Imagine a widespread disaster taking place while you’re at work – forty miles from home. And for grins, let’s say it’s bad – real bad – maybe even apocalyptic bad.
- We’re talking thousands of detonated dirty bombs bad.
- Or a large scale nuclear attack bad.
- Or maybe it’s widespread biological warfare.
- Possibly an out-of-control, highly deadly pandemic (something even worse than COVID 19)
- Perhaps civil unrest turns into violent mobs and morphs into all-out civil war – a bloody revolution of sorts.
The sort of disaster where you know immediately (and so does everyone else) that epically bad times lie ahead…
Widespread panic erupts, and a mass hysteria begins. Highways clog instantly. Bridges close indefinitely. Gas stations are on E-cars get stolen – grocery stores are empty.
It’s like a modern-day Road Warrior out there where anything goes – and you were having such a great day…*sigh*.
Now that I’ve laid out the situation, I have three simple questions for you:
- What’s your family’s survival plan?
- What happens if they’re forced to evacuate before you get home?
- What’s your “get home” plan?
Most families don’t have a disaster communication plan – especially not one for such an emergency. While we can’t foresee the specific conditions we’ll encounter in an emergency, we know our basic needs.
These basic needs are why we prepare. It’s why we stockpile food kits, medical supplies, ammunition, etc. That being said, having stockpiles is essential, but may be of no use if without a disaster rally plan!
Pre-Planning Is Key To Disaster Survival
Plan to survive, and you’ll survive the plan.
With no plan – you’re rolling the dice and assuming your family will know what to do in the heat of the moment – those first hours when emotions overtake logic when conditions are chaotic and smart decisions matter.
Figuring out a “plan” after you’re in the thick of it and under stress will lead to poor choices and likely disaster.
So let’s consider a few things, shall we?
Let’s assume you’ve got all your survival gear ready. Extra food’s been stockpiled, bug out bags are packed, and weapons are locked and loaded. But it’s all at home – the place you spend only about 50% of your time.
Now let’s say this major disaster happens to occur at 10:37 AM on a Tuesday. So it’s a time when most kids (or grandkids) are at school.
Your spouse works at an office 5 minutes from home, which is good, but you’re forty miles away on the other side of town.
Today you happen to be working on a remote job site, and your home is in the burbs – an hour away when traffic is flowing.
Disaster struck. You hear about it from your boss, who caught it on an emergency radio broadcast.
- How do you get home?
- How does your spouse get home?
- Who gets the kids (or grandkids)?
- Are the roads already a parking lot?
- Are the bridges closed?
- Has martial law been declared?
- Is mass transit running?
- Is the city under quarantine?
You’ve spent countless hours working on your disaster plans. You’ve prepared the most detailed contingency plan your imagination could conjure.
You know ahead of time if you’re going to stay OR go. You’ve got food for months and firepower at the ready – just in case.
You may even have a remote bug out location setup – but these efforts are all for nothing if you can’t get home first!
- So what’s the fastest way home?
- What if you can’t get home?
- Perhaps your hometown gets evacuated before you get there?
- What if looting becomes widespread in these vacated neighborhoods?
Government To The Rescue?
Our first inclination is to assume the Government will take care of things. That they’ll watch over and protect your family during a neighborhood evacuation, right? Does that sound good to you?
Under small localized natural disasters, FEMA or the National Guard will step in to help.
So you might think you can always rely on the Government. Sure, they’ll help you find where your family is being housed post-evacuation.
But what if the threat is much worse? Again, what if it’s widespread and overwhelming?
The Government may or may not be the good guys. And, frankly, they won’t have the resources to account for everyone anyways.
- Did the Government do a good job of protecting the people during Katrina?
- Did you know during the Korean War, families were separated intentionally?
It took families several decades (yes, decades) to find each other again. Why? Because the very fabric of society and their communications were so severely disrupted.
As an example, here’s a quote I found from a major newspaper from 1983:
“The two [sisters], now both in their 60’s, had not seen and heard from each other in more than 30 years, since shortly after the start of the Korean War in June 1950.”
We currently live in an era where all it takes is the press of a button to talk to your spouse. The current expectation is immediate, reliable communication.
But what if an electromagnetic pulse destroyed this convenient communication? Or electrical lines were fried by a series of coordinated nuclear detonations?
Sure, you can try walking into a Government building – assuming it survived – and ask for help. But they may be in no position to help you.
They (like you) are facing personal devastation. Our “leaders” and first responders are also worried sick about their families and would rather help their loved ones (not you). On top of that, they’ll be flooded with requests from thousands of unprepared souls.
Trying to help everyone but really helping no one.
We live in an era where we expect the Government to take care of us. To fix it – but they won’t be in a position to do so in a real crisis.
So What Should You Do?
- Start planning today
- Carry a get home bag tomorrow
First, look at a map of your local area and examine possible routes home – especially the remote ones.
Consider how long it will take in the worst case to walk that distance – days?
Second, plan and pack a “get home” bag with essential survival supplies to help make it back to home base.
A few more difficult questions to consider:
- Are there enough water sources and food packed for a multi-day cross-country trek?
- Have you packed the right tools and weapons to ensure you make it home alive?
- And if it does take you several days, what’s the rest of your family doing?
- Are they to wait? Are they to leave? Where will you meet them?
- Who’s in a position to get the kids or grandkids? A relative or neighbor who lives nearby?
- Do they know they’re responsible for your kin? Are you comfortable with this?
What happens if you walk three days, make it home, only to find an empty house? It was looted clean with your dog dead in the front yard – now what do you do? Now, where do you go?
It finally sinks in that things won’t ever be the same, not after three full days of complete anarchy.
Putting A Real Emergency Disaster Plan Together
So at the very least, you need to figure out how to get home and ensure once there, there’s something useful remaining. Such as food, firearms, and medical supplies.
You need to coordinate details with your loved ones on what to do in these circumstances.
Create a list of places they should go if you’re not home, and they’re forced to leave.
You also need a plan to get to these places as well. Decided ahead of time who will be traveling to whom and the exact locations.
Answers to these questions are your family’s short-term disaster rally plan. It’s essential for the first few days or weeks post-disaster. But, if you get entirely separated, and these short-term plans fall apart – it’s time to fall back on your long-term rally plans.
You need to develop a three-month, six-month, and one-year rally plan. What are these, you ask?
It’s a rally plan in the case of long-term separation. It’s your family’s last resort reconnection plan.
For example, agree on a plan to meet at a known location (be specific) on the first day of each month at high noon. Keep trying this location for the first three months – the more remote, the better.
If no one shows in the first three months, have a second location picked out for the first day of the sixth month.
Again, if no one shows, plan a place for the one-year anniversary at a third predetermined location.
For these worst-case disasters, don’t pick locations close to each other.
If the first one happens to be in the middle of a radiation-contaminated death zone – no one’s going to show, OK – move to location number two immediately.
Make sure the six-month and one-year locations are in vastly different places and under totally different conditions.
Maybe the first rally site is ten miles from home. The six-month location might be a familiar small town a hundred miles away. The one-year place needs to be even further – the other side of the state or another state entirely.
Avoid major cities. Small towns are OK; rural locations are best. Places your family is familiar with like a remote campground.
The bottom line is to develop a comprehensive survival rally plan. One to ensure you find your family in a worst-case scenario.
- Get out a topographical map. Choose three safe locations.
- Visit those sites, ensure they look as good in person as they do on your map.
- Communicate these sites and rally plans with your loved ones.
- Write the rally plan out, so everyone knows it, and there’s no chance for miscommunication.
While survival rally plans might seem extreme to some, it may be the only way to find your family again.
It may be your only reconnection hope if we’re thrown back to the use of smoke signals and drums as communication devices.
It’s family – they’re worth it.
“Just In Case” Jack
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