Among Preppers and Survivalists, Bug Out Bags (BOB) and Evacuation are common subjects that are frequently discussed. Different types of natural disasters like Wild Fires and Hurricanes may force people to leave their homes in order to avoid death or injury. But there are also Man-Made threats that may force people to leave their homes like Wars, Civil Wars and failing technical systems like a Nuclear Power Plant Meltdown.
Long Term Displacement
Wars have often always been a major factor forcing people to leave their homes. During the Second World War many fled the affected areas in order to avoid the fighting, bombings and occupation forces. After the end of the World War over one million people were displaced. The process to rebuild destroyed housing and infrastructure would take a very long time.
During modern civil wars and collapsed states it’s not uncommon that more than half of the entire population is displaced either within the affected country or forced to flee to other countries. The violence during civil wars often involve systematic attacks against the civilian populations in forms of artillery attacks, snipers, torture, systematic sexual violence, torture, amputating limbs, forced castrations and other abuses making the level of terror extremely high. Its often common that specific groups become targets through ethnic cleansing; its can often be very hard for these groups to return after the conflicts end; this has been the case for different groups on the Balkan and for Palestinian refugees. The lack of state institutions and dysfunctional political leadership in collapsed states makes these settings very problematic and the road to recovery is often very long.
People do not only move when there forced; many also try to move to other countries to get away from poverty and in order to get better opportunities. This has been the case many times throughout history and is still the case today. There are also other more disturbing trends like the Trafficking of People and Slavery attached to this problem; vulnerable people after conflicts may often end up being the victims of this type of activities.
Many talk about Bug Out Bags like a tool intended to support you for 72 hours; if you’re forced to leave your home, it might be for good. Your home may not be there when you return or other conditions may make it impossible to return. Survival for most people is more than knowing how to build a fire, navigate, build a shelter, purify water and signal for help. For most people making it through everyday life is about having a job and being able to have an income.
Livelihoods and an Education
Knowledge, Skills and Experience are things that are always with you. If you are ever displaced, being able to find work in a different location or country can become much more important than having traditional survival related skills. An education is a valuable tool for many reasons:
- It means that you have some kind of specialized knowledge that everyone does not have
- Many jobs like Doctors, Nurses, Dentists and Engineers are needed everywhere and the chances of finding a job are often high
- You get the opportunity to get to know a lot of people and expand your social network; this can be just as important as the education itself during your life
- You get learn how to work through and analyze large quantities of information, source criticism and methodology
Different professions have different statuses all over the world, but some are needed no matter what. Having an education or specialized profession does not only provide a form of security in your everyday life, for many that have been forced to leave their homes, it has provided an opportunity to start over. I suggest that no matter what your profession is that you try to expand your knowledge and get specialized knowledge related to this field. Unskilled jobs can be hard to find and the salary can often be very low.
Language Barriers and Discrimination are problems that can often face refugees and immigrants in their new settings. Discrimination can make it hard to find a job but also cause other problems like harassment and problems with law enforcement, institutions and other officials. Learning how to speak different languages can help you to minimize these problems and also make it possible for you to practice your profession in other settings. People who are forced to flee to other nations often find themselves in a long process before they are given citizenship and may also have to cope with other challenges like physical and emotional trauma while adjusting to a new and unfamiliar setting.
Never Stop Learning
Gaining knowledge, skills and experience is a constantly ongoing process. No one knows everything; we always have new things to learn. If you have the opportunity to get an education, I suggest that you take the chance. Getting an education is a privilege; don’t waste the chance if you get it. For most people there are several ways to gain new knowledge; taking evening courses, joining different organizations, studying on your own or utilizing opportunities provided by your work.
If there are professions that you would like to learn don’t let anything stop you. It’s often common that the people around us may have expectations or strong opinions regarding what ways that we should walk. Find your own way and follow it.
Many Survivalist and Preppers approach the subject of evacuations or “Bugging Out” from a perspective of trying to make it through the first phase after a disaster. There is also a tendency to focus heavily on equipment such as Bug Out Bags (BOB), Survival Knives, Lights, Pocket Survival Kits, Every Day Carry (EDC), Get Home Bags (GHB) and stockpiling equipment. Having the right equipment can be critical in many situations; but having the knowledge, skills, experience and physical fitness required to utilize this resources is just as important. Equipment and physical possessions can be lost in a matter of seconds from natural disasters or a fire. The knowledge, skills and experience that you have is something that you always carry with you. Survivors can find themselves in a situation where their home, savings and their old jobs have been lost; being forced to travel to other regions or even other nations in order to find safety. Millions of people all around the world have been forced to take this step throughout history; if you ever are forced to make this transition a Bug Out Bag can be valuable tool; but having an education or a specialized profession can be much more important!