During an emergency situation or a full blown SHTF caused by any of a wide variety of events, a big part of the immediate concern may not be that you have a backup site in mind, but in getting there. Some of the most perilous times can be during the travel from home or work or Point A to Point B, or Z as the case may be.
The Imminent Reality of Evacuation
During Hurricane Katrina those evacuating the coastlines even a little too late in responding to advanced landfall warnings, were caught literally out in the open. In many of the cases that “open” was an interstate highway with all lanes headed north away from danger. This was the worst kind of bumper to bumper traffic. And in some cases these people were in fact heading into a different sort of danger, often defined as the unknown.
A great number of the storm escapees in fact had no real end game destination in mind. I think many of them thought they could drive a hundred or two hundred miles to find a motel room or another safe haven with hot food, showers and air conditioning. Wrong! Often they had to keep moving, some over a thousand miles or more just to find available space in a shelter or a hotel. Then it was weeks before they could return home to find everything was gone.
Along the way their immediate supplies depleted quickly if they brought any at all. Gas lines were long, fuel non-existent in many places along the prevailing evacuation routes, station tanks long emptied by the traffic flow. Food stocked shelves also ran out. Tough lessons learned.
In time many reports were verified of robberies, assaults, and other crimes upon the evacuees, and first responding law enforcement were tied up with other duties. Those escaping the wrath of the storm were simply left to fend for themselves. Many could not. So what are the lessons learned here and how can you better prepare for the next crisis?
A stocked and ready Bug Out Bag is not a theory. You had better have one that is ready to go. Depending on family size, it could take several. Pack the essentials of food stuffs that don’t need cooking, medical supplies, clothing, important papers, cash money, personal hygiene items, and all else needed. Have other stocked supplies like cases of bottled water, blankets, and such ready to toss into your vehicle quickly. Have your personal protection gear locked, loaded, and ready to deploy. Trust in redundancy.
The evacuation rationale here is to supply for 72 hours at a minimum. If it is a natural type disaster that has driven many hundreds of people onto the roadways heading away, then it would be prudent to plan for a longer time frame just in case. As was evidenced in the case of Katrina, even well-meaning communities with established evacuation centers, found their supplies and patience quickly ran short. These are tense times with stresses and pressures maxed out.
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Though you may find help along the way, the smart thing to do is to not count on it. Have your own supplies, food, water, personal and general medical, clothing, hygiene and security bases covered, and provided by you. Don’t rely on others for your survival. Keep to yourself and all your supplies and preps under wraps.
Bug Out Vehicle Readiness
Keep one essential escape vehicle tuned up, gassed up and ready to roll at a moment’s notice. This vehicle should be kept at peak maintenance at all times, with good tires properly inflated, belts, hoses, brakes, good front and rear wiper blades, fluid levels, licenses, title, paperwork, and everything else in absolute readiness mode. All scheduled maintenance should be performed and kept up to date, always.
Such a vehicle designed as the Bug Out choice should never be allowed to have a gas tank fall below at least half a tank, ever. Finding available fuel along an official evacuation route can become problematic within hours of a full scale event. Nobody prepares for such things including gas stations, convenience stops and grocery stores.
As to the Bug Out vehicle choice itself, it needs to be large enough to be comfortable, powerful enough to carry a load, and strong enough to stand up to the rigors of a Bug Out including breaching a road block if necessary. It does not need to stand out in a crowd per se. Forget blatant graphics, window logo stickers or bumper adornment that offers any clues.
Know Where to Go
If you are running from a natural disaster, a chemical plant leak, or a riot, your established plans should naturally include some options on where to escape to from multiple places you and family are likely to be, home, work, school, out, etc. Once you Bug Out and are on the highway or back roads is no time to pull out a map to pick a final destination.
Such plans should be worked out way ahead of time, long before the necessity to enact them. Then such plans and routes should be run and practiced several times taking note of available resources along the way. Jot down everything on the map or in a travel plan notebook. On each dry run trip note anything that has changed to update the escape travel book. Keep this book close.
Also Read: Holsters For Bug Out Carry
You may be fortunate enough to have established a Bug Out escape camp or site. A cabin at a faraway lake, another home in a rural location, a remote hotel or resort, or maybe a campsite in a forested area, or even more primitive, hidden away from the public and open view. Plan out multiple routes to this same location to give yourself options. Options are good.
In Route Security
The entire time you are on the road in an escape mode you are subject to threats. These can come in many forms from innocuous local police at traffic stops, or a state highway patrol roadblock checking licenses, and residency paperwork. That’s the good news. All those stops you should pass with flying colors if you behave yourself.
Let me interject here that if you have a concealed weapons permit or other gun ownership papers, admit to them only if asked, then show them. Be absolutely sure you know the gun laws, carry laws, guns in vehicles laws in your state. For these reasons you should avoid crossing state lines if possible. If you have to go to another state, know their laws, too.
Now comes the other possible threats which could be virtually endless. Regardless of what they might be, you should be prepared to handle anything. This means equipping you and your ride with ample security support gear from personal carry to vehicle compartment support with adequate loaded magazines as well as an additional backup supply. You choose what.
Also Read: How To Bug Out From Mother Nature
Having said that, we assume you and your riders if appropriate have had the appropriate training to handle all this. That will be essential. If at any time you may become overpowered or you can back out, get away, and escape any threat, then do so. Never get yourself into a bind, if you don’t have to or have a way out. It is after all called survival.
So, long story short. These are complicated times. We can’t predict the future for natural disasters, but they will happen again. The daily news would tell us the seasons are ripe for the unnatural kind. There is still a lot of unrest in this country and in the world. We all need be on our “P’s” and “Q’s” when it comes to survival readiness. Our Bug Out travel security plans play a crucial role in all of this survival business. Be ready, stay ready.