Maybe we should use Sandy as a cautionary tale?
I read a thread over on Escapees where they were talking about folks who stayed in their RVs in Norfolk. David's sister & her hubby live there (haven't heard from them yet) and they say the whole area floods every time there is a heavy rain. Based on what we have seen while there (rapidly degrading hurricane heading onshore not too far away while we were in a city park... in the popup.... traffic bumper-to-bumper on the nearby interstate, flooded neighbourhoods), I would have been long gone. But I would have been long gone no matter what I was in. But it would have been reasonable to have been in one of the southwestern areas impacted by the unusual amounts of snow fall. I caught on TV that Gatlinburg(?) had 17" of snow from Sandy. Surely that was wrong. But given the areas that we have traveled in prior years, it would not have been unrealistic for us to have been caught traveling the Cherohala Parkway
which is over 5000 ft in places and a great place for fall leaf-peeping. In the winter it gets a fair amount of snow and often looks like this with little warning...
David & I have discussed this a lot lately. Since we want to relocate to the Gulf coast (someplace) and are familiar with hurricanes since we both have spent years in FL on the coast, we have set up plans based on reports at the 72 hour mark. We will sit in the bus if a tropical storm will make landfall. The bus is just fine in the 75 to 80+ mph gusts & sustained winds we have here in NM. Cat 1 thru Cat 2, David will pack up and leave out to safer locales while I move into a hotel if I have to work. Cat 3 and above prediction and we are both long gone. Our goal is to get the bus and interior stuff set up to where all we have to do to leave out is to unhook from the shore hookups, throw the electrical cord, sewer hose, water hose and CATV cable into a bay, hookup the Jeep and leave. "Everything in it's place and a place for everything" is what I want. Over the next year, I am going to be getting rid of some possessions and replacing others to achieve that goal. Hurricanes, storms, floods and fires are all things we can avoid if we can pack up fast enough. How fast can you pack up? Hopefully hours not days. In the case of wildfires and floods, you may need to be able to leave out in minutes or be forced to leave the bus behind. Not having the bus means we would be homeless. Not a situation I want to be in.
Hurricane Sandy is a good example of our need to leave an area quickly. I believe we can use this example to plan (in hindsight) a course of action as if we had been in harms way. Due to the size of the storm, it will serve to be the MAXIMUM capacity. It's not just avoiding the hurricane part. There is also the snow situation and far reaching power outages. How far and how much time, water, food, fuels will have been needed to get your bus and it precious contents (family & furkids are hard to replace unlike stuff) to a safe location? Good "worst case scenario" exercise. Sandy covers all the bases except for wildfire. While I hope most of us have the brights to not try to ride out a hurricane in a skoolie, there are other situations where you may need to leave an area in minutes and travel a fair distance before finding a safe area. Carrying enough for your needs (fuel, water, food, medicines) until far enough away from the impact of the fleeing crowds would also be a benefit. While in Cordele GA (I-75 Exit 101), the locals told stories of how folks leaving FL due to hurricanes would strip the local grocery stores of food. That's 100 miles from the FL-GA state line. Kinda surprised me they were impacted that far away.
Am I paranoid? Perhaps. But I feel it doesn't hurt to be a little prepared for an emergency "bug out". It's all about options... the better prepared we are, the more options we have. I've never understood the pictures of RV's left in flooded campground (think of 2010 flash flood
in New Braunfels, TX). Only conclusion that I have come to is it would have taken too long to pack up the RV and pull it out of harm's way... or they got good insurance.
I don't want our bus to look like this one....
For those of you who don't live or plan to live fulltime in your buses, you may want to take into consideration that a bus can be used as temporary housing during a natural disaster if you need to leave your stick-n-bricks behind. The ability to leave out in minutes not hours or days may work in your favour. Again it makes me wonder to see pictures of burnt RVs and owners saying they were in an emergency shelter when they had days & weeks to move the RV to a safer location (like in the case of the fires this past year).