A serious emergency triggers several decisions for a survivalist.
The main question is whether or not it’s better to bug out or hunker down.
But overlooking this one survival plan could leave you in the lurch in the face of a disaster.
Knowing when to hunker down or bug out is essential to being a survivalist.
If you do choose to bug out, you’ve likely got a bug out location and a well-stocked bug out vehicle.
However, one aspect of bugging out that’s easy to overlook is the evacuation route.
Many people may know exactly how to get to their bug out location under ideal circumstances, but ‘ideal’ and ‘SHTF’ typically do not go together.
Optimal preparation means you’ve carefully crafted an evacuation route that has multiple alternates.
If you live in a city and an emergency strikes such as a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, your chief route out of the city could be entirely gridlocked.
You may need to find a route out of town that’s off the beaten path.
This might include back streets, lesser-trod highways, and out-of-the-way freeway connections.
And depending on your area and vehicle, it could even include off-roading or boating.
A bug-out ATV or boat could be absolutely lifesavers in congested cities where the roads might be completely untenable.
It couldn’t hurt to look into what those options might entail if your environment calls for it.
No option should be off the table when you and your family’s safety is at stake.
In order to craft an evacuation plan, you need to know several variables for all of your possible routes.
For example, you need to know if there’s any planned construction on a freeway ramp or significant stretch of road.
If flooding is a problem in your area, know which streets or bridges are most susceptible to flooding and how you can navigate around them.
It’s good to have a paper map on hand, but you should also have a reliable GPS system.
Both tools have strengths and weaknesses.
A paper map may be outdated and not have smaller roads illustrated.
It also can’t give you real-time traffic updates.
However, being too reliant on GPS can get you in serious trouble.
People who are too dependent on GPS lose their sense of direction, and may not realize their GPS is leading them in the entirely wrong direction.
Or the GPS might tell you to turn left when you’re on the freeway, not realizing that the freeway is driving over an access road with a traffic light.
Test out each route ahead of time so there won’t be any surprises.
Take note of how many gas stations there are, or any other locations that could be beneficial to your survival.
It may not be a bad idea to ask locals how congested the route can get at various times of day, and if extreme weather in different seasons affects the roads.
If you go the extra mile in planning your evacuation route, it will pay off majorly in a SHTF emergency.