Bugging Out and Strategic Relocation

by David Morris on April 21, 2011

Welcome to the April 22nd edition of the Urban Survival Newsletter.

Before I get into what we’re going to talk about this week, I wanted to share a few timely thoughts on disaster preparedness from my friends over at PersonalLiberty.com, where I am a regular contributor.

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Now on to this week’s edition of the Urban Survival Newsletter…

To start with, I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter!  This is the biggest holiday of the year for me and it commemorates the reason why I’m able to have so much peace that defies understanding in the midst of trials and turmoil.  I wish the same for everyone, but I’ve got readers at all ends of the religious spectrum, so I’ll leave it at that 🙂

This week’s newsletter is going to be shorter than usual.  For the last 10 days, we’ve been running a strategic relocation scenario and I’ve simply been too busy testing and doing stuff to write much about the experience yet.  The good news is that I’ve got a lot to share over the coming weeks on what worked and what didn’t.

You might be asking yourself what a strategic relocation is.  In short, it’s like bugging out, but you do it before disaster strikes and before it’s urgent.  This allows you to relocate at a more relaxed pace and with more stuff.

One of the myths of preparedness is that when “it” happens, people will be able to grab all of their “stuff,” throw it in the car, ”bug out” and get out of Dodge.  This is doable for single people, but for families, it’s quite a bit more difficult.

There are several holes in this load-up-and-bug-out line of thinking, but one of the big ones is just how heavy preparedness “stuff” is, how much space it takes up, and how a full load affects your speed and maneuverability.

Guns, ammo, food, water, precious metals, tools, camping gear, clothes, people, dogs (we consider ours vital), medical/trauma gear, toiletries, electronics, fuel, generators, and games all take space and few of them are light weight.  You can quickly hit 2,000-4,000 pounds and run into problems with finding light, inexpensive, practical storage containers strong enough to handle stacking.

Of course, if you have to travel fast and light, you’d leave a lot behind, but these are items that you wouldn’t want to leave behind if you were leaving your home for what you thought was going to be an extended or permanent survival situation.

They’re also not cheap items, which makes it difficult to have two fully stocked locations.  And, even if you do have both your home and retreat location fully stocked, it would make most people ill to abandon lots of good gear and supplies.

Not having to relocate is one of the core fundamentals of the SurviveInPlace.com Survival Course.  Regardless of where you live, you need to have a plan in place to survive short, medium, and eventually long term disasters wherever you spend the majority of your time.  The reason is simple—since that’s where you spend the majority of your time, that’s where you’ll likely be when a disaster happens, no matter how good or bad of a location it is.  (To read more about the SurviveInPlace.com Survival Course, please go to www.SurviveInPlace.com)

Still, some people’s primary plan is to bug out to an alternate location if there is a natural or manmade disaster.

But if you think that when a disaster happens, you’re going to be able to get your fully loaded vehicles and/or trailers loaded, on the road, and to your bug out location while everyone else is trying to do the same thing, you may be in for a big surprise.

Not only do you need to be at the head of the pack leaving your town, but you need to be ahead of everyone leaving every town between you and your final destination.  We’ve got hurricane evacuation after hurricane evacuation illustrating how the early movers have it easy and the masses end up moving at a snail’s pace…if at all.

It’s been said that you can bug out fast-and-light or heavy-and-slow.  When you’re traveling light, you can accelerate, brake, turn, and generally maneuver quicker.  When you’re loaded for bear, you use more gas, change lanes when people let you, turn where you’ve got a big enough radius, and hope that people don’t slam on their breaks when they cut in front of you.

You just won’t be able to make as good of time with a full load and/or a trailer than you normally can.  Your vehicle may not be able to go as fast, braking and handling will be different, fuel doesn’t go as far, and wind can be a NASTY enemy.  In addition to slower speeds, it may not be practical or safe to drive as many hours as you could under normal conditions.

Which brings us to strategic relocation.  If you have a location where you’d rather ride out a survival situation and have the ability to support yourself there financially, you may want to pro-actively relocate there before things get REALLY bad…either days/weeks or even months/years ahead.  Relocating before everyone else does makes the heavy and slow option practical.

(Now, I’m not necessarily talking about heading to the great Northwest to live on a family compound…although that is a romantic notion that’s a great fit for many families. Some people find great peace and contentment living alone and being rugged individualists.  They are living lives that are much closer to how the founding fathers, pioneers, and most rural families lived until recently.  I applaud the people who choose that lifestyle, but it’s just not for our family…right now.  (It may be soon, but not right now.)

Instead, I’m referring to strategically locating to a house, neighborhood, city, or state that is closer to friends and/or relatives while things are still stable.  Basically, people who you’d let double up with you or who you’d want to double up with if the need arose.  People who can watch your back and people who you want to depend on in the event of a breakdown in civil order.

If you’re already living by friends and family, then you may not need to concern yourself with strategic relocation, but you will want to keep reading for ideas on how to plan for emergency bug-out scenarios.

If you do decide that things are getting dicey enough with the S&P downgrading US debt *finally* and have a long distance move that requires a moving company, you’ll quickly learn that they don’t want to move a lot of items that are common for preppers and you’ll have to either sell them at a discount and re-buy them or move them yourself.

These next steps are what we went through to figure out how much of our preparedness gear we could  actually transport at one time and are valuable regardless of whether you are planning for the possibility of a strategic relocation or an emergency bug-out.

Step 1.  Decide what weight you feel comfortable working with (lifting, going up/down stairs, extending out from your body, etc.)  From experience, I can tell you that you can fill up big, heavy duty storage containers with 300+ pounds of ammo.  While this may be a weight that you can throw around and move quickly with, it’s too much for me.  I decided to max out my boxes at 75 pounds (which is also, conveniently, one of the weight intervals for kettlebells.)  That is a weight that I can work with at a fast pace for a decent amount of time without straining my back, but it shouldn’t be a benchmark.  The last thing you want to do is try to be a tough guy and screw up your back at the beginning of a trip.  Pick a weight that works for YOU and train with that weight on a regular basis.

I found the nice big heavy-duty storage containers to be mostly unusable…except for bulky items.  8, 10, and 12 gallon storage bins worked much better…and you can buy them almost anywhere, including Costco.

Step 2.  Decide on your level of operational security.  I chose to put my preparedness gear in opaque storage bins or clear storage bins surrounded by clothes.

Step 3.  Figure out the weight limits of your vehicle(s) and trailer(s).  Remember that you want to keep heavy items as low as possible to maximize stability.  If the gear is worth having, and your life worth living, don’t overload.

Step 4.  Figure out how many bins you can transport based on weight/space limitations.  Don’t forget to account for people, pets, & coolers.  For the weight, take the amount of weight your vehicle is rated for and divide by the maximum weight of the containers you decided on.

Step 5.  If you’re gear is not already packed in storage bins, try doing a dry run loading your vehicle(s) to see how many containers it/they will hold.  If you’ve got a trailer and intend on stacking more than one level high, make sure that your containers can handle the additional weight PLUS the downward forces that your tie downs will add or use a shelving system.  I used metal shelving units from Costco in a trailer and 3 levels of storage containers.  Some items, like 5 gallon buckets with lids, will probably be easier to transport as-is rather than putting them into bins.

Once you’ve loaded in bins and other hard sided items, you can fill the remaining spaces with soft items like clothes, pillows, coats, etc.

***Quick aside***  If you use tie downs to keep a load from shifting from side to side and front to back, they will be exerting downward force in addition to the lateral force that keeps your load stable.  As an example, if your straps make a 45 degree angle going from your tie down point up to the top of your load, you will have AS MUCH additional downward force as you do lateral force.  In my case, the downward force of my tie downs almost doubled the total downward force on my shelving units.  If you’re stacking storage bins on top of storage bins, they’ll have to be able to handle this additional weight without deforming.  This is especially difficult in warm weather.

Step 6.  Once you know your weight and volume limitations in terms of storage bins, it’s time to fill those storage bins.  I weighed every bin as I loaded them and wrote the weight and a shorthand description on tape on the outside.  (Remember, my bins are opaque…and it doesn’t take more than a couple of times of rifling through several bins to appreciate the value of labeling.)  You can also put a sheet in the top of each bin with the contents.

You might also want to label where each of the bins go…like “Trunk, bottom level” or “pickup bed, by end gate” or “trailer, LOFO (last on, first off) or FOLO (first on, last off).  This is especially handy if you have a multi-day trip and you’re going to need to get items out of your bins during the trip.  In general, I loaded all of the heaviest boxes on the bottom, lighter ones on the next level, and the lightest items and items that we wanted access to on the top level.

Continuing with the multi-layer approach that I take with 72-hour kits, as you’re going through this process, you’ll realize that it’s a great time to prioritize, which would make it easier to pack if you have a limited amount of time to leave, could only take one vehicle, or had an unexpected person along when you had to leave.

If you’re like me, this process is quite comforting and freeing…it makes it easier to find things when everything’s organized and it’s nice to have a solid plan in place that takes the unexpected twists and turns of life into account.

I’ve got to run for this week, but I want to get your input on strategies that you’ve used for strategic relocations and bugging out, and experiences that you’ve had.  What’s worked for you and what hasn’t.  Also, are you thinking of relocating more or less now than you were 6 months ago?  What are the biggest factors—family, defensible location, local politics, income?



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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1BadVooDooDaddy
April 22, 2011 at 5:47 am

This is why caching is so important. If you had to transport all of the stuff your family is going to need you would have a very large trailer and a full truck load of stuff. Your ability to get out cleanly in a SHTF scenario is going to be limited to available space and time. If you have some of your stuff cached along the way or is several spots at your destination then you have less worry about running out of both space and time to get out. Strategic relocation is probably the best way to achieve your goal. It is better to jump the gun than to be stuck in a bad situation and unable to get out. You can always pack up and go home our just wait out the inevitable.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Fred Catelli
April 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm

This is almost like the Egyptian idea of taking it with you. As a family we have really prepared outselves for just about everything except a frontal assault by many people or a total lack of electrical power. I even have an extra 15 gal.s of gasoline and 5 tanks of propane. I own an suv, no covered wagon, no trailer and no place to go. This is it. I just don’t see any way that we could be self sufficient in a tent for more than a week. Where I would erect this tent is anyone’s guess.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1eric
April 23, 2011 at 7:21 am

I’m with you Fred. A man’s home is his castle! Make it so and stay off the roads and away from the masses.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Frank
April 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Fred – I am in that situation. 5+ acres 20 miles from a medium size city. Fairly isolated and defensible. Still working on what we need to have put away here for our safety and survival. Would like to see the ideas of other in similar situations. Buggin out is not the plan but surviving in place is.


Vote -1 Vote +1Mike
April 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm

As much as gas prices hurt right now, this is the one advantage to living in a rural location. I’m over 15 miles from the nearest small city and 25 miles from a medium sized city. The area is very unlikely to experience a natural disaster that would force us to leave our home. We’re not on a fault line, hurricanes are just rain if they reach us, tornados are very rare, minimal flooding risk, etc. Our biggest risk would have to blizzards / ice storms or a thunderstorm with a microburst.

I’d be interested in others thoughts but I can’t see any other place ever being safer than home. Anyone else out there in the same type of situation? Do you still have a bug out plan just in case?


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Meathead
April 22, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Same situation here in East Texas, Mike. The wife and I have everything that we will need to survive rather comfortably for almost two years and weapons to protect us from the mobs that will be out looking for food. That’s without hunting or fishing to augment the goodies. We have communication equipment to listen to what is happening around the area, around the world as well as with the weather. We, along with seventeen others, do have a large ranch just a few miles away to egress to if the nastiness starts to get too close to us. With a sixteen foot tandem axle trailer behind the motor home, we can haul all of our “stash” in one trip. We have quite a bit of “extra” to barter with as the FRN will be worthless. We really feel sorry for those who live in, and close to, cities. At the first sign of our economy and society collapsing, they will need to get the hell out of them and into a rural setting.
Our basic philosophy: Show up asking for help, we will share with you. Show up to take what we have, you will die.


Vote -1 Vote +1Sharon
April 22, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Mike and Meathead-
We are in the same boat with you. We live in a very rural/agricultural area in southern Colorado. 2 miles to the closest town (not even a red light there) and 43 miles to the closest town of size. We have a full acre garden each year and can everything in sight. We raise most everything we eat and have a full 1-2 year stash of food, clothing, feed for stock and ammo for whatever the need may be. We farm predominately with horses now and on 200 acres, we feel fairly secure. We operate on the same philosophy as you Meathead, folks show up hungry and willing to work and contribute, they are safe at our place. Folks show up to take or steal and they will be resting in the marsh.
We have entertained the idea of selling and moving back to the Appalachian Mountains where my family still lives and farms. It would be safer yet and we would have other likeminded people to surround ourselves with but…we live on a farm and we don’t see the real estate market for farms in Colorado very strong right now.

Blessings Ya’ll


Vote -1 Vote +1Marc-Edward
April 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Mike, I would consider an underground or at least a partial undreground home to help prevent any of the other natural disasters that you refered to. They are easy to heat in the winter and keep cool in the summer. Also are bullet proof on most sides and could be barricaded easily.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Wobbly-1
April 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm

although I can see the need to “emergency re-locate” this is really more of a “movie idea” than reality in my opinion. Your home is where you are most familiar, safest, and possess the most resources to sustain your self/family. I realize situations can force a move (natural or man-made) but you have (or should have) a network of neighbors, family, and, assets to draw from by remaining at your residence. As a previous poster above noted, “we have no where else to go” and that is going to be the case for the vast majority of people. Bug-out gear is necessary, but think about the amount of things you may need to draw upon that would not be part of that gear (All that stuff in the closets and garages). Home is where I would be until the absolute last response.


Vote -1 Vote +1BJ
April 29, 2011 at 10:27 am

I personally can see the scenario repeating like New Orleans. Plenty of people would think they are safe in their own homes, but when the soldiers are at the door and say leave, you will leave one way or another. There is so much technical equipment that will render people powerless, like the sound gun or the heat ray that cooks skin like a microwave. And they can see through the walls with infra red and body heat detectors. I have already moved out of the country to Central America, and am thinking of now moving to Paraguay. I live very well on 1k a month.


Vote -1 Vote +1Estiver
May 12, 2011 at 10:20 am

I have lived in Guatemala and Bolivia. I am interesed in your experiences in Central America. Do you feel safe as a gringo? I worry mostly about how to keep a low profile and staying out of the conflicts with government and local “authorities” such as gangs and miltias. Also how do you obtain your $1k in a foriegn country? I agree that modern tech makes it nearly impossible to resist State authority here. Scares the H out of me.


Vote -1 Vote +1Blueeyesol
April 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I live in my Motorcoach, 40′ Bus, totally self contained. Holds 200 Gal fresh water, 200 gal sewer water, 12KW deisel generator, 260 gal fuel, holding everything I own. I made this move after losing my home in Katrina. I also have a class B Motorhome which is a regular size, 1 ton Van, has everything in the big coach, just much smaller, in case The Bus is too big to run with. The Van can fit in any parking spot or driveway without neighbors complaining of having an oversized vehicle parked in their neighborhood! I would think an RV would be the best friend of a prepper and ready to go at all times. I haven’t heard mention of this in all of these survival lessons, although I much appreciate the lessons and tricks of survival. I am also disabled, so I can’t walk very far or do labor, so I have to be ready all of the time. If I lose my Motorhomes, I’m about out of luck and will have to hunker down where ever I am and hope it doesn’t destroy my coaches. I do have a few areas where friends or family are, ready to travel to, in case my area goes ballistic and I can get out. I have enough defenses to hold off a gang till help arrives, along with a lot of the things neccessary, mentioned in these lessons for food and medicine and bartering materials, and a hand wound weatherband radio and In Motion Satelite TV service. I don’t ever want to be caught out like Katrina did to us ever again. If I have to bug out now, all I have to do is disconnect my sewer hose, water hose and electric line and put a few things down on the floor of the coach so it doesn’t tip over and I’m ready to roll. I keep my fuel tanks full all of the time, even when idol, I fuel up before I park it. Of course, i am single and realize not everybody can live this way, but you could still keep a travel trailer or some kind of RV, not only for pleasure, but for bugging out. Nothing like having a place to stay with your own electricity, and supplies, when everybody else is panicking and suffering for not being prepared. I don’t wish suffering on anybody, but before I could be of help to others, I have to be in good shape myself, and from lessons learned from Katrina, I hope to never be in that situation again!


Vote -1 Vote +1Gypsy Jane
April 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Blueeyesol, I also live in a motorhome. I try to keep the tanks full whenever possible. One concern I have is that the mileage on these rigs is so bad – a full tank may not take me as far as I’d like to skedaddle. Another is that it’s pretty obvious there’s likely to be Stuff in there. Although not as much Stuff as I’d like: it won’t fit. Nevertheless, I feel much more secure than I would in a sticks and bricks house.


Vote -1 Vote +1Myke
April 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I agree hole heartedly about the “Rubbermaid” type containers but would also suggest lining them with large garbage bags for two reasons, first: moisture while transporting them on your trailer and second: my scenario involves having a plan with friends (I trust) with Topographical maps showing different “staging” locations. These locations would have time frames associated with them. The first might be for 2-3 days initially then after that the members, who were there, would move to the next location further out for maybe a little longer, and so on and so on until the final “pre-determined” location was arrived at.

As hinted to, will roads really be passable? Think of traffic jams, mudslides, abandoned vehicles and unfriendly areas. All of which could hinder your ability to drive where you need to go. Think about ATVs, Mountain Bikes, etc. Let’s say you drove as far as you could but you’re still a number of miles away from your destination. You can always take those containers, a shovel and everything else you have and bury them in the nearby woods (that’s the second reason for lining the containers and let’s hope you have nearby woods to bury things in). Mark them then set off with your fully stocked 72 hr. kit (in a backpack with tent, food, cooking equipment, clothing, compass, etc.) Later you can return when things have calmed down a little and reclaim your items for transport to your next destination.

Prepare in layers just as we dress for the outdoors. You can always shed those things along the way that are of less importance or maybe barter with them for things you find you need more. Groups are good for preparation, planning and execution. Update your items as needs change.

I’ve found that if your scenario is to stay put then, maybe, on a Friday night when the whole family will be home have a little “mock” disaster (I strongly suggest coordinating this with your spouse first). Turn off all the power, water, etc. and for the weekend stay put and use your supplies. Keep a pencil and paper handy for notes on deficiencies (toilet paper may be first on your list of “year supply” items).

Hope this helps and keep up the articles and comments by all.


Vote -1 Vote +1julie
April 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I agree with the above. We already moved from city area. We have gone as far as we are going. Unless it is a short term thing like fire.


Vote -1 Vote +1texaninsouthfl
April 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Several of you have expressed very much the same thoughts I have. I live in south Florida where the biggest natural threat is of course hurricanes. Living in a metropolitan area we have the same risk of disaster or societal upheaval as anyone else in an urban area. With all that said, I have no family except my children who live with me so even IF I could get out of Florida, I have no where else to go really. I’m 15 miles inland, suburban, fairly upscale area away from more densely populated bad parts of town. As of this time, I can’t afford to buy a cabin, land or other place that I could plan to escape to. Unless forced to evacuate due to a large scale bio-terrorist attack or something like that, I just don’t see trying to escape north up one of the two routes available as feasible. Thus, my preparations have mostly focused more on surviving in place. I’m always open to suggestions from others who have been at this a lot longer than I have.


Vote -1 Vote +1val
April 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm

being in hurricane country you probably have plywood to barricade windows from looters who may break windows to try to get in.? My son says they will go to the upscale part of town first to loot.


Vote -1 Vote +1Jim
April 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm

We are struggling too, but are in a rural area on the ‘prairie,’ so don’t think we have as much danger. We do own a lake place with two homes on it that are less than an hour away, under normal conditions. I expect over the next couple of years, maybe months, to get an LP standby generator there, so will be quite self sufficient. We have our own well and septic system, about 2000 gal propane (maximum) on hand and are building up a food pantry, keep 6-12 gal of RO water on hand and rotate all items. I have plenty of shotguns, rifles and am building up my ammo supply, fishing gear, etc.Thank God that we started buying ‘junk’ silver last fall! We keep some gold too, but believe silver is more practical.
We have space heaters in our home and lake homes that require no electricity to hold temperatures in our Northland environment, so have a start…..peace and prayers to all of you. Happy Easter…..my favotite Holiday too, with the resurrection promise!


Vote -1 Vote +1Chris Lockhart
April 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Great info! I’m just starting to get my family to understand the importance of being prepared for crisis situations whether natural or man made especially in these turbulent times. Hopefully they will enjoy your information as much as I have. Thanks!


Vote -1 Vote +1Steve
April 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm

I have a questiion for those of you who have more experience than I. We have begun storing food, guns and reloading supplies, we live in a small town about 10 miles from a small city, 100 miles to a large one. It is a farm and was rural but they built an interstate about 1/4 mile away from us. We can be nearly self suffficient here and can’t really afford to move. My house is very visible to all the southbound traffic. Is there any way to stay safe in such an obvious spot? any advice would be appreciated Thanks and best wishes to all…….Steve


Vote -1 Vote +1Charlie
April 23, 2011 at 11:43 am

Start Planting cover now! A lot of it. With time, you will disappear


Vote -1 Vote +1MarkW
April 24, 2011 at 10:09 am

I would plant trees and shrubs between the house and the interstate that would help hide the house. I can see where it would be too costly to move, but you can try to hide in place by using natural camoflage of tree/brush lines.
I have a place in the country and my house is about 100 feet from the road, but it is virtually invisible unless you drive in onto the property…looks like nothing there if you just drive by.
Don’t forget medical supplies in your storage as well as personal hygiene items and other feelgood/comfort items. One item that gets overlooked is a toothache/cavity repair kit. Those can be a lifesaver if someone gets a toothache. Also medical items to handle cuts, broken bones (especially fingers) and ever gunshots (chest patches/valves and Quikclot blood stopper) can be invaluable. Any medical training you can get will also be more valuable than the items youcan stockpile.
Good luck!


Vote -1 Vote +1Arthur
May 3, 2011 at 7:41 am

The best way to store reloading components is assembled!
However – if you have capacity to handle the weight of the equipment, it could be handy.
Components are much safer for barter than ammunition also. A lot of barter will be done with people outside of your normal circle of “friends”. Never give someone you are dealing with the ability to kill you. Trust is good – to a point.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1John Potter
April 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Asking yourself (and your family) what can you do without?; is at least as important as what do I need. As you say making the plan and the hard decisions now, before the need comes, this is the way to go.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1James 1937
April 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm


Dear Mr. Morris:
I very much appreciate your survival information and especially the comments of your readers who seem to be in find shape to handle whatever comes or making many preparations as they are able with the wherewithal available to them.

Those of us who are in ‘the lower middle class income level’ and thus have very limited income at our disposal as well as being in our mid 70’s with a multitude of health problems have, in large part, concluded that we simply will not be able to survive in spite of our feeble efforts to accumulated a supply of ‘basics’ and thus it is very doubtful that anything we could pass on to others, especially those in our ‘predicament’, could serve any real helpful purpose. . . except to possibly make those of similar circumstance aware that they, for what it is worth, are not alone!

It is gratifying for us who have belonged to the Lord for 60 years or more to note in the posting of a few that they too apparently belong, “lock, stock & barrel” to Jehovah God as that really is, in the final analysis, in any and all situations and life, all that really matters.

Living for the past 37 years in an old house in a town of some 40,000 and a county of some 97 thousand that is located some 30 mile NNE of Chattanooga and with Sequoyah nuclear plant some 30 miles west and Watts Bar nuclear plant some 45 miles NNW . . . as well as fault lines located in our area, our location might well be judged to be more that average as to being hazardous and when the area crime rate is considered that hazardous situation is, in its self, “bothersome” to say the least.

I grew up very poor back home in Central Mississippi but with a Mother and Father that were very fine, upstanding, no nonsense Christian folks . . . and thus coming from that very positive environment is definably a tremendous asset in every respect as has been the case during my lifetime, having been Blessed beyond measure.

Having literally grown up in my Dad’s little one man gun shop where he did general gunsmithing and built custom hunting and bench rest match rifles, his customers ranged from the poor negro & white farmers to the well to do doctors, lawyers, bankers and successful business men . . . which in its self well served as a fine “educational environment” along with providing 70 years training and familiarly with the proper use of rifles, handguns and shotguns . . . and that latter should serve well for a time should the ‘criminals’ come calling as they surely will.

“Preparations” though pitiful in comparison to those related by your readers post consist of accumulating extra “groceries” (canned and dried) from WalMarts, etc.; canning vegetables (vegetable soup primarily) as produce becomes available from local farmers . . . and the usual first aid supplies recommended and a bit of a surplus of prescription medication (I am prescribed 13 Rx daily so you see why I am particularly pessimistic about my ability to survive for any length of time!)
We have accumulated several old in-operable freezers and refrigerators in the belief that they are a cheap/generally free means of providing relatively good storage ‘containers’ for the accumulated food stuff.
Poor soil, lacking of space and limited ability tends to preclude have a ‘victory garden’ as I remember being a necessary especially back during WWII . . . but I am trying to located a source for barnyard and/or chicken house COMPOST so as to try a couple of raised beds thought about 240 square feet will probably be about the best I can do; the wife disabled to the point of not being able to assist in even that limited gardening effort.

We of course are totally dependent regarding electricity, water, sewer and natural gas and at some point would not have those provided either because of an “interruption of supply” or due to our inability to afford the cost as cost rises & the value of our paper money is drastically reduced. Solar panels options are attractive to think about but unaffordable and drilling a well in the back yard is frowned on by our city government as is usually the case with government.

This business of “getting out of Dodge” is nice if folks doing so have a good place to go and are able to get there with what they need. In reality that option seems a bit farfetched to say the least, at least for the vast majority of us.

There was a time when our highways had signs indicting that it was a designated escape route in the event of a nuclear ‘accident’.

J A Wyatt
Kosciusko, Miss. HS Class of 1956;
Mississippi State Univ. Class of 1961
73 years of age and counting down & looking forward to
A Mississippian; old, disabled but always armed,


Vote -1 Vote +1Steve
April 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm

God bless you and yours Mr. Wyatt. I will keep you in my prayers. Steve


Vote -1 Vote +1P
April 24, 2011 at 3:00 am

A comforting faith you possess, Mr. Wyatt, in the Eternal “what lies beyond!” For now, though, I hope you can take comfort, as well, in “your community” around you (family and friends). I realize that in our society today many of us living as “nuclear families” have not close community connections. That’s part of what this “preparedness” is for … making those connections with others so that during times of need we can all come together to endure. A good place (outside of family) to begin making those connections to build “your community” is with your fellow brothers and sisters in your church congregation. There, you will hopefully find people with faith, positive attitudes and easier to trust people because of their shared faith as you have. Through establishing these relationships, you will find people to turn to and/or rely on during what ever difficult times are ahead as they will also find strength in what you have to offer (such as: gunsmithing advice, etc.) Realize what you have to offer “your community.” It may not be material or physical, but perhaps emotional or spiritual support, etc.


Vote -1 Vote +1Judy
April 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I think about this topic often as we live about 20 miles outside of a major metropolitan area. We have started prepping, but I don’t know about the neighbors. They are great folks and we help each other, but are not super close. I would love to stay here, but it could be that gangs will leave the city and come this way since it is known to be an affluent area. I would love to hear any thoughts that folks have to share with me. We have been thinking about buying some property a couple of hours away and stocking it, so that we can bug out even on foot if necessary. Still, that’s a stretch, but, to me, the threat of social unrest is a very real one here. Thanks for the great info. I have learned a great deal reading the newsletter.


Vote -1 Vote +1P
April 24, 2011 at 3:05 am

Judy, my comment to Mr. Wyatt may give you another idea of where to find good, trusting people in your neighborhood.


Vote -1 Vote +1nitrox
April 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm

We live in the suburbs of a city with a population of about 450,000. Murders don’t happen here every day but robberies and burlaries do. If this problem is beyond the abilities of law enforcement now, I can’t imagine what things might be like WTSHTF. Our property is extremely sloped and wooded, not great for a garden space. We would most likely be able to handle a short term event at our home. But for a pandemic, total financial collapse, nuclear accident or TEOTWAWKI scenerio, I would be better off at my parents’ rural home. They have 3 open acres, always plant a garden and are on well water. There’s room for chickens, goats and rabbits and at a population of 20,000 the town has a greater sense of community and self sufficiency. It’s a 300 mile drive so timing our bugout will be really important. We work in the city so early relocation isn’t possible. We’ll just have to load up, say a prayer and drive really fast.


Vote -1 Vote +1Estiver
May 12, 2011 at 10:42 am

Wells need electricity for the pumps. A hand pump or PV assist might be VERY helpful for rural folks on wells especially if irrigation is required for gardening. GRid down is a scenario very likely and a major obstacle for city dwellerswho rely on power for water in, sewer out, heat, light, communication, etc. Power system is so vulnerable . Plan on doing without at slightest “event”.


Vote -1 Vote +1Fritty
April 22, 2011 at 10:22 pm

I’m only a beginner at this prepping stuff. I appreciate the comments and learn a lot. Some of my family cannot see the need for all of this stocking food and water in case of an emergency since we’ve never had an emergency! Our home is not built for storing a lot of stuff but I put some here and some there. As an older adult, climbing the pull down attic stairs for storage is not good; we have no basement or outside storage. Our old neighborhood of 43 homes has 30 as rentals now. Someone from another neighborhood is selling drugs on the sidewalk across from our house but the police can’t catch him because he does it intermittenly. We are unable to move & no where to go if we bugged out. God has blessed us to pay down many bills and I prepare as I can and have accumulated quite a bit; I learn from you and increase preparedness as i can. My suggestion for bugging out is to not put any suspicious supplies (guns/ammo) at the opening of your trailer/pick-up in case there was a reason for vehicles to be searched at some point on your route. Someone could mistake you for one of the escaping enemy. Better safe than sorry! Obey the speed limits. Travel on less traveled roads if possible. Stay calm – no road rage! Other people who are panic stricken may have short tempers, so be patient with them. Thanks!


Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
April 26, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Here in the southwest borderland area there are checkpoints — lots of them. They use dogs to find drugs, guns, and cash. It really does not matter where you put your stuff when you pack. If they want to find it then they will.


Vote -1 Vote +1victor
April 22, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Consider weight in every thing. Being mobile is critical. ” Remember the Alamo” There are other recent examples of defending your perimiter such as A-Teams in Vietnam. Those guys had the best available weapons, munitions, communications, and training. They also had great support like artillery, and air to ground support, not only in fire power but also in communications. We cant count on any of those resources! Whatever the major conflict is, resupply wont be available except to the various levels of government personel who will become hostile to the general population. Study up on Martial Law and Presidential Directives that support the survival of our Government in crisis.Your friendly neighbors will turn on you also in a survival mode simply because they can not accept the gravity of whats happening to them and their loved ones and they do not have resouces or survival skills. Sudy and investigate the various military Special operations teams survival training. Use light weight .22 caliber weapons with optics for defense. (Learn how to read sign and communicate without electronics.) .22’s can be very quite and very deadly. you can carry the weight of a large quanity of ammo. use portable water filtration products that can be readily carried and used at any available water source. Study up on shelter building. Our ancestors were nomadic. Northern American Indian tribes survived and lived off the land in very harsh conditions. They did not carry large quanities of supplies -study them. It’s History..We. Americans are very well educated about technology and how to live dependantly on the current system of things that are Government supports for most everything we have as long as we can pay for it.. We don’t like the concept of primitive living. Survival in a catastrophic situation will require dependancy on the basics of life and oneself. Pre-conditioning our mental attitudes for survival is critical. Do it now or you will not make it very long if conditions get serious.. Maintain a low profile, be mobile, living off the land and having a determination for survival is needed. Get mentally tough. Go to Borders Books and look at the various magazines on Primitive living.and hunting Do it now while you still have time. If you dont want to be a slave or see your loved ones die for lack of skills that you can learn and teach them..Learn how to trap/ snare animals for meat. Learn what plants are edible. Understand various methods of Water Purification.Ther are even Survival Shows on Cable that will teach you if you want to learn. Instead of vacations to Disneyworld or cruises to the Carribean, consider camping out in a National Park, not in a trailer but on the ground as primitive as you can handle, not in a trailer park but in tents or temporary shelters. No toilets. No pumped in water. No electricity. No nearby 7-eleven. Teach yourself and your wife and children what they need to learn to survive. Remember the old adage – Give a man a fish and he will have one meal but teach him how to fish and he will enjoy many meals. Are you willing to give up most of your exhisting comforts? If not, you will be forced to, with no recourse but to give up, lay down and watch your family perish.
Harsh words, but hard times dictate hard living. Dont think youre to old or not phyically able to get tough. You can! It’s all an attitude. Get ready, get prepared and be willing to adapt to whatever comes your way. Having a supportive wife or husband and children can be a blessing not a hinderance.


Vote -1 Vote +1Beth
April 23, 2011 at 5:17 pm

We are blessed to live around several Amish families who have a lot of resources that they will share or trade. They also want to keep up on what’s happening and want info about the gov’t and what they need to do. Get to know them if you have opportunity. Also, very good book to keep on hand is Foxfire, volume 1. Lots of good info for survival in it.


Vote -1 Vote +1Lore
April 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Amazing, that in this country we are even having this conversation. Shows you what this world really is.


Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
April 26, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Yup. When you get to the basics it really is food, water, shelter, and protection. With a little preparation the normal disruptions in life are far less traumatic.


Vote -1 Vote +1Z
April 24, 2011 at 9:51 pm

I have a good friend who owns an RV dealership 2 miles from me.He is plan B.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Marian
April 25, 2011 at 8:28 am

Hi everyone. Thank you for all of your comments and information sharing. I live alone in a small house, in an upscale neighborhood, 5 blocks from the ocean in NYC. If anything happens, natural or man-made, I don’t think I’d be able to bugout. I have a small garden wherein I grow and save fruits and vegetables, and I have a fishing pole I haven’t tried out yet. I have enough food stored to last me for about 6 months. I’m getting a gun and ammo, and boards to cover my windows. The problem is that I don’t know any like-minded people in the area. It seems to me the more “upscale” an area the less friendly the people, and my loved ones are all over the country. From what I’m reading, being alone is the death knoll. Would any of you know how I could connect with like minded people? Thank you and God bless you!


Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
April 26, 2011 at 8:35 pm

In an upscale neighborhood you can often find physicians and veterinarians. You would be surprised how open many of them are to the idea of preparedness. (BTW as a group most attorneys are rather cool to the idea of preparedness.) Find a good Bible believing church with families with kids and you should find others who do not want to be caught with their pants down in an emergency.


Vote -1 Vote +1Larry Conklin
April 25, 2011 at 10:32 am

Here’s a kind of an unusual subject, that many may not wish to discuss. That is personal clenliness. I am convinced that much of the health problems we face from day to day, are a direct result of trying to stay squeeky clean, by using pharma-based products. I see folks obsessively cleaning up after touching a doorknob, or a shopping cart. Think for a moment folks, where are you going to get those “throw-away” handywipes after a colapse? How will you cope when there’s no more toilet paper? I’m not advocating reverting to living like pigs, (though some folks do, even in these times) but Get out and dig in the soil! Make a garden, and fertilize it with real old cow poop! Have a few animals, dogs especially, that live in the house with you, and even insist on sleeping on your bed. They are the best alarm system you could have, and will lay down their own lives to protect your (their) family from intruders.
Your house will not be as clean, There will be shed hair, and the occasional “accident” to clean up, but you will all be a lot healthier, have less diseases to cope with, and less dependence on the drug companies. In short, get your hands dirty, you’ll be “cleaner” for it.


Vote -1 Vote +1John H. Baker
April 25, 2011 at 11:40 am

Diana Gabaldon – Outlander series – is a good example of relocating to the American colonies during the 18th Century. Political bs dealing with survival, weather, people who want to steal from you or just plain want to murder you..


Vote -1 Vote +1Valerie Bate
April 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I too have no where to go….my brothers live in CA for God’s sake! I have told them to come here if it gets really bad but worry that they wouldn’t make it. My plan is to stay in place unless my home is completely destroyed as we are in tornado country. I have thought many different scenarios through and the only one I can live with is to stay in place and try to make a go with my neighbors. I don’t know them really well but hope that with my knowledge and readiness we can get some kind of group going. I have thought about the “lone wolf” thing and know it’s not for me. I have 3 kids an 5 grandkids who all understand what I do and I make them contribute to my storage as they will be coming here. I am living in a 2bd/1bath home I bought to flip but due to the utter destruction of my industry (I am a mortgage loan officer – one of the good ones) my income is about 1/5 of what it was for many years) I am relying on faith, hope and charity….it may sound cheesy but it’s what feels right for me. I learned from David that the best tool I have is my knowledge and attitude. I live in a pretty small town in the Midwest that have a lot of self-sufficient attitudes around here. I don’t have the funds to be “uber-prepared” as I would like but add something every week. I know how to can, have a garden, can make bread, cheese and soap. I can lay awake at night worrying about all I don’t have but I gave that up and continue to make forward progress. I will deal with things as they come up and that’s the best I can do…..


Vote -1 Vote +1James 1937
April 25, 2011 at 11:49 pm

RANDOM (or rambling?) THOUGHTS

MENTAL ATTITUDE, i.e. ‘Mind Set’
Russian/Soviet Athletes who in addition to rigorous physical training were said to mentally go, step by step by step, continually through their routine, doing so over and over and over and over again; concentration totally on each and ever movement that they would make in ‘exhibition’; in their “competition performance”.
As a youth back years ago interested in weight lifting, it was with considerable fascination noting the ability of that country’s lifters to be able to lift such tremendous weight in each of their 3 competition lifts. That technique was found to be readily applicable in most any field of endeavor, especially those involving physical activity.
True, there is no substitute to continuous proper practice. In shooting it involves “holding firmly and comfortably, breathing in and then breathing ½ out and then holding the breath . . . and squeezing the trigger.” Jerk the trigger or flinch and you have wasted the shot. Going over this sequence mentally, over and over and over again doesn’t make you a ‘crack shot’ but it can’t help but help!

With regard to ‘environment awareness’, probably one of the best illustrations and explanations is the “color code” recommended by friend U S Marine Col. Jeff Cooper, founder of the GUNSITE Training facility, that ‘color code’ being the mental state designated by “White, Yellow, Orange & Red;

“White” being the state of mind one must totally avoid but which is that of the vast majority of those around you; that condition best graphically illustrated by folks you see with their attention focused on their cell phone or iPod or whatever, totally oblivious to their surrounding; Joggers with ear plugs in their ears listening to whatever instead of paying attention to what is going on around them.

“Yellow” designates a state of general awareness; a condition one should always be in!

“Orange” designates a state of alertness and awareness of ‘something not being right’ and thus the need to ‘stop and focus and evaluate’ and determine the extent of any apparent potentially existing threat and what you might/should to react to it and taking a quick ‘inventory’ of what you have on you or near at hand that might be useful.
At this stage, a threat consisting of another person or animal might allow one to make that ‘911’ call that is implied to be “a sure fire quick cure all” when in reality the best response time by the authorities that can be inspected – AFTER they get the call from 911 – is 3 minutes or more. 180 seconds is a long, long time when potential disaster is 3 seconds away.

“Red” is the alert ‘ready to resist’ condition, the suspected threat that is no longer ‘suspected’ but is now certainty and it is going to be “root hog or die”.

The hope is that long before hand this scenario will be repeatedly played out mentally; considered over and over again in the hope that if problems are later faced, some degree of ‘planning’ will have been done and ‘surprise and fear’ will to some degree be minimized.

SURVIVING in the face of catastrophic condition, be they ‘natural’ or man made is another area where mental preparations is certainly equal to and possibly considerable greater in importance to our physical preparedness of gathering provisions for the “long haul” lack of readily available food, medical care and all of the other modern conveniences we have so long been accustom to having.
Current opinion of “folks in the know” is that we are facing a ‘rough road ahead’ that may well put the ‘Great Depression’ our parents and grand parents suffer minor in comparison. God Help Us. ONLY HE CAN GET US THROUGH THIS MESS.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT; well, not really but it helps considerably!!!
It is said something to the effect that one never forgets how to ride a bicycle but no mention is made as to the degree of the ‘skill’ to do so.
Dad gave me, in 1942 or 1943, a Daisy ‘Red Ryder’ BB rifle and he taught me how to safely use it. I was 5 years old then and about the age of 13 the game warden traded a WWII .45 Auto to Dad for Bill Ruger’s first pistol, the .22 cal. rim fire auto loader . . . and Since no one back then was in the market for those “old war horses”, I managed to appropriate the .45 . . . so I have been shooting for about 67 or 68 years now and you would that I should be a ‘crack shot’, whatever that is.
Not able to get out to the gun club rifle and pistol range these day, shooting a pellet rifle off the deck at milk bottle caps mounted on a pizza carton is which I generally limited to.
Had you been with me today you would wonder about my having all those years of shooting experience.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE AND MORE PRACTICE is what it takes and that I can still manage in the back yard using the deck, the milk bottle caps glued on the pizza box and that backed by a metal drum top . . . and that same PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE is what we will have to do both mentally and physically in making preparations for what we may will be forced to face not far down the line.


Vote -1 Vote +1Ackey
April 27, 2011 at 4:29 am

I am trying right now to get a house in the country in an area with other preppers, I hope. I have always been a “be prepared girl” from scounting days. But I found out during a severe ice storm that all the bottled water, all the can goods and canned goods in jars will spoil/break open in 0 degree weather after 4 days and our power outage in this large city averaged 14 days. It all had to be cleaned up and thrown out along with gallons of water from broken pipes in the apt. overhead. I look forward to owning a home again but hate that it will be alone. I plan on doing raised gardening and doing super-duper “square foot gardening.” Mine will have a “seat” on them so I can weed while sitting, if that will be necessary with such packed produce. Solar panels are cheaper now than they have been in a long time. I hope to get a few of them installed to help run the well pump and some appliances like the washer. Other necessity will be a fireplace with insert to serve as cookstove should I need it. I have to learn to handle a firearm. My late husband was a retired Navy gunner’s mate and retired Law Enforcement officer so I didn’t need to know such things.

I, too, plan on the “if you help/work you can eat-other wise move on or push up some daisies” approach to visitors.
Best to everyone, your comments are appreciated and have been read and pondered over by me. 🙂 till next time
Janet from Springfield, MO area-now flooding this week.


Vote -1 Vote +1robert39
April 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Want free storage containers? Find someone with cats. I save my litter pails and wash them with detergent. My refrig died last winter, used 15 of them to keep the stuff in the garage. Using masking tape and marker pen is a good Idea for labels.
AS a place to go. Find a small lake with fish.
I have a 10 foot square greenhouse built into my house. It has concrete block walls with horizontal reinforcing. It generates heat in winter, food too. I have bubble pack inside wodden frames, coverded with window sealing plastic, on the windows.Heat it with a hotwater heater.
Stockup on chicken wire to put around your garden, else you’ll feed the rabbits.


Vote -1 Vote +1Linda
April 29, 2011 at 6:56 am

Would any of you know how I could connect with like minded people?

Hi Marian and anyone else who would like to know who might be around them mind like, I hope this helps, you might try it and see if these people can help in any way. I tried to reply to your post but it didn’t work and when I clicked on that little icon to the left, it voted for your post.. lol, now you got a vote. God Bless.


Vote -1 Vote +1MrJohnsir45
April 29, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Thanks, I have found your information helpful. I am getting in high gear with my preparations. April 17th was a day when I thought my family was going to have to bug-out due to a wildfire. The fire burned 71,000 acres in a matter of hours. If the wind would have shifted from west to the south we would have had to left quickly. As I started checking my essential bug-out eqipment, I found wholes in my plans. Now to fix the holes and get a solid plan.


Vote -1 Vote +1Kitty
April 30, 2011 at 10:22 am

we live in a large town. I’m partially disabled, and we have no where we could go to “bugout”. I’m the only one in my family that believes in preparedness. if we’d have to leave the house due to tornadoes or floods, I’d have to grab my meds and whatever I could carry and go. I’m trying to dry and store foods that I can eat that I could easily carry with me if need be, since I need a special diet. But a wholesale bug out I could not do. I’m going to get the survive in place course as soon as I save up the money, then I’m going to save for a water filter, since almost every disaster limits the supply of water to some areas for at least a while and diabetics need lots of water. Then I’ll try to get my head around a larger plan. right now I’m starting an exercise program to give myself every advantage I can. I never had a program before so this is new. LOL Kitty


Vote -1 Vote +1Suzanne
May 2, 2011 at 12:17 am

I live in west Houston, TX. Being in hurricane territory, I’ve learned to listen to my inner guidance. When others “bugged out” to spend several days just sitting on the freeway, I stayed at home cooking good meals out of stored food. Hurricanes amount to a vacation for me.
Now… when the inflation really kicks in and the people who are dependent on government handouts start to misbehave, as in riots and looting, I fully expect most law enforcement officers will be staying home to protect their own families, leaving the military in charge. Most of the looters will be dead fairly soon, and most of the rioters will likely be hauled off to FEMA camps. After those first couple of weeks is when the non-preppers will likely be either starving, heading out of town as far as their gas tanks will take them, or begging for help at the FEMA camps.


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