This episode only looked at two individuals, and Christine Hobson of Virginia Beach, VA is the second; I don’t have much to say about this segment.
She’s seemingly obsessed with the eruption of the Canary Islands’ Cumbre Vieja volcano, because such an eruption would likely cause a mega-tsunami that could overtake the East Coast in like, eight hours.
Personally, I never put much stock in folks with these types of super-specific worries, and I suspect she’s probably ‘general prepping’ for many contingencies. That said, if you’re interested in seismic events with the potential for seriously disrupting our way of life, I just saw a great program on Icelandic volcanoes on PBS (you can watch it in full at the link).
Her big focus is on what she calls ‘portable preps’, although I don’t see a whole lot of them. It mostly looks like a very well-organized stockpile of canned food and camping gear in the old garage—to which she intends to “back the van up” and then load everything in. And I mean well-organized: she claims to spend two to four hours a day ‘prepping’, which means her stash is meticulously categorized and generally immaculate. I’m sure people who watch these kinds of shows for the ‘look at freaks’ angle would probably enjoy Christine’s segment, because she generally seems like a high-strung, nearly-frazzled housewife.
She invites over some female relatives to show off her ‘meal-in-a-jar’. Take a quart ball jar, and commence to pour in layers of various dehydrated ingredients—tomatoes, peas, freezedried chicken, &c—that you can just pour your hot water into and set aside to cook. It’s not actually a bad idea, but I hope it’s not one of her portable preps—while they’d be pretty much pest-proof and shelf-stable, glass jars are heavy! Plus, I like to keep my dehydrated ingredients separate so I can make custom dishes instead of being locked into premade jar-meals. But like I said, I like the idea.
In order to put her plan to the test, she and the family do a mock bug-out. Once again, they spend like, half an hour running around packing all their consumables into the van and trailer. In order to show her flexibility, for the sake of their drill they pretend the thoroughfares are blocked, so they opt for one of humanity’s original highways (aka a river), which is convenient because they just happened to pack several inflatable rafts! They get help from Chuck Connolly, a local rafting guide. His advice on their practice bug-out? Chuck says, “Do it ahead of time!”
This is apparently their very first time running through this drill, because it takes them two hours to inflate, load up, and get into their rafts. They could do with some serious streamlining, because honestly, it looks like when my parents go civilized camping and wind up bringing everything but the kitchen sink.
The experts tell her the obvious—when it comes to bugging out, it’s all about downsizing and practice, practice, practice—and that she ought to think about learning hunting and trapping skills, “so she’ll have food wherever she goes.” I dunno, I find that idea kind of funny; I don’t see suburban folks like her doing much silent stalking of game through the woods, and trapping isn’t going to be very practical if you’re bugging out on the move. Honestly, it’d probably be easier to learn a handful of wild edible plants to forage for while bugging out. In her present state, the experts give Christine 51 points for five months’ initial survival.