Texanmile

Emergency Bug Out

122 posts in this topic

Hello All,

Our power went out for a good long time this winter and I saw how residents of towns around me (Maplewood, Milburn, The Oranges) were not prepared.  I have a 4x4 vehicle with good tires on it, food, water, fuel, clothing, etc...  Many of our neighbors, despite warnings were scrambling for items as simple as flashlights.  My 67yr old uncle lives in South Orange, near Newark and says that they had several car break-ins in one night during the dark hours, with all the lights out.  He can handle himself, well and is in good shape, but he is getting older and I worried enough about him that I went to check on him.

I wasn't in NJ for Hurricane Sandy, and I know that was pretty bad... but I do worry that if a simple winter storm caught so many people unprepared, what will happen if a big one hits.

The first plan of action for my GF and I is to hunker down in the apartment if something like that happens, but... I feel like there is a potential here for things to get worse than other places I have lived in more rural areas.

Someday, I'd like to build a small little off the grid (but still comfortable) cabin on a piece of land in NY, NJ, or PA which could function as a weekend get away, hunting spot, or even a place to go in an emergency.  I don't have that yet.  There are some nice rural places west of Morristown and about an hour south on the GS Parkway, but I expect traffic would be slammed in an emergency and there are bridges to cross.  I guess I am just looking for a spot to hunker down and pitch camp to plan our next move, or wait out trouble.

So... if a second Sandy hits, if NYC has a catastrophe, etc... and things get really bad around here (Newark area) where do I go, and what do I take?

-Dave

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I have no input on "where do I go".  As far as "what do I take" though, that depends on you, where you live, what season it is, etc.  I live on Guam right now, so my bag would be significantly different than what yours would be.  Although I can't tell you what you should pack, I can tell you that you can figure it out yourself.  Look at basic outlines that people put together for bags, and start there.  Then camp in your living room or back yard.  Don't use any water, lights, or anything else...only use what you have in your bag.  See what it is that you need, and how much of the consumables that you use.  Adjust your bag, and repeat.

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My plan it so bug-in, not bug-out.  Considering if I'm bugging out, there's a damn good chance everyone else is doing the same, and since I'm in a populated area, i'd be all but fucked to get any place.  Plus, where would I go?  If there's problems here there's problems near by I'd bet, at least within a 100 mile radius (or more.)

No, I'll stay here, armed to the teeth, hopped up on redbull and viagra. :D

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PA is probably the way to go. I was living in Morris county at the time when Sandy hit. We were without power for 2 weeks and gas was pretty spare around the state and locally. For our generator I would drive out to PA to get gas (as did many others) but it seemed the Poconos was back to normal within days of the storm hitting and it was easier to get supplies. So if you need a place to retreat, PA is the way to go.

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the gasoline issue *should* be solved technically. all stations are now mandated to have backup power to keep the pumps working.  now whether tankers can get in is another problem.  knowing my power and fuel consumption on my generator, I can get 16.5 hours of continuous running out of 5 gallons of gasoline.  if it's the case of shit's really bad and I can tell we'll be down for a long time, I can stretch that by not running continuously, obviously.

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After Irene I switched my generator to natural gas. Best thing I ever did. Chances are they wont turn NG off unless things have gone well beyond SHTF. My neighbor and I have discussed what to do in a real SHTF situation and both of us agree on hunkering down here. He has a place in Pa but agreed it would be a tough time getting there as everyone else would be on the roads also. We have all the supplies and WMDs here. Why try to bug out to someplace you might not be able to get to? Then what?     

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My generator runs on propane (20 lb tanks), so if things got really dicey, I know I can always find tanks in almost every backyard hooked up to people's grills.

Plus, I use deep cycle batteries to run lights and electronics of off an inverter, and only fire up the generator to recharge the batteries and run the fridges or furnace. This way, I only fire up the generator 3 or 4 times a day for like an hour or so at a time. I get multiple days from one tank of propane that way.

I have no intention of bugging out, I'm staying to defend the homestead.

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15 hours ago, Texanmile said:

I wasn't in NJ for Hurricane Sandy, and I know that was pretty bad... but I do worry that if a simple winter storm caught so many people unprepared, what will happen if a big one hits.

Sandy was not a simple winter storm.  It was utter devastation for may areas.

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"stand your ground" home is your home, if you feel like you need to up and leave to somewhere else, that's a bad plan. Your plan is to drive through several of the most populated areas and busiest highways in the country in the middle of a catastrophe to go to a rural spot? Sounds like an awful plan.

While you're "bugging out" you're literally driving past grocery stores and hardware stores that open during or immediately after a disaster. Last time we had a noreaster you know what the local home Depot did? They put out a huge display of hoses, sump pumps flashlights etc. For sale. There's probably one a mile from your house. Here's a suburban bugout plan, set the alarm clock an hour earlier and beat the crowds to the home Depot.

This is NJ. You live in Essex County. You're probably reading posts on gun forums written by guys that normally have to drive an hour and a half through swamps to get to the Piggly Wiggly. Don't do that.

Some "milspec" advice - you don't wear forest camo in the desert. Familiarize where you live and how things in your area are. Don't make a bug out plan that doesn't fit your reality.

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6 hours ago, Scorpio64 said:

Prepared for any eventuality.  Good plan.

Realistically, I know it's impossible to plan for "ANY" eventuality. I have food stuffs that won't spoil, water (which is low and needs a re-stock), fuel for the generator, wood for the fireplace, even a fire pit.  I could use a camp stove and a second 20# portable propane tank.

With a wife, a kid, and 3 cats, 3 cars and a small SUV, there's no realistic way I can prep a "bug out" configuration that has any kind of capacity or longevity, and I'm not buying say an extended full size dodge van *JUST* to make a bug out vehicle that will hopefully never be used! :D there are limits to my insanity... luckily.

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As already said your better off buggin IN. I'm in South Jersey.  Bridges would most likely be shut down or clogged with traffic. 

Set up a GET HOME bag and prepare to stay at your residence. With wife and kids I'd need pack mules to carry all my gear. Lol. 

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12 hours ago, JR88USMC said:

PA is probably the way to go. I was living in Morris county at the time when Sandy hit. We were without power for 2 weeks and gas was pretty spare around the state and locally. For our generator I would drive out to PA to get gas (as did many others) but it seemed the Poconos was back to normal within days of the storm hitting and it was easier to get supplies. So if you need a place to retreat, PA is the way to go.

gas was only sparse up there, 'cause......you can't get gas outta the ground without electricity. i spent the whole time being amazed that the warnings were there, yet no one stored extra gas. when i thought she was gonna hit us down here, i had 15 gallons in the garage, the genny was full, dakota and jeep both had full tanks. i had plenty of gas to weather a couple weeks running the genny. and food. and water. many friends thought i was nuts. till they saw how bad you guys had it, and realized that very easily could've been us.

the other thing i might add, is that on average, most gas stations only keep about a 3-4 day supply of gas in the ground. even though they've got much greater capacity.

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1 hour ago, sota said:

I could use a camp stove and a second 20# portable propane tank.

The nice thing about propane is it doesn't go bad.  If you are banking on that as a primary backup fuel, then look around on FB marketplace or other online sources for some 100# tanks.You can usually find them at excellent prices. Then get yourself a propane conversion kit for the genny.

Water, food, shelter and basic creature comforts are your priorities in that order and of course, at the top, is physical security (aka, defense).

Lastly, the key to a successful bug OUT is hitting the road before everyone else does.  Don't wait for the poo to hit the fan, if it's in the air and heading that way, that's the time to split.  Proactive vs reactive always works out better.

The key to bugging IN is community.  You literally have to evaluate your neighbors as assets or liabilities.  Can you rely on them to cover your six or will they be knocking down your door because they don't have food or water.  If bugging in is the plan, then you need to actually make a plan.

 

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bigger tanks have been in the background of the thought process for a while.  the issue is, it's a shit generator fuel in terms of energy density.  it is cleaner though and is part of the "master plan" i've been working on for years. other components like solar and water collection/treatment are also in the "alpha" stages as well.

as for the bug out timing comment, you're absolutely correct; to be successful you need to be at the front of the wave of departures. the problem is KNOWING when that is

for me I've spent timing thinking about the -in vs. -out problem (equation) and i've landed on the -in side as being viable for me.

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1 hour ago, 1LtCAP said:

gas was only sparse up there, 'cause......you can't get gas outta the ground without electricity. i spent the whole time being amazed that the warnings were there, yet no one stored extra gas. when i thought she was gonna hit us down here, i had 15 gallons in the garage, the genny was full, dakota and jeep both had full tanks. i had plenty of gas to weather a couple weeks running the genny. and food. and water. many friends thought i was nuts. till they saw how bad you guys had it, and realized that very easily could've been us.

the other thing i might add, is that on average, most gas stations only keep about a 3-4 day supply of gas in the ground. even though they've got much greater capacity.

that played a factor too, but it seemed every gas station in Morris County that had gas, had lines that stretched over a mile. I think after the October 2011 snow storm and sandy this area will be more prepared for disasters because everyone now has bought some sort of emergency power source, whether it's a whole house generator powered by natural gas or they got a decent sized portable generator and some sort of switch to their panel. After that snowstorm there were a lot of people getting generators, not nearly as many but once Sandy hit that number went up by A LOT.

I also just recommend getting property in PA because, well if you like guns and you like freedom, having NJ as your primary residence isn't the way to go ;)

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22 hours ago, Texanmile said:

So if things get really bad around here (Newark area) where do I go, and what do I take?

-Dave

Easy answer

You don't go anywhere.  You keep plenty of food/water/provisons on hand to last as long as you see fit, stay low, arm yourself accordingly and stay alert.

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3 hours ago, 1LtCAP said:

i had plenty of gas to weather a couple weeks running the genny.

One point about generators, they are not fool-proof and are mechanical tools. I know some people who either couldn't get their generator to run when they needed it, or had gas or mechanical issues and ended up without power. To take comfort, thinking you have a generator and everything will be fine, is foolish.

The key is to have backup plans. My mantra is, "One is none, Two is one, and Three is the plan". If you don't have Plan B or Plan C already in place, you're screwed.

The best plan is to try and live with minimal power needs, design your bug-in where you need the least amount of power. Having some solar panels to recharge batteries should be on your list. Get a few 12 volt deep cycle batteries and a inverter and keep the batteries always charged.

Same with Heat. Have plan B and Plan C. Furnace is Plan A, have a wood or gas fireplace as Plan B. Have a propane heater as Plan C.

Same with Water.

Same with Food.

You get the point.......

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3 hours ago, sota said:

the issue is, it's a shit generator fuel in terms of energy density.  it is cleaner though and is part of the "master plan" i've been working on for years.

Gasoline vs LNG or propane comes down to what property of each fuel is a benefit or liability.  Gasoline is more efficient but you can only store so much for so long.  To be prepped for a sandy scale event, you'd need 40 gallons of gasoline, minimum.  Can you really store that much and keep it rotated? 

You can't count on natural gas like you used to.  Sandy knocked out NG in my neck of the shore for 2 weeks.  Gas stations were down and when they came back up on gennys the lines were over an hour long.  Propane is grab and go.

A tri fuel generator will cover all your bases and allow you to use whatever fuel you have access to.  When the gasoline is used up, switch to NG, if NG is out of service, hook up the propane tanks, if that runs out, there's like a million bbq grills around.

EDIT: Duh, I forgot to mention diesel.  Diesel gennys are the most efficient and the fuel can be stored for up to 24 months (though I think longer if stored properly).  If you have an oil fired furnace, you already have a 200 gallon or more fuel supply just sitting there waiting to  be used and if you run out a big 'ol tanker truck can come by and deliver more..  The initial cost of diesel is much higher but they are more durable and crank out more torque.

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tri fuel capability is in the works, definitely.

and yea, Sandy exposed a lot of weaknesses all across the fuel delivery matrix, so having the ability to run almost anything is planned.  I keep about 25 gallons of gas in storage, stabilized.  I still have a gasoline powered lawn mower (thanks @AverageJoe) so I burn up a bunch of it before the fall ends.  After that the rest gets plowed through the beater car.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

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Where I am, during Sandy, generators running outside were being stolen during the night.....also when I heard over my scanner that "All emergency services were suspended"...it was time to arm up....no one is coming. Most of my neighbors left, no one was around and the nights were dark without any outside lighting from the homes on  my block...time to hunker down and defend what's yours....it was a good 9 days of actual training for a worse case scenario that could happen....and the areas you mention in Essex County....those are the ones that will be coming for what's yours after theirs are gone.......

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1 hour ago, xXxplosive said:

Where I am, during Sandy, generators running outside were being stolen during the night.....

Good luck stealing mine.  It's bolted down to a genny shed built on 4x4 pressure treated lumber.

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Tri fuel with natural gas hose with quick disconnect. Quick disconnect to the same hose to attach to lp propane tank.
Tri fuel setup has been reliable for extended run time with propane and gasoline.
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12 minutes ago, Scorpio64 said:

Good luck stealing mine.  It's bolted down to a genny shed built on 4x4 pressure treated lumber.

No problem, they'll take what's yours after they take care of you first..............OMO.

Remember years back when some areas suffered from black-outs during summer months how the inhabitants looted and robbed everything in sight....now imagine if the grid goes down for an extended period of time....they'll be coming to rob, plunder and rape.....think about that.

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18 minutes ago, xXxplosive said:

Where I am, during Sandy, generators running outside were being stolen during the night..

Exactly right, nothing says "come get me" more than the sound of a running generator at night. This is exactly why I run the deep cycle battery system at night. Not a single sound, yet I can keep the important items powered up.

20 minutes ago, xXxplosive said:

it was a good 9 days of actual training for a worse scenario that could happen...

We went I think 8 days without power with Sandy, had a few days with power back on, then back in the dark for another 4 days or so when that freak snow storm came through and knocked the power back out.

Lots of testing of different back-up plans.

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Yup............I found dry firewood and water to be the most important along with dry goods to cook and candles / lanterns. Yup, all ya heard at night was the sound of generators off in the distance.....a sure sign someone was home.

.....also having our big male GS as a first alert was well worth owning a dog.

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Back in September I had to fly down to Miami for work and help man our facility through Hurricane Irma as they were expecting it to be a cat 5 hurricane slamming the city. One of the things I made sure I had was my AR because our facility is in a really rough neighborhood on Miami. Other than making sure we had enough food and water to last us, that was priority #1 if something happened. I flew my AR down with me, didn't bring any mags or ammo because flying with Ammo is harder than flying with the firearm itself. Bought real magazines down in florida and ammo for cheap. Fortunately the hurricane didn't hit as expected and never had to use it, I just ended up selling the ammo & mags to one of my colleagues down there who's also in to guns.

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