How to Develop a Bug Out Plan

Bug out plan

Preppers Planning and Putting Plans into Action

You plan and then practice and this allows you a pathway to achieve a particular goal. First, you need an objective though. You cannot plan a trip until you know where you are going. However, planning for emergencies means you do not always know the nature of the emergency, but your objective remains the same regardless of the situation, and that is for everyone to survive the trip.

You cannot plan for every contingency but a bug-out-plan is a foundation. Your actions once a crisis unfolds may differ from the plan but the basics will be in place. You have the bags with emergency supplies and you realize the need to leave. You have parameters within which to work. Otherwise, you are left with no options at all, and without any starting point.

How to Develop a Bug Out Plan

There has to be an objective, otherwise there is no need for a plan and herein lies the problem. Some do not see the need for a bug out plan because they cannot be convinced they would ever need to leave.

First, you have to realize you may need to bug out no matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise. Any emergency or crisis can change quickly and you have to change with it, so your plan will be a living thing, which must grow and develop as the situation changes.

You need a framework, a basic outline that is not so constrictive it does not allow you to make changes and yet not so loose there is no cohesiveness at all.

Color by the Numbers Completing Part 1

If you are the only one aware of the plan, it is a secret and not a plan. Communication with everyone involved is essential to developing a plan. Allow everyone to provide input.

First things first, identify what you need to survive and make sure it is in your bug out bags, bags plural because each member needs their own bag.

Make sure each person understands the need for a bag of his or her own. Explain they need the ability to survive independent of others in the event they become separated. Each member must be aware of what is in the bag, what each item is used for, and how to use each item.

Everyone now has a bug-out-bag. Each person knows the contents and has a working knowledge of its contents.

Part one of the plan is complete.

Part 2

Everyone has to be made aware of when bugging out is required, and this becomes tricky because you may not feel the need at a particular point but in two hours, the situation can change. Flexibility is important and you should always plan to leave, otherwise you would not be ready to leave.

List and share what scenarios you feel would cause the group to leave, scenarios that would leave no doubt that evacuation is the only way to save your lives. Wild fires, heavy rains that cause flooding, word of a dam or levee breach would all be scenarios that would leave no question in your collective minds as to the need for bugging-out.

You do not want an argument at the front door about the need to leave so it is critical that standards be set before disaster strikes. Keep in mind you can always come back home if the situation on the ground is different from what you expected.

Part two of the plan is completed.

Part 3

Practice makes perfect. Everyone needs to be able to carry his or her bag, even if you plan to leave in a vehicle. You have to assume, for planning sake that the vehicle can breakdown or that the roads are impassable. You have to make plans for leaving on foot if not from your front door then from a few miles down the road.

A nice weekend hike in the country can be a start on getting everyone accustomed to carrying and living out of his or her bags. The bag on your back is your home in an evacuation scenario and everyone has to understand this. Destinations are not the objective at first it is being able to survive long enough to get there.

Some may believe they need a bug-out-location decided on before anything else. The problem with this is you may not be able to get to the location for various reasons. You can plan for a destination but your plans should first ensure you can get there, or somewhere else. You may have to change destinations for any number of reasons. Do not get so locked in on one particular destination that you jeopardize everyone’s survival trying to achieve that goal.

This is why earlier it was stated that your plan should not be so restrictive it does not allow for changing your destination because of real time conditions on the ground.

A safe haven is ideal but once again, you need the resources and skill to get there whether it is on foot or by vehicle. Anyone can pick a spot on the map but not everyone can get there when the SHTF, this requires planning.

Break your plan down and look for gaps or problems. Part one was gathering the essentials. Examine them again with everyone involved to make sure you have the essentials covered and everyone has the basic skills needed to use each item.

Identify the weakest points and this is not a punitive or derogatory examination but a realistic evaluation of everyone’s ability. Remember you can only move as fast as the slowest person can in your group.

The weekend hiking trip will show you who can carry all the essentials and who may need help. What you want to avoid however is parceling out supplies to the point one person has all the food and another has all the medical supplies and so on. If the person carrying the food is separated from the group then everyone is in peril.

Identify a problem, correct that problem, practice the new method then evaluate. Dry runs are important to ensure everyone has developed a method that works for him or her. Not everyone functions well under duress and body strengths are different. All of these factors have to be taken into account when developing a plan.

The Next Installment Will Discuss How To Develop a Plan To Get To Your Bug-Out-Location.