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Which roads are safest for travel?

Hi!  I’m new to prepping but feel I am making good progress. I’ve got a good start on medical supplies, food, water (including a Berkey) but can’t get my mind wrapped around bugging out. Part of my stress lies with the topic here. The apocalyptic books I am addicted to always talk about roadblocks and stopped traffic that makes travel impossible. So two questions really. First, is that overly dramatic?  Second, are interstates or back roads better?  I live in a rural area, have good neighbors who know how to handle weapons, have a well and creek, and have room to garden. My hope is to be the spot where people can bug out too but I know I need to prepare for that eventuality. As I write this I realize there’s one other question. Any idea in a shtf situation will travel become bad as in dangerous?  Sorry for the length of this. 

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    • 6

      I could have sworn I hit save on my comment last night. No biggie. This one will be briefer.

      Re: works of fiction, books, movies, etc. I think imagination has its place here because thinking about potential scenarios helps us predict potential outcomes and responses. The human brain does this. We regularly cycle through scenarios in an attempt to seek the optimal way of getting through any given situation.

      Re: Interstates v back roads. You know what traffic is like in your area, so, exercise judgement. In general, I think it best to avoid interstates. No matter how early a start you might have (city and suburban dwellers), and no matter how much ground you might gain, if you’re not careful, you could find yourself slowing or gridlocked as more and more unprepared attempt to get on the interstate. Back roads could be okay. They offer plenty of flexibility, but one can’t be certain (in an emergency) that some towns/villages might decide to physically block the onslaught of people fleeing their affected areas.

      Re: you being rural and when to BO. It could be that you, being in a rural area, may not be as affected as urban or suburban areas might be in a BO event. And although you’ve availed yourself to others (as a destination to BO to), there might be conditions (eg., being overrun by fleeing civilians, armed neighbors, community members, or adjacent groups seeking additional space) where you yourself might need to BO. My advice in this: stay prepared, no matter how unlikely a situation might seem right now.

      On a related note…

      This is addressed to those who live in rural areas.:

      As a community of preppers, we should collectively keep in mind that attribution is hard. That is, it can be challenging to say whether or not something or someone is a definitive threat.

      In the wake of an $SHTFevent it’s highly likely that sane, otherwise law-abiding preppers will just be passing through your community to wherever they feel most comfortable (relatively speaking). Some might flee to state or federal parks, game lands, blm lands, forests, or wildlife preserves. In other words, they’ll just be passing through your communities, towns, or villages.

      I’m sure some city and suburban dwellers actually own property in rural and remote areas and the last thing a reasonable, sane prepper wants is conflict between neighbors that have never met, especially when it’s completely avoidable. We’re all better served if we bear this in mind.

      I’ve started a new topic that addresses questions I have for rural residents and encountering other preppers in the wake of a SHTF event. If you can, please have a look. I’d really like your thoughts and answers.

      • 4

        Thanks, Matt. I appreciate your response. As to your question to rural people, I was thinking about that too. I can’t imagine shooting anyone walking through but it would be a bit scary to be the one on foot. My feeling is people would assess your situation carrying a backpack and not walking through the middle of their yard and decide you are okay. I fervently hope my little spot is a safe area because it could easily be a good long-term sustainable place. I have a lab and 2 half lab half Doberman mixes and life would truly Be much more enjoyable in a long-term situation if I could remain. I shall prepare though!!  Thanks again. 

    • 6

      Sorry this ran way, way, waaaay longer than I wanted, but your post kicked me into thought experiment mode and it’s been interesting.

      Hey @KKW. Welcome to the wonderful world of prepping. It sounds like you’re off to a good start. All though many view prepping as survival, I also view it through the lense of it’s a way of life built upon hope. That is, it’s hope for the world that exists beyond disaster, emergency, and conflict.

      While I personally don’t do apocalyptic books, per se (though they’re probably pretty good for revving up the good ol’ amygdala) I do enjoy the ocassional disaster movie. And I think fiction has a genuine place here; because, frankly, imagination -whether book, movie, or gedankenexperiment- can help us think process scenarios and our possible responses. That kind of predictive process can, in the end, help us better navigate events when we encounter them in the real world.

      Answer to first question:

      I don’t think it’s overly dramatic to expect impassable roads in the event of an emergency. Hell, consider how, in everyday life, roads can come to a crawl as people rubberneck the most minor of fenderbenders. Have you ever encountered traffic congestion¹ and when you arrived at the point where everyone before you slowed and nothing was there? So, why wouldn’t a $BOevent be any different (or worse)?

      The simple fact is this: most people aren’t prepared to react in an emergency/disaster², much less be prepared for one. So, in the wake of an $OMGevent; and, after people get over their initial shock, they’ll be scrambling. They’ll scramble to get home (if they aren’t already), gather their families (or meet them), grab supplies, and eventually cram themselves and their shit into their vehicles, get gas (if they need it), and joining the throngs of others who were equally unprepared.

      Everyone’s amygdala³ will be juicing them up as their fight-of-flight response kicks into overdrive. People will be using their primitive brain, not their prefrontal cortex. People’s anxiety and fear will be maxxed out. Most people will be driving at high speeds, putting themselves and others at risk. They’ll be making bad decisions out of desperation and fear. Those emotions and bad decisions can and will, inevitably, cause strife, road rage, slowdowns, accidents, etc.

      Answer to second question:

      Interestate
      PROs: higher speeds, cover greater distance faster, more lanes, generally well maintained
      CONs: more traffic, exits spaced miles apart

      Imagine that you BO as soon as possible (5-15 mins). There’s probably a decent chance you’ll be way ahead of most people. You’re making decent time, not too many cars so far. As you progress along the interstate, people from surrounding areas are also BOing, followed by their unprepared. Consider the bird’s eye view of this situation: for every on-ramp, more traffic enters the interstate, slightly slowing those already there. As the volume of traffic increases and everyone attempts to leave their respective areas, traffic will slow and eventually stop. Knowing this, you plan to get off at the next exit. Brilliant idea! HA! See ya, suckers!

      How far do you think you’ve made it?

      Eventually, others will have the same idea as you: Get off the interestate! You’ve managed, but now you’re stuck in traffic because of gridlock on the surface streets. There’s a line of people trapped in line for the on-ramp to the interstate. They’re blocking the intersection. Now traffic is building up behind you as others have the same great idea. You now have a choice: hoof it or hoof it.

      Back roads
      PROs: slower speeds, usually single lane, less traffic, route flexibility
      CONs: getting stuck behind a tractor, slowdowns in towns, access to more roadside services

      You’ve just bugged out. You’re on a remote back road that you’re kinda sorta familiar with. Like a good prepper, you’ve done your research and you’ve kept up-to-date on those road construction/repair projects. Good job. As you make your way, you’re slowing down for every tiny spit of a town. It’s slow-going, but you’re gaining a lot of ground and fairing a hell of a lot better than those idiots that probably took the interstate. Suckers.

      Eventually, you approach a slowdown. What’s the hold up? Probably a fucking tractor. As you pull forward, you can see blinking lights just ahead. Probably an accident, you think to yourself. So, you settle in to wait your turn just like everyone else. So, you settle for making faces at the little kids in the back of the SUV in front of you to pass the time. Beats obsessing over your watch and your odometer.

      As traffic crawls forward, you notice that the grey Jeep that passed you miles back is slowly picking up speed and headed back the way you came. People are being turned around. The sheriff (or perhaps some of the locals; or perhaps even a local militia) have setup a roadblock. They don’t want outsiders in their town.

      From the Prius in front of the SUV, you hear raised voices, then shouting. “I’m just passing through! I don’t want anything to do with you! Just let us pass. PLEASE!” A gunshot jolts you. The SUV kids duck for cover in a din of horrified screams. It was a warning shot. So, you turn around and try to find another way, just like everyone else.

      Alright. That’s what I’ve got in me for the night.

      Be well. Be safe. Be healthy.

      ——————-

      1. Wanna nerd out? Having trouble sleeping? Read up on traffic congestion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_congestion
      2. About bystander effect/apathy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect
      3. The what? The amygdala: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amygdala
      • 2

        Oh! It showed up. Weird. Okay. Upvote the one to keep. 😉

    • 5

      Personally, I would avoid the interstate because of the likelihood that the exits will be blocked in order to funnel traffic to the location the authorities have selected as an evacuation point.  (This was actually part of the Washington, D.C. area’s emergency preparedness plan after 9/11.  Evacuees fleeing D.C. by car were to be directed north on the interstate and were not to be allowed to exit that highway until they reached Frederick, MD, where an evacuation facility was to be set up at the fairgrounds. )  I would try to take back roads instead and try to map out several different routes ahead of time in case my preferred route was blocked or othrwise impassable.

      Zabeth

    • 3

      If you have ever bugged out from a coastal hurricane or tried to take “back roads” after a major accident in any major city you will know that highway type choice won’t make any significant difference in progress to your destination. It’s a crap shoot at best.  

    • 4

      Good morning KKW,

      Not a long narrative question; clearly written with brief background.

      For travel, the Interstate highways are best.  There will be stages of restrictions but still maintained for traffic and patrolled.  They are part of the nation’s evacuation plans.  These plans have been tested, exercised and refined.  

      Avoid ther apocalyptic books and glance at some of the hurricane evac after action reports.  Not the most current, but see if web access is available for:

      FEMA P-757 / April 2009, titled “Mitigation Assessment Team Report HURRICANE IKE IN TEXAS ANd LOUISIANA.  It’s got stuff besides vehicle evacs in it;  good for exposure purposes to the related subject areas.

      Back roads could be closed to private vehicle traffic.  Neighbors with weapons could translate to firearms discharges and enough reports to authorities could have the area designated from “off limits” to crime zone.  It depends on the state authorities.  My area, for example, after the “Beltway Snipers” event of a couple of decades ago, has these plans in place and staffed for compliance.

      From my experience as a former Federal Emergency Manager, working SHTF situations, problems in abundance.

      All is not absolute.  Some apocalyptic pubs are the same as the official docs.  My favorite example is the Metro Washington, D.C. vehicle evacuation plan.

      Leave early, very early.

      • 1

        Hi Bob,

        Do you happen to know if the D.C. evacuation plan still calls for funneling the evacuee traffic up the I-270 highway to Frederick, Maryland?

        Thanks!

        Zabeth

      • 2

        Good afternoon Zabeth,

        Had spoken to someone knowledgeable about D.C. area vehicle evacs.

        It’s still I-270 to Frederick.

        The important change of emergency management doctrine is to emphasize Shelter in Place.  With the pandemic situation, the key word is “congregate”.  There are max efforts to keep evacuating cars parked on the side of highway and “mingling” with others. 

        Am still on the lookout for any new cyber version of the metro D.C. evac plan and also looking for the pulp version.  Both have/had narrative instruction and basic map. If I get anything will post here.

        A tangent;  It requires a group (ie NGO)and this allows setting up a publications account from the Fed agencies. Some of the products are good.  My dormant org has an account with 3 orgs.  

        Keep well.

        ~ Bob

      • 2

        https://ddot.dc.gov/page/ddot-emergency-preparedness

        Zabath, was just sent above link.  It’s not for the evac long haul route but still worth studying.

        At end of article are 2 links to a pamphlet and a municipal map.

        ~ Bob

      • 2

        https://mema.maryland.gov/Documents/MDHurricaneEvacGuide.pdf

        Zabeth, See if above link at section titled “Know Your Zone” gives current evac route.  I’m sure it’s still I-270 to Frederick.

        Re your explicit question, it depends on the current variables and am guessing they are still the same even with telecommuting and reduced personnel.

        Maryland’s above linked document is like Virginia’s.  A micrometer is needed to measure which place has more traffic congestion for an evac.

        Recommend have car loaded to max with everything needed.  Shelters must be “non-congregant” ie Government provided dorms, motels. Don’t plan on this.  The school floor with cots is on hold due to the pandemic.  I know because I run a portion of my county’s shelter.

      • 2

        Hi Bob,

        Thanks for the helpful links.  I will check them out 🙂  Here are two others I came across online: https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/eto_tim_pse/reports/2010_cong_evac_study/ntl_capital_region.htm

        https://www.mwcog.org/documents/2007/07/22/ncr-regional-emergency-coordination-plan/

        The material at these two links is older but quite interesting I think – particularly the “Regional Emergency Evacuation Transportation Coordination Annex”  which starts at about page 271 of the approximately 396-page-long “Regional Emergency Coordination Plan” from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), accessible via the second link.  It discusses several different emergency scenarios (including, among other things, a dirty bomb, or conventional explosives, etc.) and what evacuation strategies are suggested for each scenario (for example:  closing off entrance or exit ramps, synchronizing traffic lights, changing lane directions, using city buses to evacuate people, staggering employees’ departure times, requiring sheltering in place to avoid clogging the roadways, making all highway lanes HOV lanes, etc.).

        I also came across two maps of major evacuation routes people might possibly be required to take after they leave the D.C. city limits.  Again, these are older but may still be instructive.  I will try to insert them at the bottom of this reply.

        Thanks again!

        Zabeth

        Highway Evacuation Routes Out of D.C.

        Evacuation Routes West of the National Capital Region

    • 4

      What are the likely events you will have to dal with?  Some demand bugging out and for others, bugging is very unlikely.

      you live in a rural area.  What is your exposure to wildland fires?  When flames are bearing down on you, bugging out is by far your best option., especially if your major concern is human life and safety.

      Three years ago, precisely to the day, my wife, I, and our cat had bugged out at 1 AM, faced with the Thomas Fire, California’s biggest at the time.  It turned out to be a rather pleasant experience, all things considered, partly because we had prepared for this eventuality.

      The first three miles were the hardest. – grid down, traffic lights not working in an urban area is no fun…

      We also are likely to experience earthquakes.  If we are close to the epicenter, bugging out is much less of a feasible option.  Infrastructure will b damaged, including roadways.  Remember the motorcycle cop who fatally  discovered a collapsed interstate overpass in the Northridge quake?  I am likely to camp out in my backyard if the house is damaged and work with my neighbors to repair.

      Keep your options open and be flexible.  Stay informed

      • 3

        Interesting data point about the traffic lights not working. I have never had to evacuate (and never had to deal with a natural disaster) so I would have not thought of that.

      • 5

        I’m in a rural area on acreage with a private road 1 km to the nearest state road.

        My main peril is wildfires….without neglecting a tree arriving at one of my house walls at 50 mph.

        We’ve got an inflatable boat for an evacuation from here into the Chesapeake Bay.  The danger is hiking  to the boat at night.  The state roads are typically loaded with stalled and wrecked vehicles.  Trees, branches and other debris are over the road.  Public sector efforts are reallocated to major roads and the Interstate. 

        Virginia’s DOT has a slogan “Don’t drown.  Turn around” re flooding over roads.  Neglected from this scenerio is that the multitude of cars lined up behind lead vehicle at flooded area preclude any turning. 

        The mid-Atlantic seaboard is overbuilt and overpopulated. Here in Tidewater Virginia, those not young, healthy and prepared are in danger. The support systems are not present.

        Thus, besides a life jacket, Madam and I have smoke evacuation hoods that fit over hard hats. 

    • 4

      I think what is vital to understand with a question such as “are interstates or back roads better?” is that there is no correct answer.  It comes down to your location, the situation at hand, the weather, your vehicle, and several other factors that you will need to analyze before making the decision.  What might be the right choice in one situation could be deadly in another.

      For instance, if you were fleeing an earthquake you’d likely want to avoid old bridges and overpasses because they may no longer be safe.  But if you are fleeing a wildfire you’d want to avoid roads in which fallen trees could be blocking.  If you are fleeing a flood you’d want to be sure to avoid low-lying areas.  etc etc etc

      What you can do now is prepare for making that decision.  Have maps and a compass in your car, but also try to memorize as much of your local road system as possible.  Know what radio station would be broadcasting emergency information and have it saved.  Be aware of physical obstacles such as bodies of water, mountains, etc in your area.  Have a backup plan if a bridge or mountain pass becomes un-passable, but also recognize that if you need to get over a river or mountain range you will only have limited options to do so.  Identify those barriers and your options to navigate them so you can make quick and informed decisions.

      And if we reach a point that militias are setting up roadblocks than god help us.

    • 4

      Seems a lot of the responses are dealing with crisis such as wildfire, earthquake, hurricane, etc.  However you specify travel during a SHTF situation.  IMO, in such a situation, make sure you are the first out and stay off major roads.  At the first sign of a mass exodus from a city, I feel certain the suburbs will be the first to act, as they will be the first impacted.  They will be unable to absorb so many hungry, desperate travelers and I feel certain they will set up roadblocks at natural barriers… such as rivers/streams.  Want an example.  Three days after Hurricane Katrina struck, authorities blocked the bridge that connects the city of Gretna to New Orleans. 

      I then think, with time, you will see a trickle down effect as more roads are closed the further away from the city.  So my advise is to get where you need to be quickly.  Travel during a SHTF event will be spotty at best… and extremely dangerous.  When tired, hungry & scared, the best of people will act in ways not thought possible.  That is why I’m the opposite of you.  Last thing I want are these people on or near my property.

      BTW, at that point, having room to garden means nothing if you don’t already have knowledge, equipment, chemicals, & seed in storage.  After a SHTF crisis, you will survive on what you already have… not what you wish you had.  That is why I keep all those things in storage, plus already grow those items so as to KNOW what they need.

      • 2

        What is your definition of a SHTF crisis and how would it differ from fire, flood, earthquake, etc.?

      • 3

        I think most preppers consider a SHTF crisis as to be on a very large scale, over a rather long time period, with a corresponding collapse of society.  More of a one time event as opposed to naturally occurring, constantly occurring, localized events… such as fires, flood, earthquake, etc.

        After any of these listed events, help is always available and on the way.  It may be tough for a bit but our government will be there to put things back in order & provide food, shelter, resources, etc.  A SHTF crisis would be so large as to overpower any government action.  One would basically be on their own to survive.

        Think of maybe a large asteroid strike as opposed to the Tunguska strike. An EMP attack as opposed to 9-11, etc.

      • 3

        Thank for your clarification and response.  Something like an asteroid strike is somewhat like an earthquake – little or no advance warning before the event..  Long term societal event, leading to something like contemporary Venezuela, more warning and usually sufficient opportunities to pull the plug, isolate, or whatever strategy appeals….

        A truly SHTF event was the asteroid strike 65 million years ago which marked the end of the Cretaceous Period and the demise of nearly all dinosaurs (except birds)and many other life forms.  That is a rather rare event and I think i will take my chances.

        For that matter, many objects that could strike the earth are tracked and their tracks calculated so that measures can be taken to avoid contact.

        You certainly have a point that in “routine disasters” like EQs, fires, etc., hlp is available from relatively unaffected regions.  I think thee lesson to draw from recent events like Katrina is that aid will come, eventually, but it is best to prepare for a good two weeks, minimum, of self sufficiency.

        Home construction here in the wake of the Thomas fire is still underway, three years after the event.

        It is best to be well informed, be ready to either bug out or in, depending on unfolding events.  It helps to be lucky, as well

      • 3

        There are all sorts of events, just as there are all sorts of preppers.  What one person might categorize as a SHTF event might be a minor blip on the screen for another.  What one person considers bugging out might simply be a temporary evacuation for another.  Where one person might have water & food to last a “normal” crisis of say a week or less, another prepper might have enough food in storage for years.  Where one prepper might be out of luck when their food stores run out, another prepper might be self sufficient.

        To me, the most important reality is for folks to realize they may have to survive on their own for a given amount of time.  Too many people today make no plans whatsoever & expect, or demand, government aid & assistance immediately.  As seen after localized events, say a hurricane or earthquake, the truth is that even then, aid can be days away.

        So the question become, how long do you think it will take for help to arrive?  Luck is always a factor but how prepared one is, becomes another big factor.  For some folks, having a few days food & water is enough & where their prepping ends.  For others, it is a lifelong journey where one is steadily adding to their resources & knowledge base.  Either case is better than doing nothing.

    • 5

      Sounds like you are right where you need to be and should plan on hunkering down and only bugging out as a very last resort.  Dont expect for help to be en route and plan to provide for yourself.  I believe most people can do long term storage of a years worth of rice, beans and water for around 1000 dollars per 2 people. Not sure how big your creek is… but if it can float a kayak you might consider tracing it’s course on a map.  I live in northeast texas but am only 10 miles as the crow flies from a river that eventually empties into the Gulf of Mexico.  I dont see my wife or myself wanting to hoof it through the wilderness for days or weeks on end, but we might be up for letting the current carry us to relative safety.  I believe waterways would be marginally safer than roadways in a shtf scenario.

      • 4

        Creeks and rivers are classic routes, but bear in mind, they’re also gathering places for humans and animals who are thirsty. Being in a kayak out on the water doesn’t exactly provide good cover if you’re drifting through hostile areas.

        Just a thought. Not trying to be a downer.

    • 5

      A lot of good advice already presented here that I agree with especially being flexible to the situation and evacuating early if possible.

      I like watching overlanding travel Vlogs and one that stuck with me is when a few years ago Nicaragua when protests erupted and cities and towns were blocking the roads in protest. These two guys filming made two big mistakes 1. driving at night and 2. not turning around when the road was blocked, the result was protesters trying to rob them. They did get away and rented a very sketch motel room but did get out safely. Turning around is not always the answer, my point is being flexible to make quick decisions when the situation is not safe.

      In a different scenario with a road issue, when hurricane Ike hit the Houston area years ago, my parents were living near the coast. The Houston mayor told residents to evacuate before the surrounding cities, the result is when my parents evacuated it took them 12 hours to drive what would normally take 1 hour. Learned lesson is leave early.

      • 2

        That would be scary to be cornered down a road. The other day, my friend was going home in the early hours of the morning (she works the night shift) and was driving down this road. She came to a four way intersection but the right and left roads were blocked off for construction. Suddenly this man stepped out into the middle of the road and walked towards her car. She stopped and just watched him. He acted like he had a gun and was yelling for her to get out of the car. 

        She couldn’t go left or right, and she didn’t want to drive towards him, so she just reversed until she could turn. I personally would have drove straight at him.

        Cars are great, but aren’t the most maneuverable when you need to turn around quickly on a narrow one way road.

        My friend ended up being ok. She called the cops and they arrested him. He probably will just be out in a week or two terrorizing someone else though, because that is how the system works.

    • 3

      Growing up in a hurricane prone area I learned to never try to bug out unless you did it a couple days early.  Not only are there just too many cars on the road but when they start running out of gas they make perfect barriers, ensuring most are stuck in place.  The hurricanes always had advanced notice too, yet people were still not prepared.  
      In Atlanta there was very little warning of the ice storm a couple years ago.  The city was paralyzed and many were trapped in their cars for 15hrs in freezing temps.  Im sure earthquakes and many other situations where there is no pre warning are tougher to prepare for.  It just shows the need for us having an emergency kit in our vehicles. 
      I’m fortunate enough to be able to afford 4 wheel drive vehicles now.  I also keep a full tank at all times and have an emergency kit.  Most of my life I was lucky enough to have a car that wouldn’t break down so I definitely get that we all have different capabilities of prepping.  But even with a small budget just knowing the need to be prepared to the best of your ability puts you ahead of the pack.

      • 4

        Great lesson to keep an eye on the news, weather radio, and other sources to look out for those disasters early. Leaving before other people can mean the difference between you leaving or not.

    • 2

      KKW and all thread participants;

      For a real world current event example involving thev thread’s theme, safest roads for travel:

      Spend some time reading up on the current Washington D.C. and environs arrangements.

      I must emphasize it is best to belong to a group to develop a correct assessment.  Most will not have worked a road transportation event.

      It’s obvious that Marine Corps Base Quantico will have priority on the Interstate Highway  (I-95) to D.C. – and the US route (US1) going to D.C. also.

      Anything paved or with gravel near Dulles Airport can mirror The Marine Corps’ plans.

      Other arrangements being exercised or on hold “just in case” means to carry extra Clif bars and water.

      Forget the water routes.

    • 3

      FDB42194-1640-45AF-9A13-C70DC97E5AB5I just saw this image this morning from the Indonesian earthquake.  Trying to evacuate during a large scale emergency just puts you in more peril.

      • 3

        That is a powerful example of having your BOB so that you can evacuate in a moments notice and beat the crowd, of bugging in instead of evacuating, and also of the ability to bug out on foot. 

        I feel for those people, that must be such a confusing and difficult time.

      • 2

        Agree, Robert.

        An evac by walking (FLC = Feet, Leather Covered) is a good solution frequently not prepared for.

        Unless leaving by car at first reported shockwave, one’s situation could be worse. Indon is also experiencing the pandemic and stuck in a car next to someone’s else’s car doesn’t help the social distancing protocols.

      • 2

        Here in the states most people seem to take our way of life for granted.  We have had a great infrastructure of power, water, medical and food distribution for so long most don’t even give it any thought at how that could change at a moments notice.  Many in the less developed world have had to deal with hardships their whole lives and can function a little better with minimal resources.  I’m not saying they don’t suffer, as they do, but just that most in the US are really soft now and don’t even know how to make a fire and cook with it.  I hope I never live to see a massive disaster here.  As I’ve stated to many, always be greatful when you can go to sleep with a full belly and in a safe, dry place.  And I really wish all those people well through this.

      • 2

        Well said. I have lived all over the world, and in third world countries. Places where a banana farmer makes $100/year, where a cheap pair of flip flops that would cost less than $0.50 is a dream for a kid. We are very blessed here in the states, but also very spoiled.

        It really bothers me how much pettiness and selfishness I see on the news at times. Where a Karen throws a tantrum and gets in a fight over a restaurant being out of ketchup packets. 

        I’ve never seen a happier, nicer, caring, or more giving people than I did in Africa. Stuff does not equal happiness. I really enjoyed seeing how well people got on with life and made do with the little they had. From a preparedness and survival perspective, they taught me very valuable lessons, one of which being that I can get along and survive with just the bare minimum. Sure having a mini supermarket in my basement would be amazing and comforting, but in a pinch, I can make do without.

      • 3

        Don’t know if it was mandatory to evac.

        The situation also had a heavy rain day. Sulawisi Island would experience snakes and other wildlife all over the place.

        These poor folks are currently undergoing their COVID vaccination program which makes matters worse for those just immunized; their immunity system is temporarily weakened.

        I used to work in Indonesia with oil industry.  The locals smoke too much and it affects their health.

        Jakarta and some ASEAN emergency responder groups are working the rescues.