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.

27 Comments

  1. Rich
    October 30, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I am in the Point Loma area of San Diego. On a regular Friday all roads are clogged out of the town, and, since I am in a peninsula there are very few roads out to major highways. All it takes is a little rain and a normal 40 minute commute can become an hour and a half…..and that is not any SHTF thing!

    So, I will not be on the road stuck somewhere between here and there. So, my choice is to stay, not much hope in outlasting any thing larger than one or two goes at my home. But, at least I will be at a position I know and have a better chance of putting a good effort in than on a stuck highway.

    Only hope is to gather up neighbors with some skills. But a small group has to sleep and eat, so?

    • quiet guy
      February 12, 2012 at 2:28 am

      you may want to consider a vehicle that can use the ditch such as an SUV or 4×4 truck. And always keep maps of the area in your vehicle, what if you get into an area you don’t normally travel in, and GPS isn’t working?

    • VARTIALAK NOEVAHIESTUM
      November 24, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      You’re on a peninsula a good off road vehicle or a boat will be your best option. The boat option will take you in the opposite direction of traffic. You can start now by selecting your bug out location, stocking it. Buy a government surplus boat fix it up and stock it. SHTF you can leave BEFORE any official government announcements are broadcast. If nothing happens consider it a drill for you and your family. In the actual event you will be ready and more importantly you will know exactly what to do. You will want alternative means of communications other than cell phones. I suggest walkie talkies, ham or CB radios with YOUR OWN CODES FOR LOCATIONS AND VEHICLES. A few prepaid satellite phones for backup. Since you gave away your location you should act before any announcement are broadcast. You can judge the situation and make the appropriate decision for yourself and your family.

  2. mike
    December 11, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I am prior service and I find the comments made by some on here sick and cowardly. For those of you that would kill to get what you need. Get off your ass put down the dope pipe and prepare yourself. A disaster in this country would be bad. How we function after is and will be the determining factor on how we survive and rebuild. By working together and continuing to be as civil as possible you and your family will get a lot farther in your survival then by constantly putting yourself and your family in harms way to take from others. There are bountyfull foods in the wild. I suggest you spend a few $$ more on books to teach you and a little less on ammo to use against others! The knowledge you’ll gain will feed your family much longer then killing someone for there last can of beans! Shame on you!
    I have weapons too. The Army has taught me well how to be a effecient killing machine. Having this knowledge doesnt mean i go out and use force to take whatever i want. It makes me respect life even more and always always using force as a last resort and in defense only. I assure you, should you and i ever meet and you want to take the few things i have for yourself it will be the last day of your pathetic existence! People in a bug out situation that carry weapons are for defense. Dont be a taker you’ll live longer!

    • quiet guy
      February 12, 2012 at 2:33 am

      very well stated…

    • Steven1981
      March 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      Not only very well stated, but also people seem to think that just because we enter a SHTF scenario we will not come out of it, and people will not remember those that commited acts of out right murder. As someone that has also served I know that even in times of war, you are responsible for your actions at all times, and people DO remember.

    • Hill billy
      December 21, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      Lots of internet Rambos out there. Talk’s cheap. It takes money to buy whiskey.

      Watch the traffic in any major city on a “normal” day. Then look up images of evacuations when a hurricane is forecast. If you don’t have a crystal ball to predict a sudden event, chances are you’ll “bug in” whether you want to or not. Most of us will be forced into uneasy alliances out of necessity.

    • VARTIALAK NOEVAHIESTUM
      November 24, 2016 at 4:56 pm

      Outstanding comment!

  3. Travis
    December 16, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I am new to this site, I have to say if you have posted or are reading this blog, your heart and mind is in the right place. The best advice I can give you from my personal experiences I am not going to further expound on is this; Have multiple survival bags around your life: appropriate survival packs in the house and all vehicles, CBR bags at the ready FOR EACH PERSON (as this is a probable course of action for those that would do us harm), weapons at the ready (and you better be willing to use them yes over something as trevial as food), and continuous training for your familily and yourself-if you think something is important to train on, it is. Finally, prepare your house, to move means you are in immediate danger or have a more survivable destination. If you are building your house, build it with the frame of mine that if could eventually be your refuge against the world. I am not saying bunker, but I am saying something more than 2×4 construction. Earth Sheltered has the best utility with modern conveniences, but Earth Bermed simply covered is a better way to go. To leave your familiar living situation to attemtp to travel to another location, especially with human baggage, is not prudent or tactically responsible. You better be in mortal danger, no one can transport all the equipment, supplies, and gear for an extended amount of time, on their backs! Prepare your own refuge, and back it up with a viable bug out plan, if you can’t do both, decide which is more important and concentrate your resources towards that end. Hope this helps, I am full of this kind of information, sometimes I can ramble, maybe someone will reflect on what I have said and make appropriate changes to an otherwise ineffective strategy they have put in place for their families.

  4. preparingfortheworst
    December 20, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Thank you to everyone who posted helpful information on surviving a frightening situation. My family has been preparing for several years, but I fear we will never be really ready. Our boys know how to shoot a gun, but they also know that they are only to be used to defend, protect and provide food, never to murder. I would be so disheartened to see them behave in a vicious, heartless manner and take from someone else just for the sake of taking. Just keep in mind that your children will be watching and copying your behavior, so please reconsider killing someone for your own gain. This is not how we would want our surviving species to behave. God bless!

  5. Luis
    December 24, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Based on years of observation/Intel:
    1. CSMO ( collect shit move out) .
    2. Focus on GEAR you can carry on your back ie large ruck sack which is best,
    consider gear that you must have not things you can do without ie, ipods
    laptops, any type of tech ( which has a beacon of sorts, they can track you) .
    Stay with commonly used gear, TP, hygiene gear, etc.
    3. Go somewhere that provides cover and concealment,water,game( not women
    felas ).
    4. MOVEMENT: Travel by night, travel quietly, silence all gear, nutralize all items
    On your person, and gear of any scent, use 550 cord to secure any gear not in
    packed away, wear nothing shiny, leave no trace of yourself where ever you
    sleep, or relieve yourself, always as if you were never there!! If you are with
    one or more people ( not persons) , everyone takes a turn on watch for one
    hour ( security ).
    5. Avoid towns, cities, anywhere there is a lot of people, avoid traveling on the
    hwy, or in wide open spaces, stay out sight!! If you plan on staying some place
    for a while ( cache ) your most valuable gear, acquire backup gear just in case
    you lose it or get rolled!!
    6. COMMON US WEAPONS:
    7.62MM X 39,51
    5.56MM
    9MM
    45cal
    12g ( MOSSBERG 590/M-9 Bayonet )
    Leatherman
    Sharpening stone
    ASP
    Protect helmut
    Binos
    Moro cross body armorial
    Etc.
    7. Help people during your journey, for what you do in life echoes an eternity.
    Kill, steal, do harm to others only as a LAST resort ( What goes around
    comes around ).
    8. NEVER lose your humanity ( Apocalypse or similar ) is no excuse.
    FOCUS ON: AMMO//MEDICAL & DENTAL// HYGIENE GEAR MALE & FEMALE//
    BARTER GEAR//SURVIVAL GEAR//FOOD//WATER & WATER PURIFY GEAR//
    MISC SMALL TOOLS// Do not forget to help others ie women children,
    animals ( Be-friend and acquire a large dog, try and get a horse they don’t
    brake down, and can go places that vehicles cannot, they are also
    good for detecting beyond human senses..

    If you are reading this, you are the resistance, together we survive divided
    we shall fall.

  6. quiet guy
    February 12, 2012 at 2:19 am

    Have a few items always in your car:

    Green Slime. Most disasters with have a lot of debris on the roads, so flat tires will be common. Who’s going to fix it?

    A full tank of gas and extra can of gas. Do you really think a minimum wage gas station employee is going to stick around just so you can fill up?

    Maps of your area. Many roads will be blocked, you’ll needed to know how to get around it.

    Cash. Cash is king. Small bids will be needed, so keep some on hand. If electricity is out, so are ATM’s.

    Self defense. gun, pepper spray, taser, something, anything.

    Toilet paper, bug spray, sun block, bic lighters, water, energy bars, cordage, tarp, knife, pain killers, flashlights, solar radio, blanket, all of these will make a huge difference.

    Your car is the first thing you will jump into and take off, doesn’t it make sense to have a few basic things already in there?

  7. Steven1981
    March 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    I understand that some people write some of these comments for shock factor, that being said, murder even during a SHTF situation will be remembered. As someone who has served and under the rules of war I do know that people do not forget. We will eventually return to some form of normal life with law and order, and in that time, if you are still around, people that remember your actions will push for you to be punished (and they should). And believe me it is not as easy as you think to stare down your sights, or through your scope and pull that trigger. Those that find it easy and it does not bother them, are sick and probably a bigger danger to others than anyone relizes. So if you are not a religious person who believes in te verses that have been quoted think of it from a legal stand point, you will be held to account for your actions, we will not crumble completely as a society, just be adjusted a bit. There will always be laws against murder, and those will even apply to your actions during the chaos. Whether you are judged by God or your fellow man, you will be judged.

    • Steven1981
      March 15, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      I also forgot to mention, in a true SHTF or THEOTWAWKI scenario an estimate of around 35% of people will not make it just based on psychological stress and incompatability with the changes that will be happening, so right off the bat 35% of people will be incapacitited by psychological reasons, that includes even some people who are very well prepared. You never know how you are going to react until you face it. I have been in war zones and opperated almost mechanically (do to extensive training) and yet even I cannot say with 100% certainty that I would not be part of the 35%.

    • Hill billy
      December 21, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      In a time of turmoil, punishment is unlikely to be a prison cell with access to a law library, cable TV, and gym facilities (who ever thought it was a good idea to help violent criminals get stronger?).

  8. Dehydrated Food
    March 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    An easy way to accumulate food for a BOB is to dehydrate canned food. You can do this in an oven or food dehydrator at home. It is a great winter project, since the heat isn’t wasted.
    Pour the contents of a canned food on a plastic-wrap-covered cookie sheet. Spread it out in a thin layer.
    Set the oven to 140 F (or as low as possible). Dehydrate the food completely (until it is brittle), place dehydrated food in a plastic sandwich bag with label showing contents, quantity, date and instructions.
    Store in your refrigerator or freezer door. It is light-weight, easy to use (just add water) and can be eaten hot or cold.
    With the salt content of most canned goods, this food should be well preserved. It will keep in a refrigerator for several years, and in a freezer almost indefinitely.

  9. Anna
    April 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I haven’t seen one thing addressed here – what about the handicapped who CAN’T test out their gear by hiking and can’t hike, no matter what, even in a disaster? We have one campground around here that we MIGHT be able to test our gear out on, but no hiking, using our vehicle only. I actually had all this stuff written out as to my take on it, but I realized it had turned into a dang term paper and no one needed to read all that! :) So what about handicapped ppl? Pray fervently? ;) Which, of course, we do. I want to say, I have NEVER in all these last three years, seen a blog so willing to accept God, His protection of us and His provision for those who, for whatever reason or whenever, have to look to Him in impossible situations. I REALLY appreciate that!

    • Mike
      June 13, 2012 at 7:13 am

      No offense, but I do not believe the ADA has taken into consideration anything in respect to a collapse of infrastructure, or vice versa. This probably needs a section or site of its own to focus on special needs. It does open a whole new subject for discussion requiring some realistic thoughts on alternatives.

      For those that are restricted to only traveling by a specially modified vehicle or ‘arm-strong’ use of a wheelchair, there is something that you will need to think even more about based on your own situation. Strengthening your home defenses and supplies may be your best, if not only option. If you must evacuate and traffic congestion becomes impossible to go further, you will become subjected to whatever the government has come up with to accommodate your needs as best as they can being ‘herded with the masses’.

      If you have a strong family support, that should help alleviate some of the pressures, but if you are on your own, and I do not mean to sound crude, you may be SOL and become a statistic, which leaving your survival in His hands may be just that.

      Who knows, maybe His plan is for you to become actively involved to help come up with a means to help people in similar situations come up with a viable alternative.

      I have family in a similar situation and this has made me think more about it.

      • VARTIALAK NOEVAHIESTUM
        November 24, 2016 at 5:19 pm

        For the handicapped survival will be problematic. My best advice is for them to get moving in their modified vehicles before any official announcement. That way they will have a head start. In my jurisdiction we employed the youth during the summer to conduct a house to house survey for people with special needs. It was supposed to go into a central database. So now is the best time to make sure your government creates a specific plan for people with special needs. At least you will know how to survive on your own. Global catastrophes will likely lead to the demise of government authority. Police and military might even go rogue!
        The handicap issues must be addressed now.
        Senior Citizens Community Living Developments should be in on such vital planning.
        On issue that deeply troubling to me is the fact that there will be cannibalism. The handicap, senior citizens just might end up on some freaks plate!

  10. Mike
    June 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Every SHTF Scenario will be different for every person/family in one way or another; you need to think through what could be the most realistic scenarios that you could face.

    You live on a peninsula that gets quickly congested on a normal weekend. What do you do if you are not on the peninsula?

    You have 300 pounds of food stock piled. What do you do if your house and all your supplies get destroyed from some natural or man-made disaster? Can you carry the 300 pounds of food on your back if you must leave?

    How are you going to get to your supplies or bug-out location if you are thousands of miles away on vacation or business?

    What do you do if you reach your bug-out location only to find that someone else with more ‘resources’ has squatted your location?

    Firearms, if you are allowed to own them will depend on where you are, if you have to go to the mountains where there are bears and other ‘wild’ contenders for the same food, plan on a .44; for personal protection, a .357 also uses .38 rounds, for food gathering, a .22 or better yet a very quiet sling shot or bow with arrows (including fishing arrow). If you are with a group of people forming an ‘extended family’, plan to have common types so ammo can be shared.

    In the end “He who dies with the most toys (supplies); still dies!” The rest is relative to ‘the quality of life.’

    The best planning you can do is to increase your knowledge and skills to survive with as little as possible; in a small stealthy daypack. You will need to blend in with the environment and other lemmings and try not to stand out among the crowd. You cannot lose or be separated from your brain unless like someone else posted has been smoking stuff in their pipe. Except for air travel, you could probably keep your entire daypack kit with you or at least within minutes of you at all times; that along with your knowledge is the best preparation.

    Regularly ‘test your knowledge’ and keep fine-tuning your daypack contents to best optimize your chances.
    Remember the Rule of three’s:
    3-minutes without air, 3-hours without protection from the elements, 3-days without water, 3-weeks without food

    As for me, other than the clothes on my back and good boots I always rotate through, my daypack has:
    A sturdy reliable sheath knife, a folding knife and a multi-tool;
    At least 4 different methods to start fire;
    A 1-1.5 liter cook pot with spoon/spork;
    A metal water bottle that can stand up to boiling water in that fire;
    A decent / reliable water filtration tool;
    A sling shot;
    A wool sweater;
    Compressed wind/water proof jacket;
    Two pairs of wool socks;
    550 paracord;
    Poncho/tarp;
    First/Last-Aid kit;
    Quality Space Blanket (or two);
    Some food to get started with;
    Again, fine-tune to your immediate needs, and test your skills with the equipment at hand.

    • Mik
      June 12, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      P.S.
      On a side note, in my mind, if it gets to the point where I must leave my home, for me, bug-out = I’m planning on never coming back, simply because it might not be there IF I come back.

      • Hill billy
        December 21, 2013 at 10:54 pm

        Some people have an INCH bag (I’m Never Coming Home). I don’t plan to but out except in the most dire situation. Refugees generally don’t have an easy time of it.

  11. BeenThere DidThat
    June 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Get this: If there is no electricity or communication is shut down via Solar Flare / EMP or any other factor, The greatest threat is humans who are not prepared aka:Zombies, They will be on the street looting and looking for food, grocery stores shelves will be wiped out in a day, FOOD STAMPS EBT cards will not work, they will want to take your food, Another good reason to have 3 to 6 months of food where you do not have to leave your home bunker for months. The Zombies will be the first to die, and those that depend on drugs legal or otherwise. Major cities will fall into chaos, and those who are not shot by law enforcement will be imprisoned in FEMA Camps. Then after a month or massive chaos, the rest will be sorting out what next to do. Have at least 5 ways to cook food, stock up on firewood, propane gas, camp fuel, solar ovens, and find mutual sources of fresh water for filtration. Move at night and dress stealthy, and go in groups and cary protection. Bicycles will be very handy, store multi gas cans for a major move out of the area. stock up on food in storage container so you can load them in your vehicle, Guns/ammo, paper county maps, kayaks, canoes, go places where no one can walk to. Take cover and hide out for months, learn to trap, snare, fish, hunt, and learn to identify edible plants list. Today, buy products that you will need for a full year. dozens of tooth brushes, toilet paper, dental floss, and any other product you depend on. Have this all stored in container for easy loading into your vehicle. Back pack with essentials for foot survival. Jerks will be throwing nails on roads and your vehicle will quickly become disabled and create a bottle neck on the highways. DO NOT Follow your GPS, as the GPS will force everyone on the same road. I suggest sit tight for several months and let the freaks and ammatures kill each other during the first month. Today, set up layers of protection in your yard, fences, vertical spikes you can pound in the ground near fences to stop intruders, have already made “NO Tresspassing: Signs already to post if necessary. DO this today, not when SHTF, because everything will be sold off the shelf. Extra axes and saws, any hand tools you need to fix your vehicle, and extra serpentine belt for your auto, extra oil filters, and oil, extra windshield wipers, a CB radio, hand held walkie talkies, a hand held Oregon 550T trail GPS to locate water holes, and hideouts. Think outside the box and roll play situations, and get out there ans bike trail now, hike, back pack and train train train and know all of your gear. Stay safe and see you a few years from now as TWAWKI will be long gone.

  12. wile
    July 29, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    All of the bug out articles I have read, those considering escape routes and those considering the gear to be taken, seem to me to be excluding some very important pieces of gear. The weapons for self defense. I and my children, who have all been trained on their use, will be carrying my handguns, shotguns and rifles. not only will they come in useful in acquiring game to eat but also in the protection of the group. Good luck to all of you in what I see as some very bad times ahead.

  13. Apollo1203
    October 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    I know I’m coming to this discussion late, but I’m curious what some of you might think about an evacuation plan that includes traveling to the nearest military base…I am currently “property of the US Government”, and I only just recently started exploring the pros and cons of making a tactical withdrawal inside the base fence…

  14. Horse
    November 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Is this base empty, evacuated ?
    I’m pretty sure operating bases will not take in refugees
    simply because they will be over run, they have limited supply’s for the current personnel.

    Aside of sitting outside the fence and starving with hope they will toss some food out for you like a dog
    you made the wrong decision.
    Current or retired military they may take in if they are in need of “useful” people.

    Horse

  15. Sara
    March 13, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    I would love to hear some thoughts on my situation. I currently live on a military base with 3 young boys. So question is do you think,assuming house is not damaged, do I stay on post or do I bug out. I am fairly new to prepping but have started. It’s a strange position because I know it’s like a suburb and plenty of people are not prepared but I also know that most have way more training. ..anyway all opinions welcome

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