This past winter, the flu epidemic in Central Tennessee made the news across the country. I got phone calls from family in Florida about how we were doing. Our local school system closed for several days. The truth is that we avoided the flu this year. Everyone that we knew who did get the flu was able to get Tamiflu and got well after a week or so. It was more of an inconvenience than an emergency. But it did give us a reason to think about when action would be necessary.
There are emergencies where you have a better idea of when to do something. When the floodwater or forest fire reaches your house or close enough to cut off escape, it is time to go. When you see what are clearly enemy paratroopers land in the field beside your school (and certainly when they shoot the history teacher), it is time to go. Also, it’s time to leave immediately with what you can pick up and carry out quickly. You don’t have time to get a rental truck up to the house to load grandma’s wedding china. Not every scenario is as clear cut as these or requires the same response.
My thoughts turned to what kind of things would I look for in the flu epidemic to make me realize it was time to bug in? Is there any time when we would agree to leave the area? I have a limited amount of leave time at work and the kids have a limited number of days they can miss school, so it would have to be serious.
I would have considered bugging in if I heard a combination of things that I think would signal that the epidemic was getting out of hand: if several patients were dying of the flu; if Tamiflu was being rationed or was unavailable; if I got a sense from medical staff, emergency personnel, or other such people that it could actually be a real problem; or the big one, if I saw any evidence of temporary hospitals being set up in gymnasiums, fairground buildings or large tents.
Many times in history and in disaster/apocalyptic films it seems that getting home or to the alternate bug out location early is key. It certainly would be critical for people who don’t live at or very close to their bug out location. In the movies, the viewer clearly sees signs of the disaster that the characters do not notice. I understand that this is because a movie where a family goes to a secure, well-stocked location that they can easily hide or otherwise defend would be incredibly boring. (Click to Site)