Those who prowl the websites, forums and blogs of other preppers will find an entire subculture of otherwise normal people. People who have elevated disaster preparedness to a science or an alternative lifestyle. Terms such as “bugging-out” or “T.E.O.T.W.A.W.K.I.” are common lingo. Discussions about firearms, pickup loads of ammo and fortified hidey-holes somewhere in the mountains are concepts routinely bandied about.
Bugging out is also referred to as evacuating. (You remember that from watching all those reruns of M.A.S.H.) T.E.O.T.W.A.W.K.I. is short for “The End Of The World As We Know It.” Evacuation is only necessary when it is imminently likely that your humble abode will no longer be “abode-able”. Maybe your house is on fire, maybe there is a wildfire on the way, or maybe Hurricane Katrina is bearing down on you. Or as some experienced just recently, the rains have swollen the streams to the point where your home is in imminent flood danger and you are ordered to evacuate.
T.E.O.T.W.A.W.K.I. can occur through natural disaster, economic or societal meltdown, coronal mass ejections (solar storms) or simply the expiration of the Mayan calendar.
Some experts suggest the need for three evacuation plans. A 60 second plan, a one hour plan and a twelve hour plan. So let’s pretend you wake in the middle of the night with the smell of smoke in your house. After much panic, screaming and frantic rushing about, (not to mention R-rated language) you get your family and pets out of the house, hopefully without injury. That’s an example of the need for a 60 second plan. I have a theory that the panic and screaming factor will be reduced in direct correlation to how much you planning you have done.