Urban bugging out

I’ve been thinking lately about the typical scenarios for bugging out. They often seem to assume that the person will be camping out in the woods, or something. I know that our BOBs are meant to serve us in a wide variety of bug out situations, but somehow or other wilderness camping and survival often play into the formula. And, hey, I find the idea of wilderness camping and skills to be as romantic as the next guy. But, how applicable is it really to a lot of people’s situations?

I will use my own case as Exhibit A. First of all, I’m not in wonderful physical shape. My health is okay for daily living but I have some mobility issues, including foot problems, and I don’t have great endurance. So, in a bug out scenario I need to plan to lighten my load and minimize my travel as much as I can.

Then, I live in an urban environment. We are fortunate to have access to large swaths of green space around here, for example some very nice regional parks, but why would I seek them out in case of an emergency? In fact, these days, the biggest danger to us is wildfires, so, the woods is the last place you want to head in that situation. The second biggest danger is earthquakes. But still, no reason to go the woods, which are several miles away.

Realistically speaking, if I wind up camping after a disaster, it’s more likely to be in some place like a Walmart parking lot or in some other urban encampment.

I still consider myself very much a prepping beginner, though I’ve been at it for several years. I’ve assembled a good bit of gear, but I don’t have a lot of skills or versatility or practice in using it yet. Realizing that I’m probably not headed for a wilderness in a crisis, and also that I can’t realistically expect myself to hike for miles and sleep in the rough in a pile of leaves, makes me think that whatever skills I learn need to be adapted to my actual, real world.


  • Comments (136)

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        I don’t know if there is a group like that in my area, but I doubt that in an emergency situation I’ll go looking for an underground bunker?  As Bob says, most likely evacuation will be a supervised event. If it’s really not and we have to fend for ourselves, I guess I would load my BOB, dog and  folding wagon in my car and try to drive either to a friend or relative’s house or to a shelter. And if I can’t do that I would probably try to walk to some relatively safe-looking place and stop there.

    • 2

      Good morning Jonnie,

      Your typical, realistic scenario for an evac will be a supervised event.

      Supervision will probably be by LEOs and emergency responders.

      Anticipate no wilderness camping. The big event now is enforcement of non-congragant – (social distancing) arrangements.

      If you do not look healthy enough for an evac, the authorities will likely tell you to wait for an enroute truck to pick you up.

      Again, the evac will be supervised.

      Walmart parking lots already reserved for critical responder vehicles.  Here we get vehicles from as far away as Alabama Power and Light, all kinds of National Guard big wheel vehicles (some work), and NGO trailers.

      We are all learning this stuff. After mastery, one is too old to swim out to Point Magu for a temporary safe haven. 

    • 2

      You might want to tailor your BOB and plans to a more realistic plan.  As opposed to having a kit designed for hiking and surviving in the woods, maybe your kit should be designed to allow you to evacuate yourself using your own transportation or being evacuated by government agencies.

      If possible, you would want to beat the herd and get out of town prior to chaos.  You need a BOB for that situation.  Otherwise, make sure you have enough stores to shelter in place for a week or so, and then be prepared, with your BOB, to be evacuated.

      Not all bugging out needs to be heading for the woods.  A stated, during a crisis, that could be one of the more dangerous areas… especially parks in and around a city.

      • 2

        Good points RN, I know some urban preppers who carry lock picks, glass breakers, mini prybars  etc for gaining access to buildings, Spray marker paint to mark underground routes that they have checked out etc, work gloves, for moving broken masonry and glass etc.

      • 4

        Good points, but it begs the question: don’t most people live in cities? Why isn’t “standard” bug out advice geared to bugging out in the city?

      • 2

        Maybe the smarter folk live a rural life.  🙂

        Seriously, I think most people would define bugging out as leaving a hazardous urban environment for a safer, suburban or rural setting.  Seems to me, city folk have two main options… hunker down until things get better and help arrives or bug out of the city.  As stated above, bugging out can be as simple as packing the car and leaving or it could be where you have hunkered down in place and now are going to be evacuated.

      • 4

        The logic that bugging out means going from unsafe city to safer suburb or country doesn’t make any sense to me. Why is an urban environment less desirable in an emergency than the suburbs or countryside? Seems to me it depends entirely on the crisis, both the nature and the geographic location. If there is looting and rioting in your city, sure, getting out seems like a good idea. But if there’s a wildfire? More heavily wooded areas are worse off. 

        In an earthquake, bugging out generally means getting to a place where the infrastructure is safe and services are available. I have a little bit of experience with this, having gone through the 1989 7.1 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake that hit Northern California. I and a friend were told to evacuate (precaution from a possible tsunami). The roads were in disarray. We wound up getting rerouted many times, driving through any number of country roads. Those were not good places to stop — and it never occurred to us to do so. We kept driving until we could get back on the highway and from there eventually got to an urban center about four hours south of the site of the earthquake. That’s where we stopped.

        Urban crises are often localized to a particular part of the urban cluster. If conditions are unsafe in one city or neighborhood, why not simply go the shortest way possible to the next unaffected city or neighborhood? Or go to stay with friends or relatives in another location (which may also be in a  city)? If a large urban area is affected, does it make any sense for all those people to descend on the countryside or suburbs that don’t have the infrastructure to support such a dense population?

      • 2

        Good afternoon Jonnie,

        Yes, most people live in cities.

        There is a “logic” to all this if you look at the “big picture”.

        The Stafford Act, 1988, replaced the Civil Defense Act of 1950, as amended. Stafford sent down the decision-making process to the Governors, Territorial administerators, tribal leaders. They got to make the decision as to when and where there’s be an evacuation.

        Not by coincidence, urban areas are most difficult to respond to. Ambulances are hindered. Trucks cannot move that easily in urban areas. Medical care approaches the unimanagable in the cities.

        Again, it is up to the political leadership and their specialized staffs.

        Rest assured, there are heated discussions.

        At the state level there are pre-arranged agreements as to who(m) will be in charge. To get into all this … not recommending doing this for now … one must study and participate in the NIMS – National Incident Management System and the NRF – National Response Framework.

        There are annexes to above.

        Sometimes powerful blocs accept not being in charge. They just want signature control of the emergency funds.

        Meanwhile, get, at least, a boonie hat ! 

    • 6

      You’re not alone. I very much am in the same frame of mind. I’ve always thought if I’m camping in the woods after an event, I have failed! 

      I do not have a traditional BOB as the purists may know, simply because I cannot see myself in a situation where I rely on running off to the woods.

      So that said, my own bag is more a weekend bag on steroids. It contains a change of clothes and a couple of skivvy rolls, some travel laundry wash, a good first aid kit, some instant noodles, boiled sweets, trek’n’eat long life biscuits, brew kit, wash kit, dumb phone, cash and credit card, a list of hotels, B&B’s and taxi firms (the numbers are also programmed into the phone) A flashdrive with any important documents on it. This is permanently packed and tucked in the wardrobe.

      I would also have my day to day pack which contains seasonal essentials, my smartphone, purse, glasses and day to day essentials including tablet. 

      My plan has always been to self evacuate as early as possible. Having said that, I was careful where I choose to live. The area does not flood, I am not close to a main traffic route or railways line and I do not have any industry locally. The weather is fairly benign in the grand scheme of things and the house is aged and solid. So I believe the actual risk of me ever having to evacuate is remote. 

      So I would recommend you do a risk assessment of your immediate area, then decide what level of evacuation you want to prepare for. Preparedness is all about preparation.  

      • 3

        Good afternoon Jenny,

        You’ve got real good arrangements from planning.

        Here, too, no traditional BOB.

        Max compliments !

      • 1

        Thanks Bob! Right back at ya!

    • 2

      To your point, one of the small things I’ve had to take into account when visiting cities is to always request a room on the second or third floor of the hotel.  If the grid is down, I don’t want to have to trudge down many flights of stairs to get anywhere, nor do I want to carry bottled water or other provisions back UP the stairs if I have to go out. I once visited a major city when there was some kind of demonstration which turned into a riot. Which is why I don’t want to be on the first floor!  We had friends who were very excited to move into a 10th floor apartment in NYC with a great view – until a weather event knocked out power to their building for six weeks.  

      • 4

        So before I comment, I will point out what is referred to as the FIRST floor in the US is called the GROUND floor over here 🙂 .

        So in hotels we believe its advisable NOT to have a room on the GROUND (first US) floor to prevent intruders / thieves getting in.

        We advise people to stay on the FIRST (2nd in US)  floor in hotels, you are secure from burglars and intruders, but are still able to escape a burning hotel with only a modest drop (10 to 12 ft).

        We advise not to stay on higher floors as they are much more difficult to escape from if the fire escape is cut off and the fire service has not reached you.

        NEVER EVER stay on a floor HIGHER than the local fire services rescue ladders can reach.

        Some very well prepared types keep one of these in their home / bedroom / office. Telescopic escape ladder.

        Tool Escape Ladder

      • 2

        Good morning Bill,

        Good picture.

        I’ve got 2 similiar escape ladders prepositioned upstairs with loose fitting work gloves next to them. (Unless living east of the Greenwich meridian, you heard Tie Tie complaining about gloves in bright tote bags packed with moth balls [camphor].  I want to evac from shack with gloves on and no bugs of any species. She doesn’t like vapors. )

        Hong Kong’s the same with the ground floor counting.

        There is a Boy Scout / Girl Scout way to take just a length of rope and make a rope ladder.  Far from the ideal like manufactured products but good to learn when wagons circled and sitting around the camp fire.

        Will look for a picture of diagram on how to make. Can’t say if / when I find anything but will try.

      • 2



        It’s a bowline on a bite knot use.

        Had forgotten this name.  

        I still remember “sheep shank” and “square knot”.  My favorite is now slip knot.

        My 2 rope ladders were made with fireproof rope.


        I know I’m getting labeled as a nag but you’ve got to affiliate with a small group of trustworthy people.  There are sources to get stuff that’s not featured on Amazon or Pro Bass Shops. End of this discussion for now. 

      • 1

        How would we find out the height of the local fire service escape fire ladders? Especially if we are traveling and are in a strange town.

      • 3

        Afternoon Jonnie. I was wondering the same. I would think if you are that concerned about it, I would simply ask to to stay in the lower 3 or 4 floors. I think you can take sensible steps without obsessing too much about it. I also think you could negate a lot of headaches by being selective about your accommodation  before you travel. If you have concerns about high level evacuation, pick a building with fewer floors? Just my 2cents. 

      • 3

        Well said Jenny, use Common sense, When I book hotels I look at the accompanying photos to see the size of the building, Then when I book  I ask to be on the lower floors. If they cannot accomodate my needs I go elsewhere.  99% of fire ladders reach four floors

        Example when my wife travelled the US west coast a few googles and messages to the hotel gave me all the info I needed.



        and why I  take such precautions



        Many in the UK think the fairly modern trend of building sky scrapers is not condusive to public safety. as seen on 911 and in the Grenfill tower disaster

        Its never a good idea to build buildings that the local rescue service cannot reach.

      • 3

        All very good points. And another thing the “Prepper Patrol” should do: Always, always lodge a complaint with the front desk – and potentially the local fire department – when housekeeping props open the fire doors.  Do it in writing, with a copy to headquarters, so they know it’s on their record and will increase their liability.  

        Propping open fire doors is illegal in most places, for good reason:  It turns the stairwells into chimneys that allow the smoke and fire to spread EVERYWHERE, quickly.  I have gotten to the point where I lodge a written complaint and then throw the door stops in the trash (because otherwise they inevitably reappear).  For those of you across the pond this is even more important in retrofitted buildings with few exits. If there’s a fire on the second floor and the fire door is propped open, no way are you getting down that stairwell without being asphyxiated.  

        One quibble I have with those telescoping fire escape ladders: From what I understand they are “single use only”. Meaning you can’t practice with them. That makes no sense to me, that they can’t manufacture ladders that allow for evacuation rehearsals. When flames are leaping around your door is not the time to figure out how to attach and deploy one, plus climb down safely.  And they’re too expensive to buy “extra” for practice. 

      • 2

        Good morning M.E.,

        I have 2 fire escape ladders and they are durable for multiple uses.

        Also made 2 rope ladders using fireproof rope.

        Have phased out both. Have 2 slides like aircraft have. I won’t be removing my boots if on.

      • 2

        I rent out a room on the second floor of my house. I store an escape ladder there for the tenant. It’s not single use. It’s made out of metal, has rigid hooks at the top, but the rest of it is loosely connected rungs and just collapses into a pile when not in use. It’s definitely not single use. I always advise my tenants to practice using it in case they actually need it, but I have to say to my knowledge nobody ever has. I can’t really blame them. It just seems like an odd and frankly somewhat risky thing to do if you’re not in a prepping frame of mind. Who would practice climbing out of a second story window onto a low-hanging roof, hooking a ladder that swings loose in midair and climbing down it into the backyard?

      • 1

        Good morning Jonnie, (I’m up fr Tuesday !)

        DEfinitely odd and somewhat risky. Risks are good and required in life. A quote from insurance industry:  “Not taking risks is the most dangerous chance you’ll make”.

        My family before empty nest status, practiced AND REFINED a fire ladder excape. At each window w/ ladder had a pail of moth flakes to throw out window to ground.  In warm weather there are ticks and snakes here. After the camphor, they’re relocating.  Also a few trees had fluorescant tape on them (I’m a conservationist; only on bark and not wrapped around tree that could interfere with growth) to lead to vehicles on dark night.

        One important comment re a house evac; In retirement, I took up drinking beverages that weren’t V-8 spicy juices. Jewel of Russia from the land of our ancestors, distilled 8 times. Alcohol still kept in drinks … not like here or Scotland. Exceptions here found in Kentucky and Tennessee. From single malt to sour mash is not a sacrifice.

        Gloves and hard hats next to pail of camphor. 


        I know Manhattan and lived in Singapore. Those with real housing did not live in the fire traps.  Same as in HK.

        There’s a reason, the New Yorkers moved down here.  A similiar reason for Hong Kong to have better middle class housing in the Pearl River Development triangle established well BEFORE the riots of 2 years ago.

      • 2

        It’s an interesting question about urban design, probably be on the scope of this discussion. But, with more and more people in the world and often limited space, it’s hard to know how to house them without building upward. This is especially true for cities or even countries where space is very limited. E.g Manhattan, Singapore, etc. Hi density design does have many benefits. Not only efficiency and smaller environmental footprint but also potentially community building. But, then there is the safety issue…

      • 2

        I personally rarely travel to locations where I have to stay in high rises. I would think a bigger problem would be for residents of very dense cities like New York, where everything has to build upward and many people stay or live high off the ground.

      • 3

        Any small prepper org can easily find out, Jonnie.

        Much of the time it is easy. Public sector fire departments might have the equipment …… however …… the rolling stock and mounted gear might not work due lack of maintenance.

        Personally speaking, I never stay at buildings needing to consider a ladder rescue.

      • 1

        Thats wisdom personified Bob.

      • 1

        Thanks Bill.

        We are getting the word out.

        Buildings were an easy thing ro learn about. It was an insurance requirement as to where staying.

    • 8

      I totally missed this topic but am glad that it got featured up at the top.

      I’ve always been under the assumption as well that bugging out = camping in the woods. Many other preppers and even normies plan to bug out to the countryside, hills, or mountains because they think that’s where the farmers are with an abundance of food, or that’s where all the deer and fish live. But they will quickly note that there isn’t a bounty of food up there. It’s the romanticized version of bugging out.

      As I have participated in this forum, I am seeing that an urban bug out is more likely. Lets go back to our threat model. Right now, (enter username here), what do you think is the most likely situations you will face where you will need to use your preps? Job loss, health issue, heat wave, food shortage, and things like that are probably the most likely most of us will experience. And those all don’t require bugging out. Now lets consider your house flooding or burning down (also much more common than many other situations), will you then just grab your bug out bag and go live in the woods with your house burnt down? NO! You will rent out a hotel room or stay with family and friends while you work through insurance claims. Now lets say that a wildfire or earthquake come through and destroy your entire city and neighboring cities, will you then go bug out to the woods? NO! You will move a couple cities or even a state over and live in a hotel or apartment while you rebuild your life. It’s not until you think of the extremely rare and unlikely that you would get to the bugging out to the woods position such as a high death rate pandemic, nuclear blast, or severe civil unrest nationwide. I can see myself bugging out to the woods for something like that.

      THANK YOU Jonnie for creating this forum topic and making me think about this entire situation. You finally have swayed me to redo my bug out bag to a mostly urban style of bugging out. I sure will still keep some things in there like a lighter, and mini stove, but will plan more around grabbing my entire bag and having everything I need in there to live out of a hotel with.

      • 2

        Yeah, I’m with you, Robert. There is one other scenario I’d like to add to your mix — urban camping. Definitely not my first choice, but it happens. Being in Northern California, with our (now annual) catastrophic wildfires, we had this situation when the town of Paradise burned down a few years ago. There was a mass influx of refugees from surrounding counties into the San Francisco Bay Area. There was nowhere to house them and many of them did wind up camping in officially designated spaces, such as Walmart parking lots.  I don’t know how long they stayed there.

        This may also play out in evacuation shelters while we are still in the covid pandemic and there is need to reduce the risk of infection. I remember looking into this last year, before there was a vaccine. I was told, I think by a Red Cross volunteer, that shelters would attempt to house people in spaced-apart tents, rather than in one, big, enclosed space.

        My question now is does my bug out bag, which I’ve been assembling to TP recommendations, still make sense if I stay in a hotel, friends’ house, or tent in the middle of a city? I guess most of the items still make sense, but I’d like urban bug outs to be featured in a more front and center way for us prepping beginners, so we can really get a sense for how we might use these items in an urban scenario.

      • 1

        Those scenes of fire refugees in tents in WalMart parking lots is what prompted me to buy my first “grown up” tent that is much more glamping than camping. Though truth be told I had been looking for an excuse to buy one for a long time!  (The fires are also why I bought a huge stock of N95s pre-pandemic. And thank goodness for that). 

      • 4

        Amen, Robert.  In keeping with the spirit of the The Prepared, I’m just going to roll my eyes at the idea that cities are inherently dangerous places which you must immediately depart at the first whiff of trouble.  I’m in DC, and the only thing that would send me to the countryside (pre-selected spot, reachable via a half dozen routes) is a dirty bomb (a proper nuclear attack = I won’t have to worry about a thing).  

        If there are natural disaster threats to your urban location, there’s definitely value in constructing a go bag of things you’d need to go live in a motel/temp housing.  Otherwise, I’d focus my efforts on figuring out how to live in your existing space without power/water/etc and locating replacement resources in your immediate community.

      • 1

        Good morning Robert,

        The common denominators of a BOB for urban and wilderness prep are about the same: extra socks, wash and tries for pods, antifungal foot powder.

        Other stuff same parallel as above. Tweezers-all 3 types.  A glass splinter from Condo is about the same as a mahagony splinter in nice area (called non-urban). 

        The rest about the same: coffee apparatus, some food not requiring placing a roast in oven. A couple of bottles of water.

        No one is going spearfishing around LOOP – Louisiana Offshore Oil Port – and no one is going big game hunting in the Navy Norfolk Washington D.C. corridor.

        I’ve evac’ed for hurricanes before.  From the Bay, went to Shenadoah Valley to rest up. NEVER would I participate in a planned, supervised evac. They are parking lots just like Tysons Corner, Northern Virginia Automous Oblast.

        Later in retirement and doing responder work, helped out on the road evacs. At one time this stuff was taught in the public high schools – still is in the 4-H clubs – A vehicle evac means living one one’s vehicle.

        End of transmision – not a normie. LOL Love it ! Robert, now I’ve got something to tell the bumble bees with the tuna contract here !

        Practice safety, prep, prep, prep, …

    • 5

      I’m in a similar predicament. At 5ft tall and weighing just 105lbs, a 20lb BOB is almost a quarter of my weight. I’m always trying to find ways to lighten my BOB. What good is a BOB if you die trying to carry it?

      As a woman I perceive more inherent danger in isolation and what my Dad taught me since I was young is to join a family group if at all possible. But most importantly, to avoid anyone or groups wearing camo or appearing military-istic, which is ironic since he’s an enlisted man and I was born and raised US Army. What does that say when a soldier doesn’t trust his brothers in arms around his daughter?

      I also live in an urban environment (and EQ country–one of the heaviest items in my BOB is a small crowbar. I can use it to pry open a door, break open a window, as a weapon and to dig out). And per Wikipedia so does four-fifths of the US population, so I guess we’ll be figuring it out all together :). In the meantime I’m signing up for my local CERT program once they start up post-pandemic.

      Also, I enjoyed reading about everyones window ladders! We had those my entire life and dragged them around moving every three years to new posts. At each new home Dad would put those at every bedroom window and have a drill. At night. In our pajamas. Ultimate. Embarrassment. :0

      • 3

        Good morning Owen’s Mom,

        Our fraternity, US Army, adjusted my sleep cycle somewhat. I’m up for Tuesday now.

        Dad was right (“Father knows best.”) Try to join a family group. Yes ! Avoid the fake commandos.

        I was infantry and artillery recon. It’s easy to learn how to lighten a BOB. Experience does wonders.

        Crowbars also for chipping ice. The 2 small bars I gave grandkids also had  file folder labels on them with famous line from “Ancient Mariner”: “The ice was here, the ice was there, the ice was all around.

        Training in pajamas better than burn trauma wards at Ft Sam, Texas. Dad was right !

      • 2

        We did a tour in Ft. Hood, Texas. And once during a drill, the ears on my bunny slippers got hung up in the rungs of the emergency ladder when we lived in Ft. Richardson, Alaska. That was the end of bunny slippers!

      • 1

        Good morning Owen’s Mom,

        Hsd served at Ft Hood after Vietnam. My pending college wardrobe was from PX, Ft Hood. Main time there was some travel re riot control. What’s happened a few weeks ago in Seattle, Portland, D.C., considered mild compared to 1968,1969. In 1968-9, Marines at D.C. had visible live ammo on floor of jeeps with mounted M-60. Army had quiet and flat profile – with similiar arrangements. 

        Had a training room at Ft Hood next to a room that housed a footlocker used by Elvis Presley.

        Glad to hear you ditched the bunny slippers.  It’s called “upgrade, upgrade, upgrade”… and this cost is even below the nominal – when compared to burn trauma.

        Was in oil industry and had a job offer on Alaska pipeline project. Malaria induced me to avoid shivering and had to decline. It’s all part of life on the planet’s section call our “fruited plain”.

      • 2

        What about a hiking trailer which is actually quite good in urban environments for carrying your BOB?

        Transport Monowalker Cargo Trailer

    • 1

      I dont think bugging out from a city is feasible, especially if they all do it at the same time! roads will become giant car lots in no time at all.

      even if its possible they need more than one route out in case the principal route is blocked or compromised.

      I have been told in some  US cities only one route is possible. I see a problem.

      I have my standard question after all that, where are they all going and why?

      I dont believe in the “golden horde” not in the UK anyway.

      • 1

        I’ve never understood the concept of bugging out of a city, especially if you don’t have a preset location and plan.  I’d think that would be very hazardous.  I think most city folk would do best to have the resources to hunker down and be stealthy.  That would mean no fires and food that doesn’t require cooking.  Would also mean having a bug out bag for when you are evacuated.

        IMO, the only way bugging out of a city works is if, first of all, you get out ahead of the horde.  Secondly, you must have a location to go to… one where you are known & will be invited in.  Rural folks will not take kindly to trespassers. 

      • 2

        Redneck, why food that doesn’t require cooking? Living for two weeks on cold rations is pretty hard. I don’t really think being super stealthy is a viable strategy in my neck of the woods. It’s not like people aren’t going to realize that I and/or my neighbors are absent. I would think banding together would be a better strategy?

        But if there’s an evacuation, I’m absolutely going. I’m not going to be that person who dies because I thought I could defend myself from the fire, or whatever.  (But no, I doubt that I’m going to the country).

        Around here, wildfires have made evacuation a very real and unpredictable possibility every year now for about five years for all of us. It’s most dangerous in areas with a lot of foliage and/or few and narrow roads, but it could happen anywhere. Sheltering in place is not a possibility.

        I’ll tell you the incident that really pushed me into prepping seriously. Several years ago, in the middle of the first set of catastrophic fires up north, in the middle of windy, dangerous weather conditions, I looked out my window, in the middle of the night because a strange, quiet popping noise caught my attention. (Fortunately I stay up all night). What I saw was a car, parked across my two-lane street, extravagantly ablaze.

        I called 911, but to me it seemed that the building next to which the car was parked could have easily caught fire, especially with the winds. And then it didn’t seem too much to imagine that the fire could jump across the street to my house! It suddenly seemed a real possibility that I had to evacuate myself immediately.

        I had been sort of trying to prep for years, but never really felt like I had a good grip on what to do. It seemed like all the sites that offered advice were either dominated by crazy survivalists who loved to geek out on tech, or were run by well-meaning agencies that gave fairly vague instructions. So, I had some things here and there and some thoughts about what to do in an emergency, but at that moment I realized that I had absolutely no idea what to take, besides grabbing my dog and a bottle of water.

        After that I thought there MUST be some kind of Prepping for Dummies out there somewhere… and I found TP!

      • 2

        Redneck, why food that doesn’t require cooking? Living for two weeks on cold rations is pretty hard. I don’t really think being super stealthy is a viable strategy in my neck of the woods. It’s not like people aren’t going to realize that I and/or my neighbors are absent. I would think banding together would be a better strategy?

        IMO, banding together with some neighbors is a good strategy.  But regardless, when all utilities are down, the smell of cooking food will attract others like a moth to flame.  In say a two week crisis, people aren’t going to starve to death, but they will be attracted to folks that obviously have food.  It could get ugly… and dangerous.  Now probably not in the first few days, when everyone is cooking what is frozen or refrigerated, but certainly at the one week point.

        That is why even when folks know you are home, being stealthy is still critical to safety.  You don’t want to stand out as being different… stand out as having plenty of food.  That is when you want to appear like everyone else.  That is why I keep many cases of Spam on hand and lots of crackers.  I also keep large amounts of peanut butter.

        Eating cold rations for a few weeks could be hard but I think it is better than dealing with hungry neighbors.

      • 2

        If that’s the case, why does TP recommend those freeze-dried survival buckets, or actually any food that needs to be heated to be palatable?

      • 2

        I guess each to his own.  I have thousands of pounds of food in long term storage, and not a bit of it is freeze dried.  IMO, that food is way too expensive.   And yes, most of my food will also need to be heated to be palatable. 

        That does not mean that a prepper shouldn’t plan on going into stealth mode for a period of time.  How long will depend on your circumstances, such as rural life or city life.  You can’t ignore the threat of hungry neighbors.  If you can’t get away from them then you have to protect yourself some way.  I feel like stealth eating is one such way.  Anything is better than conflict.

        That being said, freeze dried food pouches that just need boiling water added could easily be considered stealth eating.  I’ve never used them, but I doubt they put out a lot of aroma, as opposed say to cooking a stew over a camp fire.  Some fuel sources for boiling water put out little smell.  But even then, during a crisis, campfires should be normal and would not, by themselves, attract much attention.  However the aroma of food cooking most certainly will.

      • 2

        Good morning Lonewolf,

        You’re correct.  It’s not feasible – and our experience record establishes this.

        I live in a rural county between 2 metro areas where there won’t be an evac regardless of announced arrangement.  South of me is Hampton Roads; Virginia Beach to Williamsburg. North of me is Washington D.C. and suburbs like Arlington, Bethesda.

        Basically there’s only 1 route out and that’s an interstate highway that is stressed to the max during a rush hour on nice days.

        A factor usually neglected to think about is that safety requires only going west, away from the coastline and hurricane path. I can present guarantees there will not be a successful evac.  The technical exception is to leave now.  Otherwise the dwelling is the vehicle until disabled for lack of fuel.

        Enroute and west of the Shenandoah Valley will be no available lodging – already reserved under MOAs for responders and critical infrastructure personnel. There are no restaurants enroute.  Medical care ? Not even today.  During an evac, everything is already stressed out to max.

        Basic statistics tell us how many evacuees will have heart attacks, strokes, hunger, violent flareups, mechanical problems with vehicles.

        Will not even discuss metro New York City.

    • 1

      At 3:30 am on February 27, 2010, Chile suffered an 8.8 magnitude earthquake.

      Gerald Celente, the Director of Trends Research Institute was in Santiago with one of his analysts during the earthquake. Celente has always been very focused on preparedness and pushed his employees to be aware and prepared.

      Both were staying in rooms on lower floors and had followed Celente’s advice to be ready to leave a hotel on a moments notice. When the earthquake struck, Celente immediate awoke and realized what was happening. He put his clothes and shoes on and stepped out into the hallway. Only his employee was there.

      They ran down the steps to the lobby and saw outside that power had been cut. What shocked both of them was that looting had already started! Cars and shop fronts were being broken into. They estimated it took 2 minutes for them to evacuate their rooms and they were in a nice neighborhood in Santiago.

      They quickly compared notes and made a decision to get out of the country ASAP due to the severity of the quake. They approached a cab and asked him to take them to Buenos Aires, Argentina, 700 miles, 25 hours drive across the Andes. He looked at them skeptically until they offered him dollars cash and a nice bonus. He called his wife and got approval 😉 They flew back to NYC on the first available flight.

      This was the strongest earthquake affecting Chile since the magnitude 9.5 1960 Valdivia earthquake (the most energetic earthquake ever measured in the world), and it was the strongest earthquake worldwide since the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and until the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake. The earthquake triggered a tsunami which devastated several coastal towns in south-central Chile and damaged the port at Talcahuano.


      1. Good neighborhoods can go downhill really fast.

      2. Be ready to evacuate quickly. If they had delayed they likely would not have found a cab.

      3. Have cash.

      4. Have a plan and work your plan.

      • 1

        I’ve read similar tales of looting after quakes and storms, even some looting BEFORE the storm hits but after the people have evacuated.

        I also ready of the (I think it was) Blackwater or a similar PMC company deployed after H Andrew who spent more time trying to disarm home owners than to provide aid.

        Its also rather frightening the way so many “” Peaceful Protests”” turn into a thieving and looting pyromaniacs idea of paradise.  Seattle, Ferguson, London, Berlin, West Yorks, Marseilles etc often with the local LEOs doing nothing or abandoning the affected district.

      • 2

        In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Chief of Police Eddie Compass ordered police and National Guard units to confiscate firearms from civilians who remained in the area.

        The National Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit against the city of New Orleans to place an emergency injunction forbidding such seizures from continuing. A temporary restraining order was granted September 23, 2005.[1]

        The Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006 (H.R.5013, S.2599) was a bill introduced March 28, 2006 by Republican Congressman Bobby Jindal in the House and on April 7, 2006 by Republican Senator David Vitter in the Senate.[2] On August 4, 2006, it was referred to committee.

        On July 12, 2006 Senator Vitter proposed Senate Amendment 4615 (the Vitter Amendment) to Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007 (H.R. 5441), to prohibit the confiscation of a firearm during an emergency or major disaster if the possession of such firearm is not prohibited under Federal or State law.[3] The proposed amendment was subsequently modified to contain the provisions of the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006. However, the temporary surrender of a firearm could be required “as a condition for entry into any mode of transportation used for rescue or evacuation”.”


      • 1

        Hmmm surrender your PDW to be evaced, Surrender your liberty to be sheltered and fed by FEMA.  I think I would pass on both , after all prepping gives you independence and choice.

      • 1

        What was that much quoted American phrase again  ” Those willing to surrender their liberty for some temporary sense of security deserve neither Liberty nor Security ??  ( or something like that)

      • 2

        Good morning Bill,

        It was Benjamin Franklin who said “Thouse who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve nether liberty nor safety”.

        Franklin was one of the country’s founding fathers.

      • 4

        Hi Bill,

        “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

        Benjamin Franklin was writing about a tax dispute between the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the family of the Penns, the proprietary family of the Pennsylvania colony who ruled it from afar. And the legislature was trying to tax the Penn family lands to pay for frontier defense during the French and Indian War. And the Penn family kept instructing the governor to veto. Franklin felt that this was a great affront to the ability of the legislature to govern. And so he actually meant purchase a little temporary safety, very literally. The Penn family was trying to give a lump sum of money in exchange for the General Assembly’s acknowledging that it did not have the authority to tax it.

        If anything, it’s a pro-taxation and pro-defense spending quotation. More explicitly it is a quotation that defends the authority of a legislature to govern in the interests of collective security. It means, in context, not quite the opposite of what it’s almost always quoted as saying but much closer to the opposite than to the thing that people think it means.

      • 3

        See my comment (below) about surrender of guns. As for opting out of organized rescue efforts, I think a person who chooses to do that needs to have darned good reasons opting out and a bulletproof strategy for surviving on their own. General distrust of government is IMO not a good enough reason and a good way to get killed in a disaster. Speaking for myself, I certainly don’t feel competent about taking care of myself in a lot SHTF scenarios. I realize that organized rescue efforts may be inadequate and/or may not reach me for a long time.  I’m preparing so I can survive long enough for the cavalry to me. But I’m sure not going to be that person who lets the cavalry ride on by when they do come!

        Besides, life is not an individual sport. You have to think about the impact of your advice on a larger scale. What would happen if large numbers of people opt out of government-organized evacuation because they’ve been told not to trust the government effort? I’m thinking a lot of chaos and large number of unnecessary deaths.

      • 5

        I think we are getting perilously close to a political discussion about gun rights. Let’s not go there. That’s not what this site is about. I can understand why FEMA would require people to temporarily surrender their firearms when they are being transported and/or housed by them. Not all gun owners are skilled or responsible in their use of firearms and the consequences can be deadly and tragic. 

      • 3

        Also close to rewriting historical facts on the ground.  Those of us paying attention to Katrina at the time were just flooded with reports of lawlessness, looting, etc.  But – as usual, in my experience – it turns out to have been grossly over-exaggerated.  Which is bad enough on its own, but especially unhelpful in its secondary effect of turning some of us into finger-on-the-trigger-when-your-neighbor-walks-by types.


      • 2

        Good morning MBinDC,

        There was indeed excessive lawlessneww, looting, etc.

        One of the “etc” was shooting a smallbore rifle at a helocopter. The later PUBLIC report said the gunshot was a signal for assistance.

        Personally, since having worked emergency shelters, I would say any gross exaggerations were developed by our media. We had some teams go down to NO and it was considered a high crime area.

        I couldn’t join our teams.  Had to immediately go overseas for my day job.

      • 1

        I have former colleagues deployed to the Carib islands after hurricanes  who reported that many aid convoys and depots had to be protected by armed sailers and marines after much violence, robbery, theft etc. 



        And in Hiati especially horrendous violence caused aid efforts to be stopped on many occasions .



      • 2

        Good afternoon Bill,

        So correct. Even in the best of times, the places were not safe parks.

        I reported – believe here – on the Bahamas refinery and their neglected aux airport. USCG provides security.

        In Haiti, on contract to US Embassy are NGO security companies of the Erik Prince umbrella.  He started out with only his Blackwater co in far northeast North Carolina just across the line with Virginia Beach. There were some name changes to Blackwater to “Xl” and Academi (or similiar spell).  He now owns equity or on board of about 30 NGOs on contract to USG.

        Haiti and the rest of most of the islands are just not safe havens. Exceptions are Roadtown, BVI and most of USVI.

        Foot Note: Prince now living/working in western section of Northern Virginia Autonomous Oblast.  Real nice area … expensive … but worth it for those with big $$$.

      • 3

        Not going to argue about the violence possible in some of the places listed above (tho’ I would suggest that there’s a media magnification of the threat going on).

        Also dead certain that folks like Prince add to the violence, and the communities he and those like him land in appropriately view them as threats.

        Which is a bit of a vicious circle, no?

        In any event, for the pretty much all of the United States, you’d be far better off forging ties with your neighbors instead of preparing to treat them as hostiles.

      • 2

        I think in general developing skills to de-escalate conflict and create room for possible alliances and friendships is extremely useful for survival. In fact, civil society is often one of the main casualties in a conflict zone. Empowering the locals to rebuild that civil society is the major work of unarmed peace teams and helps provide the footing for the local population to solve their own conflict.

      • 2

        Good morning MBin DC,

        Actually, … the overall picture of what’s going on has not changed over the centuries. It’s always been violent.  The reasons for the conflicts have the same common denominators. Some are wealth transfers, land transfers, acquisition of minerals such as gold, petroleum.

         The media is a controlled instrument of governments and political parties.

        A prepper must understand all this and prepare accordingly.

        Well prior to Prince and his NGOs on government contract, we had United Fruit Company, my favorite example.

        Forget the biased media headlines. They are for opinion-molding.  To really learn the specifics of an area requires access to the records of Lloyd’s of London.

        I do not consider all this a vacious circle.  It’s always been the same. Most … nearly all … Americans cannot identify the current use of slavery. How many Americans even travel to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands ?

    • 6

      I have to agree Jonnie Pekelny. I’d like to believe I’m a trustworthy person and that many other people are too. In a survival situation, ideally I want to be around other folks helping them and them helping me. Studies with empirical evidence have shown that generally humans don’t thrive in isolation and I kinda of believe that. Why else would a punishment in prison be solitude? Sure there’s always exceptions to the rule. But I for one would never turn down the company of good character, a strong mind, another pair of arms and an honest heart when we’re all in a tight spot.

    • 2

      Hola JP!

      From everything I’ve read/discussed/heard from urban preppers with alot more wherewithal than yours truly, it seems the things you need the most in an Urban Bugout Situation is one these:
      cuban moka

      A supply of these:


      and to keep these…:


      …..open for as long as you can manage and constantly assessing the situation.

      Basically, these preppers argue that urban settings are the most dangerous during (and after) SHTF, since possibly threats will come from every sector and every angle (both natural, manmade, and our fellow man….ESPECIALLY our fellow man).

      I think that’s why alot of people like the whole ‘get out into the wilderness’ plan: because while there may be many challenges out there in nature, the concrete jungles seem to pack the most apex predators and threats per kilometer (I lived in Miami back in the day and believe you me, I would not want to be in that city when things REALLY get out of hand). 

      • 2

        Good morning Bongohead,

        That espresso maker – same size – is more important to me, a non-urban prepper, than my best multitool and 10″ survival machete with chisel tip for inflatable.

        I’m carrying one of these critical items even when in infantry evac mode.

        Urban settings are indeed the most dangerous.

        One BIG change: In key geographic areas like my rural area … the Navy Norfolk – metro Washington, D.C. corridor, the Colorado Springs – Fort Collins, Colorado corridor (where Gideon and Robert live [I believe]), the Gulf Coast starting at Pensacola, Florida (USN has both a survival school and survival museum at their NAs P’cola) … No one will be spearfishing in vicinity of LOOP – Louisiana  Offshore Oil Port – …… These areas to be Federal-controlled zones.  Besides the DEFCONS, we now have the COGCONS – Continuity of Government.


        I know Miami.  It is slowly changing. As of now, wouldn’t go near the approaches to place. … and the problem isn’t from Alpha 66; they were really under USG contract.

        Suburb Liberty City now sells condos in ~ $1M range. A new language entering area: Russian. These immigrants like the warm weather without being in Cuba !

      • 3

        Personally I consider both Urban and Rural environment equally dangerous in certain circumstances, depending on the crisis at the time. So my plans, preps and equipment are based upon general need, but with extra additions selected to enhance flexibility. 

        Look up in the boonies and a coconut, snake or spider may fall on you

        Look up in the burbs and someone may drop a brick on your head.

        Look down in the boonies vines may trip you, gopher holes may twist your ankle, rattlers or adders may bite you.

        Look down in the burbs a broken drain cover may trip you, or a trip wire or broken glass may cut through your boot.

        Etc Etc Etc, the risks are just as bad in both places in certain circumstances.

      • 2

        Good morning Mike,

        On reflection, you are right reserving the keystone saying urban areas are most dangerous.

        A dangerous flood in beautiful Beverly Hills, California and one in some backwater rural area requires the same rubber boots / Wellingtons from the perspective of a private citizen prepper.

        A splinter acquired in Rockefeller Center, Manhattan and one in the Shetland Islands requires obtaining the same field medical knowledge, having the proper instruments … tweezers from a Swiss Army knife won’t work … and ointments, bandages.

        Shootings are not usually reported in this rural bloc of counties. In D.C. with their large media establishment, they are reported and magnified.

        Now what is uniquely dangerous in real urban areas, is the population density being tremendous. This is the beeding grounds for the respiratory infections and the related.

        An example to illustrate this: That bio lab in Wuhan, China recently in the news re virus origin is mostly the county of Hubei it’s in. Wuhan people cover most all the place. This county is about the geographic size of US state  of South Dakota. Hubei Province has a population larger/about the same size (difficult to get numbers as they change so rapidly) as the combined population of California and greater New York City. This is the breeding grounds for thee contageous infections and in times of disaster, adequate public health facilities are overwealmed.

      • 4

        I always thought tweezers were tweezers until I bought some of these Japonesque professional tweezers. They were only like $12 at Target and even cheaper on Amazon for $8.Japonesque Pro Performance Tweezer Duo

        I love these tweezers 😍 and it is worth the money to invest in a quality pair. You’ll thank me later!

      • 2

        Good afternoon Molly,

        Yes, you’re right … and they really are an investment …. with substantial returns onthis very small investment.

        I’m just older and doing prepping for decades otherwise I’d thank you right now. 

        My age means a magnifying glass packed with my tweezers in the kit.

      • 1

        Hola Molly!

        Wow, really? I had a laugh at my mother spending $10 on these things. Looks like the joke is on me! Thanks for the info!

      • 2

        Definitely worth it! 😊 I couldn’t even tweeze a single hair with my old pair and it would take 2-3 attempts. But now I can grab onto a hair and it’s not going anywhere but out with these puppies!

      • 2

        Great fact Bob!

        Adequate public health facilities are not symptomatic to only urban environments. Consider the beautiful rural state of Idaho with a population of 1,839,000 which is a little less than the amount of people in the urban city of Houston, Texas. Yesterday, Idaho officials activated “crisis standard of care” which allows overwhelmed facilities to ration treatment if needed. Idaho joins Alaska’s (a fellow rural state) largest hospital operating under crisis standards. The exporting of Idaho patients to Washington state is putting pressure on that state’s healthcare system.

        Please care for yourselves prepper friends, now’s a bad time to get injured and need to go to the hospital :(.

      • 3

        Good morning Owen’s Mom,

        You introduced an important – and BIG subject – term with “crisis standards of care”.

        I’m going to do some rambling so others not familiar  understand this – – – and why one’s medical kit is so important.

        The traditional  emergency responder folks, the fire fighters, the SAR squads [“Support Search and Rescue teams. Get lost”], the emergency folks at emergency operations centers (I’m now in the mood for another EOC espresso) have the governing term “Disaster Exceptions”.  Basically, standards are reduced. 

        The emergency medical folks – from those in field but mostly those in facilities, have the term “Altered Standards of Care (This is term used in Virginia (same as crisis care).

        Both terms are about rationed care AND reduced care.  For example, if some usual medical procedure requires patient to stay at facility for 72 hours for frequent checking of the instruments eg the blood pressure, heart info, etc, this 72 hours could be reduced to 24 hours.

        Activating these concepts requires a senior person to do. It can be scary.

        Augment that medical kit ASAP if not faster !

      • 3

        This is one of the reasons I have dramatically reduced my personal activities despite being fully vaccinated. The intensive care units and hospitals in my state are completely overwhelmed with Covid patients. I don’t want to get in a car accident, or break a bone, or get a staph infection, or anything else that requires hospital care until the crush subsides. I am deeply worried about the stress on our medical professionals. They are very much taken for granted but at least in my area many are resigning – they just can’t take it any more.  

        I have been fascinated watching Covid protocols and practices in countries that treat medical care as service that should be provided to everyone, like roads or law enforcement, vs. countries like the United States where medical care is viewed as a privilege that should be available only to those that can afford it.  This means that in the United States different medical systems are competing with each other for talent, driving up the costs for everyone.  Much of the talent in that for-profit system is now deciding that a career in technology or law or – anything else – might be preferable to working long hours month, after month, after month with no respite. 

        Back to the rationing care concern: I have friends who see the current environment as a great opportunity to travel throughout the US – they can work from anywhere and think, “Well I may as well go on a road trip!” And then I ask them what they plan to do if they have a medical emergency on that road trip. Many have not even thought about what their insurance will or will not pay for if they get in a car crash in one of the many states where the hospitals are too overwhelmed to help them anyway. Every day now, there are stories in the news of people dying from heart attacks, or strokes, or infections, that would have survived pre-Covid but there just aren’t enough doctors or resources to go around. Stay safe, friends!

      • 1

        Hola Bob!

        It’s frightening how quickly our situations change, no? Back when I was Stateside, a million for property ANYWHERE near Liberty City was a laughable suggestion to me. Now look at it! Wow.

    • 2

      In the interests of keeping this thread relevant and comprehensible to everybody, I’d like to ask folks to keep in mind that we are spread out all over the world, and even inside the US, all over the country. We don’t necessarily know your local geography, place names, nicknames for the place names, reputation or history or relationship of local communities and we don’t know people you refer to by name who are not on this forum and aren’t famous. I know I would personally appreciate having more context when you write about all these entities. Thanks in advance.

      • 1

        Good morning Jonnie,

        There are some Federal regulations covering must of above and required for use if using Federal funds. Preppers “should”be familiar and use these regs.

        For example, abbreviations are NOT to be used in radio transmissions … and in reports for same reason … unlessthey are universal to demographic group. Thus “FBI” is acceptable. So is “VIN” of a motor vehicle.

        Some geographic areas are ill-defined for historical reason. “Siberia” is just a vague expanse of land outside the communities of Czarist Russia and follow-on governments. So, too, is Manchuria – except for Chinese Manchuria. “Big Sky is defined by the political establishment which is clearly defined by them. What is the “Deep South” ?! “The Swamp” is both a geographic location and a term for bloated government. In some demographic groups the meanings are understood and properly used.

        I have here the official State Dept report explaining the distinctions of “Near East” and “Middle East”. Much is just by accident and/or historic reasons.

        Some geographic nicknames are acceptable. “Vegas” refers to Las Vegas and New Orleans has a few acceptable nicknames.

        Had thought you lived in SOUTHERN California.

        I’ll do my part to try to keep thread relevant and appropriate for us.

      • 1

        Just remembered; “Silicon Valley” is an acceptable nickname for the once Muffet Field area near you.

        Believe it’s been years since chips made in this place.

    • 1

      I am retired now ……active and mobile…. and I never considered bugging out at all.

      Firstly like many that prep for that inevitable day I have …mostly….. all I need for the short term, and consider food to be a long term issue ………..do not live in a city.

      The trouble with bugging out (in my mind) is so many others will be doing exactly the same thing……fighting for the same resources (they all feel they are entitled to) and all will be ready to take…………… on the basis that they are bigger stronger or need it more than you!

      In the event that some event engulfs our planet such as war or civil unrest or even a natural occurrence it is likely to be short lived lasting months rather than years.

      So I would suggest to have food that could last a couple of years takes up a very small area in your current home….. water can be filtered or distilled. You then only need to look at security.

      On the other hand if you go mobile you will not find it romantic. The notion of a BOB is a hard thing …..given foot soldiers that are very fit need to be able to carry 70lbs for an extended period. You cannot get all you will need in a 70lb bag.

      Your mobility could be addressed by having a old bicycle….. first ….there will not be any gas, and second……. a lovely expensive mountain bike will need to be defended on a daily basis. With a small trailer attached it can hold and carry much more than 70lbs so much easier than on your back. 

      Lastly…whatever your choice….. try it for a weekend…it will highlight your strengths and weaknesses….. and give you more confidence for an event we all hope will not come…

    • 1

      My one experience of evacuation so far was in 1989, in the Loma Prieta earthquake, which was a big 7.1 quake that hit Northern California, quite near where I lived at the time. I was visiting a friend in the next town over from mine. The quake was followed by many, constant aftershocks (very unnerving because no one knew whether an even bigger quake was coming) but people had started to settle down, mostly outside their houses, when the authorities came around and told everyone to leave because of a possible coming tsunami, which never arrived.

      I must say that the evacuation itself was a mess in my location. The police and fire departments consistently created panic and confusion on the ground even when there was none to start with. But what I want to say is that the civilians divided pretty cleanly into two groups. One group became frantically self-centered. I saw a shopper at a local mini mart get into a grappling match with the cashier over the last set of batteries. I saw drivers lose their cool when they were delayed in getting through the traffic on a local street for even a minute.

      The other group became wonderfully cooperative and philanthropic.  People stopped their cars to help strangers on the street. One guy went around houses in the neighborhood turning off everyone’s gas. The second group really pulled together. It was wonderful.

      The first group is obviously dangerous. But that’s because they’re scared. It’s important as much as possible to stay out of their way and/or help them feel safer. Escalating conflict with them should be a last resort. The second group is golden. I think that people will be found within it who will be there for you. I imagine that if I had stayed in the area and wasn’t evacuated, some good disaster community building could have happened with them.

      • 1

        Good comments….. But that is what this blog is about I guess……. Making sure you are not in Category 1………Prep!

    • 4

      I think that a lot of the thinking in this thread is oriented toward big scale SHTF scenarios, but realistically there are a lot of very local (think neighbourhood or street level) or personal scenarios where you would need to bug out, even if it means sleeping in a hotel or in your car for a few days. For a wonderfully British take on this, the 5 minute video  here is worth a watch. 

      A BOB is also meant to address these low scale emergencies, actually particularly in a urban setting. For example my parents once had to evacuate their building in the middle of the night due to a fire, and because they did not have a BOB ended up basically in their pyjamas on the street in the middle of winter… I think the first 2 levels of BOB described on TP are not particularly wilderness-oriented, most of the items are just common sense preparedness. Actually, at level 1 the heaviest and bulkiest part of the content are the clothes! Sure, if you end up in a hotel for 3 weeks you might not need tinder or a water filter, but it is so light and takes so little space that it can’t hurt to have it with you. I guess my point is that a well constructed BOB should be able to give you a base for both urban and wilderness emergencies. How you use it to adapt to the situation is a question of skills, which is a nice discussion topic in itself. 

    • 0

      not sure why everyone that has posted a half decent response – also danced around the bare bones answer to your plan …

      a prepper plans and plans to every conceivable degree to avoid what you’ve accepted as your plan >> you’ll be a better prepped refugee than most – at least for a while – without a prepared BOL anyone with just a BOB on their back >>has an eventual ending that isn’t good – likely a craphole FEMA camp that’ll kill you …

      first off I didn’t see anything about prepping to bug in – you don’t leave shelter unless you absolutely need to – don’t think your present abode is good enough – make the changes necessary to it or things in your life to make everyday living workable for a SHTF …

      bugging out to a Wally World parking lot? – pitching a tent in a friend’s backyard beats that >> better start thinking about better alternatives and massaging them into something workable …

      • 1

        Good afternoon Illini Warrior,

        Well, you do have a quality philosophy as a foundation.

        In chron order;

        There are both FEMA camps and those of the states and their political subdivisions ie cities, counties, some VOAD-accepted shelters (VOAD = Volunteers Active in Disasters). The FEMA places are far better than the states, less the famous exceptions like some areas of northern Virginia, Marin County, Califorina, … Still, being experienced in this shelter stuff, I wouldn’t go near one, both figuratively and literally. Louis Pasteur’s lab had less germs and disease biologicals.

        The BIG major change here on mid-Atlantic due to 3 major terrorist events in areas – of national significance.  My daughter caught up in thr anthrax scare when she was in D.C.

        When there’s a major adverse weather event – typically being a hurricane – the US support strusture is stressed out … real thin; never properly staffed nor equiped. If this weather event is augmented by a terrorist event, there are dangers and this area is key for military and governmental facilities.

        It’s realistic that electricity will be eliminated – both utility provided and one’s own generator(s). There will be no form of communications. Roads closed except for a few for evac that will be staffed and patroled. Area will have highly restricted access to health care facilities.

        Where can most of the middle class that are not military reservists or civilian reservists ( both a here in large numbers and even those of older aging subject to service) relocate to ? If I’m activated for sanything, Tie Tie can stay here in the dark. 

        Again, you’re right but even more going on than mentioned. My shack I built here is set up to outlast me. Fresh water is plentiful. Food like a grocery store, fuel of various sorts – with hardwood to augment. Have limited dental and a little medical arrangements. 

        It still won’t work if a needed evacuation.

        My rambling here is realistic as to experience, seminars where discussed and thinking used by the senior folks.

        Do keep us re-evaluating our preparedness so as not to fall into trap of following the generals and preparing for the last war. 

      • 2

        I really fail to see why anything FEMA is touted ……when they fail miserably in most serious emergencies such as Katrina……. and they were no where to be seen! Remember they all resigned because they were that bad.

        Dont anticipate the cavalry coming is my advice!

      • 3


      • 1

        Hi Illini,

        I think the reason why you don’t see more posts about sheltering in place is because the Original Poster’s question was about bugging out in urban vs wilderness environments. But I’m sure glad you brought it up. A very important part of our prepping.

      • 1

        Illini Warrior — if you think that evacuation is not a good strategy, what exactly is your advice for surviving a wildfire?

      • -1

        read again and read it closely this time >> bugging out as purely a refugee to a Wally World parking lot or FEMA hellhole camp goes directly against any kind of decent prepper plan >> Might as well not even bother to prep – you think you’ll be hanging on to much of anything under those circumstances – could be the death of you …

        if you can’t afford $$$ a BOL >> start thinking and even making contact with a list of bug out locations for SHTFs – if nothing else find a remote community that will have refugee centers thru the community/churches …

      • 4

        I think that’s a bit harsh, that everyone needs to find a remote bug out location or not even bother prepping. I don’t see prepping as black and white. I see it with lots and lots of area of grey in between. 

        I support and admire your plan to bug out to a remote location, but not everyone can or should do that, so let’s try and help them make the best out of the location and circumstances that they see is the best and most likely for them.

      • 3

        Sorry, but I think it’s pure fabrication that staying at a FEMA or other refugee shelter is as good as dying. I’m not aware of any refugees from our wildfires of recent years dying in the makeshift camps where they stayed — although I’m sure many of them were pretty miserable. But people certainly did die when they refused to leave their homes.

      • 2

        …… and the reason that the Federal agencies with the funds for the states are pushing to the max the – non-congregate sheltering – like motels, dorms.

        “pure -fabrication” ?

        Jonnie, you once reported here your experience with an evacuation and had mentioned it was not orderly and not properly staffed by Police.

        I accept your report – aware that it is really out of context. The evac was probably allocated more resorces than available for routine police patrols duting the year.

        Unless you’re a clearing house – or have access to one – you just don’t know about the shelters.

      • 1

        If anyone who considers themselves as a committed prepper then surely they wont end up as a refugee in a FEMA camp.  Only the unprepared are likely to end up in such facilities.  They may use them to reconnect with family members, but only as a rendezvous point.

        The wise and prudent follow Bob Larsons  point about not everything is black or white, and NONE of us can afford to put all their eggs in one basket ( IE plan to bug in but realistically have multiple places you can find temporary shelter  if you are driven out by circumstance)

        I 100% agree with this comment by IW ” bugging out as purely a refugee to a Wally World parking lot or FEMA hellhole camp goes directly against any kind of decent prepper plan ”  we PREP to NOT become REFUGEES beholding to charities or state authorities for TWO reasons.

        1 To ensure the maximum level of insurance in protecting our families and Minimising the effects upon our familes.

        2 (and probably of equal importance) By our community prepping for self reliance during a crisis we REDUCE the  demand and load on charities and state authorities thus indirectly HELPING the rescuers and charities to better help those less fortunate than ourselves..

        As for people dying, in some CA fires the RESCUE authorities told people in some places who could at that time have evacuated, but the authorities told them to stay put, and promised to come and get them. Tragically they could not get to some of those people in time.

        In the Grenville tower disaster as in the world trade center, residents were told to STAY PUT and rescuers would come and get them.  In the Grenville tower fire the emergency call handlers told the residents to stay put and the fire fighters would come for them. 74 people died when the fire service could not reach them.

        I do not know how credible the SEATTLE TIMES is but this article was published globally at the time.


        I believe mass shelters should be a place of LAST resort for preppers.

      • 1

        This extract is from Britannica.com the highly respected encyclopedia.

        On the Nola superdrome during Katrina.

        On August 31 the first wave of evacuees arrived at the Red Cross shelter at the Houston Astrodome, some 350 miles (560 km) away from New Orleans, but tens of thousands remained in the city. By September 1 an estimated 30,000 people were seeking shelter under the damaged roof of the Superdome, and an additional 25,000 had gathered at the convention center. Shortages of food and potable water quickly became an issue, and daily temperatures reached 90 °F (32 °C). An absence of basic sanitation combined with the omnipresent bacteria-rich floodwaters to create a public health emergency.

      • 2

        Illini Warrior

        This is a very realistic comment…… I wont be relying on any part of government (or anyone else for that matter) to assist with keeping me and mine safe……….

        Groups where I can offer something and they can offer me something I am OK with….. even helping others…no problem…. but the less you rely on governments the better off you will be!

        Current track records for all of them are not that good!

    • 3

      Jonnie – I’ve been thinking more about urban bugging out and how that would affect my preps and gear selection. I think many of us have little wood burning stoves or plan to cook by camp fire, but in an urban environment like a Walmart parking lot, that might be a rare resource to find. Especially if everyone else is thinking the same way. So you will have to plan a head of time and pack your own fuel.

      Same goes with water. In the woods we may hunt for a stream and gather from there, but how much or where will you source water from in a Walmart parking lot? Maybe you will think of carrying around a silcock key so you can tap into the side of the building’s water supply. I can just imagine someone doing that and other thirsty people watching you do that. They will rush you and spread the word that you now have access to water. Walmart will see and catch you guys tapping into it and place someone out there to guard that access point. Maybe if you were all alone and could do it stealthily, but if the whole parking lot is full of tents and other people camping out there, it will be hard to pull off. I’m not poo-pooing your ideas and plans but just bringing up that with urban bugging out, we will need to plan accordingly and might have to pack more resources like water or ways to source water than if we were in the woods where that and other resources might be more plentiful. 

      Same goes with bugging out to the woods though. There are certain conveniences, supplies, and resources that are more common in an urban environment than in the woods such as a working toilet and electricity. We just need to plan accordingly.

      • 3

        This is exactly the kind of discussion I’d like to see about urban bugging out. Water is a tricky one because it’s so heavy. I have a filled 32 oz container in my BOB and also a small plastic water bottle for my dog. That is already a lot of weight. I have some more water in my car, only enough total to get through less than a day, probably. Well, okay, maybe a day. After that I’ll have to find a water source. It doesn’t have to be clean though. I have filters.

      • 2

        Good morning Jonnie,

        Water being heavy is why most of focus must be on sheltering in place.

        Water is like motor fuel.  It determines range and endurance.

        Finding water is nearly impossible – and it’s still must be clean. Won’t be found.  Filters are not going to rehab a compromised immune system especially one that is also stressed out.

        Your BOB and canine companion were just adopted by someone near you not wanting to get water. The wagon helped this person’s acquisition.

        Hate to be rough in this post but reality counts.

      • 1

        Bob, you really can’t shelter in place for some kinds of disasters, so there’s no point in pushing that as a strategy. I live a state where wildfires are the most common emergency nowadays. Am I going to sit around while fire engulfs my neighborhood and the airs stops being breathable? No.

      • 2

        Good morning Jonnie,

        There will be wildfire evacuations supervised by the public sector even if inadequate supervision like the Paradise tragedy.

        The alternative to an emergency evacuation is to leave well ahead of time to a prearranged location.

      • 2

        Oh, well, yes. Of course leaving ahead of time is ideal. I’m glad to know you don’t advocate sheltering in place during a wildfire. However, I will also point out that it’s not always easy to know when to evacuate or where to go. Last year, our wildfire situation was very complex. A series of dry lightening storms started over 400 fires throughout the state. Each of them was an evolving situation. It’s not so easy for a civilian in that situation to figure out when a good time to evacuate is. I got my ham radio license in part to keep better informed about just such a situation.

      • 1

        Good morning Jonnie,

        You know I push joining a small prepper group.  You cannot work the ham radio constantly.  A group can keep informed and brief members.

        The other matter to perhaps start thinking about is a relocation.  Only from what you’ve posted it is obvious that it’s a dangerous location for you to be in.

        Every 12 months deteriates the body some more.  I am familiar and never really planned for a major evacuation.

        Matters change.

        “Never complain and never explain.”  Benjamin Disraeli

      • 1

        Bob, I like the idea of belonging to a small prepper group, but not sure how I would go about finding one. Do you have any suggestions?

        Relocating isn’t really an option. I’m very established in my area of California. Relocating would wreak havoc with my social network. I would only do it as a last resort.

        But also…welcome to the new normal climate drama. Climate change is hitting ever harder in many parts of the planet. Here in California it means catastrophic wildfires and drought. You can’t solve this problem by moving out everyone from the most populous state of the nation. And the surrounding states are not really better off. We all have to pull together to arrest climate change and develop strategies for coping with the changes it’s too late to undo.

      • 1

        Good afternoon Jonnie,

        Some suggtions; Not sure where you are living.

        Visit every fire station in area and ask about any preparedness orgs.

        Check on web for leads. At the TP.com thread on one of our colleagues looking for an org in Research Triangle area of North Carolina, is the website link to the established orgs and those in formation.

        Understand the relocating situation.  It is still something to think about. 

        Are California wildfires really a major part of global warming or just too much building in forests without adequate evacuation roads (public sector funding and development) and well staffed fire stations (public sector funding and development)

        It’s similiar here with the hurricane situation. Hurricanes are not the actual danger.  There are just too many people living in the pleasant coastal area via public subsidy. Evacuations cannot be accomplished in safety.

        “Arrest climate change” ?? “In the contest between yourself and the world, bet on the side of the world.” Franz Kafka.

        Foot Note: “Research Triangle, N.C. is an acceptable term for the 3 cities making up the triangle.

      • 1

        Bob, is arresting climate change such a new idea to you that it warrants two question marks, lol? It’s not a contest between me and the world. It’s something the world needs to be working on together because the most urgent issue of our time. If we are only looking at our individual survival strategies and not seeing the major driver of disasters all over the world, we are really missing the forest for the trees.

        But here in California it has become so obvious that there has been a big change for the worse in the fire situation. California now becomes a tinderbox every summer and fall. It didn’t used to be like that even as recently as 6 years ago. The drivers are not really overpopulation as far as I can tell. In any case, the more obvious drivers are severe and frequent drought and some mismanagement of infrastructure on the part of our power companies. There is also a debate about long-term fire prevention policies on public land, controlled burns, etc. But climate change is very obviously a big cause of all the trouble. I will also point out that extreme and frequent drought in a state that provides a great number of agricultural products to the world, not just to the US, is bad news for everyone.

      • 1

        Good evening / morning Jonnie,

        It’s not the climate.  It’s the public sibsidies causing the distortions.

        The world will not be working on climate change. Their priority is food and COVID vaccines.

        Hurricanes are not that dangerous … just like wildfires not that dangerous. It’s the saturation of people without preparations causing the dangers.

        Evacs for a wildfire does require ecac routes.  They are too limited for safety. The reports on Paradise fire are available.

        Yes: Overpopulation in these areas of danger.

        The droughts are by subsidized agriculture. The Imperial Valley is not the Nile River’s flood plain. It’s the D.C. subsidies.

        A prepper can further their knowledge and value by reading the reports. All  not the same view. 

        The themes are.

      • 0

        I couldn’t disagree with you more on this one, Bob. Yes, there are many factors, overpopulation, lack of preparation… of course. But I think it’s now been amply demonstrated that all of us are facing catastrophic, human-driven climate change. There is plenty of data on this now for anyone who is interested in seeing the facts. If the world doesn’t work on climate change — which at the moment it’s not doing nearly as quickly as necessary — then we will simply not have a livable planet in pretty short order. Not for humans and not for many other species, although life as a whole will probably survive in some form.

      • 1

        Good morning Jonnie,

        Transmitting to a north California location says more than hockey stick line graphs on climate change from those UK professors.

        Am still up ready for storms and flash flooding … much here … We’re ready but some nearby folks probably aren’t.

        No drone – delivered espressos during this weather. Will read up on how the early settlers got through all this adverse weather.

        Stay safe and ready for the unexpected.

      • 2

        Hello my fellow Californian Prepper! I agree Jonnie, relocating isn’t an option, where are we gonna go? Pick your poison and I happen to like the 72 and sunny (albeit flammable and earthquake prone) poison. Plus I love my family and want to be close to them.

        Besides, being the most populous state in the nation (12%) means we have a lot of company (I think including the founders of thepreparded.com), with the 5th largest economy in the world we have a lot of resources, the third largest state so we have room to roam/run if need be and we have a coastline so we have one more exit strategy than landlocked states. 

        I too have been thinking of finding a IRL (In Real Life) prepper group. The conundrum is, preppers like us are everyday people. We’re underground, we don’t wear camo to the grocery store, have a t-shirt that says “I heart water purification tablets” or take walks with our BOB’s. Being a woman I’m concerned about keeping my distance from the agro’s so would like the chance to suss out the people before actually making contact. Call it cautious female surveillance.

        My plan is to sign up for our City CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Training. It’ll give me a chance to meet people in my immediate geographical area who are at least likeminded individuals. Training is over 3 Saturdays for 6 hours each day so that’ll give me a chance to really get to know the people in the training. Or it’ll be a bust, and I’ll just have a chance to brush up on my CPR skills and learn what are my City’s Disaster Preparedness Plans.

      • 2

        Here are some articles from The Prepared that might be helpful to ya’ll

        And here’s a recent forum post of someone looking to join a like minded prepping group.

      • 2

        Good morning Owen’s Mom,

        Don’t know how you’re measuring California’s economy.

        California’s economic activity actually because of $$$ from Washington, D.C.

        CERT is ideal to get started in the various subjects and to meet real preppers.

      • 1

        Hiya Bob,

        Thank you sir! Although CERT is on hold right now for the pandemic, I’ve signed up for the next session. 

        As for California all are based on quantitative vs qualitative research:
        Most factual: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_California

        From 2019 but has financial cred: https://www.forbes.com/places/ca/?sh=70e7f9a43fef

        A recent opinion article: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-06-14/california-defies-doom-with-no-1-u-s-economy

      • 2

        We’re getting off topic, Bob, but I’m not sure where you get the idea that California’s economy is “because of $$$ from Washington, D.C.” I don’t even know what that means. California is an economic powerhouse, not only as a state within the US, but also by world standards compared to nations. It has quite a few vibrant economic sectors. Admittedly it was hit hard by covid, but we seem to be recovering. By the way, I’m not saying this because of any kind of Californian pride. Just the facts…

      • 1

        Good evening Owen’s Mom,

        (I’m now up for Thursday [ on alert ffor storm]).

        CERT enrollment for after pandemic is good planning. It’s an excellent course to get into all this responder stuff. I have extra CERT lanyards and some other stuff if not provided by your new org.  Would, of couse, have to go through John and Gideon before sending anything to anyone. Postage now probably more than the lanyard cost.

        Economies aren’t measured that way.  GDP is of limited value.  It’s really about FOREX – Foreign Exchange. Much of this isn’t needed to know by the private citizen prepper other than understanding about prepper groups operating co-ops and other economic vehicles for the prepper group.

        The world had recdently changed some stuff. 

        Mexico has more millionaires than Switzerland. Singapore has more foreign exchange reserves than India. Israel is the world’s 8th most powerful country.

        The US and China are considered the world’s # 1 and 2 economies.  This is followed by Japan and Germany (I personally believe Germany is # 3 and rising; Japan is below and in decline).

        California number 5 ahead of eg UK, Russia, France, Indonesia ?!

        Back to our economic knowledge for preparedness; ……

        I’m becomming a nuisance pushing for placing much time into getting a prepper group. A co-op, for example, allows for low cost purchasing of stuff – from food to supplies. A few months ago, someone arrived here at TP.com starting a business for preppers in south Ohio near the river.  Gave then links to Ohio’s nearby office for economic vehicles such as co-ops. 

        Soone enough money will be a difficult subject … not just for getting stuff but also for buying skills such as an EMT course, a generator maintenance course.

        Back to CERT; The new CPR program, at least here, (I’m a Virginia “Train the Trainer” but not w/ CERT as of recently) omits the old mouth to mouth and Scout method of yesteryear (“Out with the good air, in with the bad air,) The new method is to bang on heart with both hands together to tempo of a Bee Gees song. I told the instructor not familiar with the song and asked if anything available from Maryann Faithful (“As tears go by……”).

        Emergency sheltering is not part of the basics but it is really a needed field to learn about.

        Meanwhile, back at the Emergency Operations Center, ……

        cc: Jonnie

      • 2

        For those playing along at home: listen to Bob.  Dude’s got a pretty deep shelf of experience. Doesn’t mean you should act on his advice, but you should definitely read what he says and consider why he says it.

        Me, I take that and discard a lot of things I’m sure Bob would say I shouldn’t.  Maybe different for you.  But take it, think about it, and use it to improve your own situation.

      • 1

        Good morning MBinDC,

        Well received.

        Stay dry from heavy rainfall and the possible flash flooding.

        Am still on my thunderstorm watch down here near you.

      • 1

        Thank you Bob! Be safe.

      • 1

        Good morning Owen’s Mom,

        Well received and likewise Thank you for getting into all this stuff. 

      • 1

        Better 24 hours early in a wallyworld car park than 50 years early in heaven.

      • 3

        Completely agree Jonnie. Now there are way too many scenarios to wargame here that it becomes a bit pointless. The base question is:are there significantly less sources of clean water in a city compared to a wilderness setting? Clearly not. Depending on the scenario, these might be easy to access or not, but unless you assume total infrastructure breakdown, a filter and water purification tablets are likely to be more than enough for the short term. 

        I have seen websites recommending to carry 3 days worth of water… So roughly 20 pounds. This is clearly ridiculous. 

      • 1

        Good morning UKSeb,

        The real base question is whether Jonnie can get water in safety. 

        This real question has a very clear answer.

      • 1

        See: My Water Maker….. March 2021

        And there are many variants.

      • 1

        Good morning UKSeb,

        I’m going to write some more in re water sources from an urban area and wilderness.

        My rambling is addressed to and for all forum members.

        Please don’t think I’m going “heavy” on something we discussed several hours ago.

        It’s just that the subject is important.

        Understanding of this appreciated.

      • 1

        Bob…… I have to agree with you here!

      • 1

        Good morning Oldprepper,

        We have very similiar arrangements.

        The big difference in this area is the supersaturation of real miitary – like the submarines and the many support units of military up to metro D.C.

        It was the 3 big terrorist events here that flavored everything to clear out the place less the critical populations such as critical infrastructure personnel.

        Soon enough no one, for example,  on RX medical oxygen living alone will be here. 

      • 3

        Jonnie – Using a lightweight tarp or the rain fly of your tent for rain collecting can be a source of water. 

        Carry some lightweight collapsible water containers that can be filled up and store water when you get to your destination.

        If you haven’t taken it already, The Prepared’s water course has some good information on where to find water in both urban and rural environments. Many places I never would have thought to look. 

      • 2

        I am going through the water course now.

      • 2

        Robert, thanks for the silcock key! Watched a Youtube video to see how it works and just ordered 5 of them. 3 for our BOB’s and 2 for our cars. Nice!

      • 1

        You are more than welcome! It may be against the law to go around tapping business water supplies, so only use it in an emergency.

    • 2

      Just wondering if you guys have read this very insightful report from the area outside of NOLA after H Ida, its very enlightening as the the issue communities face.


      • 1

        Good evening Bill,

        Had not read it until now.

        Louisiana’s Gulf coast presents annual problems like article discusses.

        With my arty recon heritage, a map of this area is now next to me.

        Poorly stocked grocery stores are less about stockpiles and more about infrastructure requirements: roads, electricity, public safety going to store and returning. Merchants do like to sell stuff.

        Yes, the outskirts of NOLA are neglected. Perhaps this is on purpose as a hint to relocate. This hint already started here.

        Entergy should have ” … invested strengthening … infrastructure … ” translates to rate increases. These folks do not have incomes to support this. The area’s economies of scale can no longer work. Besides the electricity matters, article’s mention of the medical facilities highlights the dangerous situation.

        The only good news is that the Union of Concerned Scientists is also like a small La fishing village around I-10 highway: useless to help annual events.

    • 1

      Good morning,

      Urban bugging out and water sources;

      The usual view is that wilderness environments have cleaner and safer water than urban areas during a big emergency. This could be correct as an abstraction; a basic view.

      There is more than this to consider.

      A good example is Virginia when it was Lord Fairfax’s colony. Few locals lived throughout the territory.  The settlers to the colony were building places to live here where I am rambling from. This was the environment.

      During an emergency, the abstraction changes. There are already people inland living near / next to water sources. Before an emergency, there are already urbanites who evacuated to these same places inland. The urbanites are from major cities such as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Richmond, Virginia, Hampton Roads, Virginia, .. Again, this is BEFORE a bug out by those waiting for the last minute.

      The area’s complexion changed – along with the water purity matters. This must be factored in to the topographic map.


      There was a saying going around that the best preppers were not from urban areas but rather rural and wilderness area.  Of course, knowing how to grow food, fish inland, fish in seawater, we’ren’t typical occupation of urban dwellers.

      Like safe water sources, this too has changed.

      Lord Fairfax’s successor territory, Virginia, has it’s largest urban area named Virginia Beach. Amphib Base, Little Creek, Virginia Beach is home to the naval commandos. They are premier preppers.  Their job, which they are paid for, makes the Polar Bear clubs look like nursing home for the sick and elderly. A similiar situation can be seen in the south area of metro Washington, D.C. Triangle, Virginia, .. more commonly known as Quantico, houses the Marines (although now changing). They are preppers by definition.

      Driving from the Chesapeake Bay inland to the Shendandoah Valley does not necessarily mean safer water available enroute.  People left before me. 


      Scotland is geographically and topographicly cleaner than London’s east end. After Holy Loch sub base opened for use, it was no clean, healthy place, relatively speaking.

      Drinking water is more important than extra socks and food.

      There’s a saying … an adage now: “Too much is never enough”.

      Summary: Prepare and leave as early as possible. Robert’s rainwater collection is A+ to factor into preps.

      • 1

        It would not do any harm for you guys in the former colonies to dig out some older maps to find out where WELLS were dug and natural springs existed before they were covered up by urban sprawl. so long as you can source H20 you can always BOIL it, or Evap / Condense or put it through a Berky (Berkfield) or DIY  Sand / gravel / charcoal filter.   In warmer coastal climes you can always evaporate sea water with solar stills. 

      • 1

        Good morning Bill,

        We’re familiar.  The problem is that so much is fenced off by government and private landowners access is nearly non-existent.  It’s not just Virginia. Other important areas like the Gulf Coast, Colorado, also limited sccess.

        This area has seawater on the list as a source of drinking water via solar stills.

        My prepper group has a RO distillery but can’t launch boat if terrorism announced. Would use it at shore if remaining here and having enough security. It’s a balancing act with view to get out of area as first choice.

      • 1

        Bob, Yet London was noted historically for its beautiful chalk filtered natural water springs , streams and Thames tributaries.  Most are still there

      • 1

        Good morning Bill,

        Good point.

        Of course it’s not about the geology but the people.

        As an aside, had learned that the important place named Runnymede, of Magna Carta fame, was a nice place.

      • 1

        Still is rather nice, and upmarket 🙂