For me, the thought had always been about getting home and bugging-in...the latter as much as that's possible, sadly, in terms of an inner-ring suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.
One would imagine otherwise, but the community is actually really tight-knit, and there's a surprising number of us-minded people who seem to really dwell unnoticed among those who unfortunately do not share the same mindset.
Where would we "bug-out" to?
Sadly, as city-dwellers for generations, there are no relatives living in the country/rural areas, but good friends with established reciprocal pacts are our goals, if the situation ever got desperate enough. That said, if we stayed until things got that bad, I honestly don't know what the odds would be of getting out, versus what we may be able to hold if the neighbors all banded together (recall Koreatown, in the 1992 LA Riots).
Really, my wife has always said that it's simply better to just not be there for the event, and I honestly cannot disagree with that. We are lucky in that we do have the ability to "just leave," however, this line of thinking requires that there be somewhere to leave *_TO_* and the foresight to *_HAVE GONE_*. The former may be less of a worry than the latter, given the realities of the world, but the fight against normalcy bias may instead have us looking at the situation from a 20/20 perspective, from inside the disaster zone rather than outside of it.
Practically speaking, I feel comfortable with our "suburban preps." Certainly, I'd like more, and I'm always slowly adding more, but we are reasonably self-sufficient for the time being. With enough emergency food, water, and supplies cached away that, even discounting the pantry - where things like bottled/seltzer water, canned foods and pastas, instant ramen (I'm first-generation Taiwanese immigrant of Chinese ancestry, so, yeah, there's like an entire 7-11's worth of that
for when I get cravings) and freeze-dried camping food are stocked....well over three week's worth of sustenance in and of itself - we'll be OK until aid finally reaches us.
So why the bags?
Because of my daughter, actually.
Last spring, during the height of tornado season here in NE-Ohio, we found ourselves in the basement as the neighboring city's warning siren joined the klaxons going off on our TV and cellular devices. Safely huddled together on an old mattress, listening to the weather-band radio while swimming in a sea of my daughter's old toys and Halloween costumes, the 13-year-old popped an interesting question: "What happens, dad, if we had to evacuate?"
And this is really where I am/we are, with respect to our "go bags."
It's really intended to sustain us on our trip to the evacuation shelter - to offer us more comfort and capabilities than if we were forced to either go entirely without or only had the "5 minutes" to scramble for necessary items prior to such an event.
Even if the rest of the house is whisked off to Oz and the preps in the basement water-damaged beyond salvage, the weather-tight bags would still be secure, and would hopefully serve as sufficient lifeline.
I know, this is pretty depressing - honestly, if it was the zombie apocalypse, I'd be out there with all my cool-guy gear on (my first stop would be a motorcycle store...seriously, human teeth being the worst I have to worry about? people chip a tooth just eating a corned beef on rye!) and just laying waste to my ammo cache
- but it's really the pragmatic side of me speaking.
I have this patch/sticker from 30 Seconds Out
on a lot of different pieces of my range gear:
View attachment 419
But the reality of the situation, as I've discussed with my family, is that this stuff hopefully will be what bridges us through until that aid (be it from the state/federal goverment or from simply our neighbors) actually becomes available and accessible.