Don’t you wish we could know the future? At times I do. I have two sixteen-year-old children. There is a lot that will more than likely happen over the next two years. There are some things about the next few years that I would love to know now. The day before the Ferguson Riots broke out, I had no idea what was going to strike. The day before the Ferguson Tornado, we had no idea what would happen. We don’t always know what tomorrow will bring, so being ready to leave quickly is very important. That being said there are things we can do ahead of time to make having to bug out much smoother.
I’ve broken these fifteen things down into three categories: Planning, Preparation, and Implementation.
1.) Who Will You Stay With?
Write out a list of people from as close as 5-10 miles away to 200 miles away that (1) you would be willing to stay with (2) would be willing to keep you.
Sometimes you don’t have to bug out far from home. Both with the tornado and with one of the times with the riots, we ended up staying 5-10 miles from home. But you also need to have a place where you can go in case of a regional disaster like a hurricane or a nuclear plant meltdown. You also need to have multiple options in case people are out of town or something about their situation changes.
2.) Four ways out of dodge
Find four ways away from your house – one in each direction. None of them should require you to take a main road. Send a list of these evacuation plans to someone who you determine as an emergency contact.
As you look for these evacuation routes, make sure that you run each of them several times. Make sure that they are not through flood-prone areas or over low lying bridges. Once you’ve decided on the routes and run them, mark them on a map and send them to your designated emergency contact.
Make sure every member of your family has sturdy shoes and KNOWS where they are.
You might laugh at the second half of this statement, but if you have young children, you know where I’m coming from! Like I suggested in my last post, most of the time bugging out will take place on in a vehicle. From time to time, you may need to walk. Make sure everyone has shoes that are sturdy enough and comfortable enough to walk in.
4.) Write out a list of items that don’t stay in your bug out bag but they need to come with you.
Write out a list of things that need to come with you if you need to evacuate/Bug out. These are things that wouldn’t be kept in your BOB. This might be things like documents, sentimental pictures, gold and silver, firearms, jewelry, cell phone chargers, pillows. Keep this taped to the inside of one of your cabinets.
5.) School evacuation policy
Do you have a child in school? You should check in with your school about any evacuation policies that they have in place.
6.) Assign tasks to different family members.
Do you have several children older children? Assign tasks to each of them specifically. They can help you get out of the house quickly and efficiently.
7.) Set up an emergency communication plan.
An emergency communication plan at the most basic level is having someone outside of your area code who everyone in your family can call them if you get separated, that person can relay messages. The reason that you need someone outside your area code is when you call someone inside your area code you are both tying up different cell towers. Sometimes if you are calling someone outside of your area code and only one cell tower near the emergency is tied up, your call will go through.
So find someone outside of your area code who is willing to relay messages between parties and make sure that everyone programs this number into their phones AND writes the number down to keep in their wallets or purses in case you have to use someone else’s phone.
8.) Gather all your important documents
About four years ago, I got a hold of a list of documents which should be included in an emergency binder. I started putting it all together. I was amazed at just how much space it was taking up in the binder. It was truly amazing. I now have a 3″ zippered binder that I use to keep copies of all our important documents. It’s hard to close because it’s so full. Want to know what to include in your emergency binder? This post gives a detailed list of items to keep in that binder to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. You can find a check sheet with everything that should be included in your binder in our printable library. In order to get access to that, you will need to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. You can find that either on the sidebar or just below this post.
9.) Gas Tank
Keep your gas tank at least half full. Okay, say it with me – DUH. Yea, but should be said nonetheless
10.) New Definition of “Take Out”
Put together a tote of shelf-stable food that your family will eat will last your family for up to three days.
Keep a case of water ready to go at a moment’s notice
12.) Bug Out Bags
Put together a BOB for each family member AND all pets. We’ll have an article on BOB shortly
13.) Prepare your home as best as possible to safely return.
Here’s a sample of one of the checklists that we put in our Printable Library. This preparing your home for you being gone for a week or more. Perfect for bugging out.
14.) Call your emergency contact.
Let them know which evacuation route you plan on taking. If you don’t have all of your family with you and you can’t contact them, let them know.
15.) Practice Practice Practice
Don’t just assume that you’re going to be able to pull this off the first time you try it. Run a bug out drill and time it. Then ask everyone who participated, what went well; what went wrong; what could be tweaked to make it better. Then after a day or so, run it again. See if you can beat your time, and ask yourself the same questions. Keep at it until you’ve got it down to a comfortable time.
What about you?
Do you have any tips and tricks for bugging out? Anything that you could share to help everyone else out? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment below.
Together let’s Love, Learn, Practice, and Overcome
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