How it started…

by AH

“June 12th.16:52.

I’m at work, in my office when we lose power. I hear someone yell “did you see that? What was hell happened?” I think to myself, the generator should be kicking on in about 10 seconds.

I reach into my pocket to grab my phone for some light. About the same time I realize that my phone won’t turn on I notice the generator hasn’t kicked on either. I make my way out of my office and to the front of the building.

I ask a group of people what happened and one guys loudly shouts, “I don’t know man, I was walking to my car and the sky lit up really bright and then my car wouldn’t start. I came inside and the building had lost power too.”

My brain’s neurons start firing rapidly, no cell phone, no power, cars won’t start? I read about something like this last year, sounds a lot like the EMP from a nuke being detonated in the sky. Immediately my instincts take over. I grab 4 bottles of water from the drink cooler and make my way out to the parking lot. When I get to my truck, I try to start it, but to no avail.

I put on my boots and grab my “get home bag” that I had put together in late 2010. Inside were the bare essentials needed to survive. The pack, weighing in at about 14 lbs. would be more than enough to get me home.

The contents included my Glock 19 9 mm pistol. I stuff my water into the pack and say a prayer. I need to hump it 27 miles to get home and it will be dark on the short side of a few hours. If I average 15 minutes per mile it will take me about 7 hrs.

I think realistically I’m looking at 8 to 10 hrs. After I get home and grab my bug out bag, XXXX’s bag and XXXXXX, I’ll have about 3.5 days to rendezvous with my family at the meeting location we set up last year.

From there we will have a long trek out east where we will be prepared to survive as long as it takes. However, I need to focus on the trip to my house; I have lots of obstacles including a bridge that is almost 2 miles long. I wonder how long it will take for the looting to start. Is someone going to be forced to feel the wrath of my 147 gr. hollow point because they feel they deserve what I’ve got or because they think I am unprepared and weak?

I quietly chuckle to myself, hearing XXXX in my head saying this day would never come.  All the women in my family laughed and mocked as the men prepared and made plans.  We always told them one day they, unfortunately, would thank us for what we were doing. 

As I cross the highway staring at all the people who are both too scared and too materialistic to leave their vehicles, I kind of feel sorry for them because this is where most of their stories end and mine just begins…

So I ask again. Are you prepared, at a moment’s notice, no matter where you are? I just about have my GHB done, I am going to take pictures and put a list together for you guys, I am pretty proud of it. It was also fairly inexpensive. I have also started my BOB.

I will also be putting together a bag for XXXX, though it will contain mostly stuff for XXXXXX as my pack is designed for two. I think that we should get together and pick out three spots on a map (points A,B,C), then look them up with Google earth to make sure they are remote and close to water…etc.

I think we should meet in XXXXX at the house in case of emergency and have a 5-7 day window before we leave, with or without everybody. It wouldn’t hurt to just have a plan of action. I just don’t have a good feeling about the state this country is in.”

This is how it all began. Me, my brother and my father always talked about what we would do if something catastrophic ever happened. However, that was it, just talk. No plans, no preparations, just conversation usually seasoned with quite a bit of beer.

One day I was surfing the web and came across blog after blog about preparations and “what if’s.” I decided, right then that I need to jump start my family so we could survive in a worst case scenario.  I put together the exact e-mail above and it began a whirlwind of preparations for me and my family.

I put together a list of my GHB originally intended for my family and I would like to share it with you guys. I have learned that you have to take a look at YOUR circumstances to truly know what you need.

I tested my GHB in an extreme way.  I woke up one Saturday morning and drove to my work at about 7:30 am. I had on my dress clothes and all, like it was a normal day. All I had was my GHB and I set off for the house.

At approximately 5:30pm, I was home again.  I took several items out of my pack, and also added some things. I now know exactly what I will need, and what to expect if that trip is ever necessary again.  Some things to keep in mind, I am in decent shape, that trip was in an ideal situation and yet it was still very taxing on my body.

My Get Home Bag

My bag itself is a U.S. National Guard backpack style bag which I acquired.  The bag has a nice feel, which is very important because you will be potentially wearing it for a day or two. 

What works for me bag-wise may not work for you.  Put it on, wear it around and see how it feels before you commit. Additionally, what works for me, in my bag, may not work for you either as your circumstances can and will be much different than my own.

A get home bag is intended to get you from where you are, most likely work, to your home.  That is it.  It is not a 72 hour bag, or a bug out bag.  Those can be in your car if you are single and are mobile enough to leave on a moment’s notice.  I, however, am married with an infant, so I need to make it home first, no matter what.

Here are my contents:

  • Ball cap
  • Flashlight – Coast 200 lumen torch.
  • Headlamp – Cree 200 lumen
  • Boots – Military issue
  • Pants – Military issue rip stop
  • Fleece Sweatshirt
  • Wind/Rain Jacket
  • Military issue cold gear top and bottom (in cold months)
  • 3 power bars and a bag of plain almonds (pure energy)
  • Two 1 liter bottles of water
  • Emergency kit – Mylar blanket, lighter, toilet paper, toothpaste, poncho
  • Small first aid kit
  • Glock 19 9mm
  • Kershaw folding knife
  • 4” buck knife
  • Bandana (multiple uses, towel, sling, tourniquet, cover your neck in the summer, etc.)

That concludes my Get Home Bag. I wouldn’t normally recommend keeping clothes in your bag, however I work in dress shoes, slacks, button up shirt and tie, so it is necessary for me to be as mobile as possible.

This bag is intended to get me home; however, it will sustain me even if it takes up to three days.  With limited food, it won’t be easy, but it will be possible and better than nothing.  I don’t foresee it taking more than a day but you never know what to expect or how people will react when a crisis occurs

I am happy to say that as of right now, I not only have my GHB completely assembled and it stays with me at all times, but I also have more plans in place for the long term.

My family and I have identified a place to go, where we know the land owner. We have a place to meet, and have set up a deadline to be there. If one of us cannot make it by the deadline, we know where to go and how to get there.

I am working on putting together supplies to sustain me and my family for 1 year.  I can’t go into all of it because of space constraints, but it is all inclusive.  From food to weapons, we have provisions that will sustain my family for a very long time.

I want you to know, if you haven’t started, it can be very overwhelming.  But take it from me, just start making goals.  Nothing too big, start with a week’s worth. 

When you get that goal, move to a month and so on and so forth.  Just start somewhere!  Before you know it, you will be well on your way to protecting you and your families future.  If you are worried about what your family will think, don’t be.  I have only two pieces of advice for the beginner.

  1. Store foods with a long shelf life that you use on a regular basis so it can be rotated.
  2. Don’t talk to everyone about what you are doing!!  That stockpile you are working so diligently on is for you and your family. You never know how people will act when SHTF and they become desperate!  It should be on YOUR terms whether or not you decide to share.

God Bless!

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13 thoughts on “How it started…”

  1. Good post – too many people confuse a Get Home Bag with a Bug Out Bag or, even worse, a I’m Never Coming Home (INCH) Bag.

    Figure out how long it would take you to walk home from wherever you are going to be (work, school, shopping, Aunt Betty’s) – in the dark, in the rain, in a combat situation (don’t plan on strolling down Main Street), and possibly injured (but still mobile). Use that time period to determine your needs – food, water, shelter, medicine, etc – and pack accordingly.

    Remember, you are always a predator not prey. There is no need to cower in fear and wait for the inevitable. Use the reasources you have available to preserve your life and safety while maintaining a positive, can do, I-will-win-through attitude. All alone and out of your territory, you are probably a fox; so, emulate a fox, don’t take on the pack of wolves, use your mobility and brains, use cover and concealment to achieve your goals. Once you get home and you can assume the wolf personna.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me – I have to go howl at my neighbors.

  2. Love the story! Rourke should take his knife story and you take yours and meet and the middle and the two of you take over the world! Also very good that you actually walked home and put your plan to the test. I’m gona take that and try it myself to see what I need and what I don’t. Thanks for the good advice.

  3. Seriously? Worst intro ever. Sounds like a 12 year old paw story. Who’s gonna feel your 147 grain wrath because they feel they deserve what you got? Really? What does that even mean?

  4. Thank you for the wonderful post! I am giving starter GHBs for Christmas and your list pointed out a few more things I should include. I was going to wait until spring to actually walk home from work (8.5 miles if no obstacles). Since reading your post, I may go ahead and try it in the cold.

  5. Harry – Great insight!

    Bridget – I have thought about it many times! However, I don’t consider myself much of a writer. I read a lot and I can’t imagine being able to come up with a complex story that would hold the readers attention. But thanks for reading!

  6. @ really, Hey thanks D-Bag! A guy goes out on a limb and puts something out there and you are all of a sudden a literary critic!?! Really? Luckily AH used spell check or we would have more to say.

    Personally I’d add a little food and definitely water. Other than that…Right on!

  7. All, sorry! I left out the word “more”! A little “MORE” food…I think a mimimum of 1K calories per day (3K calories) and definitely “MORE” water…3L per day, for a get home bag.

    Please don’t hate me cuz I type fast…or think slow.

  8. I’m trying very hard to resist listing things to add… traveling light seems like a very good idea. Practicing is probably a lot more important than putting it together and forgetting it. That’s the way to learn what it should contain. Great work, AH.

    Bridget asked for a longer story, so if you don’t think I’m stepping on your toes I’ll offer one I’m currently reading. Disclaimer: I haven’t finished reading it yet but once you get past the early financial stuff it describes a very interesting scenario. Food for thought for once you get home. I feel bad about suggesting it without having finished it but if I wait to finish it nobody will see the comment.

  9. @really,
    And your last award winnng post this site was when? My granddad always said, “opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and they usually stink”. Thanks for proving the old guy 100% correct.

    Well said!

    4 high fives to 1 bum steer seems to indicate your post was welcome and appreciated. I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  10. A little further info. The story I mentioned above is not about EMP, the trigger event is financial. So if the EMP aspect is of interest, the above story would likely not be of interest. Also, it’s a 170 page PDF. I used the Calibre software to convert it to epub so I could read it on my ereader and it did a pretty nice job. Strangely, the Calibre version I have flips the images. No major loss, the images only occur at the beginning of a chapter and the error doesn’t really detract from the story. I’m sure they’ll fix it sooner or later.

  11. i liked your post! i also keep a roll of tp in there which i had pulled the roll ouf of the middle… can smash a bunch of tp in a trash bag with all the center rolls out……then you your vacuum hose and suck the air out of the bag……they take up no room


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