Updated: Used my BOB in Joplin, MO after Tornado.

This is a discussion on Updated: Used my BOB in Joplin, MO after Tornado. within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So my best friend (more like a brother) lives in Joplin, Mo. with his wife and two sons age 10 & 7. His wife is ...

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Thread: Updated: Used my BOB in Joplin, MO after Tornado.

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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    Exclamation Updated: Used my BOB in Joplin, MO after Tornado.

    So my best friend (more like a brother) lives in Joplin, Mo. with his wife and two sons age 10 & 7. His wife is a veterinarian and he is the online internet guru for a newspaper conglomerate which owns about 150 newspapers nation wide. Joplin is about 2 1/2 hours south/west of me, and we both live in what's known as tornado alley.

    I didn't find out about the tornado until about 4 hours after it hit when I turned on the TV and started seeing Breaking News. I began trying to contact him to see if he was okay. Calling his home phone got repeated rapid busy signals indicating the phone service had been interrupted. Trying to call his cell phone I got a recorded service message stating there was no service available. I'm naturally assuming a lot of cell towers were down as well as I kept watching news reports unfold.

    My wife and I started discussing whether I should go down there having no real intel to act upon and aware that we live in a direct line where the same storms are headed.

    After about another half hour, I tried his cell phone again, and on the second ring he answered. I go, "Bro, are you guys okay?" He said, "Dude, I'm in Birmingham, Alabama on a friggon business trip. I'm trying to get the next flight out to get back home."

    I asked if the wife and kids were okay. He told me he couldn't get a hold of them for about 2 hours but finally got through on her cell phone. He told me they were shook up but okay. His wife told him they had some serious roof damage to the house, no power, broken windows and their detached garage was damaged as well. I asked if her car was wrecked and he said no, so she had transportation if needed. He also said she didn't have a lot of fuel for their generator.

    I asked my wife if she'd be okay here if I went down there. She said no problem. So, I told him I'd be down there in 2 - 2 1/2 hours. He gave me his wife's cell number and I called told her I was gonna come down until Mike got back and bring some supplies with me. I asked her if they had any water stored. She said they didn't lose their water and had good water pressure. I told her not to drink any in case the water supply had been contaminated. I told her I had a water purifier I'd be bringing down to purify as much water as they needed. She told me the guest bedroom had no windows and the bed had gotten soaked and such. I kind of chuckled and said, "Don't worry about me, I'm pretty much self contained."

    The nice thing about being prepared is it doesn't take long to mobilize. From the time I got finished with my phone calls, I was on the road in about 20 minutes. I went to garage and got a 5 gallon jerry can of gas I have stored with fuel stabilizer for emergencies. I grabbed two of my 2.5 gallon water jerry cans which has water stabilizer for 5 year storage, and put those in the truck.

    My BOB is in a Maxpedition Falcon II backpack which I call my Bag-O-Bark'n instead of a Bug-Out Bag since it covers a few more contingencies than just bugging out. I won't go over all the contents here, but I've posted it in other threads before.

    I grabbed the Bag-O-Bark'n, and my Camelbak BFM large backpack which I keep packed with two sets of season specific clothes, shower/hygiene supplies, some MRE's, Mountain House freeze dried meals and various other supplies. I filled the 3 liter bladder and threw those in the truck.

    I also grabbed my major trauma kit which is small, but unbelievably comprehensive and able to care for a squad size group of troops and includes tools for suturing, surgical airway and other airway emergencies, chest decompression (pneumothorax), an otoscope, ophthalmoscope, and able to treat burn injuries as well as major bleeding, eye injuries and a dental emergency kit.

    At the present time my buddy has no firearms, which is a common sore topic with me as he is not anti-gun. He has owned pistols, rifles and shotguns in the past, but has sold them all over the years for one reason or another. A couple of times he asked to borrow a gun because he was worried about crime in the area. I always tell him I don't loan guns and it's his responsibility to buy his own, and he shouldn't have sold his in the first place.

    So, I got in a mini argument with my wife about not loaning any guns, and I told her "Look (honey), this is a major disaster, I'm gonna be armed, and there is a real chance looting could be an issue down there. When I leave to come home, I can't in good conscious bring all my guns home and not leave him with a way to defend his wife and two small kids." I told her I won't leave him any handguns, but I will leave my shotgun. I also told her he was going to get a butt chewing regarding his irresponsibility of leaving his wife without a way to defend herself when he's out of town. This exact disaster is a prime example of why you may not be able to just call 911 and expect anyone to show up, and why any responsible family should have firearms.

    So, I grab my Mossberg 590 which has 20 rounds of 00 Buck & slugs loaded in the tube and mounted on the gun in a sidesaddle and Eagle Industries buttstock pouch, my bandoleer of 50 rounds of 00 & #1 Buck and 12 slugs.

    For me, my usual XD9sc IWB 10 +1 mag of Speer Gold Dots, two 16 round spare mags with same Gold Dots and Ruger LCP with one spare mag of Hornady Critical Defense .380's. I also grabbed three 20 round boxes of the Gold Dots for the 9mm to throw in my Camelbak BFM just in case. I also brought $200 cash I keep in a small neck wallet I have at home for emergencies.

    Again, it only took about 20 minutes to get my truck loaded and on the road. I topped off my fuel tank and grabbed a double cheeseburger from DQ on my way out of town.

    A little over 2 1/2 hours later, I was in Joplin. Stopped at an open gas station on the north end of town and topped off my fuel again so I'd have a full gas tank while I was down there. I had to drive through another big storm with major rain and high winds when i was about 30-40 miles north of Joplin but when I stopped to get gas in town it had settled down to a drizzle.

    When I got to their house, his wife had stapled tarps over the windows which were broke and the generator was up and running. She said a neighbor had to come over and start it for her and she and the kids went and got some gas and went to check on the vet clinic she works at. No power at the clinic but it wasn't damaged. At home she had the refrigerator plugged in, some lights and the TV. The kids had their wii so they were good to go. She also said they finally issued a boil order so she was glad I brought some water and purifier. I called Mike to let him know I was there. He was at the airport ready to catch his flight back.

    So she and the kids went to bed and I surveyed the damage. Not nearly as bad as I expected. Some broken windows, shingles and felt ripped off parts of the roof. Some good size leaks coming through the ceiling in the upstairs. One garage door was caved in and wouldn't open and about the same type of damage to the garage roof. It's a huge two story older house about 60 years old but still standing and in good shape.

    Two blocks away however, looked like Hiroshima after the Enola Gay paid a visit. Totally leveled swath a half mile wide and however long the path was. You all have seen the pictures on TV so no need to describe it here. My buddy got in about 1 am. His flight had been delayed, plus a layover, and when coming into Springfield they had some bad weather so they had to fly to Wichita in a big loop and fly in from another direction which added another hour to the flight.

    I really didn't use much out of my BOB, but we did use my folding saw to clean up some down tree limbs and his wife used my MIOX water purifier at the vet clinic the next day to purify about 20 gallons of water for the animals. She had a flat tire on her car from her excursion out to get some gas and check out the clinic so we took it and got it fixed. They had power back on by 3 pm on Tuesday afternoon, and some firefighters who were also roofers from Idaho stopped by and offered to tarp his roof which they did.

    More storms were headed in including the possibility of more tornado's that night, which had just hit Oklahoma City. The news conference said the line of storms had several super cells and more tornado's were possible. The firefighters left Mike his card and said if the next storm blew the tarps off to just give him a call on his cell phone on Wednesday and he'd come back and fix it again.

    Since Mike was back home and things under control I decided to head back home before the second wave of storms hit and I didn't want to be stranded in Joplin. My wife was home alone with the dogs and bad weather was scheduled for my town around 9 pm. I left Mike my gas can, water cans and MIOX water purifier so they could purify until the boil order is lifted. He said he didn't think he'd need the shotgun as all the looting has been limited to area's where there was total devastation and was minimal even in those area's. The police chief at the Tuesday news conference said they've made 12 arrests of looters and keeping it under control. He is going to be getting a shotgun soon and wants to research some pistols. He knew this was a wake-up call regarding his home security situation.

    I got home around 8 pm Tuesday night. Around noon Wednesday, we had two tornado's touch down about a 1/2 mile outside of my town before moving through and hitting the middle of Sedalia, Mo. which is about 30 miles from where I live. Sedalia had a lot of damage but not many injuries reported. The Sedalia tornado was only an EF2 whereas Joplin was an EF5.

    I didn't partake in any of the big rescue ops in Joplin as I was on more of a personal mission helping a friend out in his time of need.

    All in all it's been a busy week as Thursday my wife and I also had to go to Kansas City and meet with my wife's brother to make plans for liquidating their mothers estate who passed away just after mothers day. And now I have to work the entire Memorial Day weekend.

    Anyway, the bottom line is it's always good to be prepared for emergencies. You never know when one is going to strike. My prior preparations made things go a lot smoother and having gear pre-packed and organized allowed me to essentially mobilize and drive 180 miles on a moments notice and able to handle whatever I faced.

    Update: YouTube audio tape of from Joplin Fire Departments radio transmissions during the Tornado.


    Last edited by Bark'n; March 26th, 2012 at 07:26 PM. Reason: Added YouTube 911 audio fire department radio during Tornado.
    OD*, tactilame, RemMod597 and 4 others like this.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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  3. #2
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    It is astounding how quickly a squad of Marines can go from sleeping, to geared up and yelling at the Watch-o to let them leave, when a radio call comes in someone else from their unit is in combat. And it all has to do with preparation. Have a gear set up for all the essentials right where you need them, and connected in a way to make it easy to grab. I could throw on my flak (ammo, water, NVG's, explosives), daypack (more water, MRE's, poncho, batteries, and a few other random things) and go from sleeping to ready to blast out the gate in under a minute, with everyting I needed for up to 3 days.

    It sounds like you still have the appropriate mindset, and overall, did a very good job. If my house ever gets hit by a Hurricane, I hope I have friends like you who can give me a hand.

    Two questions for your AAR. First, why not grab a rifle as well? A shotgun is good for a lot, but sometimes a rifle just does a better job. I would think that an AR/AK/Mini-14/SKS or .30-30 would be been a good addition. Maybe you thought through that, and if you did, why did you decide not to bring one?

    Second question, what part of your bag did you not need at all, or feel was unnecessary. There are some things, like ammo, water, and medical gear, that should always be in a kit, but other than that, opinions vary widely. But what, if anything, will you be dropping from your bag after this experience?
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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    Good report and good to help out a friend like that.

    Your efforts support the wisdom of the 7 P's: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Pi** Poor Performance.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

  5. #4
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    Good questions buckeye.

    1) Regarding a rifle. I really considered bringing my Colt AR Govt. Carbine.

    Item 1: The national news was already reporting of looters being arrested. Plus they were reporting that they were turning away people and even 1st responders who had not coordinated with the command officials on the ground prior to responding. I didn't want to risk any confrontations with the local LEO's who are probably a little frazzled and grumpy, with a friggon arsenal in my SUV. Yeah, I have my sheriff's ID indicating I'm a tactical medic on our county swat team, but I just didn't want the added hassle of explaining a AR with 100 rounds of ammo. I already had a combat shotgun with 70 rounds of slugs and buckshot, plus two pistols and over 100 rounds of ammo for those. (I figured I could explain those sufficiently enough). I also had fixed blade knives in my BOB and Camelbak and a tactical Benchmade Rift on my person. Some LEO could see me and consider me a one man wrecking crew.

    Item 2: I was heading into active storms with more possible tornado activity. If I got blown off the road and had to abandon my vehicle before I reached my destination, I could abandon my Camelbak BFM, jerry can's of gas and water, (and possibly the bandoleer of shotgun ammo), but I didn't want to have to hump an AR-15 plus it's ammo in addition to my BOB, trauma kit, two pistols, shotgun and ammo for those weapons. I'm 50 years old now with chronic back pain and not a young Marine anymore. I didn't want to have to leave any weapons in my abandoned vehicle if it came to that.

    2) I actually didn't use very much of my gear at all, but what I brought, was all items I could have been expected to use. I was kind of heading into an unknown situation and really didn't find I had any unnecessary items for the type of situation I was headed.

    I believe in modular systems. So at home I have lots of redundancy. People want to know why I have 3 sets of mini-binoculars plus a spotting scope, 4 water purifiers, 3 tents, multiple sets of cook gear in various configurations, 6 medical kits of various designs and capabilities, 8 compasses, stoves, flashlights, etc. But I have backpacks and gear bags packed for different types of adventures and a most of them have different items and some share the same items I have in other bags. So depending on the mission, I can choose a large bag or two, or several smaller ones. Also because of all the redundancy, I can outfit other friends in my "network of friends" if for some reason they lose or show up without their own gear. I know, some people may think that is kind of anal, and others may think it's a waste of money. But one thing no one can say is that I'm not prepared for almost any contingency.

    For this trip, I brought what I thought I would need if I arrived on station and found a worse case scenario. I could have brought a couple different load outs, but I was happy with what I had and didn't think I had a lot of unnecessary items for the intel I had when I left. As it turned out, it ended up being about a best case scenario considering the scope and magnitude of the disaster just two blocks away from my friends house.
    DingBat likes this.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Your friend is indeed fortunate to have such a friend as you.
    Rock and Glock likes this.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Bark'n - Great job in aiding your friend's Family and for being so well prepared. I just finished putting together by BOB, so I completely understand how good you must've felt to be so well prepared and able to quickly get on the road. After I finished setting it up my BOB, I was shocked as to how poorly prepared I was for an emergency and how important it is to always be prepared for the worst.

    You are a great friend for helping your buddy's family and I praise you for that! Well done Sir!!!!
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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    Bark'n - kudos on not only your preparedness, but for covering your buddy's back when he was out of town. Nicely done!
    Smitty
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    Good job,Good plan,It's been a bad year for storms and it's just starting,were getting ready to start hurricane season down here,I hope we don't get hit
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Once a Marine always a Marine ! Well done sir.
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

    http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

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    Terrible situation there. Flawless execution on your part. Kudos.
    Great worthwhile thread.
    I think I need to "stick" this thread for a while so that the maximum number of forum members will spot it and read it.
    Bark'n and Rock and Glock like this.

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    Good job mate. Glad you buddy did not have more significant issues and damage to worry about.
    It's the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Entitlements - Vote America!!!

    "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

    You are only paranoid until you are right - then you are a visionary.

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    Member Array OngngFreedom's Avatar
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    So, I just got done updating the (expiring) food in my BOB wondering am I just paranoid for even having it, what's the use, is it worth making my wife think I listen to too much Glenn Beck and read too may books like "Patriots" and "Lights Out" and slowly building up stored food. Now here you come along and present a more likely (read: better excuse for the wife) example of your preparedness.

    Hey honey...!

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    Member Array Husker Sig's Avatar
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    Outstanding! No better friend, no worse enemy a phrase many of us understand.
    Semper FI

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    Great going, you're a good friend. These incidents are great for learning for all of us, thanks for sharing.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    For anyone who is interested in what the contents of my personal BOB are you can go to Post #4 in the following thread where I posted the contents a while back.

    Can you help me with a bug out bag?

    The actual weight of my BOB is closer to 35 lbs. give or take a few ounces. Still, something I can hump for long distances.

    Also note, the main pack is a Maxpedition Falcon II, but I have other pouches externally mounted on the pack like two Maxpedition insulated water pouches to hold 32 oz water bottles and also mounted is a Maxpedition Triad Admin Pouch and a mini removable "survival kit" in a Maxpedition 4x6 pouch I can remove and put on my belt if I need to abandon my BOB.

    Also, the First Aid Kit listed in my BOB contents is the first aid supplies always carried in the BOB. The Trauma Kit I brought with me a separate bag I brought to handle larger emergencies. However there are some redundancies in my Trauma Kit that is also carried in my BOB.

    Yeah, it's extra weight, but I don't disassemble my BOB and remove items just because I am carrying some of the same stuff in a different bag. A little redundancy isn't necessarily a bad thing.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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