Near BO here, are you ready?

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by monkeyman, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    We came close enouph to a bug out earlier this week to show the weaknesses in our plans for that. We live about 100 miles southeast of Kansas City and this week a chemical plant in KC caught on fire. The reports on the news were that they made and distributed industrial chemicals includeing cleaners and stuff for metal working. Well I know that a lot of cleaning stuff contains amonia and chlorine and some of the metal working stuff uses syanide (sp?). So while the news was not saying so I was figureing this could be some deadly smoke and there was enouph of it that it could be seen from about 100 miles away includeing faintly from our back pourch.

    I wasnt sure of the EXACT wind direction but it was blowing about 10 MPH from some where around the north and if it was NW winds it would be here in about 9-10 hours. SO while I figured it would moost LIKELY be dispursed enouph by the time it would have gotten here that it wouldnt have been to harmful, if it was headed our way were were getting ready to BO as we gathered more info and started planning for the possibility of heading to friends about 100 miles north of us.

    We contacted the friends, which in its self turned out to not be as easy as might have thought since their number changed recently and we usualy talk on line, so had to get in touch that way. The friend had worked in the chemical supply business in KC and had some more specific info on what was there. It turned out that they also handled food grade stuff and so did NOT have the especialy nasty stuff I was concerned about. Also as we checked out other info it turned out that the wind was out of the NE and so the disipated smoke went across the far side of our county.

    What we did learn from it though was that while we have the 'hardcore' BOBs packed and in the vehicles that would provide for the basics of first aid, shelter, food, etc to keep us alive in dire situations what we didnt have was a family 'unplanned sleep over' kit. We still would have needed to grab a change or 2 of clothes each, sleeping clothes, and toiletry kits. Things that while nice to have dont rate the space/weight in a kit that has to be able to be carried of on my back if it comes to walking and is there to keep alive and reasonably comfortable if possible.

    We also learned that we need to be sure we always have multiple ways of contacting emergency contact people, and that while THIS time it wouldnt have been a problem, we often are flat broke. We usualy have enouph gas in the vehicles and or gas cans we could make it one way in an all out disaster BUT makeing a round trip and maybe stoping for burgers or some such could be a different situation, so need to make up the family less than dire kit and include at least $50-100 cash in it that dose not get touched for anything other than an emergency trip.

    So, heres the senario. A train just derailed 50 miles from you and caught fire. It was hauling chlorine and a deadly cloud is headed your way and will be to you in 3-4 hours. You dont have that long to leave though since you have to be 40-50 miles cross wind before it gets to you and traffic may be bad. So you have 90 minutes (a fairly liesurely emergency) to secure your home, load what you need and head out for 48-72 hours.

    Is EVERYTHING ready to go? Are you SURE you can contact someone at your destination? What are you missing? How would you do?

    We could have made it, but with a little more thought while things are calm we could be sure things went smoother and were more comfortable.
  2. Scavenger Flatbedder

    Scavenger Flatbedder Scavenging The Wasteland

    I live near a RR track and have thought about this scenario.
    I have came to the conclusion to suit up in a slicker,rubber boots and gloves and a full face respirator w/ a mercury vapor/chlorine filter,like the survivair,I have a few of each w/ new filters, and ride it out here at the homestead.
    I would like to hear some opinions back on this idea.
    If I bug out the gear is ready to go.But as you said once in a while I am flat broke and the money end could be a problem.I would definately be taking the silver with me and cashing some in to carry the expence of the BO.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    ScaFla, before you decide to ride out a toxic cloud, try 24 hours in one of those masks. I think you'll decide pretty quickly that being elsewhere is a good plan. The gasmasks will do quite nicely for an escape, but trust me on this, they are not too useful if you need a drink of water. There is another member that lives close to trackage that runs between the house and the schools, and has worried that scenario, too. I"d say make sure there is a half tank or better of fuel in the most reliable vehicle at all times. JMO.
  4. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    (Just for info purposes: The wind was blowing to the SW that day, our generalized direction but just west enough it would have missed us directly. Daughter and I were near the site on an uber-rare trip to a mall *gag* and as soon as we heard about the explosion, we headed homewards. My eyes began burning, but we noticed that no one seemed in the least concerned about what was going on just a few miles away. The EPA said that there were no toxic chemicals being released and the air was perfectly safe - yet evacuated everyone within a mile for a couple days, told everyone else to not touch anything in their yards and several schools near the area held classes elsewhere for several days. Nope, nothing to worry aboutNO!!.)

    Now then, if a train derailed 50 miles from us, we both know that's not far away. Hell, for us, it could be less than 20 miles! Depending on the winds, that cloud could actually be here in minutes, not over an hour.....

    We're no place near ready for full-fledged SHTF scenarios, but we're working on it -- this would be an excellent and relevant first pop quiz. Our first point of contact is monkeyman, the second (again, depending on the winds) would be my family in the Ozarks - who are not even planning for SHTF because they don't think it will ever really hit in their lifetime. (HitS syndrome) If the winds are blowing from the south instead, then I'm contacting/going to my aunt in northern MO. If nothing else, they live on a rather isolated farm and as fundamentalist Christians, the idea of SHTF is a little more real to them (it's called Apocalypse ;)). Her husband might have a bit of difficulty with us pagans dropping by, but blood is thicker than water - and she would remind him of that factoid should he forget. By her nature, she has prepared her household food and supplies wise without, I think, realizing it. [winkthumb]

    In case of egress, we try to have at least one of the vehicles with a relatively full tank of gas and I can throw together bug-out supplies (adding to the ones already packed) very quickly, thanks to US military training during the Cold War ;).

    In the hours scenario, all animals will be secured as best we can; again, hatches battened down and guns loaded. If we have already moved (please, by all the gods, make it so!) we're in a storm shelter of some sort (hopefully it's done by then).
  5. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    I can have the homestead secured in 15 minutes, my worries are getting the rest of the family together ready to move out, as far as where to go, in the case my area has to evac I have family to move to which would be far enough away, supplies are already present with the exception of clothing for a long haul, but that's what stores are for at that point and I would worry about the bills later on.
  6. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    With 90 minutes we could pack everything we needed easily. With that amount of time we could even have the animals loaded in kennels in the back of the vehicles, along with food and water for us and them for a couple of weeks. Water, food, clothes, a couple of ice chest loaded with frozen and refrigerated foods along with frozen cold packs to keep it all cool. A couple of semi-automatic rifles, tactical shotguns, pistols, mags and ammo, not to mention extra fuel. Coleman gear, tents, propane canisters, candles, lanterns, etc. We almost always have at least a half a tank of gas in both vehicles, but usually one is full. I keep about 50 gallons of gas in five gallon jugs so there is always plenty of fuel. Actually, I think that I could have this pretty much accomplished in 35-45 minutes easily, with three adults packing, and the vehicle(s) backed to the front door and/or garage no problem. The key to it, is to know where everything is. This is a good mental exercise. We have a lot of really big plastic tubs that we use for storage. I need to go through them, and use some of the empty ones to store stuff to BO items in, and that would make things go that much quicker. Having one for camping supplies, tents, stakes, Coleman equipment, etc. Using another for lanterns, lamps, fuel, etc. Another for ammo, magazines, another for canned goods, etc. Right now, I pretty much know where my things are, but having them in tubs and labeled would make something of this magnitude so much easier to deal with. It would be more of a matter of backing into the garage and loading up the tubs.

    To make the exercise more intent, could you get out in 20 or 30 minutes? We keep extra cash in the safe, so ultimately we could just jump in the 4x4's and go. I always keep a few firearms in them, extra mags, and small bug out kits with food and water. We could buy what we needed later. I just need to load the fuel cans in the back. In ten minutes we could be out of there.

    I would be more worried about fighting the traffic, with that many people headed away from one direction it would be Rita/Katrina all over again.

    I still need gas masks though. NO!!
  7. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    True enouph on not being likely to have that much time, especialy since while I dont guess I explained it fully, it is assumeing that you have 90 minutes from the time it HAPPENED, not from when you decide you need to BO. So you figure 15-30 minutes for it to come across the news or for the public to be alerted that it even happened and where. Then you need to make sure where that is in relation to you, wind direction and speed and so on. So by the time you would be getting into action (unless you get into action every time breaking news comes on and BO when not needed a lot) then you are most likely to be down to at MOST 45 minutes.

    Now this isnt that the world is comeing to an end or anything, its just a local problem (a couple hundred mile cone down wind) and will be cleared simply by dispursion and wind within a few days at most. There will however undoubtedly be those who stick around or return sooner trying to loot at least the easiest pickings. So you will need to not only get what you will need for the trip like for surviving on the move but add clothes, homework for the kids, the stuff to keep on with life since things will go back to normal in a few days, you also likely want to do what you can to secure the house before you leave.

    Since we can make it a little more specific lets also assume, as it is here now, that its the midle of winter, cold and rain/snow in the forcast. So you COULD go camp out in a state park for a couple of days but it would be kindly uncomfortable. So do you have a place arranged to BO to and what about contacting anyone at that end?

    Sheen also brought up a good point. If the family is scattered to the 4 winds, (assume its a weekend) mom at the store, kids (since they are off on their own we will say teens with own vehicles to meet you otherwise assume kids with folks at seperate locations) are at a ball game and friends house, dads at the range, or fill in the locations. Dose every one know not only how to contact each other to let them know whats up but also what to grab if they are the one at home? Where do you ralley if coms are out? Where will you be going?

    I know for us, while some of these things need to be tweeked, we would plan to all gather at the first spot on our list thats viable (outside of 'ground zero); home, FalconDances (about 4-5 miles west), a set location 15 miles east, primary BO location about 125 miles north, secondary BO location about 25 miles from the primary. These are assumeing that we are not able to contact each other directly and that there are no messages left at other contact/message people.
  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Scavenger, while the masks would be absolutely excelent to have as it would, in this type of senarion and assumeing the evac was voluntary, expand your window of time by several hours at least as well as allowing you to go upwind past it with less to no concern about the wind direction and avoiding the cloud, I would say that to BI in a situation like that would be a VERY bad idea unless you had REAL good air filtration for the house or a shelter.

    In the case of the one at the chemical plant they decided to let it burn out, assume they will do the same with the train. So that keeps it burning for 24-36 hours then figure another 24-36 hours for it to stop produceing toxic fumes and the air to clear. That puts you up to a fairly conservative time frame of 72 hours. After some time the filters will become saturated and either clog or no longer work, you cant eat or drink with it on, if you go to sleep and roll over causeing the mask to slide off or break its seal in a chlorine cloud you die. So no food, water or sleep for 3 days? I think visiting friends a couple hours away for a couple days would be a LOT better idea.

    Trust me when I say I KNOW what it is to be flat broke on a good day and flat broke and REQUIRED to have money for necessities on a bad day, but I think that it would be pretty viable for most of us to be able to come up with gas cans or a small barrel or something to be able to store say 1-2 tanks worth of gas and just fuel up from that ONLY when you can replace it imediately. As long as you keep it back then even for the gas hogs that only get say 8-10 mpg then if you have 1/2 a tank of gas and 1 &1/2 tanks worth ready to grab and go or add and go then that alone gives you a 100 mile range for a round trip (100 miles there and 100 back) on just 1 full tank since most of the gas hogs have a 20 gallon tank or bigger and if you take the second tanks worth of stored gas along that gets you a range of 200 miles with gas to get back on.

    So if you have made arangments with folks around those distances from you (preferably in at least 2 diffrent directions) to be each others BO location for these type of things then you can head there with what you can and have a couch waiting with no more out of pocket. If you had to go for a hotel then a lot of us that wind up living broke would wind up in that tent anyhow or just sleeping in the vehicle for a few days. The financial end can be gotten around though most of the time.
  9. duanet

    duanet Monkey+++

    The guy that wrote the excellent "Lights Out" also wrote a short story about bugging out and not being really prepared. Short and not so sweet, the bad guys got his daughter, the stuff they had for survival, their BO vechile, and he and his wife ended up dead. If you live in New England, as I do, all real escape routes running away from the coast into less populated areas will gridlock in less then 20 minutes. Almost all major roads run up and down the coast, from one densly populated area to the next and very few run inland to any area with any survival potential. In fact if the "event" occurs at 7 to 9 am or 4 to 6 pm on a weekday, they will be nearly gridlocked under best of conditions and with 1 accident may well be nearaly unusable. I think a reasonable bug out time would be 10 min or less. That doesn't count for the people up the road also bugging out and blocking it when you are 20 min into your bugout, but they are only 2 minutes into their heading for the woods. I also include a gas mask, Iserali with a drinking tube, and a canteen with a attach point for the tube in my vechile bugout bag. Hard part is at this time of the year the canteen is empty. May have to fill it with vodka to keep it from freezing. Well if I do I might end up in no condition to drive and not really caring if I do survive so that may not be useful.

    It is looking more and more likely that if TSHTF we may well require some breathing protection, short run and long run. Dirty bomb, bird flu, anthrax, chemical plant fire, refinery fire, train wreck, terrorist attack with chemical weapons and only God knows what else. The Iserali"s think so and have gas masks for everyone. The US spends big bucks for defence, but has nothing provided for the general population, and as the recent tornado in Florida showed, doesn't even an effective warning system to alert you of any potential problems.

    If the ball ever does go up, it is going to be very difficult to know if your best option is to bug out or to shelter in place. It is also going to be difficult to get the family together at 11 am of a Tuesday with kids at school, dad and mom at work, and all located 5 to 30 miles from the "safe" site and being warned at different times, if at all. What happens if the school in their infinite wisdom decides that rather than sending the kids home on the buses to empty houses, that it will keep them in the school building with no prepardness at all? The old duck and cover under your desk in case of atomic war syndrom.

    As the thread indicated at the very beginning, reliable communication with the rest of the group is a very high priority and a huge problem. Who picks up the kids at school, and will the school let them go? Can the Grandparents or the babysitter do it or does there have to be a prearranged form on file, and will they bother to look if the school is "locked down". What does each of the recent events teach us. Katrina said to get out of Dodge early and be prepared to stay out for months. The Florida tornados indicate that a safe room in the house with a reaction time of a minute or less may be necessary. The chemical plant fire indacates that either option, flee or stay, may require special preparadness but I would hate to be the only one stuck on the freeway with a cloud of posion gas comming, with a obvious gas mask and chemical poncho. The people in the next car may be more dangerous than the gas. We haven't even thought of a snow storm per New York and no power, heating oil, or groceries for a week. I think a lot about suvival, if I didn't I wouldn't be a member of this board, but I don't think I can prepare for all possible events. I would sure like to be prepared for those where a half a tank of gas in the car at all times, refill when it his half full instead of empty, may get me home to my safe area even if the gas stations are closed. I also enjoy driving to work and home on alternative back roads when the weather is nice and hope that if the main roads are gridlocked or the police are "closing" them except for emergency traffic, that I would still have a chance of getting home.
  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    BI or BO I would have to say is dependent on each persons situation for a lot of situations, especialy it it would cover a large area, but if its a chemical thing thats just a local thing then I would say that unless you had a shelter with air filtration and all the supplies you would need (not to many of us in that situation) then I would say BO would be a definate. A few other situations might also fall into that like wild fire unless you have a good way to make a good fire brake around the property and supress any flames that jump it.

    Now it could also get a LOT more pressing for time, what if the tracks were say 1 mile away and the first notice you get of it is when a cop knocks on your door and lets you know there is an imediate and mandatory evac of a 2 mile radius. Now you are going to be hard pressed to manage to get 5 minutes to gather your stuff and get out.

    For us at present that would limit us to the BOBs we have for survival on the go and meeting up at our first rally point then go from there,
  11. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    Ladies and gentlemen, monkeyman seems to be experiencing technical difficulties.


  12. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Fixed it for you (FIFY) MM.
  13. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    (But it was so much fun scrolling down for one more word.....)

  14. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member yeah apparently had a bit of a problem there. Thanks for the help EL, I just went back and cleaned it up the rest of the way. It only posted about 19 times. lol
  15. Scavenger Flatbedder

    Scavenger Flatbedder Scavenging The Wasteland

    I would be using a small safe room w/ a air filtration set up for time out of the mask,(eating,drinking,sleeping,etc).But a majority of my time will be in the mask rather than a safe room.
    I have spent up to 12 hours in a mask while repairing Reefer units at a ham processing facility.Yep it sucketh.Especially if your nose starts itching.
    I am 200 yds or less from a set of tracks.With that short of distance,its unlikely I will know a event has happened until its near too late and more so at night.
  16. Pru

    Pru Monkey+++

    May I ask if and how you secure firearms in vehicles?

    I do keep a bit of cash in the car, but firearms are either on-body or in a safe. I don't mind so much if a bad guy gets some cash, but I do NOT one getting a hold of my gun(s).
  17. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    For years, my dad has kept a loaded 38 special in a sock under the driver's seat with extra ammo in an undisclosed ;) area of the truck. The gun is only there when he is actually on the road, as it were (in other words, it doesn't reside permanently there), and if he's pulled over for any reason, he calmly informs the officer of its existence - after daddy's seen official ID. All the locals from city cop to highway patrol know about the gun, so it doesn't bother them. And he's never had to use it, to my knowledge.

    But it's there :D.

  18. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Sure, I keep the doors locked. As it is on my property, or in my garage it is under my lock and key. A simple "smash & grab" is not going to find them either. As far as the details of whether they are locked in a tool box, carried on my person, or laid on top of the dash for all to see, well that is classified........wink, wink, nudge, nudge...
  19. Pru

    Pru Monkey+++

    So perhaps I would want to nose around in my own vehicle for an unlikely hidey-hole.

    ...actually, one just came to mind. :D
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