Making The Hard Decisions Somewhat Easier- Part 2, by Old Bobbert

Okay, we are at the second example in our consideration of making hard decisions whether to go or not go in a crisis situation. I am using scenarios to illustrate the decision processes. This time we will be looking at bugging out from a large, suburban, bedroom-type community.

Scenario 2: Family From Suburban Community

You will have the same sort of general circumstances that were prevalent in our first example above, except with these two differences. First, you still have three kids, but they are all teens and all boys. Their ages are seventeen, fifteen, and fourteen. The second difference is the big one– you’re the stay-at-home, very talented “Mom”.

Dad works at the family’s commercial property management business, with offices near to your neighborhood, where he is the senior managing partner. His two brothers are his junior partners and are earnestly learning to survive that very competitive business environment as mid-level area managers. Again it’s the same Tuesday at ten in the morning. Your teens are in school, and you and Dad are both watching the news and growing very concerned.

The Alert Announcement and Exit Plan

You are on full alert after an announcement that both metro New York  and the D.C. capitol are both shut down totally with a full blown area wide power grid outage situation. Your west side suburban St. Louis area is a very densely populated, residential, upper mid-level income area. The two of you are in full agreement that you are fast moving toward a pre-planned decision to gather up the immediate family and bug-out to your parent’s home in western, rural, central Missouri. It is an easy four-hour trip but possibly longer if you delay your ideal exit-town schedule. Your earlier estimates of timing ran nearly four hours for a daytime weekday hasty leaving exit. The boys are very involved and are fully aware that exit knowledge security is a paramount item.

His Family

Sadly, your brothers-in-law (that’s his family, not yours, of course) have repeatedly scoffed at your family’s positive preparedness attitude and the stored supplies and practice exit time activities at your home. So, you and hubby happily agreed a few years ago to not bring them, or their families, into your planning or your preparations. This absolutely applies to any knowledge concerning the ample supplies currently stored safely in your parent’s, long “unused for farming” barn.

Both of you are fully agreed that at the last minute Hubby will telephone from home to his brothers and simply state that your family is leaving now. He will invite them to join you and inform them that they can meet up with your family at the second highway rest area in about 90 minutes. Your family will wait just one single hour for them, just 60 minutes! Their 150 minute exit clock will start at the end of the exit notice conversation.

Exit Notification Procedure

The family exit notification procedure is simple and has been practiced twice this past year. Hubby will phone you and ask you if you would like for him to take you and the boys to Wendy’s for an early dinner this evening. That will be your only notice that he will drive to the boys’ school and meet them at the school’s central office area so as to get approval for them to leave the building immediately with him. They will drive their car home, following Dad. Your family has a large family van with a fully equipped and fully stocked eight by twelve trailer, plus your oldest son has a not too old model, full-sized, 4 x 4 Jeep.

Time To Go Move Records and Pack For Trip

Hubby drives an older Chevy sedan as his company car. The family has planned well in advance. It’s still Tuesday, and it’s 11am. The TV news has just announced that Chicago has gone dark.  The phrase “power down” has begun to spread.  It’s time to go. The phone just rang and you and the guys will be eating at Wendy’s early this evening.

It’s time to move the more important family records and the emergency cash stash to the van, start to pack the coolers with food for the trip, and use the frozen water bottles to chill the food and to drink as needed.

Each of the family members has a van trip B.O.B. duffel bag stored in the bottom of their bedroom closets. The family individual two-way radios and the SW transceiver will be ready to be put into the van. The medications supplies and first aid kits (2) are go-ready and packed in a cooler. The family weapons are easily available when the guys get home. It’s time to wait and pray for safety and peace of mind.

Everyone is home now. It is noon, and the news is not good, not anywhere. There are riots in New York and in Boston. The boys are trying to stay calm and collected.

Pre-Exit Action Lists

Their pre-exit action lists are so very welcome and so very important. Each one has a specific action list for their individual responsibilities.  Each one is responsible for different communication/computer items for the family activities and for family security.

Code Wordage

They are well prepared, and there has never been any doubt that they would be hasty moving to the grandparents mid-state refuge home. Mom calls her parents and mentions that Dad is taking them all to Wendy’s for an early dinner. There is great safety in the same code-wordage among the family group, and most especially if there is a single word change in the memorized security statement everyday, just one word to change.

Picking Out Small Items to Take

Everyone is walking through the house to pick out small items to help them to get through the near future. They are each leaving someone behind that they care about and can not bring with the family. It is very emotional and Dad and Mom have to set the positive example.

Calls To Say Goodbye

It is one o’clock, 1300 hrs militarily speaking. It’s time to say a prayer for peace, safety, and help to make good decisions and to find good people when they get to their new home with the grandparents. Everyone is using their cell phones to call a few left behind close friends and tell them goodbye. The story is that they are going to visit out of town family for a few weeks.

This important decision to bug out was actually made two plus, no stress yet, years ago. Your family action plan is now fully completed.

Scenario #3: Small Town, Patriotic Family

We are at example scenario #3. Here, we have a small town, seriously patriotic family that operates a strong, busy, Internet-based used book sales business from their home. They have an arrangement with for drop shipment resales.

Now  is their best time to go, right now. The family’s standard one-liner joke is timely indeed– “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.” It’s very true, unless it’s the politicians who are causing the need for aid to the country. That has been a very real concern to many of the people who live in most of the small towns. In this, our third example of decision-making concerning “bugging in or bugging out,” the people factors are very similar but with differences enough to be an excellent SHTF teaching scenario.

The Family

Your family is still Mom and Dad and three sons, who are ages twenty, seventeen, and fifteen. The boys are all very bright and Tim, the eldest, is in his second year at the area community college, where he studies computer science and enthusiastically participates in the school’s excellent Army ROTC program. Henry,  the younger, who only answers to the name ”Hank,” and the youngest, Karl, all have been raised to feel strongly about freedom and patriotism. They are quiet Preppers.

Their Internet-Based Used Book Business

Their knowledge of American history has been well supported by the many hours of going through the used history books being resold through the family business, known as “The Hub Store”. Mom thought up the business name early in the life of the business. She saw husband Henry working and handling hundreds of used books and thought of “Henry’s Used Books”. Then, she wrote “H” for Henry plus “U” for Used and “B” for Books– HUB. The HUB Store was born that day, long ago. In the beginning, they had dealt mostly with used college texts and magazines, and then they discovered the possibility of doing a national Internet used book enterprise. That is also about the time the family began their quest for knowledge concerning preparedness.

Henry would scour the Internet ads for popular books being offered inexpensively and would confirm the quality. They then advertise the same book at a higher price with  a small increase in handling charges. He already knew about the lower postage costs of using the lower “printed matter” media postage rates. He taught his sons to work hard and to be totally fair and honest in all of their dealings with other people. They stocked prepper books and magazines. Their store name was recognized nationwide as the special Prepper Book Store.

The family existed as a loving single entity with high personal standards and responsibilities. They were totally committed to realistic preparedness. The family business income was erratic and unpredictable with seasonal highs and lows. Because of this, the family stayed ready to live on tight financial budgets and to always have enough food and treats on hand to help those folks who were in honest need of help to get through the month.

Tomorrow, we will wrap up Scenario #3. Then, we will take a look at all three scenario and what we can extract from them.

See Also:

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

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  1. A word on warning time. In the scenarios so far, there has been ample time to analyze the situation and decide to evacuate. But that is not always the case. We watch the news today and see interviews with folks who escaped the California wildfires with just the clothes on their backs. Same for the 2016 Gatlinburg Wildfire. Hundred mile an hour winds spread that fire much faster than the simulations predicted, some two hours vice nineteen hours. The simulation used the maximum wind speed allowed of 60 mph.

    And communications break down due to power outages, downed landlines and overloaded cell towers. Families need multiple methods of communications, cell phone, text, VHF radio, HF radio, etc. Wealthy families might consider satellite phones.

  2. I have developed a plan for the family and those who we want to go to our Bug Out Location in the country. My plan covers likely event scenarios and actions to take. It covers pre-event prep, rally point locations, communications, bug-out plans, and security as well as transportation considerations. The plan is in my emergency binder with other emergency items such as a list of items to pack when bugging out, maps, etc.

  3. Why the code words? Who do you think is listening and who cares? Simply call and say gather up the bugout stuff and be ready I will pick up the kids and meet you at home. Do you think some of Trump’s Russian agents will listen in and try to stop you? As a counter point: If you are afraid of being found/tracked what are you doing with two way radios and SW transceivers? Just turning them on can lead someone to your location.

    Also I think that the likely scenario isn’t major population centers losing power. The likely scenario is massive fireballs and mushroom shaped explosions on the horizon. That threat has hung over our heads for over 60 years. Given human nature and the avowed goals of our powerful enemies a nuclear holocaust is inevitable and ground zero by it’s very nature has to be the U.S.

  4. While there is certainly an element of OPSEC in the use of code words, which may be important if you don’t want to be seen as doing a “duck and run” escape, that is not the only factor supporting their use.

    They serve as a “trigger” to cause the mind to change from practice/planning mode into action mode.

    Without that mindset change, you and your family remain in practice mode, without the clear need to get in gear and Do the things you have planned. With those words spoken, time becomes precious and every action counts. This is why practice is needed, pre-event.

    Once we make the transition to real action mode, having written lists and plans makes it far easier to control/resist the urge to “run about, scream and shout”. Action mode mindset also guides the mind to ignore daily habits and concentrate on implementing your part of the plan.

  5. A nuclear event/exchange between nations is a waste of natural resources and infrastructure and an elimination of the future option of nation expanding. More likely I see an EMP event over the USA, let 90% of the population die by various means , then a year later the aggressor nation re-populates the USA as a colony of their own country. Start up the factories, move into our homes and generally live a happy care free life like we used to, LOL. The survivors would be a non-issue.

  6. When I read these examples I thought of going to my bank for some serious vacation money. You would have to act fast since most banks do not have much over $5,000 on hand.

    I was on jury duty a few years back and two women had worked in banks and they told me they only had $2,000 on hand unless they knew a customer had pre-arranged X-amount above the typical daily cash operations.

    And just like the currency collapse in Argentina in 2000, one has just a short time to capture your funds.
    To me this would be a priority in the action plan.

  7. OneGuy, could you elaborate upon how a two-way radio can lead someone to your location even if you are not transmitting? I am referring to real radios, not blister pack specials.


      1. I have access to the full gamut of HP and Agilent RF testing gear. I’ll have to test a few of my radios to see what frequencies are given off and to what degree.

        1. If it is HP it is ancient. Agilent is old. HP became Agilent which became Keysight some years ago. Old school analog radios use local oscillators which are low level signal sources. Modern synthesized radios also radiate mixing products. With the right detection equipment, every RF source has a unique signature like DNA or fingerprints.

  8. Average ATM sees 100+ transactions a day. If average withdrawal is $100.00 this is 10K daily. I can go into my local branch and withdraw thousands in cash, no questions asked. Lotsa hype here. My dad was a banker and took me into the vault as a youngster, almost sixty years ago. The vault guy put fifty thousand in my hands just to make me feel rich for one minute. They had bags of coins (all 90% silver!) that must have been over 10K. I work with clients who deposit 2-10 K daily. Banks have little more than 5K on hand? Puhleese!

  9. I cashed a check for $7200 and asked for cash at the bank the check was drawn from. They didn’t know me and I wasn’t a customer of theirs. The teller did have to get a supervisor and they had me wait. They did seem less than happy to cash it but the both finally went to the vault while I waited some more. Then they came back and counted it four times on the machine while I waited some more. Then the teller counted it out in front of me by hand with the supervisor watching. I picked up my cash, smiled one last time for the half dozen cameras, said thank you and left.

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