Once a crisis hits your city, you need to move fast if you want to stay ahead of the masses. People will rapidly start to panic as chaos takes hold, and you’ve decided that your home is no longer safe. It’s time to bug out. The big question now is how long is it going to take you? Your best chance to beat the traffic and get out safely is to be fast. Once people are panicking, the streets will be congested, and getting stuck in the middle of a riot (or even a traffic jam) is not ideal. Personally, I am rather proud of my survival skills, and to put these to the test our experts at APE Survival did a trial run last week, to see how long it would take each of us to evacuate out homes in a mock-crisis. Once I had loaded everything I needed into my truck, from the medication, important documents, water, food, weapons, gear, and the time it took to find particular items that were strewn all over my house, I was shocked. It took over an hour till I was ready to leave with my family. In a crisis when every minute really does count, this is unacceptable. Here’s the steps I took in order to cut down the preparation time, and bug out faster.
Plan it out Sit down and write out a checklist that details everything you need to achieve before you evacuate. This should include packing lists (so you don’t miss any important items), and you can also assign certain responsibilities to members of your family, so they can help. Many hands make light work, and you want to ensure everyone is focused on getting the gear and supplies you need packed into your car. Depending on the amount of space in your car, make sure your packing list contains all of the necessary items first, and if there’s any room left you can grab a few luxury items at the end.
Pack in advance The more organized you are before a crisis the better. Of course, my bug-out-bag is always ready to go, but what I was missing was the supplies and gear that I would need in my bug out location. Pre-packing these means you aren’t trying to figure out meals in advance, as deciding what to actually take from my pantry took up a significant amount of time. Prepare at least four week’s worth of food and gear into crates that can be easily picked up and loaded into your car. Storing items in your car can save you time, but don’t put food in there. The heat will drastically reduce its shelf life. On a similar note, make sure you’ve always got over a half a tank of gas, as well as extra stored in your garage should you need it to reach your bug out location. This saves you having to make another stop along the way, and keeps you away from the crowds at the pump.
Know your routes Being agile is the key to staying safe, and knowing a handful of different routes to reach your bug out location is fundamental, should your first choice be blocked or too risky to attempt. When you’ve preplanned this, you can make changes on the fly, without risk of getting lost along the way. I’ve also got a map that I keep in my glove box with several different routes to my bug out location clearly marked, and I’ve driven each several times so I am familiar with each. The more options you know, the better your chances of survival.
Stay stocked up In a crisis, there will not be any time to pop into the grocery store for ‘just a few things.’ It’s already too late. Make sure your pantry is filled with enough food and supplies to keep your family alive for at least a month. I dub this my ‘minimum’ stock level, and I never have less food than this in my home. Should a disaster hit, the last thing we are going to be worrying about is what we’re having for dinner.
Sort your bug out location To minimize what I need to pack in an emergency, I’ve already stocked my bug-out location with an assortment of non-perishable items. Weapons, tools, gear and bedding are all prepared and ready, and there’s even a little food stored that won’t go bad for a long while, and an off-the-grid water source. This means that I don’t need to worry about bringing much else when I bug out, apart from my family, food, and our important gear. I also have an alarm system setup, to help protect my bug out location in the interim, and a couple of backup caches hidden on the property should my primary stores get raided before we arrive. My motto is you can never have enough backup plans.
Setup interim caches Just like you need multiple routes to reach your bug out location successfully, having multiple caches along the way makes good sense. If your bug out location is compromised or it takes you far longer than planned to reach it, having these caches gives you additional supplies and gear, which can be easily accessed along your alternate escape routes. Again, make sure these are secure and/or hidden along the route, and use them to bolster your own supplies. Just never rely on a cache still being intact once a crisis has hit, you never know if you’re going to get there too late. Follow these six steps and you’ll be able to evacuate your home so much faster should a crisis hit. I sat down and wrote out a detailed plan, checklists and got my pre-packing in order, and in our follow up dry run that I did over this weekend, my family was ready and in the car in just 7 minutes. I’m going to work hard to improve this time (I want it under five), but it’s already miles ahead of where we were last week. At this rate, we’re going to be arrived and unpacking in our bug out location in the same amount of time it took us to just leave the house. That’s how my family is going to stay ahead of the pack, and survive. How about you?