A member of the FORUMS wrote the following in a long and pithy thread on BoBs:
Though folks usually insist that a person "have a plan", there's never an explanation as to what "the plan" is. O.P.S.E.C.? For some, yes, but the most part, it's almost like a "buzzword" that let's others know we're all in the same club.
I suspect that most don’t have a plan. Not a viable one anyway. Certainly not one they have tested. The few that do have a plan are likely loathe to share it due to OPSEC. I have had bug out plans originating from several different places (I moved around a lot in my earlier days) and terminating in various locales. I know and have known several people that have workable bug out plans so I will draw on these to try and flesh this post out a bit. Of course I will change names, locations and some details to preserve privacy but they are real.
The Plan involves:
If you have read this blog for long enough you will immediately realize that we will employ PACE (Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency – multiple options) when we develop The Plan.
Your primary start point is your home – that’s where you spend most of your time and that is where most of your stuff is. Your alternate start point would probably be work or school. Other start points could be wherever you happen to find yourself. If you are planning a three week vacation you may wish to modify your basic plan to suit.
You need to decide now what will trigger your evacuation. Do your own threat analysis. Maybe it’s a big earthquake, or the Yellowstone Caldera, or nuclear war, or imminent hurricane landfall in your area, or….it’s personal. But sit down now and decide what your triggers will be. What if them to death. And then, if your trigger trips – GO! Don’t think about it - you should have already done all the wargaming you required. When the event is happening is not the time to THINK, it’s not the time to DISCUSS, it is not the time to try to GAIN CONSENSUS – it is the time to ACT. Get moving.
This is the key part of the whole plan. If you don’t have a destination you don’t have a plan. Your destination must be viable – it must support/sustain you and yours. Selecting the center of the national forest as your destination will not work. No, it won’t. Not if the only thing there is rocks and trees. You are not Robinson Crusoe. You are not a mountain man and even they had support networks.
Your primary destination should be an area that is outside of the threat danger zone. It should be clear of the problems that made you flee in the first place. One of my destinations is based on the Yellowstone Caldera blowing. If it does we will be moving within an hour to a location outside of the projected ash fall. This location is a friend’s home. He knows we plan on coming. Our home is one of his destinations in the event of problems in his locale. Quid pro quo. The key point here is that both parties need to discuss this aspect of The Plan and know what they are getting in for.
Your alternate destination needs to be in a different geographical area. If something happens to make your primary destination not so nice, you need to be able to go somewhere else. You need to do all the coordination for this location just like for the primary one. And so on for contingency and emergency destinations.
I said you cannot plan on bugging out to the center of the national forest. Let me caveat that – you cannot plan on it if you have not made any prior preparations. I know of a group that has a bug out location in a mountain town. They own a house there that is stocked with needed supplies and they use it as a vacation cabin. They have also ridden horses into the back country behind their house and cached a robust “spike camp”. This is basically tarps and water and food and so on to build a small shanty village in the out back. This is their emergency fallback position.
The best bug out destinations are centered around people. Humans. That you need to talk to. Before hand. You need to develop relationships. This takes effort. This takes time. The vast majority of you are not welcome at Casa Joe during Interesting Times. Nothing personal – we just don’t have that kind of relationship. If you plan of fleeing to Aunt Matilda’s house – make sure Auntie knows what to expect and agrees. If not – you don’t have a plan – you have a wish.
Your route is based on your start point, the conditions surrounding your Trigger, where your Start Point is, and your Destination. Lots of variables, I know. Your primary route should probably be based on the assumption that you are going to get a head start on the masses of fleeing sheep. You will get a head start because you have The Plan and you have your nose to the wind. You will likely (initially) use interstate highways. This is fine for a while.
Your alternate route will probably avoid these sheeple magnets and use lesser travelled roads. It will avoid large concentrations of humans. It may avoid military bases – it depends on your envisioned Trigger. I like military bases for most things – but I can gain access.
You will have several routes (PACE). You should have decision points along each route where you decided to continue as you are, or switch to an alternative route. Say the New Madrid lets go and you plan to travel along Route A. There is a bridge. You will need to decide (now) what you will do if, while driving down Route A you notice the bridge is out. See the Convoy post below to read a bit about scouting out decision points enroute.
You need to spend some time on route selection. When you think you know your routes – drive them. Make notes. If the route is viable then designate it Primary or Alternate or….. Then get good map coverage of the area and mark your routes on the map(s). Use different colored highlighters for different routes – this way, if you are injured, someone else can still carry you along your route. Mark any potential hazards or decision points – then decide how you will address them if needed.
Primary will be your “Bug out Vehicle” (BOV). For most of us this is not the purpose-built Uber Vehicle but our daily driver. It does need to be viable in light of the aforementioned aspects of your plan. Deciding to use your Harley to get from Arizona to Maine in February is probably not a good idea. But hey – the point is to think it out – for YOURSELF. If you plan on getting to Aunt Matilda’s house you better have a way to get there. That rust bucket that can’t make it across town will probably not do.
Alternate means may be another vehicle, or your neighbor’s truck or a train (you are smart and left EARLY) or anything other than your primary vehicle. Other modes could be horse, motorcycle (yeah, I know) or what have you. Your Emergency means will likely be your feet. Your travel mode may affect your routes and location – it all ties together. I was travelling internationally once a long time ago and my personal bug out (get home) plan involved several modes of transportation for each contingency. Perhaps I would drive to the airport and fly home (primary). Perhaps I would take the train to another country, taxi to the airport and fly home (alternate). Or maybe I would book passage on an ocean going vessel with the ample cash I used to carry (it wasn’t mine – it was yours. And I gave it back.) Or maybe I would have to take the long walk to the other side of the continent and hook up with some “friends”. The point here is that each plan (PACE) must stand alone and not depend on any other plan.
Based on what is happening, where you are going and how you are getting there, you need to decide what you will take with you. If you are going to Aunt Matilda’s you may want to ask her what to bring. One of my Destination dudes told me not to worry about guns or ammo or clothes or medical gear – “just bring food”. Another one told me to bring my goats and chickens! I can carry a lot in my primary bug out vehicle. I cannot carry very much on my back. But I have decided what I will carry with each. You need to plan what you will do if you have to say, abandon your BoV and hoof it. This is where BoBs come in – can you access yours quickly?
Which brings us to load plans. After you practice and decide how you are packing and where stuff goes - draw a chart - this will greatly speed up the process of gettign out of Dodge. Make sure you don't bury the jack underneath fifty gallons of water cans...
But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. - Mark 13:14 - 16