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#185478 - 10/16/09 02:19 AM When do you flee?
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
When do you flee?

What do you key on in deciding it is time to bug-out as opposed to bugging-in?


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#185493 - 10/16/09 03:11 AM Re: When do you flee? [Re: dweste]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Bugging out:

I would try to put aside my irrational desire to save my home when the threat was obviously more than I could handle. If I want to wait until (or past) the last minute to evacuate, I should realize that I'm on my own, and no one in their right mind is going to risk their lives due to my extremely poor judgment. This is be one of those 'pay to play' deals.

Wildfire or firestorm. Waiting until the flames are licking at my wheels (or heels) seems like a stupid thing to do. If my house was on fire, I would run outside, rather than sitting in my easy chair, hoping God is bored with everyone else at this moment in time.

Flooding. Flooding rarely is unexpected, yet people just sit, hoping against hope that the 50F temps aren't going to melt those 25 feet of dense, accumulated snow like NOAA and the NFIP are saying is a dead certainty. If the weather folks are wrong AGAIN, I can go back later, right?

Tsunamis and my beachfront home. I may object to the laws of physics, but I would have to be a real idiot to think they're going to change for me.

Volcano lahar. The people who survived the eruption of Mt. St. Helens said the lahar resembled a wave of thick wet concrete studded with boulders, large trees, cars and trucks, heavy machinery, parts of houses, etc. Volcanoes tend to give a good bit of warning, so I should have plenty of time to get my ducks in a row. Harry Truman's stand of mindless bravado was stupid by (nearly) anyone's standards. And he took his 16 cats with him. Poor cats.

Nuclear, radiological and chemical accidents. Running like a scalded cat would be my choice here. Try to keep up.

Bugging in:

Earthquake - If I get past the first big shake, I'll camp out in the back yard.

Snow, ice and winter storms - that's why they invented shovels and wood stoves.

Only occasional tornadoes around here. If I'm in the cross hairs, well...

Hurricanes - at least there's SOMETHING I don't have to worry about!

Thunderstorms / lightning - hunker down, close eyes, stick fingers in ears, hold onto scared dog with my elbows.

Heatwave - hahahahahaha! I think the absolute record here was 107F for one day and 103F for three days. Lawn chair + sprinkler + lemonade.

Landslides and mudflows - nothing higher than my place within reach.

Terrorism - If the neighbor's dog kills another chicken I'll borrow a gun and shoot him.

Sue

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#185529 - 10/16/09 10:26 AM Re: When do you flee? [Re: Susan]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
My favorite t-shirt sying:

BOMB TECHNICIAN
If you see me running, try to keep up!
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#185530 - 10/16/09 10:27 AM Re: When do you flee? [Re: dweste]
LoneWolf Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 103
I think it's really situational. Susan did what I think was an excellent job of summing it up.

I think you need to evaluate the greatest risks you are facing. For example, if I recall, you live on a boat. I would think that the time to "Get the heck out of Dodge" would be when the hurricane is on the way. For me, the biggest threats are bad winter weather or tornadoes when it's warmer. I have preps in place for either one.

Bug in as long as you are reasonably certain that you can be safe. Bug out when that is no longer possible. At least that's my plan.

Zombies ..... uh oh ..... smile

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#185537 - 10/16/09 12:04 PM Re: When do you flee? [Re: Susan]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Loc: SOCAL
Originally Posted By: Susan
Bugging out:

. . . Wildfire or firestorm. Waiting until the flames are licking at my wheels (or heels) seems like a stupid thing to do. If my house was on fire, I would run outside, rather than sitting in my easy chair, hoping God is bored with everyone else at this moment in time. . . .
.
Nuclear, radiological and chemical accidents. Running like a scalded cat would be my choice here. Try to keep up.

Bugging in:

Earthquake - If I get past the first big shake, I'll camp out in the back yard. . . .

Sue

As usual Sue did a great job rephrasing and answering the question. The only item on the Bug-Out list I've been through in SOCAL are wildfires -- we've had a few here. I stayed for previous fires because they weren't forecast to hit my specific neighborhood. Some neighbors left, but since evacuation was only optional, we stayed. Our neighbor firefighter who was spending time on the line occasionally came home to get some real sleep, so I figured this area was relatively safe. Next fire I'll do the same thing: pack the truck early and watch as it chooses a path. If it looks like it's coming our way I leave. You won't find me dead in the street, garden hose in hand. I'll be 10 or 100 miles up the road at a motel.

Nuclear, radiological? Where at and where's the wind blowing? If it hits a local target I'd expect to know immediately and I'm outta here. . .if the truck starts -- EMP could step on any plans to evacuate. Wouldn't want to be out riding my alternate evacuation tool (mountain bike) when the fall-out starts raining. If I didn't see it or feel it, I stay home and button up -- hopefully the radio is still on line. Fall-out may still be a concern, depends on the wind. Face masks to filter particles would be advised.

My earthquake reaction is identical to Sue's. If I survive the major shake, why leave. Gather yourself and start cleaning up. Wear good boots.
_________________________
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

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#185560 - 10/16/09 02:40 PM Re: When do you flee? [Re: Russ]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Sue, awesome effort - as usual! You are a real asset to the forum.

Quibble: everyone states sound general principles, but what is the specific circumstance / information / data point that would trigger you to flee?

Fire upwind and five miles away? 2 miles away? one mile away? half a mile away? Next door?

Tsunami or flooding: predicted? warning given? visible on the horizon?

Etcetera.

Are you going to wait to make a situation specific decision or have you figured out when you need to flee on some objective basis already? What criteria will you use to make your decision? Are there objective criteria?

What information source or sources would you trust?

To try to beat the crowd, do you take the time to pack or go with your BOB and whatever is in your vehicle at the time?

Go, Sue, go!

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#185563 - 10/16/09 02:53 PM Re: When do you flee? [Re: dweste]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Loc: SOCAL
For previous wildfires I've packed the truck days in advance. As explanation, wildfires usually start well east of here and give days of preparation time to anyone in my neighborhood. As for when to make the decision to leave: (1) when a mandatory evac is ordered, or (2) when the fire's vector (path and speed) put my home in the path. This is a neighborhood by neighborhood, sub-division by sub-division, ravine by ravine thing.

Fires can move fast when the wind kicks up. A friend was in bed asleep when the fire dept folks knocked on his door and gave him 15 minutes to leave. He hadn't packed because when he went to bed it was not threatening his sub-division. Things change and they can change fast.

Pack early and be ready to be given a 15 minute warning.

How about you. When do you push off or weigh anchor when a tsunami threatens? Go to high ground or head to sea?
_________________________
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

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#185568 - 10/16/09 03:07 PM Re: When do you flee? [Re: Russ]
DesertFox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 339
Loc: New York, NY
As usual, well done Sue.

The only factor I would add that most here don't have to worry about is the timing when living in a big city. If I have plenty of warning, I want to be one of the first ones out, to beat the crowd. Thus having a go bag, at least a half-tank of gas, and a destination is important.

If the mishap is unexpected, I will stay as long as possible to allow the crowd to get out first, and to allow me to plan a route that presents the least number of obstacles. I have any number of possible problems. Collapsed bridges and tunnels, civil unrest in parts of town, coastal flooding, and of course, somebody WILL break down on the BQE where it narrows down to two lanes.

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#185577 - 10/16/09 04:03 PM Re: When do you flee? [Re: DesertFox]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
I am about a days sail or motor east of the Golden Gate Bridge leading out of San Franciso Bay to the Pacific Ocean. If a huge storm / hurricane / tsunami / flood is predicted, it is not likely I can sail out of the narrow Delta waterways and up or down the California coastline far and fast enough to avoid such things. At this point in time, all I can do is batten down the hatches, put out extra mooring lines to the dock, and deploy extra bumpers.

My big decision is whether or not to bug out in my vehicle and abandon the boat to its fate. I am pondering what factors and data I need to make that decision, which is the genesis of this thread.

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#185579 - 10/16/09 04:14 PM Re: When do you flee? [Re: NightHiker]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Originally Posted By: NightHiker
For me it completely depends on the situation.


And thinking through the various most likely situations, what are the facts and decision-points you have thought-through?

In as disaster / emergency your thought processes and decision-making abilities may well be compromised by the stresses of the event, so working out decision points in advance may be a lifesaver - especially if you want to respond early ahead of the crowd you may be competing against for survival.

Edit: It seems to me that if the best we can say is some variation on "I will decide at the time" or "I will go if there is an evacuation order," then we may be admiting we have not prepared to decide.


Edited by dweste (10/16/09 04:20 PM)

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