Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tip of the Day: Regardless of Where You Call "Home," All Citizens Need a "Get-Out" Bag

 As most our readers know, I have generally lived in predominantly developing countries for a good part of my adult life, which is a lot of years, now that I've also told you all exactly how old I really am: 70!

Even if you are living in a developed nation, we all know that under the best of circumstance, "s _ _ _ happens."

In the hope of not scaring you too much, let me tell you what concerns me before I drop off to sleep at night:

"I worry about our governments having too much information about us and the fact that in so many countries mega-data will eventually be used against us in our continuing polarizing, unpredictable and perilous world."

"I worry about the escalating control that the US Government has over the increasingly limited choices that US citizens can make for themselves and their families. Obama-care is just one major example, amongst many."

Even as a US citizen, I worry about the inability of the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial) to effectively protect the interests of all citizens and to guard against the increasing proclivity of presidents to engage in Constitutional "overreach."

Due largely to the failure of all three branches to adequately protect the interests of citizens, one merely has to look at a number of recent political scandals where legislators have failed to preserve the rights of citizens with the IRS, Veterans Affairs, Benghazi and Presidents who seemingly by-pass Congress.

"I worry about the increasing number of rogue nations that seemingly are wielding greater influence over those that adhere to the rule of law. If you need examples, just look at Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, China, Egypt, etc."

Incidentally, if you're a Shi'ite in Iraq at the moment, a "get-out" bag has probably been "overtaken by events (OBE)!

"I worry about the power grid in the US, its sustainability, its vulnerability and the fact that many US residents face the potentiality of being without electricity for weeks. Electricity, too, can be used as a political weapon to intimidate citizens into compliance.

Other contingencies you must anticipate is the potentiality of martial law being declared, political unrest and even life-altering natural disasters. 

With those issues as a back-drop, no matter where you LIVE, always have a “get out” bag packed and ready. 

This "get-out" bag is a small piece of luggage that is packed in the event that an evacuation is ordered or whether you must leave the country promptly. Have one small bag for each adult and one for all children, as applicable.

The children's bags should include necessary items appropriate for the age: e.g., disposable diapers, formula, games, baby food, and packaged food. 

A “get out” bag should contain:

1. Important documents (inventory of household and personal items, medical treatment cards, vehicle documentation, and contact information for those who have keys to your home);

2. One small, packed bag for each family member;

3. Cell phone, charger, and two rechargeable batteries;

4. Passports for all family members. The "sticky" part is getting around an "exit visa" if one is needed in the country you're resident in;

5. Clothing and toiletries for at least a week and appropriate for the country to which you may be evacuated;

6. A portable, battery operated FM/SW radio with a dozen fresh batteries;

7. Credit/debit cards and US$1,500 in a hard-currency for every member of a family;

8.  One bottle of water for five days for each member of a family;

9. One energy bar for five days for all family members; and

10. A one-months' supply of prescribed medications for all members of the family.

If you have pets, they generally must be left behind with local friends, depending upon whether the evacuation is hostile or permissive. You may be unable to take them with you when evacuated by your employer or foreign affairs agency.