If you live in a big city and you’ve been reading about survival, you know by now that it will be harder to get out of the city center in an emergency than it would be if you lived in the suburbs or a small town. All you have to do is look at recent events in Europe to see this is true and that you need an evacuation plan.
The capital city of Belgium, Brussels, was under lockdown for days in 2015, with tanks patrolling the streets and people being forced to stay inside. All of this because of a single terrorist who was on the loose after the Paris attacks of November 2015.
The city of Koln, Germany, was the scene of a mass-sexual assault by people who have now been confirmed to be migrants. But the incident caused over 100 women to file complaints. All of this happened on New Year’s Eve.
Now, terrorist attacks and riots aren’t the only things that might get you to bug out. Whatever shape the next disaster takes, riots, traffic jams, and checkpoints will make it difficult for you to escape. While preppers living in small towns or on ranches prefer to bug in if something happens, city dwellers may not have that luxury.
But you can make an evacuation plan that will give you and your family the best possible chance to get out of the city safely. This evacuation plan has a number of aspects to it, all of which are important. Let’s take a look.
Before you get started making an evacuation plan, you need to know what you are working with. Every person has a different home and family life with different assets and liabilities. Some of you might rent your home. You might even live in a high-rise in downtown New York. Perhaps you have children or live on your own. You might have elderly parents or pets. Your income might be $25,000 a year or $60,000 a year.
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With this in mind, there are four primary questions you need to ask when creating an evacuation plan. Each of these will answer the questions above. They are discussed below.
One of the first things you must determine when creating an evacuation plan is how to know if you actually need to leave. So many people plan to stay put, bug in, and defend their home no matter what.
Most preppers will agree that bugging in is the best course of action in most circumstances. However, there are situations in which getting out of the city is a must. You need to be able to determine when these situations arise. You need to set some criteria by which you will determine whether to stay or go.
Roads can be closed by law enforcement, so if you need to evacuate, do it early.
You might have red flag criteria defined for your SHTF evacuation plan. You might have certain situations that automatically call for bugging out, such as a grid-down event, nuclear attack, or pandemic. Or you might choose to bug out when you know the grocery store shelves are empty with no hope replenishment and gas stations are out of service.
The key here is to have these criteria clearly defined and then decide when you should leave if any of them occur or might become a threat. If you leave the city too early, you might jump the gun and find out there was nothing to be concerned about or that you would have been better off staying put.
However, if you leave too late, you might find it is very difficult to get out of town. By then everyone else might have decided leaving the city is the best option and the roads might become clogged.
Or to control the mass exodus and the crowds law enforcement and/or the military might close down the roads.
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You need to ensure that your evacuation plan is ready to put into motion at a moment’s notice. That means making sure of the following:
Don’t forget to always keep your bug out vehicle’s tank of gas as full as possible and never less than half. At the very least, you should have enough to get you to your retreat.
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In addition to the above points, there are some specific things to do when it’s time to flee. These include the following:
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Not everyone has the means to have a cushy bug out location stocked and ready to receive them. If you don’t have a BOL, then do not bug out unless you really have no alternative. In other words, don’t bug out unless where you are has become so unsafe it is better to take your chances on the road. Only you can decide when this will be.
If you don’t have a bug out location, such as a camp, cabin, or the home of a friend or family member, then consider other options. For example, you can go to a campground or a national park.
I would say “no,” but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work toward a solid evacuation plan. Every little thing you do towards being better-prepared counts, even if it’s something as simple as taking a first aid course or buying a hand-crank AM/FM radio. The most important thing is to get started and remember that planning and knowledge can often trump the most sophisticated survival gadget.
Roman is a notable figure in the sphere of emergency preparedness and has been featured in various news broadcasts, publications, and documentaries to weigh in on the subject. He has made multiple appearances on HBO, BBC, CBS, and other media outlets to provide insight on the critical importance of readiness under all circumstances. When he is not hard at work being the CEO of Ready To Go Survival and MIRA Safety, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, shooting, handball, and scaring his neighbors by taking out the trash in full MOPP gear.