We are pros at sheltering in place. After years of snowstorms in an area that consistently lands in one of the top three snowiest places on the east coast of the USA and spending the past year and a half in a pandemic, we know how to stay home.
I have always had a bug out bag ready. The bug out bag has always been mostly for my cats and contained only a few items for 1-2 days. Now that we have sheltered in place for a year and a half and continue to do so, I am coming to realize how attached we are to this house. We would be in real trouble if we had to leave.
A few weeks ago, a tornado touched down about 9 miles from our house. While I typically ignore tornado warnings, I took this one seriously, as it was the first time I heard the tornado siren in the village actually go off.
Jude and Jolene went down to the basement right away. They thought it was a game. Simon hid. I had to search for Simon and grab him to take him to the basement. We were down there for about an hour. At the time of the warning, they were unsure where the tornadoes were going to touch down. Luckily, the closest they came to us was 9 miles.
It was an eye opening experience as to how unprepared we are if we had to leave.
Of course, priority number one is the cats. It is aways the cats. I will just grab them and go. Everything else be damned.
I decided to redo our bug out kit. One thing I have learned in this pandemic is that for my cats, I am their world. If something happens to me, they have no one.
I am taking the bug out kit seriously and ensuring that there are items in there for all of us.
Initially, I was just going to repack the backpack. If we have to leave, I can just throw the cats and the backpack in the car and go. If we had to leave on foot, I could wear the back pack, and would struggle with the cats. I would have two put two in one carrier and one in another, but it is doable.
My neighbors are Proud Boys. They are very violent and disruptive. They have threatened with guns. They retaliate if you complain about any of their activities. I do not feel safe living here, but unfortunately we are stuck here for financial reasons.
With my horrible neighbors, I got to thinking – what if we had to leave and could not take the car? Could I do it? I could, but with great difficulty.
I decided to get a camping wagon.
The camping wagon is our new bug out unit.
If something bad happens, I will grab the cats and throw them in the car. If there is time, I will pull the wagon out to the car also to load everything and we can go to safety.
Anytime we have a snowstorm or other emergency, I know to keep the gas tank in the car at least half full at all times. Since we have been living in an emergency for a year and a half, I keep the gas tank in the car at least half full all of the time now in case we need to leave.
I decided to use a wagon for our new bug out kit because if we have to leave and cannot take the car, it will be easier for me to just pull the wagon. I have all of our supplies in it. I can also out the cats in their car carriers in the wagon. It is going to be easier for me physically then trying to wear a backpack and deal with their carriers. I can just pull a wagon.
I also “upped” our provisions. Due to my multiple food allergies, I have 5 days worth of food for me. There is 3 weeks worth of food for the cats due to my experience in trying to get their food the past year and a half sheltering in place in the pandemic,
With our bug out wagon, we should be able to go 5 days before needing help if we had to leave the house on foot.
I’m not a prepper and I am not normally this paranoid about things. However, with my Proud Boy neighbors becoming increasingly violent and confrontational, I feel like we need to be ready to leave for our own safety in case things escalate.
It looks like a lot, but I have medical supplies, two changes of clothes (in case I get wet), all cat supplies including a cat pan. Water is only two gallons, but I am looking into water purification options. The cat litter is in the trunk of the car.
It’s not perfect. I’m hoping we never have to use it. I’m sure that if I DIDN’T create a bug out kit, we would be in need of one. So hopefully with our bug out wagon, nothing will happen, and we will be able to continue our shelter in place safely.
Do you have an emergency go kit? Have you included your pet(s) in your go plans? Half of the stuff in our wagon are for the cats.
Stay safe, everyone.