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An Escape Route And A Safe Haven

When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, we were all treated to the spectacle of a city not only underwater, but one seemingly abandoned by its government. The images of the refugees camped out in the sports stadium is one that will remain in most minds forever. Regardless of where you and your family live, the time may come when you will have to ‘bug out’ and leave your home. It could be a natural disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane or you may have to leave because of chemical or radioactive problems, but generally it will be a situation where you will have to leave quickly. Being prepared for extreme circumstances will help to assure that you and yours will live through the experience.

Make Preparations

Given the uncertainty of the times in which we live, you should do everything possible to provide for emergency supplies. While these will generally be supplies meant to sustain you and your family for a number of days in your home, you should also prepare emergency kits that can be taken along at a moment’s notice.

Having several Bug-Out bags ready to be snagged on the way out the door will help to assure your survival. Your bag should contain emergency food supply, an emergency blanket, first aid kits, personal identification, maps, and money at the very least. Every member of the family should have their own bag, and an extra “family bag” should be in the auto at all times. Do not forget to have money both in your pocket and secreted in your bag.

Keep your car maintained so that it will be ready to go when it’s needed. Fluid levels in the engine should be kept topped up, and you should have at least a half tank of gas in the car at all times. Check the tires to be sure that enough tread is still available to make the journey, and replace them if needs be.

Plan your route out of your area before trouble occurs, and have several routes designated in case your first choice is either clogged with other people evacuating or has been rendered unusable by events.

Where Can You Go?

Most disasters or emergencies that call for evacuation are of a short term, and you can probably rely upon staying at a motel or emergency shelter for the duration. However, if the conditions are more profound, or if civil unrest has become widespread, you might want to take shelter farther from home, especially if you live in a city or near to a city. Relatives who live in the country are an option, and you may be able to make arrangements to shelter with them ahead of time. If compliant relations are not available, there are still several options open. If you are fortunate enough to have a vacation home, you can go there – but make sure that emergency supplies are already in place

Wilderness areas or national parks can also provide a sanctuary if you have the proper camping equipment available. In this case you will need a good tent, sleeping bags, blankets, extra food, the means to purify water, lighting, and perhaps a source of heat. Bear in mind that living in this way will be difficult if you do not have an adequate food supply as living off the land is problematic, at best, if you are not trained to do so.