Bugging out is not an option here

b54ebcd4-2dc6-4ad5-bb3a-91cfac407893-140206_winter_weather_oregon_3Yesterday the Portland Oregon area got hit with a snow storm that yielded at the max, maybe 6 inches of snow. I was at work when it started snowing. When I realized that being on the road wasn’t a smart idea I quickly returned back to park my fleet vehicle and call it quits for the day at 3:00 PM. I wanted to get home before the roads became un-drivable.

Most area’s of the country that are used to winter conditions prepare ahead of time by salting and sanding the roads. They have a large team ready to go with snow plows to keep the roads clear. This is not the case here in the Portland area because weather like this is rare. Up in the mountains near the ski resorts it is a different story of course. Here the roads are treated with a liquid to keep the roads from freezing but that didn’t work too well yesterday as the temperatures stayed below freezing. The snow that came down would melt and turn to ice pretty quickly.

Anyway my typical 40 minute commute took 3 hours and 15 minutes as millions of people were on the slippery roads as the same time that I was. And I am sure that it was just a small percentage as many folks had the option of being home. Throughout the ride I kept thinking about what would happen in the event of a real emergency and everyone was trying to get out.

161212-winter-weatherFirst off where would everyone go? There would be utter gridlock on most of the major arteries of our transportation infrastructure. People would run out of fuel and be forced to abandon their vehicles on the road. It would be utter chaos. God forbid if there were road closures due to down tree’s.

These thoughts further my beliefs in the need to be prepared to stay where I am or “Bugging In”. When there is no way out then it is always better to wait it out until it becomes safe to move.

It is high time I started getting serious about being prepared. Will the power stay on? What if I have no heat? What if utilities are shut off like natural gas and water? Would I even be able to flush the toilet? Will I actually have enough food and a way to prepare it? How quickly will I go through that water I have put away? How about medications that we take and medical supplies? Yes, I have my work cut out for me.

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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35 Responses to Bugging out is not an option here

  1. James says:

    Yeah, Portland isn’t exactly “snow-ready.” Last week, we got our first snow here in Boise and my usual 30 minute commute home took over 90 minutes. I even left work 30 minutes early. Of course, part of the delay was that I had to detour around two accidents, but even so, it was a long commute. The transportation dept. was prepared, but I don’t think the drivers were.

    It snowed again yesterday, but now everyone was prepared for it and the roads were more passable. We tend to get these days so, unlike Portland, there’s a plan in place for getting around.

    All that said, it’s still a pain in the neck.

    • I remember asking someone here when we first moved out here, “What happens when it snows”? He said you just stay home.

    • Carol O'Brion says:

      Great article. We live south of you in a rural area and don’t have the chaos of big city driving issues. Being prepared for the bug in is key. Thanks.

      • When we first arrived in Oregon we settled in Bend. Neither one of us could find employment and ended up moving North. I am pretty close to rural being on the outskirts of Oregon City, but it still feels like city life. I actively keep looking for land but it seems nothing is too affordable anymore. I have a tiny backyard but have figured out a way to produce tons of fresh food with raised bed gardens. Sometimes it’s safer not looking to far beyond your own backyard. 🙂

      • Carol O'Brion says:

        Excellent! I live north of grants pass, before that 25 years near Klamath Falls. We learned a lot. I wrote a book this year about prepping. If you are interested take a look. Merry Christmas neighbor!

      • I would love to check out your book. Merry Christmas.

      • Carol O'Brion says:

        Thanks. It has been such a fun project!

  2. lethally says:

    It’s really important that you get this sorted.

    I live in Dunedin New Zealand, next major city down from Christchurch, which was hit by a really BIG earthquake five years ago. Lots of people dead and many many people without power or water for a long long time. The city is still finding ts feet now.

    Our government suggests people have a minimum of 3 days of food and water on hand, plus bug out bags and a plan to connect up with family members in case of an emergency. I’d also strongly suggest portable chargers for mobile phones – the network here was up again quite quickly but charging phones was a problem for a lot of people for a long time. I’d also recommend keeping torches and glowsticks in the car, plus rugs or blankets in the bag in case you get stranded and a CB to call for help if you live off major roads. I’d also keep the car topped on petrol, and an extra can of petrol in the boot (we call them jerry cans here) would be an excellent idea so you can run the engine longer if needed if you get stuck.

    My suggestion is that 3 days of food and water is nowhere near enough. In your part of the world I’d also ensure you have alternative heating in case the systems keel over. All this isn’t hard to do or expensive but it does take organisation and planning.

    Step 1 though is keep those blankets in the car, and a good strong torch!

    Stay warm over there!

  3. howmuchmoneydoesamanneed says:

    Yeah definitely you need to be prepared. Better that you think of it now than when you’re knee deep.

  4. Gail says:

    When I worked in an office, I panicked when the snow started to fall. I live in the northeast where the road crews are ready for snow, yet driving is still dangerous. My focus on preparedness at that time was more about being on the road than losing power in my house. I packed my car with a small shovel, shoe treads, water, first aid kit, blanket and flashlight. Fortunately, I haven’t needed these emergency items, but you never know.

    • I lived through a lot of the same types of storms in New Jersey throughout my life and always had a small supply with me. Even if I didn’t need them you just never know if someone else out there needs help.

  5. webbermd says:

    I grew up in Portland and sometimes I would get caught downtown picking up my mom or dad from work as a teenager. On really bad traffic, days we would bug in at a local restaurant downtown, have coffee, dinner, and head home once the traffic cleared.
    When my wife and I lived on the Oregon Coast, we were cut off from the Willamette Valley because every highway was closed due to down trees. Hwys 30, 26, 6,22, 18 all closed. Hwy 36 Corvallis to Newport was open and it became almost apocalyptic by the time people running on gas fumes got to Depot Bay and New Port that December storm. It was this storm that lead us to plan more to be more off grid.
    Here’s a link to our blog you liked last year. Some simple supplies to bug in during the snowpocalyps to keep from abandoning your on grid home. Most of the supplies are relatively cheap and can be found at Bi-Mart, Walmart, Fred Meyer, or a good farm and feed store.

  6. webbermd says:

    Portlanders do not know how to drive in the snow and ice. Crazy. I was living on the Coast when this happened…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaksWCnHaDM

  7. All very good ideas but isn’t part of the issue that people now are living so far away from their work?

    My maternal grandfather got a job 30 miles away from where he was living. Only rich people had cars in those days and so the family moved to be closer to the job.

    People still need to be prepared but I think that living within an hour’s walk of your work is part of being prepared.

    • I do agree. Where we live now my wife is only five minutes from here job. Sometimes we have to make certain sacrifices. I don’t like the idea that my children live all over the country, but with most of our businesses moving over seas in the last century they have to go where the money is.

  8. prepper365 says:

    Living deep in the hills of Tennessee an ice/snow storm causes major travel issues as you can imagine. As part of my ‘get home bag(s)’ I keep a complete overnight bag in case grabbing a hotel room is an option. Blanket, candles, lighters, hand warmers, bottled water, protein bars, cell charger, etc stay in the truck at all times in case I get stranded on the road. Oh, and don’t forget to keep the gas tank full, we never let ours fall below a 1/2 tank. Good luck on your new journey into prepping – it’s like money in the bank.

    • I have driven those hills and couldn’t even imagine driving them during a snow storm. It is actually better than money in the bank if a disaster should strike. It’s better to have all the things money can buy to be prepared.

  9. I feel your pain Billy. I was stuck in traffic for 2 hours last night due to lake effect snow. Apparently we (Toronto) are getting a “Colorado Low” tonight which will dump another 6 inches. ~sigh~ I think I will just stay home. 😉

  10. New Journey says:

    We saw the road on the news….glad your home and can stay put for the weekend…xxkat

  11. cherylfoston says:

    What a great and important post.If this hasn’t crossed your mind, it really gives you something to ponder. I try to be as ready as I can, but I guess I would have to not bug out and just sit it out. We got hit today here in New England and luckily it was the weekend most folks act like they can’t drive in the rain, never mind a snow storm. 🙂 I enjoyed this post very much!

    • I know what you mean about drivers. We certainly have our share of people who don’t know how to drive here. But, I believe that our biggest problem is the fact that people are crammed together here like a can of sardines. There is just too much population for the roads to be able to handle.

  12. myjigsawmind says:

    I am in full agreement with you on all points. The whole family was stuck in a small town on our way home a few years ago. My much laughed at preps (shoe chains, warm clothing, water, snacks and blankets were ready to go. If we needed to stay in the car overnight we would have been alright but luckily we got a hotel. My house preps also at the forefront of my thought as we run on electricty, Hope to have a multifuel burner by the end of the year.

    • Awesome! While my mind is set on developing all that I need to bug in I am planning on purchasing a class B motorhome somewhere in the future as a bug out vehicle. Even if I don’t ever need it I can still take advantage of all of the opportunities to do some pretty awesome camping.

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