The Oroville Dam and Prepping Plans
Kevin Felts 02.13.17
The Oroville Dam is a good example of having to get out and get out in a hurry. It is also an example of how prepping should be more than just stockpiling.
On Reddit, there is a thread asking, “I’m near the Oroville dam….. What do I need to get right now?” A lot of preppers are so focused on stockpiling beans, bullets, and band-aids, they do not have evacuation plans.
Bug Out Bag
Keep a bag ready with stuff like clothing, copies of titles, deeds, insurance papers, phone numbers, maps, birth certificates, freeze dried meals, bottles of water… etc.
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, my employer was coordinating relief efforts for families who had evacuated to a rural community in Southeast Texas. The people arriving to the community had been put on a bus and shipped out of New Orleans with no idea where they were going.
A good number of families only had the clothes on their backs. Others may have had a suitcase, but no important paperwork. A lot of the families who evacuated for Katrina did not have documents for their children to enroll in the local school. However, the schools made an exception to the required paperwork.
Worse case situation, the people below the Oroville Dam may be away from home for awhile. When evacuating it is important to bring spare clothes, medicine, pets, and paperwork.
Have a Place to Go
One of the big issues with a natural disaster is having a place to go. Hotels and motels will be full. Roads will be jammed and gas will be sold out.
Rather than driving and hoping to find a place to stay, have a friend or family member out of the affected zone. When Southeast Texas evacuated for Hurricane Rita, a buddy of mine ended up 400 miles away in a hotel.
In a lot of cases, people stay in hotels until their credit cards are maxed out, then they have no other option but to look for a community shelter. Maybe a church, school, somewhere the family can stay and get a hot meal.
Heed the Warnings
If the authorities say to get out, get your stuff and leave.
When Hurricane Ike made landfall in Galveston Texas, a lot of people did not heed the evacuation warnings. Communities of beach front homes along the Gulf Coast were leveled. The people who decided to stay paid the ultimate price.
There is nothing worth your life. When the flood waters get high enough that you realize you made a mistake, emergency crews will not be able to help you.
As of February 13, 2017 the Oroville Dam situation is still developing. The water level of the lake is supposed to be receding but more rain is expected.
Regardless of what happens, use the Oroville Dam situation to review your personal emergency plans.