Making The Hard Decisions Somewhat Easier- Part 1, by Old Bobbert

Being fully aware of the contest rules concerning fiction, this essay topic has required an ample supply of assumed acceptable standards and examples for one simple over-riding truth– world wide, there is a single commonality factor about everyone who has been forced by circumstances to actually put into real-time practice their go/no go decision. That common event generally fits into a very limited non-nationwide problem. We have experienced some very serious terrible events in some areas of the country but not a nationwide anything.

The recent calamity of the flooding of the Texas coast did not affect other areas in any measurable ways, Yes, the price of petroleum products will go up for a while but not much else. Some single purpose imaginary work in creating this offering seemed to be fully justified and very necessary.

Major Safety Decision Factors That Usually Come Hard

Let’s start with a short list of some of the major safety decision factors that usually come hard for most of us most of the time. We will look into three examples, based of a few separate groups of general circumstances. The first group is bugging out from a city situation. Next would be bugging out from a large suburban, bedroom-type community, and third would be bugging out from a small town about a hundred miles from the nearest major large city and very near an interstate highway.

Scenario 1: Based On Our Family History

We can proceed to discuss these possibilities with simple leaps of imagination and varied experiences. Our family members are (sorta) fully qualified and based on our actual family history. In our early 50s, my wife and I packed everything we owned into a large rental truck. Along with pulling an 8 x 20 open trailer loaded with our van, we drove our rental truck 1700 miles from Ohio to Utah. We traveled safely, stayed nearly within budget, and arrived on  schedule, well nearly on schedule. The van had a great many potted plants plus two travel-weary adult cats.

We Were Not Escaping Dangerous Situation

We were not escaping a dangerous situation. The power grid worked just fine, and we used our credit card without difficulty. No one tried to steal anything from us, and there were no government check points to avoid.

Scenario 1: Your Turn To Plan Exit Trip To Safety

Now, let’s assume that it’s your turn to safely plan an exit trip to safety. You are in the most difficult decision situation I can envision.

First, it’s very important that you have paper and pencil handy to use for hard copy notes to help with first creating, and then implementing, decisions. Never even think of making decisions like this without a calm, serious, family council concerning the various possibilities. Give each family member an opportunity to voice concerns and to make suggestions. Involve your children, especially the teens. Being young does not make them stupid, and they will have adult responsibilities very, very soon.

Positive Presumptions

Let’s start with a few “positive presumptions.”

  1. You’re emotionally prepared to go or to stay. You are a family person with three kids– two teens and a youngster. Your family has been ready for most mid-level probable difficulties for the past  few years.  You have quite a close extended family, living a happy, safe, rural life about seven to eight hours away, requiring driving mostly through small towns using the major highways.
  2. “Lucky you” has an older vacation get-away. It’s a medium-size class “C” motor coach that is still in excellent condition for light travel trips.
  3. You have plenty of fuel for the RV coach, and your oldest teen, at age nineteen, is an experienced qualified RV driver.
  4. You have drilled through the action response parts of the “hasty exit living plan” (your “H.E.L.P.” plan).

Negative Presumptions

On to the negative side, let’s take a look at the scenario. (Yes, you will have negatives.)

  1. Your country cousins live in a remote, rural area near a small town. Going there would require a trip from your home to their home, requiring you to start by traveling the circle highway around your city, or trying to survive a much shorter trip by driving straight through the forever troubled center of your city.
  2. The route through the center of your city just happens to be a route that you try to stay away from even when there is zero chance of serious troubles in your area.
  3. It’s Tuesday morning at 10:00am, and the radio and TV news are getting worse by the minute. You actually expect to hear that the government has declared martial law in New York and in Washington, DC, due to massive power outages in both general areas.
  4. Your kids are all in school (two separate schools) and your wife is at your local Walmart picking up just a “few” necessities she needs for herself and your teenage daughter, just in case the family opts for  a possible bug-out decision.
  5. Somehow with all of the many busy activities of a big city, suburban family, you have never actually practiced/drilled for a hasty exit departure headed for the country cousin’s fortress.
  6. You only have a few maps of the route, and you have never driven to that location before.
  7. Finally, you have never broached the proven-to-be an absolute conversation-stopper  survivalist question, “Can we come to your home to stay for a while, in a big emergency?”

At the Point of Making a Go or No-Go Decision

Okay, you are at the point of making a “go or no go” decision. As many of us can readily see, you can opt to “no go” and stay at home actually in your home, or as a tolerable second option “the almost stay at home” option.

Some of us might call this second option “happy denial”. In this mode, you can collect your older kids from their school, cell phone your wife to collect the youngest from the elementary school, and then meet you at or near  the RV park on the far side of town. You can then call it a sorta “detached stay at home” decision.

The RV Park

Should you opt for the RV park, you will be closer to your country cousins, and you will have avoided the probable mid-town troubles. You will have an easier and safer route from your home to the RV park. This decision could be the best, or the worst, decision possible, depending on the actual series of events, which are totally beyond your control–in your city and/or in the martial law area.

Great Place To Meet

The most likely great place to meet would be the RV park and also at the parking area of the major big box super store nearest to the highway on ramp aimed at the country cousin’s location.

Do not park the RV anywhere other than as far from the entrances as possible. Never leave the RV unattended by a qualified driver, and always park it pointed to the street. Leave the engine off and curtains pulled for privacy. Follow these same types  of security procedures when traveling in non-RV vehicles.

Special “In All Circumstances” Note To Readers

Consider making these type decisions well in advance of the emergency action response necessity. It is absolutely vital that you create a well thought out, written step-by-step plan for every member of the family. Always involve the entire family in the discussions concerning the “go/no go” planning. In the event that you do have a safe place to go to, and you have close family or tight friends nearby, do not fail to determine well in advance if you are going to include them in your “go/ no go” decisions.

Tomorrow, we will take a look at another scenario and the decisions involved. This time it will be bugging out from a large, suburban, bedroom-type community.

See Also:

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been part one of a three part entry for Round 79 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  5. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.

Round 79 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


  1. If you can learn about making strategic decisions from the game of poker, you might learn a lot from this book by Annie Duke; “Decide to Play Great Poker, A Strategy Guide to No-limit Texas Hold Em”

  2. Don’t forget you still should (if possible) call the country cousins before setting out. Who knows? They might have had to make the same decision due to some event or circumstance @ their location. Or worse, they may say “no” to you.

  3. My Irish ancestors took us to preppers school a long long time ago . Around 1845 my relatives all bugged out from Ireland after the famine and the English mass slave selling . Luckily they came to America where they were treated very well by the indentured slave owners and even asked to buy the 40 acres next door so the children could intermarry . Today some 175 years later my people are ready to bug out again . It’s in the blood .

  4. So may “what if’s”

    I have about 31 cousins still alive, what if 1 of them showed up with 5 mouths to feed at my farm?

    I can think of 5 at I would accept, they would have the skills to help.

    Arriving in a motor home… unless you have a trailer of freeze dried food, why would I care?

    I have so many others I want to help, including close friends and my local church. Not sure I have much use for cousins that show up unannounced.

    1. Montana Rancher, I feel ya! I have about 25 cousins, their spouses, children and some have grandchildren. I have talked to most of them, in person, about the possibility of a disruption of services/break down of society. Most have brushed it off, and some have actually begun to prepare for their family’s safety plans. However, none of them live within an hours drive of our retreat, and NONE of them know exactly where it is. Our neighbors beside our retreat don’t even know what all we have ‘down there’ on the farm. From the road it looks like mostly a wooded area. What we do have is @90 acres, 2 ponds, a mote (canal, 4 foot deep with alligators) surrounding all but about 20 foot which is accessible from the road. We have hogs, cows, horses, chickens, and a fair deer population. We have a cook shack, a library, and an area for campers/tents. We also have about 35 invited guests, who each know that they are welcome to come, but they are responsible for their own clothing, shelter, medications & food. There are many differing skill sets amongst the group. We all have common beliefs both in religion and politics. I feel thankful and blessed!

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