave it parked in the driveway, further giving the appearance that the house still being occupied. Personally though, if I was leaving by car I’d take a second one just in case the primary vehicle had problems en route.

 

There’s not much you can do to protect that antique furniture or that new dining room set you just bought but something should be done about those family pictures and personal items that you’ll look forward to seeing again when (and if) you return. And maybe that sterling tea set may have significant value after the crash. I find it a little humorous reading some articles about Buggin’ Out with their Bug Out Bag some writers also proudly mention their preparedness as including having ten or fifteen firearms and twenty thousand rounds of ammo. Hey guys, how are you going to take it all with you?  Not really making fun of them, I’m kind of in the same boat too, but the issue is many of us will be forced to leave a lot of our firearms behind. We certainly don’t want them to fall into the hands of dirt-bags which will just further their dangerous activities. So what do we do? We don’t want to bury them now, if we’re lucky nothing really bad happen to threaten our society and we might want to use them in the meantime. Maybe having one of the better gun safes hoping that they can’t get in it is your best approach ’cause they could be fully armed at that point and the effort of breaking it open isn’t worth their while. Maybe giving that 30-30 that you won’t need to a neighbor when you leave or maybe hiding it quickly under the couch cushions is the answer. 

 

So, how can you conceal those other things you have no choice but to leave behind? With some imagination on your part and knowing your particular situation you have the best chance to come up with a good solution. But I’ll give you a couple suggestions to get started. First, and maybe the best and most obvious way to hide those valuables is to build a secret closet in the house. It’s inside and protected from the elements and easy to access in a hurry. Or you can secure them “way back” in the attic of the house or loft in the garage hoping the burglars or marauders, having virtually hundreds of houses to plunder will miss where you stashed them.  Or, fearing that the house might get burned down and thinking about the “last” place anyone might look, you could start a small, but obvious junk pile in the back yard; the bottom being an old piece of tin, propped up so that before you book out, you slide the weather-proofed valuables under the metal and pull the support out. Now maybe, that idea is a little excessive but just think of something they won’t. Good luck.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Halb,You bring up some exc. concerns.I like you junk pile idea. There are waterproof bags that items can be buried in.) Lending some guns to neigbors is also exc. If a person cannot leave then why not create a more secure environment ahead of time with your neighbors by teaming up for a disaster and practicing some scenarious.(I know most people think we are all paranoid but maybe theres one neighbor you can trust) God bless. Arlene

  2. The first thing is this? Where in the hell are you going to go ??? If the world is devastated by something this drastic then how do you think you can leave and then be able to come back at a later date? Did you think about that one?
    I read so much about bugging out that I think people spend to much time dwelling on this point. Secondly, lets look at reality! How many of you people have ever been in a extreme situation such as being in the outback or the mountains or any where else remote??? I figure that most of you have never practiced what you are preparing for, EVER !!!
    I was lucky and my father was an outdoors man.We started camping, hiking, hunting when I was 7 years old! When I was 12 he took me in to Canada for a small 150 + mile survival trip to see how I would fair. I loved it and I showed him that I was made of the same tough as nails gene pool as him.
    If you don’t live it you are not prepared for it! Simple as that. Most of the people that have started prepeping are living an illusiuon. Survival is best taught by experience, not by dreaming and thinking about it. I am not saying that it is a Rambo type job but the only way in life to really learn something is to live it, a simple fact!!
    Since my first experience I have lived in the wilderness for months at a time. I have foreged for food, Hunted and killed what I needed. Learned to live in extreme conditions. When I climbed mountains I have hung on the side of a mountain in a hammock 2,000 feet above the ground and slept. I have been on mountain tops where the wind is whipping at 80 mph. So when you think about what it will take to survive please live and then decide.
    I say stay in your home and defend it! Strengthen it build a secure safe room that is impregnable. Don’t say it can’t be done, because it can ! I plan on staying and defending what I know is the only place that I feel is secure.
    Many are saying at this point it can’t be done and you will have to seek shelter at a more distant place? Being on the road is not what it is cracked up to be. Many things things come in to play when you talk of being in the open. So consider an investment in building in strength and defense in to your homes main floor. This is where it will be breached first, make 3/4 plywood covers for the windows and doors. Take your scrap plywood thats left over and drive 16 penny sinkers in to them to put under the windows so when people break in they will step on them and will not be able to walk! BE EXTREME !! Use your mind and your wits to create a living hell for any that dare enter. This is what defense is about, living, knowing and implementing procdures that will ensure your protection. I am sure that many of you are reading this and saying no-way, I’ll be safer in a wilderness bugout, well then take the time to practice it and lave your home for a weekend with just what you vcan grab and then living only on what you have taken. You will soon find out that survival is mostly of the mind, body and spirt! So practice what you preach, and learn! ThanksRed Coats

  3. Despite the disaster or crisis, we plan on “Bugging In”. We have Bug Out Bags (mainly clothing & food) and backpacks (survival / camping items). We each have assigned Main Battle Rifle/Shotgun and handguns. We also have some back-up weapon systems. They are firearms that have more value hunting than defense (AR-7, Savage over/under, etc). Ammunition is stored in cans that contain a breakdown of each system: .223, 12 & 20 GA, .45 & .380 Auto, .357 & .45 LC revolver bullets and a brick of .22 LR. We could probably load up and leave within a few minutes. But, only the most severe situation (nuclear fallout, tornado outbreak or hostile force in the hundreds) will force our departure. We’ve been “prepping” for about a year. At this point, we cannot take our stock with us. I am highly reluctant to leave our supplies for someone else. We also lack the mobility of younger, healthier people. I wonder if people realize the full scope of dangers on the move. Every contact is a potential threat. Everyone you meet on the road will be apprehensive, paranoid and distrustful. There will be countless shootouts based on fear alone, even though opposing groups had no initial intention of doing the other side harm. There will be roadblocks where armed groups attempt to rob or extort supplies from passing vehicles or pedestrians. The roads will be filled with broken down vehicles, strewn with dead bodies and crowded with people fleeing the catastrophe. There will be beggars, scammers, liars and thieves. I believe that in most situations, you will be much safer to stay home.

  4. While the article brings up some good points, there are some considerations deserving of more thought.

    First, since we don’t know the scope of the emergency, but we HAVE seen examples of what happens in general systems failure, these are my thoughts:

    The gov’t is likely to be more of a problem than roving gangs in the initial stages.

    They are more than likely going to take most of what you are leaving with if the ‘problem’ persists. And you may find yourself in a detention facility without any of YOUR STUFF.

    To prevent conflict, realize that the out of the way routes that most people want to avoid are also the routes everyone else wants to avoid.

    The same places that appeal to you also appeal to 5000 other people that think it is the perfect bugout location, as well.

    It is better to have a means to acquire resources where you are. A manual pump to get water from a well in your area is a good start. A way to make surface water safe if you have to use it is worth having and knowing how to use – and it has to process 3 gallons of water per day / per person. Then, you must have a way to keep from advertising that your home is occupied, or make it look unappealing to passers-by. And have food you can eat without too much, if any, cooking for the first few days.

    Have as much storage food as you can BEFORE tshtf. And NEVER tell anyone you have it. If you tell one person, then they will remember and tell EVERYONE where there is food if they have the slightest hope of getting any for them.

    And, as I have said before, know your neighbors. Discuss what each could do BEFORE a breakdown. Actually have a plan. Know what you can count on them for, what they can count on you for, what plans are for possible (but hopefully avoided) confrontations.

    Being in a group is much more preferable than trying to make it on your own. IF you should find your neighborhood is not open to such planning, then maybe you should locate and move now, while the getting is good, rather than trying to find refuge somewhere as a member of the Golden Horde.

    All the best to you.

  5. Where is everyone going & why? Life is a journey not a destination. I know this for a fact. The years between 45 & 65 go by so quickly that one day you will not know how it happened. Prepping as a lifestyle is a modern day need. But please folks if you are young take a hard look at your life. If you do not live the way you feel you should or in a home or location you cherish & feel you should defend then fix it now. Waiting for the illusive SHTF situation to implement an alternative lifestyle is just a way of avoiding addressing the present. We are absolutly in a decling social & economic enviornment today. The SHTF is actually already creeping up on folks who are dealing with financial insecurity, weather related upheavals or any number of the current health conditions that are being caused by the new wave of genetic engineering. If a spaceship lands on your doorstep or the sky falls in your backyard the devistation would be so complete that going anywhere is totally unrealistic. Set realistic goals for yourself, your family & most of all your lifestyle. Implement them one step at a time & relish the days while the sun shines. Look at your life & inventory your preperations & make sure that they are for a solid today & a comfortable tomorrow. If you are simply hoarding to gratify your own needs for an unrealistic future then you are deceiving yourself & leading the ones you care about the most in an unrealistic present that you may one day look back on with regreat. Plan for the future but live in the moment & make it so wonderful that you will cherish the memories of today.

  6. I found a two man crosscut saw at www. Highland woodworking. $99.00 Pricey but I have compared and this is made in the USA. I ordered one – an essential tool for cutting firewood .
    I am planning a local neighborly gathering this summer to discuss ideas for prepping w/o giving away our level of preparedness. Vibrationally – I am feeling that things will get truly bad by the end of summer.I never had anxiety re this before but now I do so I am praying for us all. I appreciate your prayers .
    Does anyone have ideas for storing tea? I have never used oxygen absorbers. How can one tell if they are still good?
    I highly recommend the book Distant Eden and also The Long Emergency bu H. Kunstler to get ready mentally
    for the SHTF.

  7. I realize carring your gear or a young child for any distance along with the stress that comes on you trying to get your gear to a safe area has become heavier every mile you walk and rest stops become longer, I found on ebay a deer cart that could fill my needs.it can carry 300 lbs.and you can push or pull it. it looks like a updated mormon cart.if you are bugging out get one, load it up and give it a test drive,you may want to buy some alum tubeing around 5 foot long and youl need 2 . 2 bicycle grips along with 4 u bolts and 4 washers and 4 wing nuts this will help when you need to add it to the front or rear,this will allow for someone to help you with your load. total cost for the cart was $104.89 give this a try you can carry a person or water or fire wood ect. also I have plywood for every window in my home i have cut a fireing port thats 3×8 inches, also added to the plywood a 12v light for the inside and a led type that connects to a deep cycle battery and a solar pannel you need to add a night trip so they all come on at night.also add a solar radio you can turn it up if you leave. add a sign with all castle act codes,if you survive in place than you will have some extra plywood and a great cart for the garden. If you take it out once a week than you will build up your distance also take differant routes so people dont follow you back to your home keep your gear covered and put some weeds or cans you pick up along the road this is a good front.take along some glasses because the cars and trucks blow dust in your eyes.every one have seen the guy pushing a shoping cart over flowind with his or her gear and never have i seen the police stop them and go through the stuff not to even ask about the stolden shoping cart with baseball bat and who knows what else they have under that tarp.

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