Thanks to everyone for all the kind remarks.
The very nature of this forum I spend a lot of time talking about death and the possibility of taking someones life, and I speak very matter of fact and straight forward regarding that subject. And often times, very opinionated regarding the subject. When engaged in combat you'll get a ruthless and merciless response if I'm forced to defend myself. Complements of being one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children in a former life. Semper Fi.
But as a paramedic and former firefighter/rescue specialist, it's also in my nature to help people in a selfless and compassionate way. Certainly, I'm not going to let a family member or close friend down in a time of need.
Wow, first off I'm very glad to hear that your friend and his family made it through that situation unharmed. I must say, you're one heck of a good friend to the gentleman and his family to travel that distance and assist his family while he was outa town. The amount of storms and their severity as of late is becoming kinda freaky. I can't remember when so many disaster type events have taken place in the past. It seems like there's a new one every other week or so. After reading your story, I'm gonna heed your warning and put together my own BUB and other survival tools that might be needed in that type of event. I have small things in place but nothing by comparison to what you described.
Again, I'm glad you and your family and friends made it through that series of storms safely. I'm saddened by the news regarding the loss of life that that storm produced, it's really mind boggling that in this day and age a land based act of nature can take so many so fast. It might sound ridiculous but, I think in the areas referred to as "Tornado ally" underground shelters should be build with any home or apartment complex as part of the building codes, or something to that effect. I'm not sure if that area would be considered part of the high provability for tornados portion of the midwest, but if not, it might be now. Anyway, Great job assisting your friends in their time of need; the world needs more like ya.:hand10:
Bark'n, makes sense on leaving the rifle back when you put it like that. I was just curious as to you reasoning, but it sounds like you have it all thought out.
35-40 pounds is probably right in the optimum weight zone as a good mix of being light enough to still move, but heavy enough you have what you need. Once you get above 45-50 pounds of kit, moving starts to really suffer.
Bark'n, I followed your link to the other thread where you described your BOB. That's pretty impressive! You have a lot of great ideas, and weem to have really thought this through. I'm amazed that it comes in at 25 lbs.
Originally Posted by Bark'n
I have a bunch of emergency gear stashed in rubbermaid containers for a SHTF, and I have an army surplus pack plus other gear. I do need to prioritize what of te gear should find a hime in my pack. I think your list will help me narrow if down. The truth is at my age/ health and my wifes health we would most likely prefer to not have to bug out. That being the case, I have been gearing and planning more for a weather in place against all odds sceneario. I do want to have a kti ready if we had to evacuate though. Something I'll be working on in the next few months.
Almost forgot to add, Great job on helping out the friend! I'm sure he'll remember it should bad things ever come your way. Hopefully you'll never have need to test this.
Hey TedBeau I used my bathroom scale when I posted the BOB weighed 25 lbs. I have since weighed it more accurately at 35 lbs. Which is about max weight for most couch potatoes to have enough gear to be significantly useful and still be somewhat mobile.
Originally Posted by TedBeau
Sheltering in place, or bugging in, if you were, as far as I'm concerned is almost always the better option. A fixed structure such as your home or apartment is always going to be more defensible than being exposed outdoors. Plus a much better structure for protection against the elements, more comfortable, and have the ability to have much more supplies for sustenance when you stay at home. In most instances, unless things just totally break down to "Lord of the Flies" type social behavior, most people will have at least some support from their neighbors. At least to some extent.
However, I do think people should always be prepared to evacuate on relative short order for at least the short term. You never know what kind of emergency is going to force a quick evacuation. For example, I live about 90 - 120 miles from two different nuclear power plants. One is in Missouri, and the other (a little further) is in Kansas. If there were a major incident which causes a release of nuclear energy from either of them, I live far enough away to likely get enough warning of the incident to notify me what happened. But depending on how strong the winds were, I wouldn't have a whole lot of time to sit around and gather a lot of things before I would have to get on the road and leave the area. But certainly enough time to gather my BOB, and maybe a few other supplies and get on the road and headed away from the potential exposure.
Right now, I store 15 gallons of gas (treated with fuel stabilizer) in three 5 gallon military fuel cans. That's enough to extend the range of my Toyota 4Runner an additional 280 - 300 miles before needing to stop for fuel. I seriously try to keep my vehicles at 3/4 full or above, but never below 1/2 a tank. Just keeping your vehicles as close to full as possible and having a little spare fuel to bring with you to extend your range can go a long way in helping you get out of the danger area and assess things. With my fuel range, I can pretty much drive to three different states (Kansas, Iowa, or Arkansas) without stopping. Maybe even Illinois, but who would want to go there, right?
Many state camp grounds have year round camping, so they may be considered for a bug out destination which may afford you with some things as clean water access, and electrical hook-ups, and offer a relative safe place to camp out for short term while you assess the situation. But certainly you can camp out a motel or just out in some secluded area if needed.
I agree, that for most emergencies, including civil unrest, it's best to shelter in place at home and fortify your home defense. But there are any number of unknown situations which can crop up, which makes it a good idea to be able to quickly bug out of the area and force someone to evacuate. The quicker you can get your gear together and have it compartmentalized, the quicker you can get out and hopefully avoid the masses clogging the roadways.
Excellent post man. You are a good friend indeed. :congrats:
I wonder if your friends tune will change in regards to owning firearms and being prepared.
Three months after the tornado, and today he had roofers show up to finally make permanent repairs to his roof. He's been going nuts dealing with insurance adjusters.
He already picked up a Rem 870 at a local pawn shop a month or so ago, so he is now armed. He's looking for a pistol, but has been preoccupied lately so he's not going to deal with that until later on around his birthday in Nov. But at least he got a decent used shotgun.
[QUOTE=Bark'n;1985791]Hey TedBeau However, I do think people should always be prepared to evacuate on relative short order for at least the short term. You never know what kind of emergency is going to force a quick evacuation. QUOTE]
Your words are very true Bark'n. That little rock n'roll party we had in Virginia the other week resulted in some significant re-assessment of my plans. Never considered it as even a remote possibility and did not account for it in planning. Our evacuation bags have moved from the laundry room to the the bedroom as a result.
Hey Bark'n -
Great job. Being prepared definitely pays off. Joplin is my second home, so I personally appreciate your help to any resident that was affected by the tornado.
I live about an hour and a half south of Joplin, and the night of the tornado, my wife and I could not get in touch with one of our friends who just happen to be in Joplin visiting some of her friends. We didn't even know where she was staying. I also had a family business in Joplin (roller skating rink), and one of my employees called to report that the back wall of our building had been knocked down. Like you, I grabbed by BOB, a couple cans of gas, a couple cases of water, the camelback, and hit the road. It took us 2 days to track down our friend. She was safe at a friend's house, but her cell phone had died, and she had no way to charge it without power. She didn't even know we were looking for her until power was restored, and she could check her messages.
We ended up spending the next week with a volunteer group that provided food and beverages to the emergency workers (Fire/EMS) at their temporary headquarters. We also hooked up with a volunteer search and rescue crew. The day after the tornado (actually our second wedding anniversary), we grabbed all the food from the skating rink snack bar (candy, chips, beef jerky, gatorade, etc.) and threw it in the back of my truck. At night, we would load up ice chests with drinks, and we would drive around to the police check points and feed the officers. My wife sat in the back handing out goodies to the police officers. We heard some amazing stories.
There were so many people that drove in from other cities just to feed victims, workers, and emergency personnel, that there were more hot dogs and hamburgers than you could imagine, all for free. During the day, people would drive around handing out supplies. Catering vans from restaurants in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas City, etc. were passing out free sandwiches, barbecue, and burgers to anyone working. The police officers told us that they hadn't needed to buy a single meal since they'd been there. Many of them told me first-hand accounts of the aftermath of Katrina. They said the people were at war with each other, and looting was crazy. Not so in Joplin. Most of the looters were from out of state. The people there had impressed them.
Wow. I really didn't mean to hijack your thread there. Sorry about that. Good job and thanks for the post.
I should note that my BOB went mostly unused due to the tremendous donation of readily available supplies. The items I did use were two-way radios, flashlights, duct tape, and paracord. I also stayed armed with my Sig 2340, 10+1 Speer Gold Dots, and two extra mags in the BOB.
A few years back, my now-ex and I visited her relatives in western Arkansas, and her cousin showed us their tornado shelter. h mentioned that they were the only people he knew that had a storm cellar. This, in an area which is clearly in Tornado Alley...