About a week ago, we got a public alert notice on our TV to be prepared to evacuate. My area of Northern California has a dominant peak: Mt. Diablo. Well, it had a hell of a fire. Not as big as the Rim Fire near Yosemite or a couple others further north, but it was a bigun.
As soon as we got the alert that we might have to evacuate (about 70 homeowners, ranchers and farmers did have to bug out), I broke out our Evacuation Plan. What? You don't have one? You should be drawn and quartered! Go here for a 3-part post (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) on how to make your own.
Anyways, part of our plan is, "grab the guns". So I started ticking off - in my mind - the rifles and pistols I wanted to bring, and staged them to be quickly loaded into our vehicle should the evacuation alert turn into a mandatory evacuation order. [BTW, the posts above discuss the concept of tripwires - events or news that happens, which then move you to action. We would have voluntarily evacuated well before a mandatory order had been given, as one of our tripwires - wind direction and speed - would have been tripped earlier. I'm more aggressive in my self-preservation acts than those dictated by government officials.]
It then dawned on me that my wife would not know which to bring, and what needed to come with them. I had a BIG hole in my preps by assuming I'd be home when an emergency hit.
So, in addition to updating the evacuation plan to mention specific guns, I wanted to have something that was fully self-sufficient, and easy to grab.
Huh? A tool chest?
Yes, but a very special tool chest. First notice the front area just to the right of the yellow latch. It's a lock. A combination lock. Here in the late-great state of California, if you're transporting a gun, it must be in a locked case. I didn't use a keyed lock, because keys get lost. The combo used on this lock is the same combo used on all of our locks.
What you can't see from this picture is a label that says, "FN-P9, 9mm pistol" on the end of the case. In this way, I know all of my stuff needed for that particular gun is in a single case.
This case is a Stanley tool box. It comes with a removable tray, which was removed and discarded, as I want to be able to pile as much crap into this box as is possible.
Here's what you see when you first open up the box -
Everything I need to use and maintain the gun in a bug out situation.
The pistol, 3 magazines, paddle holster, mag pouch, 130 rounds of hollow point ammo (two boxes of 50 each, 3 magazines with 10 each), a universal gun cleaning kit, 225 gun patches, a dozen Remoil gun wipes, and a can of Remoil aerosol.
I believe I will be able to squeeze in another 50-round box and a couple more magazines if I jostle stuff around just right. I think I'll add some Q-tips and a rag as well.
Each pistol I own that might be taken during a bug out now has its own box. If we are forced to evacuate on foot, this still gives me the ability to grab what I need for a particular gun and stuff it into a BOB, and not be searching high and low for a needed item.
The box was $7, cleaning kit was $8, Remoil patches were $4, Remoil spray was $5 and the cleaning patches were $3. It won't cost you an arm and a leg to put these together.
Another thing about this is that it doesn't scream, "GUN!" If we were forced to evacuate and our public servants decided to take an non-Fourth Amendment compliant looksee in my car, it would look like a regular old tool chest used to fix the car. A tacti-cool case and 5.11 gear would be like calling a buzzard to road kill.
Yes, part of our updated plan is to remove all labels from the box as it's placed in the car.
More on tripwires: My area of the country is subject to 3 major types of natural disasters: Flooding, earthquakes and wild fires. The tripwires dictate the direction and timing of our evacuation. Flooding - which levees are at risk, where are they in relation to our home, when are high tides? Earthquake - where is major damage to infrastructure, where are bridges? Fire - how close, what direction/speed of wind, in what general direction is the fire burning?
Other tripwires include civil unrest and toxic air releases (I have refineries, power plants and chemical plants all within 15 miles, some within 5 miles, and train tracks within 2 miles).
Accept The Challenge
Putting together an evacuation plan will take you a bit of time, but is well worth the effort. Your neck of the woods may be concerned with hurricanes or tornadoes. Perhaps ice storms or a nuclear power plant emergency.
The point is, every place in this country is subject to some sort of event that could result in the need (or order) to evacuate. Your success in dealing with - and recovering from - such an event is predicated upon the idea that you will do everything in your power to not become dependent upon the good graces of some government agency for your well-being.
Go read the three linked posts on putting a plan together. Ensure the 12 Impacts are all addressed. Tweak and upgrade when needed.
Go on, git! You've got some work to do!
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