What’s a bug-out bag?
Guest post by D.L. Jackson
Before writing Finding Mercy, I knew what it was, just not what should go in it.
For instance, you should have emergency supplies packed and ready for 72 hours, the average time it takes to get situated in a shelter or to a safe location. Many preppers keep these bags in their vehicles, while others have them both at home and in their vehicles. Some practice hiking with them, so they are able to carry them in the event of a disaster and an evacuation is needed.
Here are a few items you might want to include in your bag:
- Important documents and photographs backed up on flash drives or disks. These can include birth certificates, banking documents, deeds and titles. Insurance contact information is also important to include, as you might not be able to go back and retrieve the data and might have to file a claim from a distance.
- Credit cards, debit cards and a means to access you bank accounts.
- Change of clothes for 72 hours.
- Basic first aid kit.
- Water. Food for 72 hours.
- Any prescription medications.
- Charger for your cell phone. You can get solar arrays fairly cheap online and they will provide enough power to charge laptops and cell phones in the event of an emergency.
- Radios—for communicating and a small radio to listen to weather reports if you don’t have a cell phone that is accessible.
- Sturdy walking shoes or boots.
- Cold weather clothing like hats and mittens, or bug repellant for summer weather.
- A tooth brush, toothpaste, brush, baby wipes and wash cloth. Small children my require additional items like diapers.
- Phone numbers for family members, physicians and anyone else you may need to contact. This is important if you can’t get your phone to work. At least you can contact them to let them know you are okay when you get to safety and can get access to a phone.
There are so many various items that you might need, that are not on this list, but each individual is different. A small child may have a favorite blanket or toys that you might want to include to keep them calm, or an elderly adult may have needs not addressed above. Try to think of what you can’t live without for 72 hours, and pack it. Assist family members in putting together their packs, to make sure they are not forgetting anything.
This year, hurricane Sandy brought home the importance of preparing for emergencies. To many, “this will never happen to me,” did, and they continue to struggle in the wake of the storm, weeks after Sandy crippled the eastern seaboard. Disaster can strike anywhere, anytime. Are you prepared?
In Finding Mercy, the town of Evan’s Point Wyoming is flattened by tornadoes. In the wake of the disaster, those that chose to stay and rebuild, ban together and form a prepping community, so that lives would not be lost again in the future because they were unprepared.
My hopes are that I have brought you a story you’ll enjoy, and something to think about, and perhaps act on, if you haven’t already.
You’ll die in three minutes without oxygen. Three hours without shelter. Three days without water. Three weeks without food. But could you live a lifetime with a broken heart?
Mercy Evans has come to Evans Point hoping to collect herself and find a way to resurrect her career as an anchorwoman for Cheyenne’s news station. Sergeant Justin Redway has come to Evans Point to try to forget his past and survive what he’s done.
When two worlds collide, one of a battle damaged veteran, the other of a desperate woman who will go to any extreme to get his story, sparks fly and old wounds open. When the chasm between the fated lovers finally opens, it might be too big to cross.
One town, two lovers, and a second chance at finding mercy.
Evans Point, Wyoming
June 28th, 2010
If he didn’t know better, he’d think the end of the world had arrived. Will Evans tightened his grip on Bear’s and Sadie’s leashes and tuned in for any cries for help. The fresh smell of rain mixed with the industrial stink of spilled fuel and the ozone from a nearby lightning strike pounded reality home.
Even though they’d merely begun, his bones ached. Fifteen years before, he would’ve torn through the wreckage and pulled out survivors without hesitation. Now, he could only survey the destruction and fight the tears that tugged on his eyes. The scene brought back another time he couldn’t stomach, when he’d seen the Grim Reaper rip a hole between life and death, as he’d done this day.
The storms had hit with ferocity, in the middle of the night, without warning. The roaring of the beast had woken some, but not all. Those alerted had rushed for cover in their basements and cellars and now searched for those who were not as lucky. This was all that remained of the downtown after six tornadoes had torn through Evans Point. In all his eighty-four years, Will had seen only one other battlefield like it.
He swallowed and searched his soul for courage. There would be bodies among the rubble, but hopefully, there would also be living. He had to believe to continue, even though he found his faith tested.
So much carnage. Scanning the brightening horizon, he took in the destruction. Brick buildings were blown apart. Vehicles lay on their rooftops, dripping gasoline and other fluids. Even a pickup had been skewered on a flagpole like one of the carousel horses he’d ridden as a child at the fairground. A toy truck lay at his feet, its red paint bright and clean like it was fresh from the