When You Have to Bug Out by Vehicle

Don’t overload your car

While I do not plan to bug out, you have to be open-minded to the possibility.  For instance, there is a railroad only about a quarter mile from my house.  This is close enough to force us to leave in a hurry if an accident occurred in the wrong place.

Now there are a couple of ways to leave either on foot or by vehicle.  We have the normal 72-hour packs made up and ready to go, but what about if you had a few minutes and the opportunity to leave by vehicle.  Do you have any idea what you would take?  We have sorted our preps into sort of a modular system.  We have put the critical items into boxes that we would load in order of importance.  Loaded into the right boxes into one SUV we could easily live outdoors regardless of the weather for a minimum of a month.  Attached to the boxes are lists of medications or other important items we would need to grab.

Because we would have the basics using skills that we have learned, we could extend that month into a much longer period. As I say while our plan is to bug in, things can always change.  All your plans should be flexible and simple.  In an emergency, the simplest plan is often the best.  Do a dry run of your plan and make sure it works.  It would be embarrassing to find out the boxes won’t fit in your car in the middle of a bug out.


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4 Responses to When You Have to Bug Out by Vehicle

  1. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    This is also where a MAG or other group comes in so you dont have to sweat getting everything or having somewhere to go. You need a place to go. My extended “family” would take care of me in a chemical spill, wild fire, tornado, earthquake etc.
    We have plans and we hunt/camp alot. This year the transmission went out just before leaving so rather than a trailor with the camper and normal boxes of supplies we went to plan b and tent camped with everything broken down out of containers and just stuffed into the suv type vehicle and were ready and fared very well in just under 2hrs for 3 days and 4 people with only me doing the work.
    In the military we often did “load out” drills and AFTER mastering them with true load outs we would simply tape off an area on the floor and place everything inside that fake cargo area and we also had it drawn up in measurements and weights so it be covered with the new people too.
    Load out plans/bugout plans etc should be drawn up and placed in a binder so if it happens the panic stricken minds of the family dont have to think and work thru the ooda loop they can just read and follow. Make sure and include the location of supplies too IE: meds are in the cabinet, the tent is in the garage on the 3rd shelf, the batteries are in the drawer etc. because folks will lock up when scared. Also the “binder of death” LOL must be updated with new purchases.
    Also fuel tanks must be at least 1/2 full or you may not make it in clogged traffic or longer/slower alternate routes used with the vehicles.

  2. I’ve thought about the modular system for bug out, but that’s not how our plan is laid out. Instead, we certainly have our bug out bags for immediate evacuation but also a list of items we would take if we had say 15 minutes to get out as well as one hour and even a full day. I say do whatever works best for you.

  3. KE4SKY says:

    When I lived closer to DC, post 9/11 I started to pre-position supplies at my bugout location, improving storage and security there, so that if needed I could leave upon my trigger, grabbing only my EDC kit, having a survival ruck already in the car. Using PACE principles, my primary “Plan A” was to get outside the moderate damage radius to my vacation home, in my personal vehicle. My alternate “Plan B” was to drive to an out-state friend, in a different direction, but outside the National Capital Region. My contingency, “Plan C” if my vehicle broke down, was to take the folding mountain bike in my SUV, grab my ruck, and continue to either my Primary or Alternate locations, accessing bucket caches stowed approximately 50 miles apart. My last ditch “Emergency” plan is to grab ruck, proceed on foot and practice the fieldcraft, eaescape and evasion techniques I was taught in the military. The point is to “never give upbut just keep buggering on!”

  4. KE4SKY says:

    Many families who think that they are prepared don’t have a viable evacuation plan which they have actually tested. It is dangerous to base all emergency planning upon sheltering in place at home. A hazmat release, house fire, hurricane storm surge, flood or terrorist attack could make it unsafe for you to stay where you are, are cause to take your family and leave.

    Don’t be caught on the road among the multitude of “unprepared in denial.” Most people I know who actually have an evacuation plan are loathe to share it for OPSEC. Military families overseas make evacuation plans for various contingencies based upon known potential threats.

    First, plan a safe, nearby, temporary family assembly point within walking distance.

    Then identify a farther away refuge well away from the threat which triggered the need to evacuate in the first place. Your Plan Should Have:

    Start Point
    Travel Mode

    Start point is home – because that is where your “stuff” is.

    Alternate starting point is probably work or school.

    Discuss what “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. Sit down and 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 discuss or try to GAIN CONSENSUS! Your life depends upon action, so Get moving! NOW!

    Destination – is the key. If you don’t know a clear destination you have no plan. Your destination must be viable. “Heading to the hills” will not work. A good location is a friend’s home which whom you have made prior arrangements. Your home may be one of their destinations. Both families must discuss this and know what they are prepping for.

    Alternate destination should be in a different geographical area. In the event of a hurricane, wide areas may be affected. If your nearby primary destination isn’t viable, you need somewhere else to go. Coordinate the alternate location the same as for the primary, and so on for your contingency and emergency destinations. PACE planning

    Develop trustworthy relationships. The best destinations are 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 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 for a while, but only IF you can beat the crowds.

    Alternate routes probably use lesser-travelled roads. Avoid 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. Suppose you initially plan to travel Route A. You see cars and brake lights clumping ahead. You must decide (now) to take the next exit, off the Interstate. Have you scouted parallel routes? What if the bridge is out? Scout decision points on your route beforehand.

    Spend time on route selection. When you think you know your routes – drive them. Take notes. 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.

    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, a plane 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. You can’t carry much on your back for far. What you will do 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…

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