Escape and Evasion – Go Bag 2
I‘m going to use Houston, Texas as the start location for my evacuation, with the destination located in Topeka, Kansas, a 711-mile journey that’s normally an 11-hour drive using the major interstate system; however, we’re not going to plan on using that system, as it’ll be overwhelmed by evacuations from major cities, such as Houston, Dallas, and Oklahoma City. So, we need a plan to move around these areas and the only way to understand this is to do an advance of the routes. An advance can consist of driving those routes (if you’ve got the time and money to do so) or by conducting a map study of the routes. With Google Earth and the use of the Internet there’s no reason why you can’t plan a reasonable route around major cities. Also, maps and websites update conditions of roads, construction areas, and road closures, so you should continue to update your database, especially in areas prone to disasters, whatever that may be. Situational awareness is a continued theme in the prepper mindset, so consider this as an essential step in living the rest of your life. Know what’s going on around you and how events (weather, crime, terrorism etc.) affect your life.
Go-Bag contents considerations for this trip
The weather is going to be mild but could get colder as you move North so we should have some consideration for wet and cold weather. In general, we can plan for reasonable weather overall. These are some of the items I would want with me:
► Good quality folding knife for everyone in your family (Bench made, Spyderco. etc.) that attaches to your pocket with a clip for easy and quick assess
► Multi-tool (A Gerber or a Leatherman are extremely useful and needed in your go bag)
► Pistol of your choosing, you want to be able to protect yourself and throughout history, one thing is always certain; those with weapons usually win the day. So, check the laws local laws and the laws of the areas you’re headed to ensure you’re legal to carry a weapon
► Extra magazines and bullets for your weapons * Pro Tip - you never want to have a gun and no bullets; in fact, I have nightmares of this. So, prepare accordingly and understand you may be using this gun for hunting as well, so you want plenty of ammo and cleaning gear.
► Money. Cash is king and always good to have. Small bills, such as 10s and 20s are great with some 100s if you can have that.
► 550 para cord has many uses, so I suggest at least having twenty-feet of it in your bag. It’s light-weight and most useful
► Duct tape (riggers tape) is also a must-have item. I would suggest having a roll in your bag or at least some wrapped around a Nalgene bottle or canteen (a handy way to store tape in confined areas).
► Trauma Medical equipment, you’re not doing open-heart surgery, so be reasonable here. I would suggest some form of quick clot bandage as this comes in handy in many emergency situations (accidents, car wreck, etc.). There are very affordable products on the market and the americansocietyofpreppers.com provides some of the best and up-to-date products available. This is one area where advances are made every day so what was good a year ago is not the best today.
► Basic medical equipment is the same items you have in your home: Band-Aids, antibiotic cream, pain-killers, and other items to keep you healthy. You don’t need a simple cut to turn into an infection so keep wounds clean and covered.
► Prescription drugs (if you require prescription drugs to remain healthy). Plan accordingly for this and rotate the drugs from daily use to Go-Bag use so as not to have expired meds when you need them.
► Flashlight - an important tool for your safety. I love Surefire lights, but they’re expensive so you can substitute any quality light for this. Mag Light is another brand that makes solid products. Headlamps are useful as well but I suggest one of each as there are times when you need a flashlight over a headlamp.
► Batteries are something you need to run your equipment so plan accordingly
► More ammo and magazines, possible additional weapons
► Water is an essential requirement and needed to sustain life, so you need to plan for this. Water is heavy and difficult to find in time of emergency. If you’ve ever been without water you know just how stressful this can be. I suggest carrying as much water as you can in your Go-Bag. Additional tools for purifying water are as important since you’re not going to be able to carry enough water needed over an extended period. Water purification tablets are effervescent tablets that kill microorganisms in water to prevent cholera, typhoid, dysentery, and other water-borne diseases. There’s also a wide range of products that filter water for you, so do your research:
► Fire starting items, water proof matches are good but again there are several items on the market that aren’t reliable, so read reviews and try the item before you need it for real. A good lighter that’s disposable or a Zippo is suitable. Cotton balls and hand sanitizer make a solid fire starter. I’ve been known to soak a roll of toilet paper in hand sanitizer to keep wet wood burning (it worked great, like a fire log you pay for).
► Sanitation needs are for consideration. Soap, toilet paper, wipes, and female hygiene products, if applicable, should be on your list as well.
► Food, you want some form of protein to sustain you until the next hearty meal. Good quality bars with 400 calories are a surefire to maintain your body while on the move. You can mix in a high-calorie meal as well, just have a quick look as there are many products on the market. I suggest finding something you like and pack that, as in a time of stress and emergency a rewarding meal may make a big difference in maintaining your morale. Don’t just buy something prepackaged without trying it.
► Snivel gear is essential to keeping you warm, dry and happy. Warm weather gear is important and having something to keep you warm and dry is important. In this situation, you can likely get away with a military style shelter (poncho and poncho liner). I’ve slept in extremely cold areas with temps getting down to freezing with a poncho liner and poncho. Again, make decisions on your needs based on weather and your physical condition.
► Maps - yep, old school, paper maps are important, perhaps more important today, as everyone relies on GPS to reach their destination. Rand McNally offers a reliable, proven product. Have on hand local maps and maps of your Evac route.
► Singling devices, whistles are trustworthy and hit a frequency above our voice at times. Also, as it’s so uncommon to hear a whistle because it draws attention from others if needed, so pack one. Prepaid phones and cell phones are needed if the system is working. Remember, emergency = everyone trying to call someone, so phones may not work for hours or even days after an emergency.
► Money, cash is always king and it may get you something you or your loved one need in an emergency. I suggest having small denominations of USD on your body (perhaps hidden) and in your Go-Bag. 10s, 20s, and 100s is my suggestion and not all located in one place; spread the load throughout your body, in your Go-Bag, and amongst others in your group.
► A multi-band, hand cranked radio is another essential item, as you can gather information on what lies ahead in your route. Ham Radio operators take their hobby seriously and they should as it offers an alternative means of national communication in an emergency. You should familiarize yourself with Ham Radio products on the market place and at least, have the ability to listen to transmissions. Additionally, there are radios you can transmit on as well. This takes some basic level of understanding but you can easily learn the skills necessary to transmit and receive communications.
Remember, crime, accidents, and natural disasters are always waiting to get us and it is impossible to predict everything around the corner, so stay alert and stay alive.