There’s a reason why big cities come to mind when we think of terrorist attacks or natural disasters. Any kind of a large-scale attack will always inflict more damage and tragedy on a city because of the massive increase in population. It will affect more people, creates more chaos, and deal the largest economic blow.
But you can survive a major disaster in a city — whether it is natural or man-made — even if you’re in the middle of it. That’s not to say that evacuating a city won’t be dangerous, but it is to say that your chances of survival increase dramatically if you simply know what you’re doing.
Here are 10 tips for escaping a city when a crisis strikes:
Tip No. 1 – Know every evacuation route possible.
Many people have an evacuation route planned from their home to a destination outside of the city, but most also fail to have a backup evacuation route, and even a backup route to the backup route, and so on.
The truth is that you need to know every single evacuation route possible from your house to your predetermined rendezvous point (which we’ll get to a minute). This way, when one route fails, you still have backup options so you aren’t stuck.
Tip No. 2 – Have a predetermined rendezvous point.
Your destination or rendezvous point is where you will meet up with your other friends and family members. This destination can be anything from a bug-out location, to a family member’s house, to a secret hideaway that only you know about (such as a natural landmark).
What’s important is that there be multiple routes from your home to this destination and that it be within driving distance.
Tip No. 3 – Practice driving to your rendezvous point.
Not only should you be aware of all of the possible routes to your rendezvous point to your house, but you should practice driving them, as well. Pretend that one route fails and you now have to detour to the other route. You should get to the point where you know each route by heart and without having to read a map or GPS.
Tip No. 4 – Plan out different scenarios.
You never know when disaster will strike, meaning you don’t know if you will be at home, at work or elsewhere. You could be at work, one child could be at school, another could be at piano lessons, your spouse or significant other could be visiting with friends on the other side of town, and so on.
The point is that you need to have a plan for every scenario. You’ll likely need to come up with new routes and backup routes in order to accommodate these scenarios. What’s important is that you get everybody out of the city safely and quickly, so make sure your plans reflect that.
Tip No. 5 – Have a bug-out vehicle.
Your bug-out vehicle needs to be a real bug-out vehicle. It can’t just be any ordinary car. It needs to be an AWD vehicle that is capable of driving over rough terrain, it needs to be well-maintained, and it needs to be big enough to carry each family member and your bug-out supplies. Trucks and SUVs are commonly favored.
Tip No. 6 – Make sure each family member has a bug-out bag.
Most homesteaders and survivalists are fully aware of the importance of having a bug-out bag/survival kit, but far fewer recognize the need for each family member to have a personalized one.
Make sure each bag is ready to go and easily accessible so you can grab them in a jiffy. Going as far as to keep your bug-out bags actually stored in your bug-out vehicle isn’t a bad idea, either.
Tip No. 7 – Have at least 20 gallons of gasoline and 20 gallons of clean water ready to go.
You’re going to need plenty of gasoline and water to get out of Dodge. You need the gasoline so that your bug-out vehicle can run, and you need the water so that your family can stay hydrated when water sanitation standards are going to drop significantly. Twenty gallons of gasoline and water each is a good amount to have in your bug-out vehicle, ready to go.
Tip No. 8 – Keep up to date on weather and disaster alerts.
Make it a daily habit to check up on the weather and news, but go a step further and get breaking weather and news alerts sent to your phone and email.
Tip No. 9 – Look for warning signs.
In addition to keeping up to date on what the authorities are saying, you would always be wise to look for warning signs yourself so that you can get the sense if an evacuation will be necessary. If the authorities announce that an evacuation is necessary, your entire city will instantly be thrown into chaos. Entire roads will be closed off — instantly blocking off some of your escape routes — and more roads will be clogged with traffic, which will make your escape far more difficult.
But if you identify the warning signs and begin your evacuation BEFORE the authorities call for one, you’ll be able to escape your city much more quickly (and safely) because it’s likely some sections of the city won’t be closed off yet and not everyone will be in a frenzy to escape.
Tip No. 10 – Be armed.
Being on the open road makes you vulnerable, especially if you’re bogged down in traffic and can’t drive away in a hurry if needed. Don’t think that you and your family are safe within the walls and windows of your car. Mobs and raiders will be a significant threat in any urban disaster scenario. For this reason, always be adequately armed when bugging out, and keep your weapons close by you, being prepared to use them if necessary.