*Bugging out with the Crowd*
What to do when your surrounded by refugees
By: Swabbie
23 September 2005

I’m writing this article as the mass exodus from the Texas Gulf Coast is still taking place. The reason I’m doing so is so that I can get these thoughts on paper while they are still fresh in my mind. As more information comes to light afterwards I hope to be able to document it and update this article.

Hurricane Rita is barreling down on the Texas coast. A couple of weeks ago Katrina came darn near close to wiping New Orleans off the face of the map. I can only assume that the massive response by the general public to the mandatory and voluntary evacuations ordered by state and local government officials in Texas is caused primarily by what everyone saw after the disastrous failure of the evacuations in New Orleans. Nightly video and News Reports of the looting, shootings, and otherwise general free-for-all were enough to make anyone sit up and take notice.

Here’s a few “facts” out of what’s been reported so far:

  • Between mandatory and voluntary evacuations over 2.5 MILLION people were affected.
  • Travel times of 8 hours for 110 miles have been reported with bumper to bumper traffic as far as the eye could see.
  • Gas stations along the primary evacuation route (I-45 from Houston to Dallas) are reportedly out of gas.
  • TxDOT reportedly has station tanker trucks at various rest stops along the evac route in order to refuel evacuees vehicles.
  • A radio report advised that a teen age girl had died from dehydration while on the road

    Some statements and reports from Rubies that evacuated out of the storm threatened area or have family that evacuated out of the area:

  • 13 hour trip, normally is about a 3 hour trip with breaks,
  • Gas is dropping thru the floor as the service stations try to pump out their tanks in anticipation of them being flooded. Translated, there will be no gas when we return.
  • I was just out on I-10! It's a parking lot!
  • they had only made it 59 miles in several hours of driving...biggest problem was their tanks in both vehicles where half empty and everything was closed and you couldn't really get off the evacuation routes. (report from a Rubi member about his non-survivalist family)
  • Evac routes are a parking lot and people without food and water are starting to threaten to just take stuff from people who have (a Rubi member with family that reported in)
  • Caldwell county in Texas is rationing 10 gallons per vehicle
  • And from myself…one of Isis’ aunt’s lives in Houston. When they attempted to evacuate they hit the 100 mile long traffic jam and turned back to ride the storm out at home.

    and finally this report…………..

    I had made a decision not to go to the first retreat (with my dad) because it was only 30 miles north of ************. It is a good thing I didn't because we stopped by there on the way and it looked like an RV park. All of my ********** family had showed up with no food or anything except a hungry stomach. Children were running everywhere and consuming lots of food.

    As can be see from not only the media reports but also from the reports of other Rubies it’s pretty apparent that “buggin’ out” is not the BEST of options. When necessary it has to be done. My suggestion would be to listen carefully for the evacuation order and be ready when it’s given. Leave the area as quickly as possible and leave by routes OTHER than the major thoroughfares. Use the back roads as much as possible. Have recent, accurate maps, a compass, AND a GPS. A tool kit wouldn’t be a bad idea either as one Rubie reported……always take an extra serpentine belt…….

    Carry food and water for at least 72 hours (this is aside from your BOB) and carry some form of personal defense. Don’t forget about first aid kits either!

    As the following reports indicate don’t count on cell phones to maintain comms with the outside world………

  • Same thing happened in NO (New Orleans) when I was there this past week. Nextel direct connect was the best and was seriously lacking yet.
  • Cell service sucks worse than usual...actually had a busy tone...well, a cell tower is busy tone!

    I hope to be update this article in a few days after Rita’s done.

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