Bugging out in the event of a hurricane is different than a lot of other bug out situations. For starters, you’ll have some warning before you need to get out. You’ll likely be able to return after a temporary period of time. You also know if you’re in an area that’s at risk. With all these things considered, what questions do you need to answer about your evac plan?
When do I need to bug out?
Step one is keeping an eye on when you might need to leave. Where do you get this info? NOAA has a website specifically for keeping track of active storm risks. It can be found right here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov . If you live anywhere near the east coast, it’s a good idea to check this site often during storm season. This is especially useful for planning travel or outdoor activity. If you’re thinking about going camping or boating, makes sure you know the storm schedule.
What should you bring with you?
I’ve got some articles about what to put in your bug out bag, so you should have a good baseline. There’s no telling what can happen when you have to bug out. Even with a solid evacuation plan, you should try to be ready for anything. That said, your bag should fit your plans.
If you’re planning to go to a public shelter, there are things you likely won’t need. You won’t need a heavy cooking kit. You can leave the axe and saw at home. There are other things you can spend the weight on! This is a good time to consider luxury items you wouldn’t normally. Pillows and blankets are in short supply at shelters. Not to mention, it’s nice to have comfort from home. Bringing these will ensure your family will stay comfortable.
Another thing to keep in mind is keeping entertained. There’s a chance you’ll be in the shelter for a week or two. That’s a whole lot of down time. Bring things like iPads or laptops, but also make sure to bring non-electric stuff. There’s no telling if you’ll have continued access to power. If you bring books, notebooks, and games, you’ll have entertainment that won’t die on you.
What if you can’t make it to the hurricane shelter?
That all said, prepping and preparedness is about planning for the worst, not the best. There’s a chance that for one reason or another, you won’t get to the shelter. For this reason, you don’t want to slim your bug out bag down too much. You can drop some weight for luxury, but make sure you stay self sufficient. Make sure you can still start a fire, make a basic shelter, and clean up drinking water. A hurricane brings a lot of water. You’re going to want to make sure that you can get some clean for drinking. You’re also going to want to make sure you can get dry and keep warm.
Should you always evacuate when there’s a hurricane?
The government actually doesn’t recommend evacuating unless your area has a flood risk. I don’t either, to an extent. When evacuation orders hit, everyone hits the road at once. Usually more people than even have to. There’s been a trend recently of over-evacuating. This can be very dangerous if the storm hits while everyone is still choking up the highway. You stand a much better chance hunkering down at home than in a car.
If you can evacuate ahead, this might be a good opportunity to visit family or vacation. Evacuation can be very expensive. Hotels sell out and are costly in the first place. By staying with friends or family, you save money and likely have a more comfortable time. If it looks like something serious is headed your way, that might be a great opportunity to visit family. If you’re going to spend money on a hotel, you might as well go somewhere nice and make a vacation out of it.
When you’re wondering whether your bug out plans are complete, answer these questions. That’s the crux of planning. Figure out what questions you’ve got, and then make sure you have an answer. If you answer all your questions, you can rest assured that you’ve done all that you can. That is, until you look up some more questions to answer!