Collapse, crisis, disaster seem to always be just around the corner. Yet most people, fail to prepare for such an event. The odds are, a catastrophe effecting you and your loved ones will occur. The question is when. Therefore, you want to have bug out bag in an emergency. Like insurance, a bug out bag is a measure used to lessen the impact on you and family.
Many researchers have shown that most people are usually reluctant and afraid of getting involved in emergency situations not because they do not necessarily want to help, but since the worry of not knowing what to do is prevalent amongst many people.
According to Survivalist Creek Stewart, disasters are known to deliver some of the harshest and toughest survival conditions on earth making them life and death situations. These disasters are life threatening to both you and your entire family and when they strike, more often than not, the wise decision is always to leave your home in order to stay alive; a move that is often referred to as bugging out.
“A Bug Out Bag(BOB) is a self-contained kit designed to get you through at least 72 hours of independent survival while on the journey to your destination, often called a bug out location (BOL).”4Usually, these bags are prepared long before disaster strikes so that they are kept at home ready to be deployed when the right time comes.
Emergency experts, Mo Morales and Zachary Denfeld, maintain that preparing a bug out bag is challenging, and more so trying to keep its weight manageable while at the same time ensuring that it is sufficient to sustain you for three to even ten days depending on an individual’s experience. Indeed, this paper discusses the reasons for having a bug out bag in case of an emergency.
The main reason of having a bug out bag in case of an emergency, according to Morales and Denfeld, is to enable you to move away from a place that is relatively insecure or dangerous to a distant safer place while keeping yourself contained for the span of time that you will be on the move.
The authors further note that the key secret to surviving at any level or stage after a disaster hits is to conserve energy and resources as much as possible. Consuming resources and fuel unnecessarily is highly discouraged as it reduces survival time which is the main aim of having a bug out bag.
Moreover, you cannot always expect assistance to be available every time you need it. The United States is among the few developed nations in the world where people have an opportunity to get early warnings about impending natural disasters making it easy to prepare in advance.
However, disasters can displace people like the urban dweller, and lead to massive destruction of transport and communications systems cutting short supplies for days or even weeks. For example, Sandy Hurricane rendered quite a good number of FEMA sites foodless and an acute shortage of water hit the areas.
As highlighted by Jonathan Parker, an EMT-Paramedic and Preparedness Instructor, people were forcefully evacuated from their homes and they were restricted from accessing them for days.
Therefore, having a bug out bag in such a scenario ensures that you can provide yourself with the basic necessities that might not be obtainable from government agencies or humanitarian organizations.
Additionally, a bug out bag is important in an emergency because it can help you evade predicaments that come with going for days without prescribed medication for conditions that can lead to hospitalization.
Such conditions include cardio respiratory diseases such as hypertension and asthma. In emergency situations, the tendency to forget medication since people are always in hurry to save their lives is usually high.
As such having a bug out bag with a list of your medications, the prescriptions in a well secured and water proof pocket ensures that your health during the process of moving away from life threatening situation is safeguarded and the possibility of being hospitalized is reduced.
Furthermore, in any survival situation, water tends to quickly run out of supply. Water is undoubtedly a basic requirement for survival and thus a bug out bag should contain three liters meant to last for three days to the minimum.
Alongside water, you will need food in emergencies for at least three days which in this case might include backpack snacks and energy bars. Ultimately, you will need a long- term intervention, but as a matter of necessity, a well packed bug out bag is essential for your well-being till then.
The fact that a disaster that will lead to evacuation from your home means that you have to find another place to keep yourself comfortable, a bug out bag ensures that during such an emergency you will have temporary shelter for at least three day.
In your bug out bag, consider including a small but sizeable tent, a sleeping pad or even a good and warm sleeping bag. This is because you will need protection from harsh weather conditions such as heat, cold or even wind for several days as you wait to return to your home.
Stewart asserts that building a bug out bag is not simply something that is done in a day. On the contrary, it is a mindset and a culture.
He goes ahead to give four main attributes of BOB which include a 72 hour kit, it should be manageable and comfortable, it should be prepared in advance and be ready to be deployed once need arises, and finally it should be custom and tailored.
Indeed, building a bug out bag is not and will never be a matter of fact. It is an overly subjective process that gives room for creativity, freedom, and an opportunity for one to express him or her.
There are no definite answers for right and wrong in building a bug out bag. Therefore, it takes preparation to survive in the current world where each day presents new challenges, disasters, and threats to face and overcome.
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