Emergency evacuation

All posts tagged Emergency evacuation

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

Bugging out.

Getting out of Dodge.


Whatever you choose to call it, thousands of Americans end up having to leave their homes due to emergencies every year.  According to FEMA:

Evacuations are more common than many people realize. Hundreds of times each year, transportation and industrial accidents release harmful substances, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes. Fires and floods cause evacuations even more frequently. Almost every year, people along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts evacuate in the face of approaching hurricanes. (source)

Despite this, many people seem to be taken utterly by surprise when they’re told to leave their homes due to a local disaster. The ensuing panic and confusion can slow down the process for everyone, making an already terrible situation far more desperate.

A few years ago, my family came very close to having to evacuate – and by close, I mean, literally, 2 miles from disaster. The King Fire was a forest fire that nearly reached 100,000 acres.  We got up on a sunny Saturday morning,  never realizing that would be the day an angry man would punctuate a domestic dispute by setting fire to a tree in the other person’s yard. Certainly, no one expected that one act of anger to set off a fire that would exceed the size of the city of Atlanta.

However, he did set that fire, and it came as close as 2 miles to our home over the almost-two-weeks that we watched with bated breath. (Here’s what it felt like to spend that much time waiting to see if everything we owned would be destroyed or not.)

In the forested mountains of California, wildfires are an annual threat, and we’ve learned a lot about emergency evacuations, including how to be ready to roll in mere minutes. The speed at which you can get ready to move is key, because, in some fast-moving disasters, seconds count.

Human behavior changes dramatically during an emergency evacuation.

During the last nearby wildfire, I joined a number of local groups online so that I could get the most up-to-the-minute information, and during this time, I took lots of notes of my observations. The thing that was very clear is that those who were at least somewhat prepared handled the situation far better than those who simply couldn’t accept that this threat was actually happening to them.

As someone who has studied preparedness for many years, I witnessed firsthand the classic exemplar of human behavior during a disaster.  Tess Pennington, the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, wrote an article last year called The Anatomy of a Breakdown. In the article, she pointed out that in the event of disaster, society devolves in a predictable pattern with four distinct phases.  Her observations were accurate during our experience.  As we watched the events unfold, some people changed dramatically.

During our own experience, here are the things I witnessed. They could apply to any type of disaster, natural or otherwise:

Bug out bags are absolutely the first prep you should make. If you’re just getting started, do this one thing. You can do it without spending a penny, by just gathering up things that you already own. You may not have a top-of-the-line, ready-for-the-apocalypse bag like THIS ONE, but you’ll still be far ahead of most people.  When we first learned of the fire and realized that evacuating might become necessary, I had only two things to do. I had to get documents from the safe (the documents, by the way, were already housed in a plastic folder, so I only had to grab that one thing) and pull the pet carriers out of the shed. In less than 5 minutes, we were ready to roll. Had it been necessary, we could have left with only the photocopies of the documents, because those always remain in our bug-out bags. Having your bug-out bag ready means that you have accepted in advance that disaster could strike.

Any time one disaster strikes, several more are sure to follow. This is highly probable.  Some people in the fire zone not only stayed on the edge of evacuation for nearly two weeks, but they also lost power due to the fire.  This greatly reduced their ability to get news and information, which is vital in a disaster situation. It leads to even more worry and stress, and while you’re dealing with the potential of your home burning down, you’re also living through a power outage lasting several days. Getting prepared for a two week power outage is absolutely vital and can see you through most regional disasters. Also, when it finally began to rain, although it helped to quench the flames, firefighters were suddenly threatened by flash floods,. These were made worse because the areas no longer had the same natural obstructions to deter the flow of water.

Unprepared people panic.  Some people panicked initially. When we got the first evacuation alert (a notice that evacuation was highly likely within the next 24 hours), a woman who lived down the street was wailing and sobbing as her husband tried to pack up their vehicle.  She was rendered absolutely useless by fear. Meanwhile, my 13 year old was fulfilling her list while I fulfilled mine and we quickly made an orderly stack of important belongings, then turned on a movie to beat the stress. Had our area actually been forced to evacuate, those who panicked would have either been the last to leave, or they would have forgotten important things as they left in a disorganized rush. It’s important to decide ahead of time who packs what, and for each person to have a list. Sit down well before disaster strikes and make an evacuation plan with your family.

Get organized.  All the lists in the world won’t help you pack quickly if you don’t know where things are. One change we’re making is that all of the items we deemed precious enough to pack and take with us will now be stored in one area so that we won’t have to look for them when seconds count.  Another friend ran into the issue of dirty clothes: he actually had to evacuate with hampers of unwashed laundry. Having your home tidy and organized (and your laundry washed and put way) will help your packing go smoothly in the event of a sudden evacuation.

You can’t be prepared for everything.  Disaster situations are always fluid and they don’t go by a script. It’s vital to be adaptable to the changing situation.

Keep your vehicle full of fuel.  If you have to evacuate, lots of other people will be hitting the road too. When you’re stuck in traffic, you don’t want to be worried about your fuel gauge dropping to the empty mark, leaving you stranded in a dangerous situation.

The criminals come out, like cockroaches. Within 24 hours of the first evacuations, we learned that the local scumbags had looted some of the homes that had been left unattended. Within 48 hours, we learned that the scourge had reached the outlying areas, with these people breaking into cars that had been loaded up with the things that families had determined to be most important to them.  Of course, if you’ve evacuated, there’s nothing you can do about what’s happening to your home. But before evacuation, or in the event of civil unrest, it’s vital to be prepared to defend your family and belongings. In these situations, the first responders are busy, and that’s what criminals rely on. You should consider yourself to be completely on your own, and be ready for trouble. Keep in mind that during the civil unrest in Ferguson recently, the only businesses that didn’t get looted were the ones at which the owners stood armed and ready to defend their property.

The longer the stress lasts, the worse some people behave. As continued stress is applied, the true nature of a person becomes evident. People who formerly seemed like perfectly nice individuals were on the local message forums saying terrible things to one another. They were verbally attacking others for imagined slights and taking offense at things that would normally never ruffle feathers. Some folks were launching tirades against the very people who were performing the greatest service: the admins of the webpages who worked round the clock to keep us informed. If it was this bad in a potential emergency, can you imagine how bad things will get in a truly devastating long-term scenario?

But then…some people are wonderful. Alternatively, sometimes you see the very best of human nature. The generosity of many of my neighbors cannot be overstated. They housed livestock, pets, and families full of strangers during the evacuation. People showed up at the shelter with food and comfort items for those who had been evacuated. Firemen who came from near and far to fight the blaze were constantly being treated to meals at local restaurants, as other diners surreptitiously paid their tabs. Watching the kindness and gratitude helped to restore some of my faith in human nature, after seeing the squabbling and crime. It was interesting to me that the people who gave the most generously were the ones who were the most prepared. These folks were calm and could focus on other things besides “Oh my gosh, I don’t know what to do!” We definitely learned who the people were that we wanted to surround ourselves with when the S really HTF.

The difference between the people who crumbled, becoming easily offended, snarling, and hysterical, and the people who were generous, calm, and effective?  Their levels of preparedness, both mental and physical.

Think about any stressful situation that has ever happened to you.  Once you accepted the fact that it had happened you were able to set a course of action. Once you had definitive steps to take, you probably felt much calmer. You took control of the things you could, and you executed your plan.  Only by taking that first step – accepting that this mishap had indeed occurred – could you take the next two.

1.) Accept

2.) Plan

3.) Act

No matter what situation you find yourself in, these steps will nearly always see you through. (This article discusses the 3 steps to survival in much greater depth.)

Take steps now to be one of those calm people later.

Today, I want you to think about disasters. It’s certainly not a pleasant thought, but considering these things now – when there’s no fire bearing down on you, no hurricane heading your way, no chemical spill poisoning your water, no pandemic in the next town over – allows you to think more clearly and make a definitive plan of action.


  • Check your bug out bags.
  • Organize your most precious belongings.
  • Discuss the plan with your family so that everyone knows what to expect.

Make these decisions now so that when – and it’s always “when” not “if” – disaster knocks at your door, you’re prepared to respond immediately. Learn about what to expect from others in order to keep your family safe and on-plan. Human nature isn’t as much of a variable when you can predict their behavior.

What to pack:

Here are the things to pack for an emergency evacuation.  You can find a PDF copy to print off right here.

  • Bug out bags
  • Cell phone
  • Address book with important contacts
  • Money, credit cards
  • Pet carriers – I prefer the hard-sided ones so that our pets are sheltered better in a crowded vehicle
  • Pet food
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Extra shoes
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Documents (identification, insurance, passports, etc.)
  • A utility bill or other proof of residence
  • Small portable safe for valuables
  • Reading material
  • Laptops
  • Water
  • A small fire extinguisher
  • Extra fuel in a safe container
  • Phone and laptop chargers
  • Car charger
  • On the recommendation of a friend, I threw our swimming goggles in, to offer eye protection in the event we had to drive through thick smoke

Your list might also include:

  • Security items for children
  • Items to entertain children
  • Prescription medication
  • Allergy medication
  • Religious items for comfort
  • Emergency food (If you go to an evacuation shelter, you may end up having to purchase meals out or make due with very small rations)
  • Bedding

Make a written checklist that you can easily access. You might include the location of items that are packed away. Decide on these things now, when you have the time to calmly think about what items are the most important.

PS: A quick tip I recently heard was to grab the dirty clothes hamper. For the price of a trip to the laundromat, you’ll probably have several days’ worth of clothing for the whole family in there.

Very important things that some lists omit

First of all, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of those sentimental items.  Because we have lost some very dear loved ones (both my father and my children’s father) we have some things that could never, ever be replaced even with the best insurance policies in the world.

  • Photographs from the days well before the digital age
  • Special gifts given to us by those who are now gone
  • Things from their childhood – I have a music box that my father played with as a little boy and my daughter has her father’s letterman jacket
  • Journals and letters

We feared that if we had to leave our home, we might never be coming back.

Identify the things that are dear to your heart and put them in a place where you can grab those treasures quickly. Insurance can’t replace these things. They can’t replace that big-headed clay dinosaur with pink sparkles that your little one lovingly presented to you.

We have all of these items stashed or displayed near a bin into which they can quickly be stowed in the event of an evacuation. We have backed up the photos digitally. You can’t imagine how awful it would feel to lose these things, so please take steps to make them quick and easy to take with you.

Secondly, if you have room, take some of your favorite things that may not be practical right now, but that you’d really miss. Do you have a favorite suit for work? A pair of shoes or a tie that make you feel fantastic and confident? Some comfy sweats that you’ve spent 7 years breaking in until they reached the perfect level of softness?  As impractical as it sounds, these are far less easy to replace than jeans and whatever t-shirt you grab first. Favorite things can help you feel more normal when your world is turned upside down. If the worst happens, and your home in destroyed, you will find some small comfort in familiar items.

If your home is destroyed.

Sometimes, despite the best efforts of emergency crews, your home is destroyed in whatever disaster you evacuated from. The first step to rebuilding your life is replacing any important documents that you weren’t able to bring with you. You can find more information on that topic here.

Have you ever evacuated?

If so, what items did you take with you? Are there any items you forgot?

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: Emergency Evacuation Checklist: Are You Prepared to Bug Out Fast?

About the author:

Daisy Luther is a single mom who lives in a small village in the mountains of Northern California, where she homeschools her youngest daughter and raises veggies, chickens, and a motley assortment of dogs and cats.   She is a best-selling author who has written several books, including The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource.  Daisy is a prolific blogger who has been widely republished throughout alternative media. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health, self-reliance, personal liberty, and preparedness. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.



English: Hurricane Rita evacuation from the Lo...

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

When it hits the fan America’s population centers will explode in violence, looting, and total breakdown of law and order.

It’s a theory put forth by numerous survival and relocation specialists, and one that makes complete sense if you consider what happens in a truly serious collapse-like scenario.

Survival Blog founder James Rawles calls them the golden horde:

Because of the urbanization of the U.S. population, if the entire eastern or western power grid goes down for more than a week, the cities will rapidly become unlivable. I foresee that there will be an almost unstoppable chain of events:

Power -> water -> food distribution -> law and order -> arson fires -> full scale looting

In his recent documentary Strategic Relocation, retreat expert Joel Skousen echoes Rawles’ warnings:

The number one threat that I concentrate on. It’s not terrorism, it’s not natural disaster, it’s not even government or war.

The major threat is population density.

Because every crisis that threatens, even a local crisis, can turn exponential because of close proximity to people who cannot help themselves. Even good people panic in a crisis…

So, where should you be when it happens?

To find the answer, let’s consider where we shouldn’t be.

Recent U.S. census data indicates that out of the 3000 counties in the United States, fully 50% of the population lives in just 146.

If you want to have any chance of surviving a wide-spread catastrophic event by avoiding the hordes that will be searching for critical resources in its aftermath, then check out the following map to get a visual reference of the areas you want to stay away from.

(Click here for larger image)


(For a complete list of the counties highlighted on this map click here)

When considering your retreat locations or emergency evacuation routes, be familiar with the population densities of the area you’re headed to, as well as those counties in your immediate vicinity.

In his book Patriots, James Rawles specifically points out that Highway 80, running through California, will be one of the busiest evacuation routes in the country as millions of people pour out of major cities to flee disaster or in search of  food.

So, no matter where you are located, consider your proximity to high traffic thoroughfares going in and out of the city. During Hurricane Rita, which hit Houston several years ago, every major pipeline out of the city was jammed for hundreds of miles. Interstate 45 from Houston to Dallas was bumper to bumper traffic. Normally a 4 hour trip, those who didn’t evacuate in time were stuck on the highway without food, gas, sanitation, or potable water for upwards of 15 hours.

This is why Joel Skousen suggests that those looking for strategic retreat locations or homes outside of major cities consider highway proximity. Be at least 5 – 7 miles away from any major thoroughfare, which is generally outside the range people want to venture off familiar roads, and far enough away to make any ‘walkers’ too tired to attempt the trip without ample clean water and food.

If you have no choice but to be in a major metro area during a serious emergency situation, consider strategies that can help you remain sustainable in the city even in the midst of panic. – SHTFplan.com

Hat tip Satori


One of the largest concerns during a disaster situation is when to leave. Hurricanes, floods, chemical leaks, societal breakdowns and terrorist attacks – all  cause major evacuation disruptions in urban areas when too many people are trying to flee at the same time. We have seen this with such disasters as 9-1-1, Hurricane Katrina, and evacuations from mass wildfires.

While it is important  to listen and keep up to date on the current status of a disaster, as a societal whole, we have placed far too much emphasis on the government telling us when the appropriate time to evacuate is. It is important to emphasize that the needs and agendas of a local government are different than the citizens. Relying solely on the government’s ability to manage a crisis, takes the power out of a person’s hands and places into a stranger’s hands (who may not have your best interests in mind). Many have forgotten this and rely only on a governmental body to tell them when they can leave. The bottom line is the action of packing up and evacuating rests in the evacuees hands; not the governments or the businesses telling the person they have to work until they believe it is time to leave.

Don’t Be Another Statistic

In a situation where people are facing an evacuation order, time is precious.  Typically, people are not ready, or for that matter, prepared to bug out. For that matter, when unpreparedness is coupled on the individual level and the local or federal level, it leads to breakdowns that can cause interruptions in emergency response, crime waves, and disturbances in recovery plans.

During the evacuation of Hurricane Katrina, many state and local governments waited until the very last moment to issue an evacuation order, thus causing  1 million individuals to evacuate an area over hundreds of thousands of square miles in a 2-3 day time span. This caused nothing but mass chaos and unnecessary conflict.

If one lives in an area where they could be prone to disasters, it is always the best bet to have the following ready:

  • A well defined preparedness plan with maps and alternative routes in place.  Don’t leave unless there is a plan in place.  A person who is prepared to leave and has a set destination in mind is more prepared than the person who is scrambling around their home trying to find items and not even thinking about what their emergency plan will be.
  • Have an evacuation checklist on hand. This ensures that you have everything you need packed.
  • A 72 hour bag that is ready to go for the family as well as a bag for any pets. Make sure that you have the right types of food packed.
  • Leave as soon as possible.  Do not wait until they have opened up the contraflow lanes to evacuate.
  • Have some money set aside for an emergency.  Anticipate that ATM machines and banks will be closed.  Example: You finally get on the road and realize you are low on gas. All the banks and ATMs are closed.  In this scenario, once the gas runs out, you will be stuck  with no money for food, shelter or transportation.
  • Make sure the Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) is well maintained.  Having the proper items to keep it going can be of great value in a disaster situation.  Items such as an oil, extra tire, fix-a-flat, collapsible shovel, etc.

Knowledge is Critical

Knowledge is essential in any type of emergency evacuation scenario. Imagine how important it would be if  someone had the advantage of having the information to leave 3 hours before everyone else did. If they were already prepared and ready to go, it would be a hugeadvantage.

  • Awareness of the different advisory forms to get the most information.  A person does not have to listen to the TV to get information.  There are many types of emergency advisories: radio, police scanners, Internet, twitter, and even a cell phone disaster alert system to alert a person at the earliest time possible.  This will give someone a heads up of what it to come.
  • Know which station on the radio has Emergency Broadcast Stations.

Every minute is critical when bugging out.  If a person is not prepared, then they are losing valuable time.  Using all known communication resources to get information and staying clued in will put a person at a greater advantage than those only listening to one type of communication form.  Gathering information ahead of time of what the possible threat is (flood preparation, hurricane preparation, tornado, societal uprising, etc), and finding ways to avoid them will put a person in a better mind frame when they actually have to come head to head with the threat.

Know The Signs

Waiting until an evacuation order is issued is considered too late for many people who consider themselves prepared.  Knowing the signs and acting on them is the key to bugging out at the best time.  If a person knows what to look for, they can prepare to leave ahead of the hoard of evacuees.

Some signs include:

  • When people begin buying emergency food and water supplies.
  • Hearing the news sources talking about a possible threat is the time to begin preparing to leave.
  • Seeing long lines at the bank where people are withdrawing money is a sign that something is up.
  • Long gas lines is also an indicator of people beginning to prepare for a possible evacuation.
  • Increased military and police presence in the streets and the community.
  • Long lines at home improvement stores from people trying to buy supplies to prepare homes for disasters, buying generator needs, etc.

If a person is already prepared for such a disaster, they will not have to wait in lines full of stressed out people, not have to fight their way through a grocery store or get into a possible altercation trying to fill their cars with gas.  In times of crises, many are not prepared, and the stress levels are increased exorbitantly.  Everyone has one thing on their mind – getting supplies and getting out.  If a person already has their supplies in order, getting out ahead of everyone will put them at a greater advantage.

Consider the Dangers and Know the Threats

Knowing when to bug out solely depends upon the person and what they are trying to avoid.  It is better to be safe than sorry.  Obviously, evacuating in a high stress situation is absolutely the worst case scenario; yet, this tends to be the norm for many.  Many play into the illusion that bad things cannot happen to them, so why bothering in planning for it?  This mind frame is what leads to dangerous situations.

Many who wait until the government suggests it is necessary to evacuate will have more of a chance of getting caught in mass chaos, be amongst unprepared and stressed out drivers, and possibly face bouts of crime.  Leaving at the wrong time can put a person and their family into jeopardy.  Seeing the signs and knowing when to bug out will play a pivotal role in evacuating safely.  Not to mention giving a person the advantage of having the right mind set, leaving quickly, and more importantly – safely.

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple

Contributed by Tess Pennington

I was first alerted to these posters via news tips, where readers were wondering what the deal was with the strange and Orwellian posters. Well as the hashtag  ’#Greywater’ reveals, which is placed at the bottom of the poster, these posters are definitely not ‘official’ posters placed by the NYPD or the city itself. Instead, they are likely marketing tools for the Greywater alternative energy company (finding their website was pretty simple), but they are also quite informative. Checkout one of the posters warning of a terror drill involving odorless and ‘harmless’ gas, which is actually based on a real police test as reported on by RT.


What’s great about these posters is that they turn on the brain of the average passerby who would have otherwise continued on without a single thought on the subject. I would even imagine that many citizens of the city had no idea that the NYPD announced the real drill back in April of this year. The best part is that the poster isn’t much different from the real announcement. Citizens were basically told very few details beyond the fact that the police will be releasing odorless and ‘harmless’ gas throughout the city on 3 non-consecutive days in order to conduct a terror test.

There’s also a poster centered around nuclear concerns that plays on New York City’s close vicinity to nuclear power plants, which the Physicians For Social Responsibility website shows could lead to the emergency evacuation of over 17 million people in the event of a major plant incident that allowed for evacuations. A scenario that would quickly turn chaotic in a major city where citizens are entirely unprepared for any major event. You can see this one below:

While these posters are obviously created by entities outside of the New York City government, and most likely printed up by the Greywater company to perhaps generate awareness and create a viral marketing campaign, I think they’re effective in inciting some conversation. Twitter is already on the case, asking what the heck is up with the random posters, and hopefully the question will soon turn from ‘what are these posters’ to questions over the reality of the issues mentioned by the posters.

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple

Contributed by Anthony Gucciardi of Storyleak


The very idea of your child being forced to deal with a scary and strenuous emergency situation is probably downright repellent, but as a parent, one of your most important jobs is making sure that they’re properly equipped to handle anything life throws their way. Even though she may not ever have to put the knowledge to use, simply knowing that your child is prepared to handle an emergency can give you immeasurable peace of mind.

Explain the Difference Between an Emergency and a Problem

For kids, a sense of urgency can accompany a simple problem just as it does a legitimate emergency. Kids need to know how to reach emergency services, how to dial 911 and what to do when she’s speaking to a dispatcher, but also when it’s appropriate to call in the first place. It’s not always easy for little ones to distinguish between problems that require the attention of a parent or trusted adult, and actual emergencies that warrant police, emergency medical or firefighter services. The first step to explaining emergency preparedness to kids is helping them understand what an emergency is and what situations can be handled by a parent or caregiver.

Talk About 911

Your child needs to know how to call 911 in an emergency, and what to tell the dispatcher she reaches. Practicing 911 calls can be done safely with a cell phone that’s been stripped of the battery or a landline that’s not plugged in to the wall. When you’re working on this lesson, it’s a wise move to talk about what your child should do if she ever calls 911 accidentally. Hanging up without explaining that the call was inadvertent wastes the time and resources of dispatchers because they’re required to call back to make absolutely certain that there is no emergency.

In the event of a real emergency, your child will need to give the dispatcher her full name, her address and be able to explain the nature of the emergency to the best of her abilities. She should also know that the dispatcher will want her to remain on the line until emergency service providers arrive so that she doesn’t immediately hang up after sharing that information.

Work Out a Home Evacuation Plan

In the event of a fire or a natural disaster, your entire family will need to have a coordinated evacuation plan to ensure that everyone makes it out of the house safely. Explain to your child that all material possessions, even favorite ones, can be replaced and that it’s far more important for them to exit the house than it is to save their belongings. Make sure that she knows how to get out of the house if you’re not able to reach her, to make her way to a pre-arranged family meeting place and what she should do when she arrives there first.

Discuss Region-Specific Natural Disasters

You probably won’t need to waste much time on teaching a child that lives in the Midwest how to manage a hurricane, but she will need to know what to do in the event of a tornado. Talking about the natural disasters that are most likely to occur in your area and making a specific plan to deal with them is imperative, especially if you live in a region that’s particularly prone to environmental emergencies.

Role Play Specific Scenarios

One of the best ways to determine how much your child knows and what she still needs to learn about emergency preparedness is to role play specific scenarios that she could potentially encounter. There’s a reason why public schools practice routine fire drills: they help kids prepare in a relatively low-stress environment for an emergency so that, in a high-pressure situation, they know how to react. Role playing serious injury situations, weather emergencies, a house fire and even potential intruder situations gives you an idea about what your child knows and helps you teach them more detailed information so that they’re prepared to handle any emergency.

Offer Reassurance

It’s easy to become so wrapped up in teaching your child the basics of emergency preparedness that you forget how easily frightened little ones really are. While you’re teaching her how to handle a natural disaster or emergency, make sure that you also explain to your child that she’s safe and protected. Let your child know that these things probably won’t happen to her, but that it’s your job to make sure that she knows what to do in a worst-case scenario. Also let her know that there will almost certainly be an adult looking after her and making sure that she stays safe while you’re teaching her how to handle an emergency independently.

Article Source:  Backup Care

“This article was first published at reThinkSurvival.com.”

We recently moved and I’m dreading having to redo our bug out locations because I know how much of a pain it is going to be. On the other hand, I also understand how important the task is as well.

Why do I dread it? Because I know that I need at least eight unique bug out locations pinpointed, that’s why!

It’s important to have so many because I need to be able to evacuate my family in any direction AND I need to have both nearby and long distance locations. Really, I do… and so should you.

Years ago, I only bothered to include two locations to bug out to: my in-laws who live nearby and my parents who live a long distance away, both in opposite directions. While this was better than nothing it was certainly not adequate. Even worse was that they were only mental expectations; there were no written instructions, routes, rendezvous points… nothing at all.

Now that I’m a bit older and wiser too I acknowledge my lack of foresight and choose to have a complete plan in place. A plan that indicates precisely where my family and I will bug out to if we had to evacuate to the north, south, east, and west. We’ve indicated locations that are both nearby (within about 30 minutes drive time or a good days’ walk) and afar (at least a few hours away but not more than several hours or a good day’s drive). To complete the plan we’ve included multiple routes to get where we need to go. Now that’s a real plan!

Please don’t overlook this mundane task. It is a very necessary aspect of preparedness planning for the simple fact that you can neither predict in which direction you may need to evacuate at any given time nor can you adequately determine the distance you must evacuate; certainly, there are some general exceptions (such as with the expected path of a hurricane, for example) but disasters are disasters and their paths of devastation are at mother nature’s whim, not your expectations.

Take a moment and contemplate just one nearby bug out location. Think about how you would normally get there. The specific route, that is. What if it is blocked by downed trees? Jammed with cars? Do you have a completely different route to get there? And, maybe even a third route? What if you had to walk there instead–either completely or partially–could you? Can children walk that distance? Do you have leashes for your pets and what if they can’t/won’t walk that far? Do you abandon the rest of your supplies in your home or cars? Must you be stealthy? Should you continue on the same path that you would have in a vehicle or do you make a bee-line for your destination?

The questions could seemingly go and on; however, these are the types of questions that need to be answered for a plan to be effective. While the famous line “the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men often go awry” from Robert Burns’ poem, To a Mouse, is surely true, that does not mean such planning is unnecessary. Planning, on the other hand, is what makes us humans truly special. More importantly, is the fact that having plans to follow actually calms us; they give us a sense of direction instead of panic. And that’s important in a time where most people would otherwise panic due to a lack of planning.

Of course, the exercise isn’t as bad as I make it out to be. After all, some of the locations we have chosen will remain the same. But, it does mean that I need to update all of my printed Google maps for our reThinkIt! Preparedness Plans Excel-file. Ughhh, the life of a prepper. icon smile  Yes, it will take some time and contemplating. But it is worth the effort.