You can really get left out in the cold if you fail to prepare for a winter storm. What steps do you need to take to make sure you’ve got everything your family needs to stay safe? If you’ve read my other pieces on general survival and the rule of three’s, this should sound a little familiar.
The most obvious problem you could run in to when you prepare for a winter storm is staying warm. As long as you don’t lose power, this is a non-issue. Unless you live in an area that doesn’t normally get cold, your heating system will support you through the storm.
What you need to prepare for is if you lose power. If you have natural gas in your home, you’re in luck. Gas stoves and fireplaces can still be used without electricity, although you may need matches or a lighter to get them going. If you do not have gas heat, staying warm will require a little more preparation. It’s always a good idea to have chemical heaters (Hot Hands and similar brands) on hand. They’re easy, convenient, and can last for hours. You should always have plenty of coats and blankets on hand, enough for all members of your family. Speaking of your family, there’s quite a bit more you can do to secure them if you lose power in a winter storm.
A bug out location is anywhere that you plan to bug out to. A bug out property is a property specifically owned for fleeing to in the event of a catastrophe or it’s a property that people agree to meet at in case of a SHTF (S*** Hits The Fan) scenario. These properties are usually out away from the city and for that reason are more important if you live in a major city.
Why A Bug Out Location Instead Of Your Home?
Major cities are inherently unsustainable. They can’t produce enough resources to support themselves, it’s just a fact. During normal life, this isn’t a problem. Cities are hubs of trade or creative products so they generate value and can trade. There’s a flow in and out of resources and people are generally taken care of. That flow relies on lots of massive and intricate supply chains. Those supply chains rely on things we may take for granted. Things like power, communication, and physical resources. The chains themselves need fuel and supplies to run!
In the event of major catastrophes, or even localized ones these supply chains break down quickly. The 2006 Hurricane Katrina remains a frightening example of this. Existing resources within a city can be quickly depleted. (As we even saw with the runs on toilet paper and other necessities with the start of the Covid-19 lockdowns). When these resources are depleted cities are not a good or fun place to be for you or your loved ones.
You Need To Get Out Of Dodge
When the SHTF you can take your supplies and go pitch a tent in the woods. You’d likely be better off there than in the middle of New York City. Or you can bug out to a location that you’ve planned on previously.
It’s common to see in history (and movies about history) that when there are bad things afoot, we head for the hills. During WWII, families sent their children from urban London out to rural England. They’d stay with family or even with non-family that would offer to take them.
In half of the apocalypse movies out there (probably more), the main goal of the heroes is to get away. They’re working towards some family member or friend that has a property away city. They’re trying to flee the hellscape that the city has become. The morale of the story is that you need to get out of heavily populated areas. These areas with their dwindling resources get unsafe.
Where Should Your Bug Out Location Be?
In comes the bug-out property. This is a place that (ideally) you can go to before you need it. You can stash supplies or other resources that will come in handy. You can fell and get to this place if and your resources if the SHTF. A bug out property is usually also a place with natural resources. A place that won’t be disrupted by supply chain breakdown. Fresh water is a must for any long-term survival. The presence of animals and plants that can support you is also important. A bug out property isn’t very useful if you have to go back into the fray a couple weeks after leaving it.
The final important factor in what determines a good bug out location is isolation. Even out in the country you’ll need to make sure that your bug out location is far enough away. Stay away from places of interest so that you don’t get harassed. If you’ve got a nice thicket of woods picked out but it’s a couple hours walk from a major city, you won’t be alone out there. The whole point of the bug out property is to get away from people that could do you or your loved ones harm.
To wrap it all up, a bug out location is a place that you own or have designated that you can “bug out” to. If the going gets really rough, you know where to go. Ideally this is a place with resources (natural or otherwise). A place that will let you stay there and far away from unrest in areas with denser populations.