The Preparedness Triangle: Shelter in Place and Not Coming Home

The last and bottom part of my preparedness triangle is going to be a subjective one. As mentioned in the overview, this is going to come down to personal preference and what your plan is for emergency scenarios. The bottom part has two options, shelter in place (SIP) and not coming home (NCH).

All of this information right now is basically just a plan. We haven’t started pulling everything together yet. However, with how things have gone this year because of the pandemic and instances of social unrest, it has put into perspective the need to have a solid plan in place.

Shelter In Place vs. Not Coming Home

Shelter in place means you are staying at your home until the all-clear has been given or you are required to evacuate. Obviously, this is going to depend on the type of emergency that is happening. You should have enough provisions to sustain you and your family for a predetermined amount of time. Ideally, a month or more is a good start to planning. 

The second option of not coming home means you’re either being forced to evacuate or have to because you can no longer sustain yourself at home. Or worse case, it has become unsafe to stay at home. This is the last resort, and every effort should be made to stay in place before considering leaving. 

Do An Assessment

The assessment here versus for VEDC or a GHB/BOB is going to be considerably more detailed. You can very easily look at your home location and decide what types of events might impact you.

You also need to consider how many people will be with you if you have a family; that means having more resources to sustain you or a vehicle large enough to get everyone out of the affected area.

Each part of the assessment should be specific to your situation, location, and types of events you anticipate to happen. There is no one size fits all solution here.

Both require a good amount of preplanning. If you intend to shelter in place, make sure the gear and supplies you have can be easily transported in the event of having to leave. The last thing you want to have happen is being forced to evacuate your home with nothing. Or, if you can’t leave in your vehicle, not having a prepacked bag ready to go for each person in the family.

My Current Plan

In my case, my plan has always been to shelter in place for at least a little while before having to leave. If I have to leave, it will be north to get to my parent’s house. While they don’t live in the country, they do not live in a heavily populated area either, as I do. They’re in good middle ground.

Staying Put For Awhile

Our SIP plan will include enough food and water for at least a month. Most of this includes canned goods and non-perishable foods that can be cooked easily on a camp stove, or if our gas is still on, the stove in our house. Some of that will be supplemented with dehydrated foods that are easily transportable if we need to leave.

A lot of what you have in a Not Coming Home (NCH) kit will be dependent on what your plan is for having to leave your home. In our case, we plan only to be gone for an extended period of time. The bins we have planned will have enough supplies to hold us over for a minimum of a month.

They also include prepacked bags for clothing and provisions for our animals. These would be put together as soon as we know we would be sheltering in place and placed with our NCH bins. Most of this stuff would get packed into our vehicle, so it is ready to go. That way, if an evacuation was necessary, we get in the car and go.

Build Your Own Plan

 A Google search will yield plenty of other detailed posts and instructions that include rally points, communication rules, and what to do if separated. Having multiple exits out of your area is also a good idea. You may even want to consider a cache somewhere along the way if you have a long drive to a safe location.

If this is something you think you want more knowledge on, we highly recommend looking into the Keep & Bear Emergency Preparedness course. They provide a good overview of emergency preparedness and a framework for starting to plan for emergencies.

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