Whenever we talk about the need for an evacuation plan or building a bug out bag, it never fails, there’s always some guy who thinks he has it all figured out, claiming that bug out plans are unnecessary and telling everyone how he will never leave his home and supplies.
While nine times out of ten, staying sheltered in place may be a good idea for most disasters, there are going to be emergency situations that force you to have to leave your home. One good example is what happened today in Atchison, Kansas.
I often talk about preparing for the most likely disaster scenario first, before planning for those doomsday prepper scenarios that have a minuscule chance of ever occurring. In fact, a couple of weeks back I wrote an article telling people that your SHTF moment will likely be localized in nature.
This is an event that should be a serious wake-up call for those that haven’t prepared for localized disasters and events; hundreds of people had to evacuate the small town of Atchison, Kansas after a local company caused a major chemical spill.
At first, many residents were unsure of what was happening, with some taking to social media to post pictures and video of the incoming chemical plume.
— Megan Laflin (@Meglaflin) October 21, 2016
An Atchison, KS company, MGP Ingredients Inc., experienced some kind of chemical spill that quickly overtook the entire town.
Emergency management officials quickly took to social media, warning people to stay out of the city and sending plume projections to nearby areas where they thought the chemical clouds were heading.
Dangerous chemical spill in Atchison, KS. Here is where our model projects chemicals will spread through 11:30 pic.twitter.com/i6544G3n3k
— NWS Kansas City (@NWSKansasCity) October 21, 2016
“If you are not in Atchison, please stay out of town,” Atchison County Emergency Management said on Facebook.
MGP, the company that caused the chemical spill, makes “specialty wheat proteins and starches” along with other alcoholic beverages like bourbon and rye whiskey, gin and vodka. The company
I’m sure not a single resident even knew this local company could cause this type of disaster. After all, the company is a food ingredients manufacturer, just showing how important it is to find out what’s really going on nearby your home.
Photos of chemical leak from Debi Williams in Atchison, Kansas pic.twitter.com/wakfrq9xmT
— 41 Action News (@41ActionNews) October 21, 2016
— 41 Action News (@41ActionNews) October 22, 2016
Photos from this morning courtesy of Josh Wheeler, who helped escort daycare workers during evac. Said police and fire carried babies out pic.twitter.com/vvR7NGDOVq
— Josh Helmuth (@Jhelmuth) October 21, 2016
What are the immediate dangers in your area?
- Is there anything that stands out about your neighborhood? Are there obstacles or hazards that are specific to your geographical location that could leave you vulnerable?
- What are the most likely location-based threats that you’ll face? (Terrorist threats, chemical and biological threats, threats to critical infrastructure, criminal activity, inadequate access to supply routes or escape routes during a disaster, etc…)
- Is there anything about your area that makes it a possible disaster zone?
Dealing with Location Based Threats
- You Must Have a Bugout Bag – Should a situation present itself where you have to immediately leave your area, you need to have a bag filled with emergency supplies that can see you through the evacuation period.
- You Need an Evacuation Plan – Having an emergency evacuation plan is a vital step in being prepared. In my opinion, it’s one of the most important elements in any survival plan. The last thing you want in any emergency situation is to get caught up in the chaos of an evacuation.
- Make Sure You Have Cash – You should always have an emergency supply of cash on hand at all times. If you need to evacuate in a hurry, having some emergency cash will help you do everything from rent a hotel room, to stock up on extra supplies.