Summer is upon us, and so is the Bushfire season.
I took these pictures yesterday and today after work. The bushfire is six and a half kilometres away, and on the other side of the river. Thick black smoke filled the sky, blanketing my neighbourhood with hot, teaspoon-sized debris. The fire couldn’t cross the river, but spot-fires were still a risk, as they could be started by airborne embers (especially if you don’t regularly clean the leaves from your gutters).
Despite my distance from the fire, I was grateful I had my Bug Out Bag, and a supply of food and water ready to go if the fire somehow managed to jump the river.
Everyone needs a Bug Out Bag. Yes; even if you live in the city. You might not have to worry about bushfires, but what about other natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, pyroclastic flows, landslides, cyclones, hurricanes, or floods? In the current political climate, you also have to consider the possibility of acts of terrorism. Every single one of these situations may require you to leave your home with only a few moment's notice. You won’t have time to ‘pack a few essentials’ when you’re being herded toward your local evacuation centre.
I have covered Bug Out Bags in one of my earlier blogs; but for those of you who arrived late to the party, here’s a summary of what you’ll need:
• A backpack. You don’t need a huge, metal framed backpack. Your backpack only needs to be big enough to carry your essential equipment. A 30-litre daypack should be sufficient.
• A fixed-blade, full tang knife.
• Good quality multi-tool.
• 2 x one litre stainless steel water-bottles with a wide opening and a screw-top lid.
• Lensatic compass.
• Fire steel.
• Matches in weatherproof container.
• Chemical glow-stick.
• Signalling mirror.
• Space blanket.
• Plastic storm whistle.
• Waterproof marker pen.
• Military can opener.
• 10 metres of green para-cord.
• Small LED torch with spare batteries.
• Small bottle of hand sanitizer.
• Small bottle of sunscreen.
• Roll-on bottle of insect repellent
• Roll of duct tape.
• A floppy bucket hat. (This can be folded to fit in your pack).
• Socks x 2 pair.
• Jumper/Sweater (Lightweight).
• Protein bar/chocolate bar/trail mix; enough for three days.
• Tinned food (eg baked beans/spaghetti/tuna/processed meat); enough for three days.
• A deck of cards. (Card games can help pass the time if you are stranded).
Yes, these items are going to cost you a few dollars, and you may even resent spending the money if you never have to use your Bug Out Bag. But think of it as insurance. Aren’t you better off having insurance and not needing it; than needing it but not having it?
That’s me done for the year, so I’ll take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Thank you for coming back month after month to read my blog. I’ll see you all again in 2018.