I tend to think a lot when I have a little down time.  I was on the plane for work this week and it hit me, that I am not sure h0w I would classify what type of an event and how severe it was before I were going to bug out or bug in.  The more thought I put into it the more I am realizing every situation has subsets of classifications that make the situation more relevant or less relevant to an individual’s or families situation.

We all know about the Homeland Security Terror Alert system.  But what about other conditions that affect us at the local level where we are in our own bubble of disaster.  What if we experienced something like Hurricane Katrina?  The government has classified this, and I have to do more research under what level, but have you thought about how you might classify the events for your own rule of thumb going forward?  What type of classification would you give something that was a destructive weather event, and would you return?  Or, would it be an event that you would permanently bug out from and never return, knowing you have to put a “plan b” in place.

So my question is, how are you going to classify your SHTF event in the suburbs, whether you are bugging in or whether you are bugging out?  What criteria are you going to use to classify how long to stay away, or how long to stay in, etc.  I have found and have come up with some of the below myself, and want to share it with you so that y0u can determine for y0urself what is right for you.

  • Potential disaster classifications and lengths of time they may exist:
    • Green (No impending issues day to day),
    • Yellow (1-10 days),
    • Orange (11-90 days),
    • Red (90+ days)
    • Black (Permanent)
  • Potential disaster classifications and what they may be (This one came from a survival forum):
    • Normal Conditions, Regular day-to-day schedules followed. Preparations are made at leisure.
    • Preliminary Alert Status, A situation you’ve noticed is capable of escalating into a problem down the road, but it’s just a possibility right now. Stay on your toes.
    • High Alert Status, Cancel your plans for the weekend and gas up your vehicles. Things could get ugly REALLY fast. Contact your team to further your plans. Stay alert and vigilant.
    • National or Local Emergency in Progress or Imminient, BOV’s loaded and head to your Bug Out Locations. Shelters ready to receive team(s), last minute checks on provisions, weapons, and family. Close and lock any perimeter enclosures and fencing. barricade as necessary.
    • S has HTF, loss or destruction of local or state infrastructure. Difficult to travel due to traffic jams or damage, weapons should be loaded, team responders ready to deploy in defense.  Everyone else hunker down and listen to the radio for updates if any.
  • One Sociologist’s proposal for a disaster scale to facilitate recovery and research:  http://goo.gl/FFHz
  • US DHS National Disaster Planning Scenarios as of March 2006:  http://goo.gl/rPJ7
  • Metascale Disaster is a template for scaling human worldwide disasters with some suggestions of causes and prevention:  http://goo.gl/mcdJ

I am sure there are more out there, but this is helping me form a basis for what types of disasters will keep me away for what period of time.  In addition, I can take what I learn here and add perimeters to a radius around my BOL and classify each region based on the scope and breadth of each disaster.  This is a real work in progress.

This may also help me with learning to cache supplies along routes in better locations than picking random spots to cache supplies and hoping I make it there to get them…

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We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.