Plan for mobility. As a contingency.

I once had the personal experience of taking part in the evacuation of a whole town 2,000 plus people, due to incoming forest fires (the story is posted in the old threads).

Also went through the CA Northridge Quake in 1994 about 7 miles from the epicenter. (Talk about broken lives). At any rate, sometimes ya just gotta leave.

Ideally, for Y2K or other potential disaster scenarios, we dont want to depart the home base in a emergency situation. However, being prepared to move, is a good back-up strategy. Nothing will convince you of that need, like an incoming FIRE, and not enough water to fight it with. It gets you going faster than a speeding freight train. Quite an adrenalin rush, too.

Since Ive done a LOT of car camping and High Sierra wilderness camping, yet still love a hot shower, Ill share a few thoughts, and welcome yours, on Mobile Y2K Preparation Strategies.

Basically, in an evacuation situation you have one car per driver, which becomes your home, your mobile RV. In essence, youre camping out of your car. When camping (contemplate this one if youve never been), what do you need to live? Same things as at home, only more compact.

Keep in mind, you cant always count on being able to remain with your car, so its wise to make mobile back-up plans to your car camping plans.

I suggest a tri-level contingency plan (think Swiss Family Robinson lifestyle support and supplies):


1) CAR CAMPING -- Arrive at destination and live out of car & camp in tent (or RV for those who have the option)

2) MOUNTAIN BICYCLE --Backpack and/or drag wagon/cart (out-of-gas option when forced to walk along paved or dirt roadways to gathering spot)

3) BACKPACKING/HIKING -- On foot (when forced to hike up mountain trails and retreat into wilderness)

Remember, each successive option reduces your carrying capacity.

Ill just focus on car option now.

CAR CAMPING OPTION -- Prepare to be mobile, in the car, i.e. everything that will fit, inside and roped on top of car. (And, yes it CAN all fit with careful packing skills):

BTW, this list is not complete. Just enough to get started. My philosophy on car camping, especially if you may not be returning home, versus wilderness camping, is to pack for comfort, coziness and beauty. I doubt REI or Outward Bound would approve of my lists!

Lists ...


* Water bottles -- Four large 5 Gallon jugs, three smaller containers, 2 funnels
* Hikers water bottles with carrying strap
* Water purifier
* Water purification tablets
* 2 portable, collapsible water buckets (for transport from streams or springs)
* Metal canteen with strap


* Food -- supplies -- canned, dehydrated, grains & flour, sprout seeds, coffee/tea, etc. (need to develop long list, also remember to store inside closed car away from animal scavengers)
* Food -- accents -- herbs, salt & pepper, sugar & honey, olive oil, basalmic vinegar, baking soda & powder, yeast, etc.
* Containers -- small tupperware & bulk food
* 2 large ice chests
* Cloth insulated coolers with straps (for mobile back-up food carrying needs)
* 2 Rubbermaid buckets (for washing & rinsing dishes and clothes)
* Plastic and/or cloth tablecloths (and washable napkins)
* Mosquito netting for covering food or surrounding eating area
* Plastic plates, cups, glasses, bowls & silverware
* Kitchen utensils & supplies -- cutting knives, can openers, corkscrew, bottle opener, shish-kabob steaks, saran wrap, aluminum foil, dish soap, paper towels, cloth towels, sponges, scouring pad, etc.
* Wooden cutting board
* Cast iron cookware -- skillet, coffee/tea pot, covered dutch oven, and pot for heating wash water
* Camping cookset -- lightweight aluminum
* Campfire tools -- grill, fire pot hanger, pot holders, tongs
* Portable Coleman stove & propane canisters
* Solar oven or twig stove
* Extra matches
* Non-hybridized vegetable seed packets (for back-up planting)
* Books -- How To outdoor cook n camping recipe book, catch & clean fish, grow food plants, identify wild/edible plants & herbs, etc.


* Warm down sleeping bag(s)
* Extra blankets
* Pillows
* Down comforter (love it & wont leave home without it)
* Campfire metal wind screen (build your own campfire ring with found rocks)
* Matches -- waterproof & regular (also flint)
* Candles -- lots of 8-hour votive candles, votive glass or metal containers
* Magnifying glass lens for concentrating sun to create fire
* Coleman lanterns, & fluid (or comparable option)
* Battery-powered, large light for inside tent (dont want open or knock-over flames)
* Extra flashlights & batteries -- different sizes, including pocket/purse penlight and Maglights with heavy club-like hand holder
* Solar-panel battery recharger
* Hand-held chemical warmers (for emergency use)
* Emergency reflective blankets (very small, pocket-size)


* Solar-powered flashlight radio
* Small reflective mirrors (for long-distance messaging)
* Larger BayGen portable solar/battery radio (short-wave radio ??)
* Police scanner (alternate news source)
* Hand -held walkie talkies (2-mile radius)
* Cell phone (w/rechargable batteries)
* Portable alarm clock
* Couple of tin cans & string (kids talk option)
* Book -- How To send morse code


* Large lightweight, waterproof tent, poles and stakes
* Lightweight air mattress with repair kit (and goose-feather bed for deluxe sleeping)
* Folding chairs & table (camp-style ones where chairs store inside folding table)
* Three large extra tarps with grommets (just handy to have for extra rain/sun shelters or shade)
* Couple washable throw rugs (use inside tent)
* Beach grass mats (use outside tent for ground seating)
* Folding beach umbrella


* Clothing -- Warm ski jacket w/hood, lightweight jacket, sweaters, socks & underwear, pants & jeans, blouses, shirts & tee-shirts, bandanas, sunshade hat, flannel pajamas, fun dressy outfit, etc.
* Shoes -- Teva sandals, hiking boots, moccasins, snow boots, beach thongs, tennis shoes, slippers
* Gloves, mittens, wool scarf, warm hat & warm long johns
* Rain umbrella, coat and/or poncho (for rain protection & changing clothes underneath while outdoors)
* Extra sunglasses & reading glasses
* Sewing kit -- needles & thread
* Small portable luggage bags and cloth suitcases (that fit inside one another)
* Duffle bags
* 2 luggage carts with wheels (useful)
* 2 back packs -- one large for wilderness hiking, one daypack
* Misc. cloth tote bags (good for groceries, stuff bags, etc.)


* Hand face/sponge bath wash-basin
* Soap, shampoo, toothpaste & toothbrush, etc.
* Towels & washcloths (keep extras)
* Handi-wipes
* Small mirror
* Care kit -- nail care, brushes and combs, razor & blades, Q-tips, cotton balls, make-up, chapstick, sanitary supplies, hand lotion, mosquito repellant, and misc. bathroom supplies, etc. * Portable battery-operated hair dryer
* Four extra lightweight tent poles & large tarp with grommets and rope (to create a private area)
* Solar shower and/or hose with hand-held shower head (rig-up gravity -fed something)
* Metal covered chamber pot
* Toilet paper (or other options)
* Cloth laundry bag & environmental wash soap (use cooking wash buckets)
* Portable clothesline (smooth twine) & clothes pins
* Garbage bags


* People first aid kit (needs more elaboration)
* Aspirin & medicine supplies
* Snake bite and/or bee sting kit
* Aromatherapy supplies & healing herbs
* Books -- How To emergency first aid & response, use & identify medicinal herbs, healing with aromatherapy, etc.


* Money -- cash, coins, silver and gold, money belts & fanny packs (at least three back-up money stashes)
* Barter items -- small and portable (medicinal brandy, hard candy, matches, etc.)
* Tool box -- hammers, rubber mallet, lots of nails, car repair tools, screwdrivers, pliers, tape measure, electricians & duct tape, scissors, wire cutter, etc.
* Tools -- folding shovel, hand trowel, portable saw (extra blades), hatchet, rake & small hoe
* Work gloves -- heavy duty & lightweight
* Ropes & bungee cords -- lots, different sizes
* Two Swiss army knives
* Maps -- roadways, campgrounds, back country topographical (waterproof? laminated?)
* 2 compasses
* Car-top carrier
* Mountain bicycle, extra tires & chains, lubricant, tire pump, repair kit, car bike rack, folding wheeled wagon/cart that hooks on bike
* Snow tire chains, manual air pump, auto tire patching kit in-a-can, plastic things to wedge under stuck tires for traction, wire coat hanger
* Extra gas in cans (carefully wrapped & protected from leaking gas fumes), extra motor oil cans, fuses and power steering & brake fluid, long siphoning hose & manual gas pump
* Books -- How To build & repair things, tie knots, candle making, soap making, create innovative & survival shelters, wilderness survival, building a tree house without nails, desert survival tips, useful capabilities to learn and barter with, etc.


* Writing supplies -- paper, pens, pencils, sharpener, thumbtacks, and journal
* Calculator -- solar-powered (slide rule or abacus?)
* Portable computer & printer, paper, ink, battery packs, power cords, extension cords & surge protectors, zip drive & disks, solar-powered recharger
* Musical instrument(s) -- guitar & case, harmonica, kazoo, drums, tambourine, gourd rattle, etc.
* Books -- light reading, positive and inspirational, out loud story telling (i.e. Chicken Soup for the Soul, Bible, Spiritual upliftment, etc.)
* Toys & games -- balls, frisbees, nerf bats & balls, squirt guns, Monopoly, chess set, checkers, playing & tarot cards, etc.
* Key treasures -- flower vase, crystals, pictures, nick-knacks for beauty accents, etc.
* Baskets (for misc. storage & carrying)
* Video camera & film (for newshound documentation)


* Cat and/or dog carrier
* Harness, long rope & extra leashes
* Pet food supplies -- cans & dry food
* Pet food & water bowls (eye dropper for thirsty car cats who wont drink when you want them to)
* Kitty litter box and/or pooper scooper & bags (use local dirt/sand for KL box)
* Pet toys
* Sleeping cushion
* Pet shampoo & flea powder, etc.
* Pet first aid kit


* Several tin cans on a string (alert system create as food cans are used)
* Bowie knife in leather sheath (learn how to throw accurately)
* Bow and arrows with container (practice using them)
* Portable fishing rod and tackle, net (extra lines & hooks for making trawl line)
* Poachers game noose (learn how to use one -- groan!)
* Bird seed (for attract mode ?? -- sigh!)
* Swim fins, snorkel & mask (some related surface dive supplies -- forget the tanks)
* Walking stick (for hiking and/or swinging)
* Portable billy club

(Note: I personally dont do guns n ammo but you may choose to add those options, etc.)

Additions? Comments? Suggestions?



-- Diane J. Squire (, March 23, 1999


For perspective ...

Some time ago, Kevin posted a link to one individuals ice storm experience in Canada. Its worth a re-read, to think about what you really need in a mobile emergency situation.

ICE STORM MONTREAL, QUEBEC January 5-9 1998 icestormtext.html#anchor111706

Another report worth considering is ...



-- Diane J. Squire (, March 23, 1999.


What a superb post of extensive living from car information.

Yes, packing skills required.

Many thanks and best wishes,

-- Watchful (, March 23, 1999.

lists! lists! lists! thanks, printing

-- likes lists (, March 23, 1999.

Diane, Only one suggestion to add to your excellent list & its only a maybe .Give some serious thought beforehand to possible destinations & routes? Don't forget roads could get blocked by cars out of fuel or broken down.If you thinking of taking a couple of days off check out various don't want to waste fuel/time in an emergency situation.

-- Chris (, March 23, 1999.


Absolutely. You may NOT be able to drive out, that's why you must be able to go it on foot. (Know your alternate exit strategies).

In the earthquake, I was lucky. The nearest Freeway 101 going North was clear. Almost everything else was blocked. Also, in the San Fernando Valley many, many people lived in the parks for as long as a week. Continuing after shocks meant staying within structure's was "dicey."

During the fire evacuation, 20 people and 40 animals went to a friend's house ten miles away. We all had back-up travel plans and central source communication notification plans. I pity the poor people who went to the school shelters. They had "horrible" stories to tell afterwards.

We had a three-day party.


-- Diane J. Squire (, March 23, 1999.

Hi Diane,

Great Lists.

Here are Some Must Have Somewhere Items:

Personal ID, Passport, Birth Certificate, Family Photos, Job record, References, Financial Records, Social Security ID

Carry photo copies of the essential docs seal in plastic. Keep originals in a secure place (buried) sealed in plastic bags and then in plastic pipe.. Includes land deeds. Provide copies to relatives, ask for copies from relatives.

Provide ID kits for all family members. Sew name info/contact info into kids clothing.

Think, with sympathy, about Kosovo

-- Bob Barbour (, March 23, 1999.

I could fit all that stuff in my diesel truck, but most people would need a U-haul van. It's good information for a single person or people traveling in twos with no children. Children would be difficult to manage especially if you have to leave on foot and you have to carry a backpack with bare minimum essentials. If you have to be mobile and bug out to the wilderness, over half the stuff on the list for me would be eliminated. The mountains are treacherous in the winter so I doubt anyone could live out of a car in those conditions.

-- bonnie (, March 23, 1999.


Great list but..........


-- INVAR (, March 23, 1999.


Mrs Driver insists she was a Master Blaster/Loadmaster in a prev life. I doubt we could get the list you provide in our crown Vic's (2). I'll see if I can find the list (or the box) I used to use in my small truck for winter and general.



-- Chuck, a night driver (, March 23, 1999.

When youre in an emergency evacuation situation, typically you have very little time before you need to leave. (Sometimes 5 minutes, others 24 hours ... it depends). Being prepared beforehand, and having needed items collected in one area or easily identified, is key.

Yes, my list looks daunting for fitting in one car. (It does, but then, Im a master packer too Chuck). In this scenario, its not like everyone in the family piles into the same car for a vacation.

Remember, ONE CAR PER DRIVER! Most families have two cars. In the town evacuation, every driver took a load out with them, then gathered at a destination point. (Although to be fair, some decided that because they couldnt take everything, they took nothing. Strange reaction.)

In a FIRE situation, you have no idea, if youll return to cinders, or an untouched home.

Being forced to go through the instant process of deciding whats important and how youll survive away from the home front, can be quite a challenge. And extremely stress-filled.

Given that, with Y2K, were likely to have some unknown time without power, the increased use of flammable materials is more than likely. This means a corresponding increase in fire hazard, possibly without water pressure. In a city, or suburban area, or even a small town surrounded by forest, thats a disaster waiting to happen.

Having been through the experience, I have a healthy respect for the awesome power of fire. It moves you, you dont move it, especially when its on a rampage.

For mobile contingency planning purposes, I offer this list for consideration. Each person, each family will have different requirements and needs. You have the luxury, now, to pre-plan an evacuation strategy coupled with car camping survival. (If you have to abandon the car, plan for what is most essential and can be carried or dragged by family members).

Its simply worth thinking about. And planning for. Most people plan to stay put. Its just not always an option.


(Bob, great additions. INVAR, kazoos are fun in musical jam sessions. Need to keep the spirits up around the campfire. Kids love em, theyre small and portable, and they dont require musical training ;-D to operate).

-- Diane J. Squire (, March 24, 1999.

Hi Diane! We went through your list and made a shopping list last night. The mountain bike sent us over the edge laughing. Maybe if we had an old school bus ... ;^)

Remember all those green rubbermaid big containers we got on sale at Christmas? They're packed & ready for evacuation in case of fire. Trouble is, they won't all fit near exits. Still working on rearranging.

Thanks for an excellent list. Would love to ride a bike again! But it's a little wet in these parts. Spring is here, finally, with flowers starting. Time soon for you to come back up here :-D

Happy cramming,
xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, March 24, 1999.

Avoid becoming a refugee at all costs. The fire might just bypass the house, and quite frankly, I'd rather die than become a Displaced Person, post Y2K. DP's will suffer greatly, and die slowly.

-- sparks (, March 24, 1999.

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