The Long View


Curt Scott

Just BAM It 

Disasters obey Murphy’s Law: “Bad things will happen at the worst possible time.” That means you must be ready all the time. How do you do that?

Break “all” into manageable chunks and then think, plan and prepare while maintaining a positive mental attitude. 

Your car is a good place to start. Most of us spend hours each day driving to and from work, school, play, athletics, or visiting friends and relatives. Therefore, that vehicle becomes a critical storage site for minimum essential survival items—the BAM list. 

BAM is the BAre Minimum you need in your car from now on.

Here’s why. The greatest natural disaster in the history of the United States—the next Pacific Northwest Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake (the CSZ Big One)—could happen at any time. Seismic experts predict a very powerful, very destructive CSZ Big One—Richter scale 8.0 or higher—will happen. They just don’t know when. The destruction to surface infrastructure (roads, bridges, rail, seaports) will be catastrophic. If you’re in your car at that moment, what you put in your car can save your life. 

The last CSZ Big One happened at 9 a.m. Jan. 26, 1700. The best guesstimate for the CSZ quake’s reoccurrence is 300 to 500 years. In other words, we’re due. (Note: Seismic experts have varying opinions about CSZ frequency; 300 to 500 years comes from 20 of the largest CSZ quakes over the past 10,000 years.) 

The five BAM list items are water, tarp, shovel, warmth and light. With these five items, you will be able to face a very difficult survival experience. The CSZ Big One will shock your world. The BAM items will blunt some of that mental trauma and shift your focus from your plight today to surviving until tomorrow. 

Water is critical. Lack of water is a killer. At least one gallon of water for each person per day is a good minimum. A tarp prevents exposure to wind, rain and cold. A shovel is useful as a means of making shelter, making visual “help” signals, finding food, and for defense. You also need something for warmth—a coat, a blanket, a sleeping bag—to retain core body temperature because body heat loss is another killer. Light sustains the spirit of survival. Darkness can kill the human spirit. After the CSZ Big One hits, no public electricity means lights you’re accustomed to seeing will not be on—no street or house lights—and cloud cover may stifle moon and star light. Nights will be very dark and scary. A flashlight, a lantern or a candle will provide light and light can help keep you alive. 

In addition to the BAM list, you may want other things. Consider sturdy shoes, food, a first aid kit, medicine, rope, tent stakes, a compass, Ziploc bags, plastic trash bags, paper towels or tissues, and other things. But first get the BAM items in your car. 

Curt Scott has a passion for survival and writes from Home.