A handy infographic for you today. So something’s going down and you need to bug out – but what exactly should you do? This checklist gives you the steps to get home safely!
I’ve also put this into .pdf format so you can download it and print it out. Click here for the .pdf!
Breaking down the bug out
As always, step one is the most crucial. Decide to act. You can’t get home safely if you’re dithering about whether it’s really an emergency or if you’re just overreacting.
Getting your gear together is the next step – everything you can reasonably carry or shove in your car should come along. You can always dump things as you go if you find it not useful. One sneaky trick if you’re walking (and *only* use this in a time of true crisis, as it’s technically theft) is to grab a shopping cart and load your gear into it. Mr. WPW has a folding handcart in his car. It’s designed for moving file boxes and I think we got it at Sam’s Club. Doesn’t take up much room, but it will be very useful to carry his gear should he have to walk home.
Most preppers say you should never let your car get below half a tank of gas. Yeah. Um… I am a slacker here. I know this will come back to bite me in the butt should the power be out in a large area or if prices suddenly skyrocket. With any luck, in all but the most extreme situations I should have time to gas up before hitting the road.
Know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Plan for there to be road closures and traffic jams. Have a physical map (that you replace with an updated one every couple of years) so you can find your way should your cell phone or GPS not work.
The next item falls under the category of “don’t be stupid”. People will panic in an emergency. They’ll switch lanes without warning, try to drive on the median or in the emergency lane, and they’ll zig zag in and out of traffic thinking that being one car length ahead will get them home that much faster. Don’t be one of those idiots. Drive safely and cautiously. When I started driving my father gave me one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard. “No sudden changes in speed or direction.” I still repeat it like a mantra when driving in bad weather.
Once you get home, stay inside! You don’t want to add to the chaos on the roads by trying to run errands. Also, if multiple people are coming home, you don’t want them wondering what happened to you. Stay in for at least the rest of the day, longer if possible and/or necessary. Listen to the news, inventory your preps, secure your location, or just read a book and wait for the storm to pass. Just stay out of the cluster that will be the roads in an emergency.
More to the story
Of course so much more can be said about bugging out. I didn’t cover “get your people” – if you have kids in school, prepping partners, or friends you’re taking with you that will add several steps. This also supposes that cars are working and usable – a major blizzard would put a real crimp in driving home. How would you need to alter this if you had to walk home? But the general steps are applicable across the board and can be tweaked to your individual situation. Use this as a jumping off point for your planning.
I hope you find this infographic useful! Please feel free to share it – and tell me here what steps you feel are crucial to bugging out!