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Get the family together and check out all this info about the important things you have to consider before bugging out. It should be a family project. All your loved ones need to know what the plan is for when SHTF. There’s a lot of stuff you need to think through properly. Here’s what my checklist looks like:
#1: Make a detailed plan (+ backup!)
Obviously, it’s impossible to plan for every potential scenario! But still, you must have some clearly defined rules, a pre-planned safe destination where to bug-out, basic instructions for action (where do you grab the bug-out bag from when the alarm is triggered, how do you get to the safe place, how will you communicate with family and authorities and so on).
Write everything down, in specific steps. My advice is: Write a simple, 5-6 points plan scheme that is very easy to follow even by children and pin it to a wall (or door). This way, everyone in the house will know exactly what they need to do when a disaster strikes. Write an all-detail plan as well and discuss it with your family. Keep it close, so you can go through and revise it whenever you need to.
This detailed plan MUST have a backup option, as well, in case plan A falls through. Make sure the backup plan is just as good, detailed and manageable as the main one!
These plans are not set in stone, you’ll have to adapt along the way, but you must sketch it now. You will not have the time and energy or piece of mind to plan things when you’ll need to save yourself and your family.
#2: Pack the perfect bug-out bag
I sure know I’ve been trying to put together the best BOB for a long time now and I think I’ve come to the results I wanted. You can pack it as I’ve advised you here and here and have it ready by the door (one for each member of the family, adjusted to everyone’s needs). Or you can find your own way, if this is not suitable for your family’s needs. You might also want to decide for multiple bug-out bags – one for the home, one to place in the bug-out vehicle you’ll use, one to wait for you at your bug out location.
Just remember: no matter where you’ll bug out, the BOB could very well be the one thing that will keep you alive, so make it the very BEST you can.
#3: Think of a bug-out location
You’ve got your BOB and some first things to do when disaster strikes, but what happens after? Where will you go so that NO harm can touch you and your family? You need to know where you’ll rush in at the sign of trouble. Will you go to a friend’s property, at your grandparents’ old farm house, will you consider to buy your own property to use as a BOL? Here is what you should consider where you’ll go during an emergency:
– what suits you best: a bunker, a safe room, your aunt’s house upstate or your friend’s basement?
– how far away your safe place is and how you will get there.
– previously stock it with enough supplies.
– how many people will the location shelter.
– think of cell phone coverage and other communication possibilities (meaning don’t bug out into extremely wild areas).
– make sure your chosen location is close enough to a hospital or other medical facility.
– it should not share the dangers you are running from.
– don’t go on telling everyone where your bug out location is, keep it private, only for you and your family members
– think of a back-up BOL
#4: When is really the time to act?
I find this the most important part of the process. Because this part is about seeing the big picture and being informed of the (real) risks we are facing, knowing how to identify the signs that tell you trouble’s coming and what to do then.
The truth is you can’t tell exactly WHEN it will happen and due to which event (maybe a new war will start or terrorists attack). So what is the precise moment when you grab your stuff and run?
The best thing you can do is just stay informed. Always keep an update on the events going on in the US and around the world. When you believe it’s time to flee, make sure your BOL is safe from danger. If it’s not, you should consider bugging-in, it might be safer.
All in all, you need the willingness to admit your limitations and to think of what is best for you in the given situation. You might come to the conclusion that you just can’t run out there in the unknown and you’ll stay in.
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