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Hello guys and gals,

I am sure everyone has heard about the wild fires that destroyed a significant portion of east TN by now. I have lots of family in this area and have been overwhelmed by the stories coming out of Sevier county . My mother works for Westgate resorts at the edge of the national park. The guests had about 5 minutes warning to gather their belongings. Being that most of these people were traveling with suitcases this task was far easier. Most of them simply drove out of town and back to their residences. Unfortunately guests that were away from their cabins lost everything, including some pets. No human fatalities on property have been reported that I am aware of.

My brother in-law lives just outside of Gatlinburg. They received almost no warning. The amber/emergency alert system did not trigger for them. The fire was moving away from them. All of a sudden the wind switched moving the fire towards them with 60-70 mph gusts. Immediately people began self evacuating. The cell networks became overloaded as the towers began to fail. He grabbed his 2 cats and a handful of supplies to hit the road. Within just a few minutes power to the area was lost. Gas pumps were down, stores locked up and evacuated all employees as well. Luckily he was able to get out of the area however he had no supplies in his car. The plan was to head to his mothers house about an hour away but he never made it there. The roadways out of the area were gridlocked. He was far enough away to survive but ended up stuck for 16-20 hours. He was not able to return to his home for 2 days. Even now the national guard has the city on lock down. Everyone has to be out by sunset. Hotels in the neighboring towns filed up quickly. He has other family in the area to stay with that were not impacted.

Other people have not been so lucky. There are multiple stories of family members lost in the fires. Always stay together. Do not leave anyone behind while you go "check out" the situation. One family lost a mother and 2 daughters. The father and son left to see what the situation was in town. When the wind shifted they were not allowed to return to their home. The daughters' and mother's remains were found yesterday. All roads were blocked by trees, downed powerlines and fire.

I say all that to say this. If you do not have a bugout plan. Think about it. We live in a nice structured neighborhood, but a natural disaster could put us in the same situation. tornadoes, gas explosions/fires, earthquakes, any number of things. I always thought of this more as a zombie apocalypse type thing or end of the world scenario. But it is not. Mother nature can be a tremendous force to reckon with. After last winter we definitely have planned for a lock in of a week or more but have not given much thought to an evacuation scenario.

Have you planned to deal with a 5min or less evacuation? If an officer banged on your door right now, would you have the right supplies to survive for 72 hours to a week available to you?
What advice could you provide others who are making plans because of this disaster?
 

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Terrible tragedy for those folks in TN.
And we do have many members from that State.
Unbelievable how fast those flames were traveling fanned by those high winds.
It was a truly devastating scenario.
 

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That whole situation is a little crazy- that area is my home away from home. I've lost a little, but nothing compared to those who've lost their businesses or of course lives.
All the bug out plan talk is exactly for these types of situations. The zombie talk is just a generic replacement for what ever a realist scenario is. Sometimes I wonder if people figured that out.

Have the basics packed and ready to go.
You can't save everything. Don't try.
Have alternate routes. The main roads will be clogged. Your typical everyday route may be impassable.
 

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We have never given much thought being we have so much family throughout Texas up to the way north states. Guess that's no excuse after you give such an appraisal of the dire situation. My family needs to work on this. Thank you.

Prayers go to those lives turned upside down and for those lives lost, may their memory be eternal.
 

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a friend has a cabin there in Settlers Rich, 3er home, that area was untouched, but looking at the fires on TV if a big pine trees falls and blocks the only road out, if you can call that a road, we're screwed, maybe a high riding 4X4 will make it, he has it for sale now, two things can happen people looking for housing might buy it, or people are moving out, his place is not set up for every day living, there is no mail delivery or garbage pick up, we were just there for the changing of the leaves 3er week in October.
 

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As money allows, I'm putting together go bags for the family. Each duffel bag will have a week of clothes, a few hundred dollars in cash, a bit of food and water, emergency blankets, weapons, and medical supplies. Ideally, evacuation would involve grabbing 3 duffel bags (one per person) and getting in the car. I also keep my car stocked with enough items to cover basic needs for about 48 hours. You never know what might happen.
 

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i understand and know firsthand, (the bute fire in the foot hills of Ca).

fire started to burn the town, but thanks to a giant effort the cal fire crews kept the fire from burning this town. (many aircraft, bulldozers, and thousands of ground troops).

in the valley fire there they lost a town, ran out of water.

many here lost everything. fire is so bad it consumes everything in its path. so we as a people need to be on guard every year, all year long.

and yes for decades i have always had a "bug out" pack at home. and always keep "stuff" in the truck.
be it a fire, a earthquake, can hit with no warning. tornado's, and hurricanes there is some warning to get ready.

but if your not, you lose.


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I love Gatlinburg. But, like everyone else, I hate the traffic. And thats during NORMAL times.

The idea of bugging out during a mass emergency pretty much seems a nightmare. For those of you who havent been there, it can often take an hour or more for what really should be a 15 minute drive. Its bumper to bumper traffic often times almost from the instant you leave the interstate.

Factor in trying to get out of an area with mountain roads leading to cabins that are unfamiliar to most everyone there, hairpin turns, etc, and suddenly full of cars driven by other people trying to figure out how to get out of there quickly, and you start getting an idea of what went on up there.
 
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