We talk a lot about the two possible scenarios you will face if a disaster strikes. One is hunkering down in your home, which is preferable if it is a possibility. The other is bugging out if that’s what the situation dictates. This would be a major inconvenience, but would be much more doable if you have bug-out bags packed and ready to go.
What we don’t talk about as often is being as prepared as possible to leave your home in a hurry. It’s one thing to receive a four-day warning about an approaching hurricane, but it’s quite another to get a four-second warning about an earthquake or a terrorist attack.
If the average family found out they had only a few minutes to get out of Dodge – even if they had bug-out bags packed and ready – they’d be running around their home like chickens with their heads cut off. The key to being able to leave your home very quickly in an emergency is thinking about it in advance and having a step-by-step to-do list posted that you can follow.
Why is it important to get out quickly? Well, the crisis itself might make that necessary. But even if it doesn’t, it might be an emergency that puts a lot of cars on the roads right away. So, any head start you can get on people in your town will allow you to escape while they end up getting stuck in traffic because they waited too long. And if you have to make a quick stop for gas or food, you’ll be able to get to a gas station before they start long lines build up and you can get to a store before the shelves go bare.
There’s going to be a lot of panicking going on when people have to bug out in a hurry, but following a checklist will keep you and your family from wasting time trying to think of what to do next as you prepare to get out of your house. Here are some of the things you’re going to want to include on your checklist, most of which you can move quickly to your car:
- Turn on a radio so you can listen to emergency broadcasts.
- Grab evacuation maps with different routes that you have prepared.
- Grab any bug-out bags you have prepared, including the ones for pets.
- Grab your emergency food supply that you’ve stockpiled.
- Grab water containers that you’ve stored.
- Grab other essential items that are not in your bug-out bags.
- Grab the batteries that you have charged for just such an occasion.
- Grab any weapons and ammunition you have in your home.
- Grab any coats or extra clothing you think might be needed.
- Place your pets in their cages and put them in your vehicle.
- Turn off your home utility mains – gas, water, power.
- Lock up your home to the best of your ability.
- Once you’re in your vehicle and on the way, grab your contact list and make sure they know where you are headed.
While reading through that list, did you find any items that you haven’t already considered and prepared for? If so, work on getting those ready so you can just grab them when the time comes. It will make a world of difference if you ever have to bug out quickly.