Many preppers tend to get focused on “end of days” scenarios when they envision having to bug out and leave their home but there are many other reasons that may force you to grab your bug out bags and hit the road. One that comes to mind right now is the threat of wildfires. I live on the west coast and this year is one of the driest years we have had in decades. About a week ago, I read the following on Facebook, “At the regional fire center in Portland, spokeswoman Carol Connolly said Thursday morning that more than 40 small fires were reported in the previous 24 hours. Nearly 500,000 acres — about 780 square miles — are burning in the state.” And as I write this article, we are currently in a “Red Flag” warning which means that weather forecasters are predicting dry lightning which has a very high probability of starting new fires.
There’s a small town in Southern Oregon called Sprague river and they recently experienced a 2,500 acre forest fire that destroyed 17 homes. Many of those poor people who lost their homes barely got out with their lives, let alone any of their cherished keepsakes.
Thinking of these poor families and sympathizing with them about all that they lost should get you thinking about bugging out in an entirely different way. There may come a day when you only have a few short minutes to grab your 72 hour kit and leave your home but the day may also come when you get some amount of warning that you might have to leave. In a wild fire situation, they typically have three evacuation levels. I don’t know the exact terminology but I believe level 1 is a warning that danger exists and you might have to evacuate, level 2 means have everything ready to evacuate, and level 3 means GET OUT NOW!
Here’s how our family has planned for a bug out scenario where we have a little time to gather our belongings. Quite some time ago we purchased a used enclosed cargo trailer. We found it online and only paid about $200 for it. My husband had to make some repairs to it but my point is that if you search a little bit, you don’t have to spend too much. I think it’s about 5 feet wide by 7 feet long. We call this our bug out trailer. We keep it stocked with some essentials that we know we’ll need but there is still plenty of space for items that are important to our family. If we ever have a bug out situation where we know that we have a little time to gather some things up, we’ll gather things like family scrapbooks, important family documents, laptops, weapons, etc. and quickly pack them into out little bug out trailer. Then, if we do have to leave, we will at least have been able to save some of our possessions that are precious to us.
Because we choose to live in the forest, we realize that there is a very real possibility that we may have to grab our stuff and run someday. If the fire is too close to us when we get the evacuation notice, we may not have time to grab anything but our bug out bags but typically the authorities issue level 1 evacuation notices first so people like us who own livestock can start making arrangements to get them to a safe place.
If it’s at all possible, I encourage you to buy a small cargo trailer that you can use to save your priceless family treasures if you ever have to leave your home under similar circumstances that I have described in this article.