When disaster happens, will you stay or will you go? How will you decide which to do or when it’s time to do it? If you decide to bug-out, where will you go and how will you get there? There are lots of questions and they require lots of thought, BEFORE ‘it’ happens.
Okay, for the sake of this article, the S has hit the fan and you’ve decided to run, to get out, to bug-out, to ‘get out of Dodge’.
Maybe you were at work when ‘it’ happened and you are about to make your way home. When you think about it, two-thirds (or more) of a 24-hour day we spend at work, away from home. The odds are fairly high that the SHTF could happen while we are at work.
Maybe you were at home when ‘it’ happened and you have decided to bug-out to a place where you believe it will be safer, because you live in a fairly high population density region and you fear the troubles which may come your way because of it. You may be fortunate enough to have a secondary rural retreat, or you may have friends or family that live out in a more rural (less population dense) region who are willing to have you in during the crisis.
In either scenario, how will you get to your chosen place? Answer: You may walk, or more likely you will drive. If you are to drive, hopefully you have thought ahead of time about the following considerations for your vehicle and immediate bug-out plan…
Car in good shape
The last thing you need in an emergency is an unreliable vehicle. Do not put off that maintenance or new tires, etc.
Assume that no gas will be available. You will only get as far as the quantity of gas will allow you to, so always keep your gas tank as full as possible. Try a self imposed rule of filling it when it hits 3/4 tank. Keep spare gas in safe storage or safely in your trunk or the back of the truck. Fuel Stabilizer for long term storage.
Topo maps of your region are a much better aid than just plain old road maps, although road maps are better than nothing at all. Keep a compass with your map, and know how to use it. Maybe GPS… but don’t count on it working in every disaster scenario.
Off-road capability (4WD)
Surmounting obstacles or navigating off the beaten path may prove to be your only way out of some situations. Having a four-wheel-drive vehicle will help drastically in this area.
Emergency equipment in car
Things like flat tire repair kit, duck tape (hose repair), spare belts, oil, water for radiator, tools, tire jack, and other things related to keeping your vehicle running.
72-hour kit in car
This kit is designed to keep ‘you’ running and includes food, drinking water, and supplies to sustain you for 72-hours. A three day supply has been commonly accepted as adequate for a vehicle, assuming that you will either get to your supplied destination by then, or you will be rescued or found by then.
How will you get around any potential obstacles?
If the disaster is weather related, trees or debris may be blocking some roads. Know ways around, or have a chainsaw and winch with you.
During a major disaster ‘event’, most or all roads will be hopelessly jammed. During a bug-out, this will likely be your primary obstacle to getting where you want to go, and will require some forethought so that you stand a chance to avoid this very large obstacle. People are like sheep. They will all flock to the same routes home (or the same routes out of town). Few will have the brains to purposely travel on back roads. Here is a HUGE tip… avoid traveling the segment of a road that comes upon and intersects with an on-ramp or off-ramp of a highway or other ‘major’ road. These will become clog zones – even though you simply intended to cross over or under the highway on your way down that road, you may become ‘stuck’. Look for a way across a highway where there is no highway ‘exit’ there.
Above all, what’s the backup plan if you can’t get through to your destination? Survival preparedness is all about backup plans. For example, do you have a secondary bug-out destination as part of your plan? Do you know how to get there? Have you thought about other means to acquire more gas during your journey? Do you have enough cash to buy what you need during the outset of the disaster while people are still accepting it? Again, there are always lots of questions, and all of them are good ones because they make you think about it. Survival starts with thinking and using that noodle between your ears.