The recent Paradise fire tragedy was a grim reminder that without a plan and more importantly preset “triggers” to implement it, you may not have time to avoid the same fate as many Paradise residents. 

Every prepared person (i.e. “Prepper”) should have multiple EVAC-uation plans to pick from depending on the allowable time given to evacuate.  Below is one for 5 Minutes of lead time future posts will cover my 1 hour and 1 day plans.

The middle of a crisis is never a good time to form a plan, and the more you can lock down your response and maximize your economy of motion (not running back and forth looking for stuff),  the better your chances. 



Five minutes to EVAC might seem like an unrealistic time period, but when you consider that the average house fire will fully engulf the house in less that 5 minutes, it’s the most important plan you can develop. 

More time equals more options, but 5 minutes gives you just enough time to grab and go so everything must be pre-staged for it to work.



Thirty years ago, you had on average about 14 to 17 minutes to escape a house fire, according to Consumer Safety Director John Drengenberg of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). “Today, with the prevalence of synthetic materials in the home, occupants have roughly 2 to 3 minutes to get out,” said Drengenberg. Fire testing conducted by UL has found a home with mostly synthetic-based furnishings can be entirely engulfed in less than 4 minutes.

Have you thought about what you would grab in less than 5 minutes? 

Take a look at the picture above.  In less than five minutes that’s what your house might look like,  do you think you have time to grab much that’s not already pre-staged?

Fact is, you will be lucky to just get out of the house alive IF you have a fire alarm to warn you!  Everyone go check their alarm batteries now….


Having a “Bugout Bag” means that you have pre-staged critical gear that you could survive as a refugee on if it was pushed into service. 

It’s usually a backpack for ease of carry, but could just be a packed suitcase.  Because there maybe a time when you have to carry it, it’s best to consider each item (and it’s weight) that you put into it.

See my current BOB for ideas.

One critical thing to remember is that your BOB must be stored outside your house! 

Assuming 4 minutes to wake up and get your BOB and get out is our BEST scenario, most likely you will have no time but to run out the door!

If your house burned down today, what would you loose?  Look around and think about all the critical items you store in your house.  Most likely they are items that you can make due without and any sentimental items, should they perish, would not lesson the memories that they invoke. 

What about important documents though?  Are they in the house?  Why? 

One item I had been putting off in the past was putting important documents on a thumb drive to throw in the BOB.  For most scenarios as refugees, an electronic copy will put you way ahead of the others and packing originals is not a good idea IMO.  Originals should be stored in a fireproof safe NOT in your house.


After unpacking and checking against my list of items, I repacked and moved the BOB to the BORV (Bug Out RV = 23ft 5th Wheel) which is stored away from the house. 

Having everything packed in the BORV not only protects these items from a house fire but pre-stages my first layer of mobile preps where it makes the most sense, in my 1 hour plan transportation.  If I don’t have an hour to hook up to the trailer, then I throw it in the back of the truck and get out of Dodge in my Ford. 🙂

Don’t have a BORV?  How about the tool box in your truck?  The important thing is to get it away from the most likely SHTF event you will face… house fires.


In summary, with 5 minutes to act, you had better have everything your need pre-staged!  There will be no time to think and you will likely burn 5 minutes before making your first decision under what is likely the most pressure you have ever faced in your life.

Start putting that BOB at the top of your list today!

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