Yes­ter­day, I received an email, and text mes­sage from the local emer­gency sys­tem I was signed up for.  The may­or of my town, and the coun­ty, I believe, insti­tut­ed a manda­to­ry evac­u­a­tion of homes due to flood­ing from the Pas­sa­ic Riv­er.  As I got the text and email, I thought about it for a while.  Should I stay or should I go?  With all the issues I had get­ting home right after Irene, I did­n’t want to have the same issues com­ing home again.  That said, it hit me.   Hmmm.  I have to bug out.  Obvi­ous­ly, I decid­ed to go.  “Let me do some research,” I thought.  I got online and start­ed to research what roads are open and closed.  For the record there were more closed roads than open.  Route 46 and 23, two of my major bug out routes were under water and shut down in mul­ti­ple areas.  No men­tion of Route 21, how­ev­er.  I spoke to a bud­dy who said parts of 287 had col­lapsed and were closed, and that it took him four hours to get to work in the morn­ing… I decid­ed to take Route 21 to Route 80.

Now all I need­ed to do was gath­er gear and go.  Uh, oh.  My Bug Out Bag is only set up for the extreme emer­gency… What was I think­ing? I real­ly did­n’t need a BoB to get out of town with.  This was more like a work­ing vaca­tion at the Bug Out Loca­tion.  The water was not threat­en­ing me yet, although it was ris­ing in the street a few hun­dred feet away.  Let’s see…  Take a few things that could be valu­able to a loot­er that I don’t want to lose, pack my clothes in my large trav­el suit case, throw in a cou­ple extras, pack my lap­top, iPad, etc. and I am ready to go… 2:45 p.m. August 30th, I am in the car head­ing west.  Get­ting to Route 80 from Route 21 was a breeze.  It only took a few min­utes.    Route 80 west, how­ev­er was anoth­er sto­ry.  It was stop and go traf­fic for the first 15 — 20 miles, pri­mar­i­ly due to the shear num­ber of peo­ple that were using Route 80 as a con­duit to the places they could not get to because of road clo­sures and flood­ing.  This eas­i­ly added anoth­er 30 min­utes to the trip.  There were also oth­er detours along the way that added anoth­er 30 min­utes to the dri­ve as well.  All in all, it was unevent­ful.  It took three hours to do a trip that would nor­mal­ly take two hours on an aver­age day.  So, in my head, I was cal­cu­lat­ing how much extra fuel I was burn­ing, and try­ing to gues­ti­mate how much more fuel I would use if this had been a five or six hour trip, along the way… I can eas­i­ly see Bug­ging Out dur­ing a more life threat­en­ing emer­gency, affect­ing more peo­ple tak­ing hours longer. A cou­ple of new Jer­ry Cans are in the works for pur­chase going for­ward, even though I am not to have gaso­line in my apart­ment or on the sec­ond floor of my build­ing… I’ll fig­ure out how to do this some­how…

Along the way, with the extra time, my mind start­ed to ana­lyze the idea of bug­ging out in a less sev­er sit­u­a­tion (in my mind), such as the one that I had just encoun­tered.  My friend Mr. Jones uses a mod­u­lar bug out bag sys­tem.  Which got me think­ing, I need a more mod­u­lar sys­tem for dif­fer­ent lev­els of bug­ging out.  For a light bug out sce­nario, a cou­ple changes of clothes, toi­letries, etc. as “Mod­ule A,” and maybe Mod­ule A is the core back­pack with typ­i­cal stuff in it for a 72 hour jaunt to the BOL.  For some­thing more severe, you add “Mod­ule B.”  Maybe Mod­ule B is for a spe­cif­ic sce­nario, and can be attached to Mod­ule A by MOLLE straps, ALICE clips, or zip­per.   So goes the the Mod­ulear sys­tem.  Each mod­ule rep­re­sents a sever­i­ty lev­el, and you take what you need for the tem­po­rary sit­u­a­tion you are in, attach and go.  Maybe, I will ask Mr. Jones to write a post on his mod­u­lar bug out sys­tem.  It was obvi­ous to me, in hind­sight, that it took me too long to gath­er the clothes, gear, etc. that I want­ed to take, pack, and go for a light bug out sce­nario, by com­par­i­son to “the big event.”  I think I have spent too much time prepar­ing for the “big event,” that I have lost sight of the small­er dis­as­ter sce­nar­ios that can hit you (me).

How­ev­er, I still believe that a 72 hour bag is too short a time today to pre­pare for.  I think five to sev­en days is more real­is­tic.  Even this post hur­ri­cane flood has caused the dis­as­ter sce­nario to be elon­gat­ed.

I am writ­ing this from my pri­ma­ry Bug Out Loca­tion.  By the time you read this, it will almost be Labor Day week­end, at which time I may be at the camp site we usu­al­ly use for camp­ing to ass­es any fall­en tree dam­age…  I’m sure I will be giv­ing more thought to this mod­u­lar Bug Out Bag con­cept and writ­ing about it in the near future.


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