Over the past few years there have been numerous very useful articles submitted regarding bugging out or Get Out of Dodge (G.O.O.D.) as they say, if a major regional or national disaster occurs. The articles focus on a number of issues such as the problems/hazards relating to simply getting home from work, making contact with the spouse who may be shopping or getting the kids from school. Then the writers cover the need for a ready bug-out bag “BOB.“ There are suggestions about having the vehicle already (at least partly) packed with enough supplies for either a few days or to get them to their camp or retreat. Then the writer grabs the kids and spouse and hopefully, with enough fuel, takes off and tries to beat having the highway getting jammed up before they get out of town. This is all well and good and I’ve followed all of this advice. But, I never hear them mention kissing grandma and grandpa good-by on the way.
We preppers/survivalists or whatever, seem to forget that we (almost) all have parents, grandparents or sick or elderly members of the family that really should be included in our plans. They may be living alone, not be ambulatory or simply not really able to take care of themselves. We can rationalize about shooting those “Golden Hordes” when they try to take our food but can we really leave grandma behind? Okay. Maybe it’s time for lazy, and too often drunk, Uncle Joe to forge for himself and we can’t fit all of the cousins in the car anyway, but let’s look at that immediate family.
First, maybe it’s a family member’s house we’re heading for. Do they know and are they in agreement that you might show up unexpectedly and have they been briefed as to what might happen? Can the house handle you size-wise and with emergency power and foodstuffs? Of course, you should have stored much of that stuff ahead of time in preparation for such an event. If their location is so desirable however, might other family members, maybe from the other side of the family tree show up? Now, is the ole’ farmhouse still large enough and with enough food? And remember, those folks are going to think they have just as much right to be there as you. And of course, they’re on board regarding pulling their share of the responsibilities.
But what if say, the wive’s (oops, now there’s two sets), parents or grandparents live as many do, in a small condo or apartment, or group home do your plans include trying to pick them up? If they need special medical care and you won’t be able to provide it at your retreat, well, maybe you’ll just have to swallow and live with it. But what if they just need special medication? Do you have some stocked ahead, along with whatever your immediate family may need? What about something as simple as a wheelchair? Maybe you can squeeze grandpa in the back with the kids and the dog, but what about it? Remember, the trunk is already full with your emergency supplies. Have you given thought about the folks living in a distant city or town? Has someone in the family arranged to have somebody (trustworthy, of course, and even then, if the SHTF, they’re likely to be affected also) look after them and get compensated later?
After reading the book “One Second After” it’s hard not to think about those elderly or sick folks in the hospital or nursing home when the lights went out. They’ve got to be considered or you’re not going to live with yourselves all nice and snug in your shelter up in the foothills if you don’t. Outside of everybody moving out to a safe place ahead of time, which is impossible for those tied to their jobs, there are no easy solutions and I certainly don’t have any real answers except that the whole idea of G.O.O.D. when that threat occurs should take into consideration who you might be leaving behind. – H.B.