After writing a post on evacuation plans the other day (Planning Your Evacuation or Bug out Route). I received the following comments from a friend. These are some additional points that you should take into consideration when planning an evacuation.
Your Family Evacuation Plan Should Identify:
Your starting point is home, work or school. If family members are at different places during the day, how will they communicate?
Discuss what your “triggers” might be. Do your own threat analysis. Hazmat release, house fire, flood or imminent hurricane landfall are more likely than nuclear war or space alien invasion. Discuss with family what your likely triggers will be.
If a trigger trips – GO NOW! Don’t hesitate once the trigger is observed – LEAVE! When an emergency is evolving is NOT the time to try to GAIN CONSENSUS! Your life depends upon action, so Get moving! NOW!
Destination is key. If you don’t know a clear destination there is no plan. Your destination must be viable. A good location is a friend’s home which whom you have made prior arrangements. Your home may be one of their destinations in the event of problem. Both families need to discuss this aspect and know what types of events they are prepping for.
Your alternate destination should be in a different geographical area. In the event of a hurricane, earthquake or tsunami wide areas will be affected. If your nearby primary destination isn’t viable, you need somewhere else to go. Coordinate the alternate location same for the primary, and so on for your contingency and emergency destinations. PACE planning
Develop trustworthy relationships. The best destinations are with people whom you know and trust, from long association. If the host destination is not expecting you, you have no plan, but a “wish.”
Your route is based on your start point, conditions of your Trigger, where your Start Point is, and your Destination. The primary route assumes that you will get a head start before the unprepared masses leaving the city.
Start early, because essential to your Plan is to have your nose to the wind sniffing for threats. Using interstate highways to quickly put distance between you and the threat is OK only IF you can beat the crowds.
Alternate routes probably use lesser travelled roads. Avoid the hordes of the “unprepared in denial.” Check out several routes. Identify decision points along each where you may either continue, or change to an alternative route. Scout decision points on your alternate routes beforehand. Then actually – drive them. Take notes, photos help too. Designate the most viable as Primary, the next as Alternate etc.….. Get good map coverage of the area. Mark your routes on the map(s) using colored highlighters for the different routes, such as Green for Primary, Blue for Alternate, Yellow for Contingency and Red for Emergency, so that if you are injured, other family members carry on. Mark potential choke or decision points – and decide how to address them.
Your primary mode of travel is the car you drive every day! It needs to be well maintained, fueled and viable to execute your plan. A smoking rust bucket that can’t make it across town without stopping at a junk yard will not do. Alternate travel means may be your neighbor’s borrowed truck, which you have made prior arrangements for or a private plane, boat or train (if you left early)
Emergency travel will be on foot. Have sturdy shoes, a rucksack of essentials, light enough that you can actually carry it, water, rations, map, compass, and a staff to steady you.
Supplies, types and amounts depend on your mode of travel and destination. If going to Grandma’s ask her what to bring. It is a good idea to pre-position clothes, blankets, cleaning supplies and food at your primary destination ahead of time. Your car can carry a lot. But you can’t carry very much on your back for very far. What you will carry and how if you have to abandon your vehicle and walk?
Load plans. Practice your plan then decide how much to pack and where it goes. – draw a chart – this will greatly speed up the process of getting out of Dodge. Make sure you don’t bury the jack underneath those fifty gallons of water cans…