How to Develop a Bug Out Plan: Part 2
Preppers: How to Develop a Plan to Get To Your Bug-Out-Location
A prior installment talked about developing a plan for bugging-out. To recap you now have your bug-out-bags, and each member of the family knows that bugging-out is an option along with likely scenarios that would cause the family or group to evacuate. Each member should also know by now what each item in the bag is for, and how to use each item.
It is not this article’s intent to tell you what your plan should be, but rather to getting you moving toward a plan. What information you need to consider, and in some cases where to get the needed information. Each situation is different and there is not a “one size fits all” plan.
There is a lot of information on the Internet about bugging-out to a wilderness environment and you may have too. On the other hand, though, you may have to evacuate to a relatives or friends’ home away from the disaster area or to an emergency shelter set up by the local or federal government. Bugging-out is getting clear of the disaster area. Look at and seriously consider all realistic possibilities. Know where all local emergency shelters are located.
Now that you know, you can evacuate, because you have what it takes to survive getting to your location, you can explore possible locations. Some of you may already have property designed for just this purpose, but you need alternatives as well. Again, consider a relatives or friends’ home or local emergency shelters for natural disasters. Of course, you will not know what option is best until a crisis does strike, but you need to know what options are available nonetheless.
Just because you have, a place to go to does not mean you can get there. Having alternatives is important if for some reason you cannot reach a destination. Use Internet mapping software that shows terrain features, bridges, overpasses, tunnels and so forth to map your travel routes. Map at least three routes.
Avoid any route that requires you to cross a bridge, overpass or use a tunnel, these are chokepoints. Not only are they chokepoints they can be damaged by the disaster or sabotaged to create an ambush point. These areas would be similar to a fire exit in a crowded building. People will panic and literally crush each other to death during a fire trying to get through the door. You want to avoid any bottlenecks. People will be gathered there, criminals included, and they will be dangerous areas.
Look for natural resources along the route if you plan to get completely clear of the urban sprawl. Look for lakes and rivers for a water source and heavily forested areas for protection. You can determine all this using free Internet software.
Once mapped out travel the routes so there is no question as to the direction of travel in an emergency. Remember you will be under stress during the crisis, so to be able to act instinctively you will need plenty of practice, so you can literally act without thinking. Make sure others in your family or group know the routes as well. You may become incapacitated so it is important that others in the family know the way to safety.
Mode of Travel
You certainly would rather get everyone into a vehicle and escape the crisis, but it may not be possible. Once you realize that evacuation is only possible on foot you have to consider your alternatives seriously.
Obviously, if a wildfire is headed your way, leaving is not a question, but you should have had plenty of time to prepare and leave by vehicle. If the forecast is for heavy rains that may cause flooding for the next three days then you can prepare and leave by vehicle as well. There can be disasters that come without warning however, such as earthquakes, terrorist attacks and so forth. The crisis may be such that leaving by vehicle is impossible.
You may be faced with a dilemma if you have elderly members or very young members of the family that simply cannot walk or walk for an extended period. This also means that someone else in the group would have to carry supplies for those that cannot.
These things have to be planned for now. You cannot wait until the crisis is upon you to come up with a plan. Staying informed is critical so you have the information so you can decide when to leave. Knowing what type of calamity is headed your way can help you plan.
You should know of any wildfires in the area, for example, and how much at risk, your home is so you can leave before you are trapped. Know what seasonal natural disasters are possible in your area.
Every situation is different, so you have to plan based on your situation. Do you have young children, anyone with a medical condition and/or elderly family members that would evacuate with you? Bugging-out is typically the best option when you have been given notice of a disaster headed your way and you can pack a vehicle and leave before disaster strikes the area.
If you are literally caught off guard by a crisis, and you know some family members are not capable of leaving then bugging-in may be your only option.
This entire article is to get you thinking about plans. Why you need a plan and to look at your situation and then how to come up with a plan that works for you, taking into account all considerations mentioned here.