Now I am not a big fan of leaving my home, I much prefer the idea of sheltering in place. But being a realist I know that a situation may occur in which you may need to leave your home. The question is when? There is an easy answer to this question; it is when your chances of survival are better elsewhere then in your home or current location. So plan your bugout route now and avoid the rush
If you are even remotely considering the possibility of having to bugout, you should plan your bugout routes ahead of time. Share them with your group or loved ones and plan meeting places.
The first step to consider is if the general population in your area was forced to evacuate what routes would the majority take? It is not that hard to figure out, most people being creatures of habit will take routes that they are used to traveling. This will mainly be freeways or highways that exit the larger cities and urban areas.
While I don’t live in a city, I know that if the city nearest to me emptied out the majority would follow five major highways. These would rapidly become parking lots after a few accidents and other problems. The first thing you want to do is to identify the routes that most people would take and avoid them when you plan your bugout route.
The second thing you need to look for is choke points. In my area, this would be mountain passes, especially in the winter due to snow. Bridges and rivers can also create choke points. If there are any choke points between you and your goal, you need to develop plans to get around them.
Weather can be a big consideration, if I were to bugout in the winter I would take a different route than in the summer. Many of the roads in the mountains would be blocked by snow in the winter. In the summer, I have more options.
Use side roads, dirt roads or even railroad tracks (they normally have service roads alongside them). Study the maps of your area, but don’t trust them until you have driven the routes yourselves. I know that in my area the Forest Service has blocked some dirt roads without any announcements. If you are depending on Forest Service roads drive them regularly. They use one of the following methods to block them, a dirt barrier, trench, down trees or large rocks. Depending on what you are driving, you can sometimes get around them. Where I live, I would carry a chain saw in my vehicle.
If possible, know where you can get extra fuel or other necessary supplies along your route. You may have to cache some.
If you have a bugout location that’s great, but plan on having al least one secondary rallying point. Your bugout location may be occupied or otherwise compromised.
Plan your bugout route ahead of time, drive or travel it regularly and know as many alternate routes as possible. Whether you bugout by vehicle, foot or bike, these same considerations apply.