Evacuation plan – Planning to bug out during an emergency

Having an emergency evacuation plan is critical during any survival situation.  If things go bad, having a plan of action can help put you 20 steps ahead of the mindless morons who spent their time watching T.V., instead of planning for the very real threats that are out there.

Guy walking duringa disaster

Your Evacuation plan should take the following things into account:

The Most likely Emergency Scenarios:

Put on your thinking cap! Start to list the most likely emergency situations that can take place in your area. Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Civil Unrest, War, Riots, Nuclear or Terror Attacks, Etc…

Once you’ve outlined what those threats are, you need to start thinking about what you would do during each of those situations.

Stay or Go?

The decision to stay home and wait out the disaster, or take your chances out on the road should never be underestimated. Each choice has benefits; but they also each have some major risks associated with them.

When considering what things have to happen before you leave the comfort of your home, really put some work into figuring out what those evacuation triggers are, and when you would put your bug out plans into action. Hint: if you waited for the government to issue mandatory evacuation orders, you waited too long.

Meet up place

When disaster hits, there’s a good chance that your family may not be together. Now is the time to decide on a family meeting place. Pick a place that’s easy to find, and make sure each member of your family can find it during an emergency. Conducting practice drills before disaster hits is essential to your ultimate survival.

Have multiple routes out.

Keep in mind that during a disaster most of the major highways are going to be completely clogged with people trying to get out. Plan now, and map out as many different evacuation routes as possible. Use something like Google Maps to print out possible evacuation routes, and then laminate the paper so it hold up when you need it.

Don’t forget to print out vehicle, and walking routes (hiking trails, railroad tracks, side roads etc… should all be considered).

Survival Supplies:

What items do you need to survive for 72 hours, a week, a month, or even indefinitely? Put together a Survival / Bug Out Bag of essential items that you’ll need to survive each of the situations you identified as being likely threats.

Your evacuation bag should be designed around your family, your climate, and your health. There is no one-size fits all bag, so you need to be especially careful when choosing what items you pack, and make sure you customize your bag for your unique needs.

Where will you go?

Bugging out without a place to go isn’t a plan. Make sure you know exactly where you’re going before disaster strikes. If you don’t own land or a second house, then look for areas to camp that can sustain you and your family.

You may also want to look into investing in a bug out vehicle, a 4 season tent, or a small travel trailer.

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  1. Sounds good, if you wait for the order to evacuate, you’ve waited too long? Depending on what is really going on, staying, IMO, will usually be best. If your home was not destroyed by the initial occurance and there is no immediate danger, I doubt I’ll go anywhere, even if the police drive down the street harking orders. If that is your choice, I’d suggest staying quiet and out of sight. Lights off and light disipline. If they come knocking (and your door is already locked) keep quiet and don’t answer it, the officials will go away to the next house assuming you bugged out!

  2. The more and more I prepare – the more I realize that bugging out is something that I have to consider. I plan to “bug in” if at all possible – but I need to prepare just in case we have to go.


  3. Hi,

    If anything should occur, I believe that leaving my house would be the most appropriate thing to do. I live in a large city, and I strongly believe that man’s greatest enemy is another human. In time like these, panic and stress will most likely cause others to act without thinking and thus become potential source of harm. I have got my evacuation map prepared for a while, and I’ll be heading out of town. Staying home can prove good if you believe the situation will not last long, but otherwise, you are most likely to find food and other goods outside of town than at the local store… I lived through the Quebec 1998 Winter Storm which caused a major panic since the whole province (about 3 millions persons) had to go through a power failure for 3 weeks… in January. Temperatures around here go down to -30C (-22F), and believe me, the was no more food anywhere, no batteries, no help… nothing. And you really wouldn’t go out unless you needed to. Especially at night. Crime rates went up like crazy… Nah… I had a bad enough experience staying home during emergencies… Never again !

  4. “Sketch out some ideas of what you would do when the SHTF and put together a custom survival plan for each scenerio.” If you only take one thing from this article, this is it! Recognize that each different scenario will require a different response. Here’s a few things to consider when reviewing each scenario.
    Each scenario may require a different answer to each consideration. You have to find the answer for each one and apply them accordingly. Only then will you know whether you intend to hunker down or bug out. To be truly prepared means you have the answer before the question is raised. Good Luck

  5. The hard lined question is…what is SHTF? As a trained and educated person in hazmat, a survivor of the 1989 quake in CA, a traveler to Central America, CQC and survival trainer, the answer to “what to do” depends on the threat. SHTF is merely a catch all term to describe temporary or long-term chaos. Natural disasters, man-made disasters, war, poverty, crime…is all SHTF. Chemical, Bio, Nuke threats, whether accidental or intentional, have different specific procedures for those who might be exposed, and those who are exposed. It goes on and on…A good start is to see what the military procedures are…Field Manual downloads, http://www.selfreliancegroup.com if you are interested.

  6. Those of you who will stay home will become victims if you live in an urban environment. Your thin walls won’t stop bullets, and you will quickly run out of resources. If you plan on using a generator it will let me know you have fuel and probably food. Better rethink your plan as many of us have already banded together and will do whatever necessary to obtain what we need for our families to survive. If you think you can defend it with you gun, I hope you have already stockpiled tens of thousands of rounds of ammo. At 200 rounds used per encounter, it won’t take long to use up your ammo.

  7. The best thing to do is get all your friends together and make a plan ahead of time. A group of 8-10 people that are armed can more than hold off the roaming gangs that are coming to get your stuff that you should have already been stockpiling. And more than anything else it helps to have Jesus telling you what to do.

    • start by taking weekend camping trips in your area, look for some “out-of-the-way” places, away from high population areas, and away from the freeways.

  8. I totally believe I must do something, I have two young teens and a husband that pooh poohs needing to be prepared for anything. I have no idea where to start to get the kids and I prepared, I am not going to worry about him. Sounds harsh, there are reasons. I need an idea of what would be the best pack for the girls and I, we are tall and strong, not afraid to carry some weight, and if I should have them armed. I am so glad I found this site, I feel like something bad is coming and feel the urgency to be ready.

    • Susan, sounds like you have a tough road to walk. Even if your husband is not on board, you would need to start with water and food. Next, you would need shelter and warmth IE; fire, cooking and finally heat. You could get most of this stuff in wallyworld camping sections. Start out with the main priorities in mind, and then as you glean more info, expand. Tell your husband it is in case of earthquakes, flood, tornados, huricanes etc. It is just so you can “take care of your girls” At least a place to start.

    • Jack Spirko has a good pod cast that addresses this issue. I would start by “cop-canning” that is, when you see a canned good that is on sale, buy a few extra cans. After a while you will build up a supply of the things you actually eat. In the long run, you save money, use that angle with your spouse.

    • Jack Spirko has a good podcast that addresses this. Start by “copy-canning” when you see a canned good that is on sale, buy a few extra cans, after a while you build up a supply of the things you actually eat. In the long run, you save money, use that angle with your spouse. It takes awhile, but my family has such a better feeling now that we have a little bit of food and water on hand…

    • i have to say it is wonderful haw many people are out there to help susan!!! even tho we are all getting prepared ourselves it is nice to kno we still DO care about others!! AMERICA!!!

  9. Susan your thinking clearly.you have to make realistic plans based on the reality as you research it..You have good survival instincts..

  10. i work on a river boat and gone for a month at a time i have told my wife and kids to stay home that i will get to them as soon as i can if i can but if they need to leave we have a plan in progress. my wife can survie and my biggest fear is the shtf when im on the other side of the state and my biggest plan will be to get home so as you see i have other things to consider then a lot of you all

  11. Consider joining or organizing a local militia with like-minded people that can handle pressure and follow a plan. With that said, I will add that the weakest link in a chain is the strength of the whole.

    Also, invest in a small solar system and deep cycle battery. They are cheap, quiet and can handle everything necessary as long as you plan ahead for things like extreme cold and cooking with fire-wood or cow patties.

    Don’t underestimate the value of a simple hand operated water filter/pump. They remove everything but some viruses and most chemicals. Boil the water, use chlorine, iodine, or add a UV light purifier to kill off the rest. Nothing I know of we can do for the chemicals.

    Dehydrate your own foods and store them with silica packets. It is easier to do than you think. http://www.roguepaddler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=113

    Practice survival skills ahead of time. The easiest and most enjoyable way to start off would be camping and hunting without all the modern conveniences.

    If you have questions or need more information about something I have listed here or anything else, search the net. You will find more than you need.

    Hope this helps.

    • dehydrating is actually kind of fun, trying new ways to make homemade beef jerky is a blast! it’s so much easier than what you might think. Apples are also any easy one with many uses.

    • Rick, I would love to buy a solar system but would have no idea where to put that darn sun and all those planets… :)

  12. I started preparing my family a couple of years ago for shtf. recently we moved outta the big city into a smaller community but trying to get my neighbors to prepare or even thing ahead is a joke. guess were on our own and theyll be worm food when it hits

  13. I’ve preached for years to close friends and family about “What to do”..when the shit hits the fan and I know that I’m well prepared – We survived hurricane Ike without a scrape due to being overly prepared…My neighbors use to think I was a “survivor nutcase” but they came to me when they needed help.
    My advice is to imagine being in the middle of New Orleans when hurricane Katrina hit , and having to ride it out for atleast 14 days without utilities and any help from anyone..
    You have a choice of preparing to be a survivor or a victim now , if you wait until the shit hits the fan – it may be too late.
    There are numerous books on the subject , numerous websites such as this one …take time to study the subject , someday it may save you and your family’s life.

    • exactly. I began prepping after katrina,,,then Ike hit here in Houston. We bugged out to hotel in Austin for a couple of days. The two events got me thinking what it would be like in a long term situation like a total economic collapse. Major event that disrupts supply to stores like a nuke blast on east coast or some other crap like that. During Katrina even the cops were looting. They confiscated guns…..reminder for you guys who espouse staying home. How do you fend off the mobs of thugs when the cops have taken your guns and are actually part of the mobs?? I plan on being WAAAY away from any large urban area as soon as I get a whisper of a major calamity pending. Just saying….

  14. Excellent info! I’m glad I found this site! Lots of smart people out there! It’s nice to see that not all of America is asleep…If you were faced with a Bug-Out situation, had all the routes, bug-out bag, essentials to survive, would you take a weapon if it was available to you? I know everyone is different, and some folks believe that everyone is good, and will not harm them… I think drastic people will do drastic things..I have been in situations where I needed a weapon, and am very glad I had one..I’m originally from PA, and have had a CC permit since 84..I know the mere presence of a fire arm will stop most people.. But, what about the states in the country that don’t allow CC ? When the shtf, who cares..Right? Thats the way I look at it.. If you do have to bug out, Law Enforcement will be the least of your worries.. I would think to plan a route out of dodge that will provide you with adequate protection from being seen..If not, then bug out at night..But be armed..Better safe than dead!

    • Never seen a cop deep in the woods. I have a plan to drive as far as possible and have several spots mapped out where we can enter the deep woods ASAP. Routes all the way to our permenent spot where extended family will coalesce. As for weapons, I have .270 Browning BAR for big game, .22 LR Remington for small game, Kimber .45 Ultra Carry, .40 Sig Sauer P229, .25 cheap throw down pistol, compound bow, recurve and all the ammo we can carry along with two collapsable fishing rods w/reels, lures, hooks, etc. and traps, snares, books on survival, army survival manual, topo maps, …..well you get the idea. My family will be so far in the woods I don’t plan on seeing a cop….or another person for that matter. My hope is to be able to drive all the way to our BO location but I was trained to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

      • And you’re SURELY the only one with that plan. It’ll be a snap after you carry all that into “the deep woods”. Read up on the life expectancy of mountian men in the 18th-19th centuries.

  15. Thanks for this Site. I’ve just “woke-up” so to speak. My daughter thinks I’m crazy but I know I must prepare for us both. I thought I would wait until next week-end to start buying things but why wait? Every minute counts and I feel something sinister in the air. Something big is coming. Going to check out a gun as well…leaning toward a .38 special undercover lite or equivalent. Any advice? I’ve never cared for guns. I was blind but now I see & My eyes are Wide open. Thanks again.

    • many indoor gun ranges will rent you a gun for use at their range, this way you can try different ones to see what works best for you. A .38 really doesn’t have a lot of knock down power, I would lean to something a little bigger. You want “a fight ender” 12 gauge or 20 gauge is best, but not easy to hide.

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