Survival Prepping 101 Series Part 7 Pillar Post: Plan Your Evacuation Measures
Everyone likes to think that in a survival event, they could hunker down at home and withstand whatever situation was occurring. But the fact is, sometimes these things are out of your control, and you are forced to leave your current location. This means you need to practice “GOOD” or “Get Out Of Dodge” strategies.
Many people refuse to evacuate during survival situations. For example, many stay behind during hurricanes and end up suffering from the consequences of their decision.
You want to have your evacuation plans ready far in advance so that the minute you get a warning about something, you are able to leave and secure your family and pets in a safe place.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, meaning I will get a small commission for qualifying purchases at no extra cost to the buyer.
Trying to follow the crowd or escape without a plan is a situation that will cause a lot of stress and panic. You may not make the best decisions if you don’t have any evacuation measures mapped out ahead of time.
Not only could something happen in terms of weather events, but you might hear the rumblings of some sort of civil unrest where you are in the crosshairs of an unruly crowd that could place you in harm’s way.
Determine Different Evacuation Measures Based on Time
In some instances, you may have days, or even weeks to plan for something that you feel may happen in the near future. Even with hurricanes, you are given an advanced warning in several days’ notice before you are told to abandon your location and go inland.
If this is the case, you’ll have time to call and plan to stay in a hotel somewhere or with family living further inland. You’ll have plenty of time to pack up your treasure belongings and load them into the car to take with you so that they don’t risk becoming ruined by a flood.
You’ll be able to take your vehicles to a safe location without having to get stuck in a long string of traffic, running the risk of getting stranded with no gas in the middle of a storm.
But there are situations that can arise in the blink of an eye, giving you only enough time to grab but it’s already packed and ready to go and run out the door. You may or may not even be able to take your car in some situations, such as a civil unrest survival event where roads have been blocked and are dangerous to go down.
So, you want different evacuation strategies depending on how much notice you are given beforehand. Always have your bug-out bag ready so that if you need to, you can grab your important documentation and head out the door.
You also want to plan to take your pets with you during the evacuation. Some people have cruelly left their pets behind, leaving them to fend for themselves in a dangerous situation.
Make sure you have cages, leashes, food, and first aid if necessary for your pets so that you can care for their needs as well. You can even create a special bug-out bag or go bag that has items for your pets or your children that are specific to their needs.
Have a Plan for Every Person Based on Locations
Usually, people plan for their evacuation measures based on everyone leaving together from their homes together. But that’s not always how things play out. Sometimes, you might have one spouse at home, another at the office, and children at school, or even multiple schools, depending on their ages.
Read this – Build a Kit from Ready.gov
You might have an entire family spread out across the city, which makes your evacuation measures even more difficult. You have to plan whether or not it would be safer for some of your family to stay put until everyone was in one place, or if you need to have them learn how to get to a safe place on their own where you can all meet up.
This is where it comes in handy to have communication devices that will work in spite of whether or not your cell phone towers are operational. There also needs to be contingency plans for what happens if the rest of the family never arrives home, and when they should leave to meet up or stay in place.
Related – Emergency Communication Survival Gear
Find a Safe Haven Based on Transportation
Your entire family needs to know how to evacuate their current location and get to a safe place, based on the type of transportation you have access to. For example, you may need to escape on foot, and a safe place could be another home, a government building, or even in the wilderness.
Or, it may even be a situation where you drive to another location or fly out of one city to another to escape a potentially volatile survival event. You may have other types of transportation such as a canoe or boat, a bicycle, or even a horse.
Make sure you identify different evacuation routes and plan for them according to what the situation is. If it’s a flood, then it may not be safe to escape on foot. Make sure your family knows where to access laminated maps that you have printed and how to use a manual compass rather than a digital GPS system.
If you are going to evacuate in a car, you need to make sure that you have your vehicle topped off with plenty of gas before leaving. Don’t plan on getting it on the way, because you may find that everyone else has the same idea and you are unable to find the fuel you need to continue on.
Practice Evacuating Under Duress
Not only do you need to teach your family and yourself what to do during an evacuation situation, but you need to practice it as if a true emergency is unfolding. It doesn’t help to simply drive along the same path every day and hope that your children are paying attention.
Without instilling fear in anyone, you need to make sure that they are capable of getting from one point to another, bringing what they need to gather at that time, and seeing what it will be like in terms of the time needed to make those evacuation measures.
Be sure to explain to everyone that there may be a mass rush all at once to get out of one location into another period so there could be a large backup or wait time, whether it’s on the highway or somewhere else.
Evacuation plans are nothing new to children. This is something you can safely teach them just as they teach evacuation measures in school, such as what to do during a fire drill or a tornado.
It’s best if you can make them realistic, with a true rush to get things done so that they understand the urgency involved in this kind of event. You also have to make plans for other members of your family who may not be able to carry out these instructions on their own.
You might have someone who is disabled or elderly or too young to escape by themselves, so you’ll have to have a plan where everyone else picks up the slack and assist them during this time.
You want to make sure that you are not going to overreact and yell at everyone during an evacuation event. You have to keep a calm and cool mindset and demeanor so that everyone is able to get through it with as little stress as possible.
Part of your evacuation plans should include what to do after the immediate threat has passed. Not everyone who has evacuated during a hurricane, for example, has been able to simply go back home and live life as normal.
You want to have your resources printed out so that you know what to do if it is unsafe for you to return home. Or, if you are able to go home and you find damage has occurred to your property and your belongings.
I’m the daughter of 2 original survivalists who moved from the north to sunny Florida. My mother, along with her parents, bought 30 mostly uncleared acres in 1938. The first home was made of pecky-cypress and built by a house-raising. My mother raised 10,000 chickens.
My divorced mother met and married my father in 1948. From pine trees on our property, he hand-built a log cabin. He also built a tarpaper-lined 65’x45′ pool with duck pond overflow. We had an artesian well for our water and powering our hand-built waterwheel for the pool. He built a substantial cantilevered roof workshop with a car pit in the massive cement floor.
Since my early teens, I have read a ton of books about survival, prepping, the bomb, an apocalypse, homestead living, and SHTF situations. As an adult, I continue to read sci-fi, survival prepping, and science. I practice a prepper lifestyle albeit a bit modified, read a lot, buy a lot, pack/store a lot of anything survival related.
Read my About Me post for more details on our self-sufficient living. I lived there until I went to college in 1968.
My SurvivalPrepperSupply.com blog strives to educate individuals on coping with natural and human-caused disasters using article posts about preparing for emergencies.