keeping valuables safe if you have to "bug out" in a hurry... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Good Morning,

I have been thinking about "what if's" and right now am exploring ideas for protecting photographs, birth certs, momentos, etc. if I had to evacuate my home quickly. A long time ago a girl friend told me that when she lived in a flood-prone area she stored all the important stuff in wheeled garbage cans so she could move it quickly to the car if need be. Today I am thinking sealed 5 gallon buckets buried? Any other ideas?

Also bug-out cache's: Have been playing with some tentative lists, looking for feedback. Keep in mind that I am describing a location that I don't own so want to keep stash to a minimum so it is easy to hide and will be there when I need it. Here it goes:

Bucket # 1: a change of under clothes and shoes for each of us (2 adults, 1 child). Winter/spring, wet/rainy - gettin dry would feel really good.

Bucket #2: "key ring" military style can opener, lighter, 2 books of matches, 1 can sterno plus # 10 can made into twig stove, 2 film canisters stuffed full of vaseline coated cotton balls (thank you "troll" Maria!), cheap flashlight w/1 set of extra batteries, 1 candle (I keep buying those 7-day $1 religious ones), 1 roll toilet paper, 1 wk. supply of fem. hygiene supplies, 1/2 pkg of baby wipes in zip lock bag, cheap space/reflective blankets x3, water purification tablets, cheap & tiny am/fm radio w/1 set extra batteries, cheap watch, 1 small roll of plastic sheeting, at least 10 yds of p-cord or other thin strong cord/rope, silver/plastic utensils (plan on using cans from food eaten for heating water, food, etc.) a minimal first aid kit (a few bandaids, tape, urgent rx meds, small bottle of disinfectant (like betadine), antifungal foot powder, needle (threaded), triple antibiotic cream/ointment), cheap pocket knife, toothbrushes/paste. If space allows, duct tape and newspaper.

Bucket #3: 10 cans of pasta & beans, 10 power bars, cheap bottle of multivitamins, 6 cans of fruit, 1 gal. water, instant coffee/tea bags/hot cocoa packets, 12 instant hot cereal packets, small bottle of dish soap, foil. If space allows, paper towels.

I realize there is not much water stored but in my area winter/spring are pretty wet. You could of course stash appropriate amounts of drinking water at your cache as well. My goal was to prep for about 3 days at that location and provide some basic stuff for longer (like the knife, radio, watch, etc.). We will plan ahead so that we will know where to meet if separated, etc. I am also going to prepare a more formal location (rural, secure metal ag. building with spring in basement) with approx. 1 mo. of supplies.

This is thinking "out of the box" for me, but it seems foolish for me to prep alot at home and leave my family no other options. If I am going to entertain the possibility of big problems (Y2k, earthquake (this IS Calif.), then I think this is also prudent.

Constructive comments welcome, flames will be ignored.


-- Kristi (, June 17, 1999


One other thing, a cheap garden style hand trowel. Bye!

-- Kristi (, June 17, 1999.

I don't get the vaseline-coated cotton balls.

Burying the 5-gallon buckets sounds good to me as long as it's a location few would stumble upon.

-- nothere nothere (, June 17, 1999.

I'm guessing the cotton balls are fire starters.

-- Brooks (, June 17, 1999.

Yes, the cotton balls are for firestarters - works pretty well. I have another friend who likes to get away for a backpacking adventure at the drop of the hat and keeps 55 gal. drums partially buried on U.S.F.S. land full of his stuff - says he hasn't had any problems with it and he has done it for years. Just thinkin'.


-- Kristi (, June 17, 1999.

Add a water purifier, camper style. Good for 300+ gallons, or get a ceramic one good for thousands. These are running short already, some places, so don't wait.

Early this year we got a scanner for the PC, with a sheet feeder. We scanned all birth certs, other personal records, all investment records, all bank statements, important photos, you name it. Everything we did still fits on a single CD, and we can store a copy in the safe deposit box and send a copy to trusted family members. (There's enough on that thing to let a crook steal all we own, so PROTECT it!) Don't think physical records, think data and multiple copies.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), June 17, 1999.

Kristi, The concept sounds good. I will follow suit. However, I don't know about a "cheap" radio and flashlight. Some things you have to spend a little more on or there's no sense in having them. A non-working flashlight is just extra weight.

-- (, June 17, 1999.


The LAFD put out a video titled "Surviving The Big One" in 1989. It was shown on PBS, some public libraries in CA still have it on their shelves.

One idea that I use from it in my car kit is carrying a small memo pad & pencil. In an earthquake you may have to abandon you car & it's important to leave a note about the direction you went in for someone trying to locate you. I wrap a length of duct tape around the pencil, the stuff is just too handy to go completely without. You can break the little spool out of the dental floss container, very strong stuff--better than thread for mending or binding.

Check out the video if you can find it, some very good tips are in there.

-- flora (***@__._), June 17, 1999.

Try the Bugout Bag instructions in downloadable brochures at Cassandra. The SoloPlan has the bugout stuff embedded in it.

There are hundreds of bugout bag list on the web. None is right for everyone, but each may have an idea you can use.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), June 17, 1999.

I am not bugging out, and that's that. Exactly where would you go? If it's that bad, which I seriously doubt, then I think being in familiar surroundings would be a plus. How far could you get in a vehicle? The highways would be jammed if everyone started bugging out.

I live in a large tourist area, and on weekends if it starts to rain, everyone loads up and heads back to the city, because they can't have fun in the rain. Waaa Waaa. So what happens. They all hit the highway at once and the traffic moves at a snail's pace for an hour or so. Not a smart move.

-- gilda (, June 17, 1999.


Where I live this is feasible - this would be for a worst case scenario. I have a 3 year old son - I am not going to sit if (big) trouble is coming our way - I am good with my gun and am always prepared to deal with the errant 1 or 2 people/robbers etc. but I am not going to pretend that this house is defensible against more than that. I would choose to leave if our lives depended on it instead of "going down with the ship".

I choose to not live in a metro area.... too many rats in the cage and they start to eat each other... I heard that somewhere along time ago and never have forgotten it. Anyhow, chances are very good that these precautions won't be actually utilized.....just planning ahead to avoid being caught with the old pants down.


-- Kristi (, June 17, 1999.

The 5 Gallon buckets will leak when under water, unless you seal it with vaseline around the rim!!!

-- freddie (, June 17, 1999.

I like the wheeled garbage can idea. I plan to stay in our small town. If it were necessary to leave, I like the idea that if we had to leave the car and walk, we could pull garbage can along with essentials. Also, if you have any small kids, don't forget to pack a stuffed toy for each child.

-- Homeschooling Grandma (, June 18, 1999.

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