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Lessons from Haitian quake

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by usmc0311, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. usmc0311

    usmc0311 Portland Member

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    I just read this article and it got me thinking about bugging in/bugging out..

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100125/ap_on_re_us/haiti_conference

    It looks like everyone there had the bugging out idea, and it could make things worse. Considering that something similar could happen here with a massive quake, it's really got me thinking more about bugging in and planning for long term survival in the city.

    Any thoughts on this, or other points that are arising after this quake?
     
  2. matt_w

    matt_w Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    If you read about Haiti, you will find that they have almost no forest/natural resources. Most of the people that are leaving the city are probably poor, uneducated people that are looking for a place to start over.

    If there were a similar disaster in Portland, would people head for the mountains/countryside? I don't think so, as most of them don't have the necessary skills to survive. I also think that Portland would get all of the aid much faster than any outlying areas.

    It probably all really depends on what your actual "bugging out" plan is.
     
  3. usmc0311

    usmc0311 Portland Member

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    I don't necessarily think they will head for the wilderness for the most part, but I can guarantee that smaller towns in rural areas not affected by a massive disaster will see a sudden increase in population, if not other areas of the country entirely. Just like after Katrina, only potentially including Spokane, Seattle, Portland, Salem, Eugene, and others. A massive quake like some say could happen here would devastate the region, not just one metropolitan area (i.e. New Orleans).

    Would it be better to stay in an established place in town that is pre-stocked with supplies than to leave town like so many others likely will?
     
  4. matt_w

    matt_w Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    I suppose it depends on the situation. I'm thinking of a large earthquake, which would affect pretty much everyone in the PNW. Smaller towns would be the last to receive aide, but they will probably have little to no violence/looting.

    I would probably stay at my property unless crime became a large problem.
     
  5. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    We would stay put here. Can't think of a compelling argument to abandon supplies and equipment in favor of running around the woods with a backpack. Larger cities will always be resupplied first (fuel, food, water, medicine, etc.), and will get back to "normal" quicker (power, water, etc.).

    Even if we wanted to get to the "woods" for some reason we wouldn't be able to because the roads would already be blocked by bugging-out urban dwellers who forgot to fill their gas tanks before bugging-out.

    My only real concern is that some "official" might come banging on my door and tell me that I have to leave "for my own safety." Ya right.
     
  6. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    Anyone considering bugging out should view the movie "Deliverance" first! Don't even consider going to territory that you are not already very familiar with, or already own land that is stocked well beforehand in a secure shelter.

    What you rose-colored-glasses-wearing bugout types fail to remember, is that the Backwoods are ALREADY occupied, and the folks there don't much want to see you---except for what you bring that they can steal. Rural areas are already pretty lawless, and a collapse of the legal system is eagerly anticipated by a large percentage of backwoods people. You might have made all preparations and have a well-stocked SUV heading for the back of the Backwoods, but one little brigand roadblock around that bend in the in the trees will stop you, and the snipers there will end all of your anxieties about survival.

    I lived in the Oregon woods for over eight years and got to know things there intimately. I estimate that at least a third of the population there is nearly feral already, especially that one-third mass of uneducated, drug-addicted rural teenagers. Conventional "morality" is a mystery to them; they are just out for what they can steal to party with. Rural buglaries are epidemic as it is. If the law was otherwise occupied with disaster, robbery and murder would just kick up the feral folks' thrillmeter.

    And don't forget how little food exists out in the Woods---that's why so few Native Americans lived there, and none year-round. Berries and roots have only a short season. Without a big salmon stream to provide dry fish jerky for the Winter there is no long-term survival. There are not that many deer, or that much meat on them, and they are hard to get when they know that they are hunted. Plus, the rural folks are not about to let you shoot their cattle, or scare off their deer.

    Don't bug out unless you know where you are bugging out to!..........................elsullo :cool:
     
  7. wavo

    wavo Portland Member

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    That's a good point, so what is a person's response in that situation? Don't answer the door? Play stupid? Fight?

    Lots of questions for sure. In case of a catastrophe where staying in the city was no longer safe or a viable option I actually have a place to bug out to that is family owned land, stocked and ready to go. The only problem is it's several hundred miles away...getting there may be my biggest obstacle.
     
  8. NWPilgrim

    NWPilgrim Portland area Member

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    While I agree, and plan, that bugging in is the best choice for most circumstances, this scenarios and others may make it impractical. even if we plan to bug in after a disaster, we should at least of a Plan B for relocating.

    You might be forced to evacuate at the point of a gun. If you keep quiet and don't answer the door the "rescuers" could break down the door to check for dead, usable supplies, etc. If you hide in place then you need some place the neighbors and door breakers are not likely to find you in a quick sweep. Or you will be forced to vacate the premises and board the rescue bus.

    Or there could be a disaster that makes the location uninhabitable: chemical spill, nuclear, earthquake or something that makes it extremely unhealthy to stay put.

    In the case of Haiti many of the people fleeing were headed to relatives in the country, not just planning to forage in the wilderness. Another problem in Haiti is the entire country is dirt poor and even in the country the farms can't feed the people already there, let alone an influx of visitors or new residents. They have no infrastructure for first responders, or even for sustaining normal healthy life. They hang by a thread before the quake, so expecting to suddenly raise their conditions to "good" as part of the rescue effort is unrealistic.

    In the US a local disaster would be surrounded by areas that have great infrastructure for transportation, water, sanitation, farming, etc. The hard part would be evacuating AFTER an event when every path is clogged. But if you could make it out of the devastation zone then you would have a pretty good chance of getting by or getting help. It is always better to bug out BEFORE a situation arises, but some scenarios may not give advanced warning.
     
  9. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    I occasionally try to imagine what would be the reason for forcing us to leave our location. Gas pipelines are not close enough to cause concern. No chance of flooding. Brush/Forest fires extremely unlikely in Portland area. Radiation fallout? Perhaps. Serious earthquake damage? (Have plenty of outdoor gear, a well, and the ability to "camp" for an extended period.)

    I am reminded of the days leading up to the Mt. St. Helens eruption. Harry Truman refused to leave his lodge at Spirit Lake. "They" didn't knock down his door and drag him away. He remained behind, but did not survive the eruption. God bless Harry! Whatever comes our way, I trust the authorities will have more to do than waste their time with obstinate people who would rather trust their own skills and instincts.
     
  10. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    During Katrina there was forced evacuation and I "think," even confiscation of firearms?

    The people who hid and bugged in at home did best. The ones who headed for the Superdome where they were told to go did worst, IIRC.

    IIRC no one could get out due to flooding, unless they heeded warnings and left really early. Even the freeway was flooded.

    Government help completely broke down, including the idea of using school buses to get people out early. I recall pictures of rows upon rows of buses just parked. People, even obvious people out in the open couldn't get food and water, not even the ones on the freeway ramps.

    Even people in nursing homes and hospitals weren't evacuated.

    My point: I'm not counting on anyone else especially the government to help me or mine, and I'm staying put where I at least have my "stuff."

    If I go somewhere else, I won't be welcome and they will be defending "theirs." I'd rather defend "mine."

    $.02
     
  11. kito109654

    kito109654 Everett, WA Member

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    Win. Agreed and a big X2.
    And on that note, I'll be bugging out. :laugh: To family owned land, that is.
     
  12. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    During Katrina there was forced evacuation and I "think," even confiscation of firearms?


    yes, this is true. This long after, some three thousand weapons remain in the possession of the New Orleans police and the parish sheriff... rotting due to poor storage, no record of who owns them, no database, no lists..... they just TOOK them. "its for your safety, you know" Yeah, right.

    Several states have, since then (I know Tennessee, I think Ohio and Missouri) have passed laws specifically prohibiting arms confiscation during any natural disaster. They could be called "Katrina laws".. don;'t think so, but they were passed in response to the disarming of citizen residents after Katrina. If I am not mistaken, it was Federal Marshalls and/or National Guard (I believe the former) who actually made the rounds disarming people.
    I guess some govamint dooks think the first casualty of a major natural disaster should be the Constitution.
     
  13. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    OK, thanks.

    And, so much for believing that our troops, especially our "local" NG, wouldn't follow orders and turn on us if the SHTF? Forced evacuation, confiscation of arms? Defend and uphold the constitution first?
     
  14. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I have lived a good portion of my life in rural and semi-rural locations and currently live in a rural subdivision on an acre outside of LaPine. A large amount of my free time is spent camping, fishing, quad riding, shooting etc. in and around the Deschutes National Forest near where I live and I certainly understand what Elsullo is talking about when he refers to the "feral" people in the woods - and those people are there during the "good" times. I have been following many threads and posts about the concept of "bugging out", and have tried to remain open minded due to my own outdoors experience but Elsullo gave an excellent, well-stated summation of the "bug out" controversy. While the concept of bugging out is a romantic notion, probably fueled by fictitious books and movies rather than real experience, for most the reality is it would be a harsh and violent existence and if one even survived the short term the physical and emotional damage would be more than most would want to experience. I would suggest to anyone who actually believes they could effectively bug out crack some books on the actual stories of those who have tried. A good example is a collection of journals, and printed in a 40's edition of Outdoor Life Magazine called "Northern Lives" , which several men who tried to survive in the wilderness of Alaska documented their day to day struggles in their diaries - until the entries came to an abrupt end - and this was in the relatively "modern" times of the early 1900's and they did not have to share their resources with anyone, nor fight anyone for them. Another would be the recent case of Chris McCandless of the true story and movie "Into The Wild".
     
  15. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    What did I learn from the Haiti quake? The same thing I learned from Katrina...

    orig.jpg
     
  16. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Puyallup, WA Well-Known Member

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    The further out past Portland the fewer local LE and the greater the 'community policing'. Get used to it. A friendly smile will get you further than an uppity attitude.

    In any SHTF situation if you are bugging out and have nowhere to go, guess what? You are now a refugee. If you have a firearm and have nowhere to go you are an armed refugee. Who likes refugees? Hollywood actors and Politicians looking for a photo op. I can't think of anyone else.

    This notional thought that the 'woods' are an abundant source of food and easy living is a dangerous thought. In days of old, the native Americans who lived in the areas of Oregon where we live and gathered the majority of food are now suburbs. Yes there is some BLM land that people may think is their secret spot for 'bugging out to", but guess what, everybody knows those spots and if the city dweller (CD) actually makes it out to the spot of their dreams, good luck defending it and securing food and trying to live day to day. The streams are over fished and the deer and elk are limited due to cougars and local hunters. The herds are constantly migrating and with an influx of humans camping, well those critters aren't sticking around. Good luck. Also there are no guarantees those little forest service/BLM/county bridges will be in tact when you are driving to your secret spot. Once again good luck.

    When you drive out in the rural areas and you see some cattle along the road in the fenced in pastures of the landowners, I dare you to stop the car and get out and jump the fence. Watch the response of the landowners and their neighbors. In a SHTF scenario (Katrina/Haiti/fill in the blank) you will probably find the cattle being supervised by armed "cowboys" watching you while you are watching cattle. I mean c'mon rural folks aren't going to have anything to do but clean guns and chop fire wood. Do you honestly think they are bugging out? Ever butchered a steer? It is an all day job when you do it by hand and do it right. Good luck butchering beef while being shot at.

    If you don't have a plan, get one. If you have a plan, practice it. Make strong relations with your family and/or friends or whoever you are going to "tribe" with, for these are the people who will get you through this. The lone wolf is a comic book character and does not exist in reality. If you see a lone wolf, chances are it is aged and is looking for its final resting spot to die in peace.

    SF-
     
  17. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    Silver Fox hinted at it, and I forgot to mention it, but many rural bridges might be missing for out-buggers if there is any urban disaster. Most farmers and loggers have experience in road-building, and are trained and licensed for use of EXPLOSIVES. Most large farms or logging companies keep a stock of legal dynamite for road work or stump removal. It would only make good sense for such empowered rural folks to blow the bridges that mobs of urban refugees would need to invade their territory. Just dropping some trees across the roads would keep the even the most well equipped bug-outers.........in.........................elsullo :paranoid:
     
  18. powersbj

    powersbj Seattle Area Active Member

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    Bugging out is not a destination, its a means to an end. Hopefully to a place you have all ready set up in a community that knows you and or your family. At least thats how I've always thought of it. The mountain men were just about as independent as a person can get and they still had to have a big meet once a year to trade skins for supplies, primitive humans lived/live in tribes and villages history shows groups survive individuals dont. The bad guys will figure that out really quick I think.
     
  19. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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    Would it help if I brought a banjo along?

    :paranoid:

    -D