note: article first appeared in March 2016
So here’s what I am thinking…Something happens, anything, doesn’t matter really. The question stands…How fast could you leave your house and be prepared to do whatever was required of you?
Yeah, I know, you want to ask me, “Prepared for what?” I am saying, it doesn’t matter. I am asking you, “How long would it take you to leave your house and be prepared to do whatever was required of you?”
Now, if you can’t answer the question, then you aren’t prepared enough…not even close. Yes, it is a fair question, and I believe it is a fair observation to say that if you can’t answer the question, or you have lots of trouble answering it directly, then you aren’t really prepared enough.
Here’s what I am getting at…If I had to leave the house “prepared” I could do it in about 3 – 5 minutes. I could handle all of the top threats/risks associated with emergencies, disasters, and grid-down incidents for 45 – 90 days minimum. Probably a lot more if I knew I had to stretch it out. Yes, I am serious about that!
We have two basic locations for those preparedness items we would take. They are grouped according to “perishable” and “non-perishable” stuff. While the food that is ready is really non-perishable, it is food and it lasts much longer in a more climate controlled environment so it is in the house. The “gear” I consider non-perishable so it is stored in the garage, with the exception of guns.
The food, including heirloom seed packets, is located in the kitchen right next to the door that goes into the garage. The gear that is located in the garage is next to the large double-car garage door. Both locations are easily accessed, nothing restricting access, and can be reached with minimal effort if you know what you are doing.
There are total of four cases of six #10 cans each can are all freeze dried foods, plus two 6gal plastic buckets of freeze dried food pouches. Then a single 2gal plastic bucket of seeds. In the garage there are four large totes and six small totes that make-up my primary GOOD BOB gear. All of that gear mitigates all, yes all, of the threats/risk categories for incidents. And I can have all of that loaded correctly in the bed of my pick-up or my wife’s SUV within a few minutes, 5 mins tops. If I had to just throw it in the vehicles I can do that too, so I could probably reduce it to 2 minutes if I really hustled or had my wife’s help and I wasn’t worried about it being neatly packed.
In the event that I had more time I could then go to my secondary totes and food boxes. And I won’t bore you to death on the details but the secondary totoes would significantly increase my survival time and comfort level.
But, why the heck am I even asking you this question and giving you my example?
Because I want to think about your situation and the time it would take for you to be mobile in a crisis situation.
Yes, of course you could shelter in place if needed and/or it was your only option, we all know that. But I was wanting to prompt you about “having” to leave in a hurry…could you do it and take your basic preps with you?
And this is really not about the time required, the vehicle, or anything along those lines. This “prompt” is about organization more than anything. Are you organized enough to get your food and gear out the door quickly if you needed to?
Here is one of the problems I see with preppers…mostly prepper organization is not properly thought out. Yeah, “properly” being the operative word here. They may be organized, however, the method they use may well not be a practical methodology for many situations.
I have seen incredibly organized preppers while visiting their homes. I have been seriously impressed many times by the sheer volume of food and gear. But, I have seldom, almost never, seen their preps organized in such a fashion to allow for graduated movement of their gear and food using a priority methodology.
Meaning, they can take a limited number of containers and still have a wide variety of what they need. Mostly I see box after box of wheat, then box after box of oats. And that goes on and on, even a whole box full of candles…but not a single match in the box of candles or a can opener in any case of food.
What I want to propose to you is a reorganizing of food and gear. Place a diet balanced variety of food in a couple of boxes or totes or buckets. That provides you with a decent quantity and variety of food…even if you can only grab that one or two boxes before you have to leave. Same is true for gear. Have a few primary containers with gear in each that provides for the most basic of needs should you have to leave your home.
Where I want you to end up, your goal, my leader’s intent, is the ability to leave your home in minimal time, under 10 minutes, and have enough of your food and gear to get by on. Sure, if you have plenty of advanced notice, and a large enough vehicle, you can take it all, and that is the ideal situation. But, emergency incidents are rarely “ideal.”
Please Read: Food Storage Methodology
- 7 Common Risks/Threats
- GOOD – BOB (Get Out Of Dodge – Bug Out Bag)
- My “Go Bag” and myth buster!
- Bug-Out or Bug-In ?
- How to Categorize Emergencies, Disasters, & Grid-Down
- Vehicle Emergency Bag/Box (VEB)
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we have a similar plan in place. the wife knows to grab the firebox w/ the papers, throw that in the car. she will then put the contents of the coat closet in there: superpail of oats, one of rice and a case of keystone meat. then grab the kitty carriers and round up the two kitties. that could be a minute, or several. meanwhile i pull around to the basement n load the contents of a 8 by 10 cabinet or as much as time allows. in there, top shelf closest to the door are a case of no.10 mountain house, case of mh pouches, case of mre components arranged as meals. that’s my immediate, short term and mid term food. lowers shelves include no.10 cases mixed to provide complete meals. next section has spare mags, batteries etc. lower section has superpails of rice, beans, fd fruit, and fd veggies. another bucket has berkie filters etc for h2o. plenty of water where i live….totes containing shelter, extra clothes, lighting, cooking gear etc etc. round out the cabinet. gun safe right next to it, everything pre-staged with it. timed semi leisurely loading was just over ten minutes and wife had completed the cat rodeo and was waiting at the end of the driveway. up until i found a water leak in my small camper, it was all staged there. this summer i’m going to tear into that an build a bugout camper out of it. then other than wrangling the cats it’ll be four or five minutes from go til gone.