Bugging Out with the Elderly

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Bugging Out with the Elderly

I have a somewhat unique situation; but then, so do we all. My particular situation is that my wife works for the city and her 85 year old mother lives a few miles away. Just to complicate things, we live in a hurricane zone, right on the Gulf of Mexico. What all this means is that my wife is one of the people who would be manning the city’s emergency operations center (EOC) in a crisis, so we couldn’t bug out until the entire city had evacuated. By then, it might be too late. And of course, we’ve got to take her mom with us.

While that creates a rather set of problems, it’s not insurmountable. But it does mean that my survival plans might be considerably different than others. Yet I can’t help but think that there are others out there who have similar situations, especially elderly family members who will need to be cared for.

To start with, we have to accept the idea that it’s harder to bug out with the elderly. They don’t move as fast, can’t walk as far, and have a host of other needs which mitigate against being able to bug out easily. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Leaving them behind, to live or probably die on their own, is not an option that most of us want to take.

Before bugging out, there’s bugging in. While there are disasters which would necessitate a bug out, there are also many which we can ride out in our homes. So I’m not only preparing our home for survival, I’m preparing hers. I’ve added in rainwater capture, have made her home more secure, and have a stockpile of supplies. There’s even enough gasoline there to allow us to travel back and forth between her house and ours a number of times, if we need more supplies.

I’ve also made provision for her health. Like many elderly people, mom takes a number of different medications every day. I do too. So I have a stockpile of those meds, both in my home as part of our stockpile and with our bug out gear. I buy my meds in Mexico, where they can be bought over the counter in any pharmacy.

As for bugging out, we have no plans to bug out into the wild; at least not unless we manage to build a cabin somewhere. Rather, we’ve established ourselves with a small town, where we are known by one of the churches and some of the local businesspeople. We visit the town regularly, building relationship, as well as a supply cache. We even have enough of a relationship with the owner of a local motel, that I can be assured of getting a room in an emergency. That’s pre-planned and pre-paid.

Having those relationships and that cache guarantees that we’ll be able to get into town, even if they set up roadblocks. Chances are pretty good that a little name dropping will be the key to open that door and if that’s not enough, I can show that I have a storage area there, saying I need to get to it.

Actually, the hardest part of all this was convincing my mother-in-law that I know what to do in the event of a disaster. She wasn’t aware of what I write about, until she tried to educate me about what to do in the case of a hurricane. Then, when I filled her in on what she had forgotten, she realized I knew more about it than she did.