Reader Question

A Family Asked For Advice

I live about 10 miles from dead smack center of a city with 100k - 120k. In the North East out of all places.

I'm a beginner prepper. Still fairly new to the lifestyle. I was wondering if you had some personal tips or very valuable advice in regards to my predicament. My predicament is, the wife and I are in our early 30s. We have a four yr old, and live in a suburb outside the city. We are getting our finances correct and trying to live life as preppers for the most part.

I don't have a bugout place, I just haven't gotten to that level. I have a very good job so does my wife, especially in this economy so I can't afford to move and start over somewhere secluded. I mean if I set it as a goal I will but it just wont happen overnight. Right now if things were to get iffy I'd have to secure my fort and bunker down. If we have to get out it would be a difficult thing with a child, but if it means life or death, I'm sure we will push forward to safety.

What suggestions can you offer?


Charles, thanks for writing with your questions.  I'm going to make a couple assumptions, please correct them in a follow-up email or blog comment if I'm wrong or if you want to add more information.

I'm assuming you live in a house rather than an apartment, and that you and your wife both commute the 10 miles into the city.  Also that your child is in daycare, closer to your home.

That being said, here's my first advice...
I'm going to go with what the feds advise: Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Stay Informed.
  • The Kit
    • Each car that you use to commute should have a basic 72 hour BOB or GHB (Bug Out Bag or Get Home Bag) in it for each person.
    • Some food & extra clothes (season appropriate and useful for hiking home the 10 miles - don't forget shoes or boots)
    • Tools - A knife, fire starter, space blanket, tarp... what your particular circumstances dictate
    • Emergency money - A couple hundred dollars - enough for a room, a ride home, other emergency items - small bills, maybe a roll of quarters
  • The Plan
    • A map with several alternate routes home and to alternate locations
    • Contact information for the baby sitter, each other, an out of town contact, and an out of state contact
    • Written planning for how you both will get home (and get the child) in an emergency
    • Make arrangements now with the baby sitter or an alternate trusted person to provide for the child if you and your wife are delayed by a day or two in getting home
  • Stay Informed
    • Get a NOAA radio for home and both offices (if the baby sitter does not have one, get one for there as well)
    • Keep abreast of the news
    • Communicate with each other throughout the day, more if things are getting concerning
These are just some quick tips that will help you with an acute emergency.  In the NE, you might get blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, and civil unrest among others.  In the next couple days, we'll follow up with more information to look at longer term or larger scale emergencies, and use today as a foundation.


  1. Great info. Charles, this is great advise and it is important that you prep as though you are staying in place and only have to bug out if it gets really bad. You are better off working with neighbors and having a group of like minded people that are preparing for any type emergency for your local area.

  2. Another thought, if both you and your wife don't have smart phones look into getting them. A smart phone will allow you to monitor news and weather from anywhere you can get a good signal. You can also get apps to allow you to monitor the local police/fire frequencies.

    Remember that the better informed you are to the current (and possibly rapidly changing) conditions the better odds you have to stay ahead of the game.


  3. Great advice, guys! My wife recently got the "Weather Radio" app on her iPhone and loves it. Weather forecasts and emergency notification for the 5 counties she is in on a regular basis.


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