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May 8, 2022

Are you prepared?

It's been a little over 2 weeks since the first evacuations began due to the Cerro Pelado fire - which affected my neighborhood and a few of your fellow ADC Alumni. We've been back home for a week - sort of. The Jemez residents in the vicinity of the fire have been under "set" orders since we got back. I don't really need to update anyone on the status of the fire, if you live in this area, you know all too well what is going on. What I do want to talk to you about is preparedness and what I found most helpful when we had to evacuate.

I am a big advocate of "bug out" or "get home" bags. In the 10 years or so I have been carrying one with me, I have lost count of how many times it has come in handy. I used to travel a lot for work, and I still travel by car on extended road trips fairly frequently. When we had to evacuate, it was a huge comfort knowing that I had previously though out what things we would need and didn't have to figure that out at the last minute.

Mike's Preparedness Bag Contents:

The "10 C's" of urban preparedness are:
  • Cover: Typicaly this refers to some rain clothing or a poncho, something that can be improvised as a shelter, and this is good advice, but in urban environments you are more likely to need bedding or blankets. I like military poncho liners for this purpose. You should have a few of these - one in your bag, and maybe another in your vehicle. Make sure every family member has at least one.
  • Cut: I recommend a knife and multi-tool. Keep in mind if you carry your bag on government property your blade length cannot exceed 2.5". Most good multi-tools have a blade length at or below this.
  • Cleanliness: Make sure you have toiletry items like toilet paper, wipes, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, toothpicks or dental floss, shaving items, deodorant, etc... Bugging out doesn't necessarily mean hiding in a cave somewhere. It may mean being at a local church or school, or staying with friends. Your daily demands probably won't change just because you are experiencing your own problems. You will be more comfortable if you feel yourself, and that means sticking to your normal hygienic routine as much as possible. This will make a huge difference in your attitude in the midst of uncertainty.
  • Cordage: a few bundles of paracord in various lengths are handy. These can be used to secure gear in vehicles, shelter creation, repairing clothing or improvising a belt.
  • Container: You have to stay hydrated, when you find water, whether it is bottled water, a drinking fountain, or pumping it from a natural source, you need something to carry it in. A large Nalgene container is helpful. A few hydrating drink mixes help, you will need calories and electrolytes.
  • Cure: Have a bag of common medicines: pain relievers, antacids, allergy meds, Imodium as well any necessary medications you need, extra contact lenses or glasses. I recommend picking meds that also have veterinary applications for your pets if applicable. Consult with your veterinarian on medicines and dosage. Have a way to cure your hunger as well - with the stress of a
  • Candlepower: Flashlights are a must, you all know I am a fan of the Surefire Tactician for an every-day-carry light, and I also carry a headlamp. Extra batteries are a must.
  • Cloth: Ever read "Hitchiker's Guide?" You have to know where your towel is. You want to have a chamois camp towel with you. You may find a place to get clean, but the ability to dry off is important. Cloth also means clothing. I strongly recommend having another duffle bag in your vehicle with a few changes of clothing, 2 pair of serviceable pants and shirts, not too ragged, you may have to wear them to work (yes, we did go into the office while we were displaced). Make sure you have extra socks and undergarments.
  • Communications: In emergencies, the most precious commodity is information. Most of us have charging cables for our computers and phones at home or in our vehicles, but having extra charging cables and maybe a solar USB charger to keep electronics running for critical updates and communications with concerned friends and family.
  • Carrier: You need a bag to carry it all in. Don't go too big! My bugout bag is less than 30 lbs. fully loaded.
  • PETS: If you are bugging out with pets, you will need to grab some of their normal food, necessary medications, leashes/harnesses, food and water bowls, toys, and waste baggies. Bugging out is stressful for you, it is equally stressful on your pets who are very routine-dependent. They will need extra attention and may experience loss of appetite or gastrointestinal disturbances due to food, water, or mealtime changes.
  • PAPERWORK: Have copies of your important paperwork stashed and ready to grab and go. Things like tax documents, SF86's, passports and ID, copies of licenses and other important documents.
  • PROTECTION: One emergency may lead to another. Defensive weaponry may be the last thing on your mind, but grab your every-day-carry handgun, spare mags, and extra defensive ammo. I am also a fan of grabbing a defensive long-gun if you have one. Make sure you have extra ammo and mags as applicable. Bring locks so you can secure weapons when you can have them with you (remember, schools and workplaces typically aren't understanding or sympathetic with your Second Amendment rights.)


I planned on holding this class in Spring of 2020. In fact, I purchased $1000 of new steel targets in February 2020 to prepare for this class - then in March of that year the world was changed and I had to cancel. Then in 2021, I couldn't find range time. Finally this year everything came together and the fire came that close to shutting it down again.

Through extraordinary efforts on my part (if I may say so), the help of our friends with Sandoval County Fire, and some Providence, I was finally able to make this class a reality. 8 hard-working students got some heavy-duty trigger time. After the last round was fired, I felt my stubbornness paid off. I couldn't have asked for a better group of shooters.
Due to Stage 3 fire restrictions being implemented, and the uncertainty of the fire dangers we will be facing over the next few months, I have tentatively canceled the July Black Rifle 101 class.

While Los Alamos is in "set" right now, take the time to stage the items you need, your bug-out bags, extra clothing, paperwork, pet supplies, and irreplaceable items. Stage the things you need in backpacks, duffle bags, etc... where you can reach them quickly to grab and go.

Be safe and good luck!


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PO Box 520 Los Alamos, NM 87544
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