1. Get Home Bag (GHB)Imagine for a minute that you work downtown in a large city, maybe you ride the subway or take a bus to work everyday. You are in a large office building with many floors, thousands of people, and you are on the fifteen or twentieth story. If a disaster strikes how are you going to get out? I mean literally. If there is an earthquake, or a catastrophic man made event how are you going to get out of your building? How are you going to get down the street? How are you going to get home? Do you want to be one of the people covered in dust wandering around in shock? I sure don’t.
But I have my Bug out Bag you say!
Oh really, where is it? Even if it is in your car it is useless to you at this point. The parking garage is at street level and possibly blocks away. That could mean life or death in this situation and you need to act now.
Even if you could get to your Bug Out Bag, how much good would it do you in this environment? Most people’s B.O.B. is packed for survival in the wilderness. Camping gear, food, clothing, etc.
A Get Home Bag contains an entirely different set of tools and serves one purpose: To get you from wherever you are to your Home.
How to Choose an Urban Survival Bag
Your GBH should contain things that are going to get you out of the building like a prybar. Things to help you make it through the aftermath like water and breathing masks. Things you might use to help rescue others like flashlights or radios. Things that will help you on what could be a very long walk home such as food and maybe shoes.
Clearly a GHB is not a Bug Out Bag. Sure they have some overlap, but a GBH can be much smaller, less weight conscious, have more specific tools, and be planned for one purpose. Do you have one cached in your office or place of work?
Gear for your Get Home Bag:Use Sunglasses to Maintain a Tactical Advantage
The Platypus Collapsible Water Bottle
Dust Mask for Toxic Dust and Debris
Window Punch: Because It’s Quieter Than a Rock
Why Ear Plugs could make your Urban Survival more Bearable
30 Uses for a Bandana
2. A Bug Out PlanSo you made it home, now what? Let’s assume that the SHTF out there. You have surveyed the situation and determined that the city is in mass chaos and you need to get out now. What do you do ? Again, you have your Bug Out Bag, but you still have to get out of the city. Do you have a Bug Out Plan?
For our purposes here lets assume that your Bug Out Plan needs to get you from your home to your serious survival cache or Bug Out Location outside of the city. I understand that not everybody has caches hidden in various places, and even fewer people have a dedicated But Out Location. While you should probably be working on that, you still need a Bug Out Plan.
There’s no way I can go through all of the various problems you might encounter while trying to bug out of your city so you will have to plan for yourself. What I will give you are some questions to consider and one rule: Contingency. Is your way out double, triple, and quadruple backed up?
If the highways are shutdown do you have a surface street route?
If no roads are passable do you have an off road route?
If driving is out of the question do you have a planned walking or riding route? (Do you have maps of your area in your Bug Out Bag?)
Do you have a rendezvous point with other family members?
3. A Bug In PlanLets back up a minute. Pretend you just got home again, but this time you surveyed the situation and decided that you are not in immediate danger but are still not at situation normal. Now what do you do? A Bug In Plan is for emergency situations where you can stay in your own home but have to rely on your own preparations to survive. This might just mean that you will be without power or water for an extended period. Maybe it means you actually can’t leave your home at all for whatever reason.
What plans do you have in place to live like this? A Bug in Plan should include food and water preparations first and foremost. What will you eat since all of the food in your refrigerator is going to be bad soon? Do you really want to live on the backpack meals out of your Bug Out Bag when you don’t have to? (Be sure to stock the Top 100 Items that will Disappear First).
How much water do you have stored? Do you have a sewage system set up. (No water=no sewage: its always the little things….) Do you have unprepared neighbors to worry about? (To help or guard against?)
Starting out a survival situation in an urban environment is almost an immediate set-back compared to those bugging out from more rural areas, but with a Get Home Bag, a Bug Out Plan, and a Bug In Plan you are better off than most people.
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