Get out of Dodge

The faster you can get out, the better your chances of making it. Roads will quickly become congested. Decide how much time you have to get rolling and stick to it.

This is a list of tasks to perform before you leave your home during an evacuation. Do these in order as time allows. If you must leave immediately, do so. It’s not worth it to risk your life. Get your gear, your family, your pets, and GET OUT! Now it’s time to start PLAN “B.”

• Everyone has their Go-Bag
• Fill water containers to take with you – If possible, bring your water collection system with you. Fill it with supplies.
• Make sure all batteries are charged before you leave (for portable devices)
• Check weapons and ammunition (it’s a bad idea to leave these behind)
• Listen to radio or TV if possible for road closures and delays
• Everyone should know the destination AND the route
• Discuss “Plan C” route and destination in case your secondary location is inaccessible.
• If possible let your out-of-area contact (OAC) know that you are on the move to your secondary location
• Everyone should have contact and family info pack
• Pet Go-Bags
• Make sure everyone is dressed for the conditions along the way and at the destination
• Secure your valuables before you leave
• Fill bath tub with water and lightly chlorinate

Stay tuned for the next part in the EVACUATION SERIES

Are you still here?

We pick up where we left off yesterday. You’re running short on time to get out quickly and safely. Prioritize ahead of time. People rarely think rationally in a crisis. If you plan ahead and stick to the plan, you will be much more effective.

Bring as much food and water as space will allow
• Bring your L.FAK (people don’t know what this stands for yet….write it out)
• Bring as much of your Home Kit as possible
• Fill vehicles with fuel as needed and bring what you can with you.
• Clean and bring your latrine kit and toiletries
• Secure all loose gear
• Check tires and fluids
• Turn off your home utility mains in this order – GAS, then WATER, and then POWER
• Take a head count. Then do it again
• Take a third look at the supplies you are leaving behind…are you sure you won’t need that?


Tomorrow we will have some info for what to do while you’re on the move

They see me rollin’

We’ve covered what to do before you get in the car and get going. Now lets talk about what to do after you pull out of the driveway. You should have had a destination planned well in advance. Really, you should have 3 destinations planned. You should have a friend or family member, who lives at least a couple hundred miles from you, established as your OAC (Out of Area Contact). Your OAC will be there to leave messages with. Your whole group needs to know how to contact your OAC. Should you become separated or have family converging from other areas, your OAC will be an important part of getting everyone to the CORRECT destination. You need a plan in place in the event that your OAC is unreachable. You should have a list of your destinations in order of importance. #1 on the list is the first place you will head in an emergency. If that location is not safe or inaccessible, move on to location #2

Keep your eyes open!!! Hopefully you aren’t traveling alone. You’ll need one of two things; a rested back -up driver to take turns with and /or a good navigator and spotter who can keep an eye and ear out for trouble. Listen for news reports about traffic or trouble on your route. Have good maps that cover your entire journey. Highlight alternative routes ahead of time. If you must stop for rest or repairs along the way, keep a person on security detail. Take shifts. Its difficult for trained professionals to remain hyper-alert for more than a few hours at a time. Once you have arrived (hopefully safely and intact) at your destination, leave one person on security while you get unpacked. Get them to a vantage point where they can see trouble coming.

Now that you have arrived at your safe destination try to get a handle on how long you will have to stay there. Is it a week? A month? Is it your new home? Having these answers ahead of time may help you keep your sanity. Try to listen for news reports if available.
Settle in but don’t let your guard down.

Tomorrow we will cover what to do when it is safe to return home in
The Journey home.

The Journey Home

They’ve sounded the all clear. Now what do you do? Review the list of what to do when you leave home. You should follow the same steps. Fill your water containers, gather food for the trip, charge batteries, check fuel levels, repack your Go-Bags, stow your gear, take care of utilities, check the news and weather, notify your OAC, you know the drill. Gather the family and pets for a last head count and load ’em up. Remember to have your alternate destinations and routes planned. You never know, YOUR home or neighborhood may not be safe yet. Gather as much information as possible. Try to call neighbors or friends to get report on local conditions. Depending on what caused you to hit the road, you may have a longer more difficult drive home. Be prepared for long waits in traffic. Water, snacks, games, and family stories will help you pass the potential long hours with your sanity intact. Keep an eye out for opportunists. People posing as stranded but hoping to take advantage. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop to help but keep an eye out for trouble and maybe have a family member pull guard duty.
Just remember… People do crazy things when there is no danger. Imagine what they would do in a disaster. Stay safe, stay positive, and be prepared.

Check back tomorrow for
What do you do when you FINALLY make it home.

All Quiet on the Western Front!!!

So, you’re in the home stretch. You can see your street ahead. There’s a bright ray of sunshine beaming down on your house, beckoning you home. WAIT!!! Don’t just rush in and jump in a nice hot shower! You have no idea if hooligans are up to shenanigans in your absence! Approach your neighborhood with caution. Look for signs of damage, looters, fire and other emergency vehicles, utility vehicles making repairs. Don’t just rush in. Get a feel for what’s going on and if it looks safe proceed to your house. Don’t pull straight into the driveway. If possible get a look at your home. Does it look like it did when you left? I understand that you left in a hurry, but does anything look out of place?
If all is well, carefully approach. Do a perimeter walk for three reasons; look for damage (man made or otherwise), look for signs of intruders, and smell for gas leaks.
If everything is ok, go on in. If not notify authorities and leave. City resources are probably stretched pretty thin so response time will be insane. Better safe than sorry.
Here is the list

-Inspect for structural damage
-Check for downed power lines
-Turn OFF the gas valves for the appliances, water heater, and furnace if possible.
-Turn ON main gas valve and smell for leaks in and around the home
-Turn on appliance and furnace valves one at a time and light pilots as per manufacturers instructions – if you don’t understand EVERYTHING in the instructions, call a professional.
-Turn on power and check for tripped breakers, as well as, GFIC breakers or outlets. This is a good indicator of electrical damage.
-Turn on water and inspect for leaks in and around the home

Check both cellular and landline phones for service.
-Notify your OAC that you have arrived at your destination

Now that your home is settled, go see if you can help your neighbors. Crisis is the time to draw your community together. Share your knowledge and skills but keep quite about your supplies and gear unless you TRULY trust them. If you aren’t a little careful here your home might be the Motel 6 during the next emergency. Your supplies probably can’t support the entire neighborhood.
While you’re helping outside the home, leave family members to work their way down this list.

•IF the situation appears secure – secure your firearms properly
-If water is functioning: fill containers, bath tub (if not already or if not in a Water BOB), and begin filtration – just because the water is on, doesn’t mean it’s safe. Check the news for reports of water quality.
– If power is functioning: charge cell phones, radios, batteries, etc…
-Refill fuel if possible and add preservative
-Listen to radio, TV, or weather band for news or updates to the situation
-Make any repairs that may be necessary to secure your home
-Now that your home is secure, check on neighbors, friends, and notify your out of area contact that you are home
-Restock food and filtered water supplies
-Make a list of items used and replace them as soon as possible
-Make a list of items you would have liked to have on hand and add those to your notebook and to your kit.

I hope you found this “TOPIC OF THE WEEK” informative and helpful.


  1. This is really good information that everyone should know. Thank you for this

  2. everyone should read this and be ready…sadly most will not

  3. Due to these articles (with some personalization for our particular needs) luckily we had a plan when, in June 2016, we had to evacuate due to a wildfire. It was NOT a perfect plan, nor was it perfectly executed. We learned what needed to change, but we had a plan and it was a HUGE help! I felt like I was going overboard when I was making it, and figured people would call me crazy – yet I still made it. Our circumstances and physical location have changed recently and we need to update our plan, but it’s still useable with just a few tweaks. Thanks for this, it truly was and is invaluable!!!!

    • I’m glad you’re in your new place and I’m honored to have been a help to your planning. Good luck on the reworking of your plan for the new place. Feel free to email me if you have any questions or if I can help on any way.


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