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?
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.