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Monday, December 28, 2009

You can't wait until UN forces roll into town to find a way out of town!

Picking a route out of town

OVERVIEW: This article covers the basic steps and principles required to prepare a proper course of evacuation (Bug Out). This article is for a specific beginning and end, and primarily deals with the concerns between these points. By nature, bug out plans should not be overly rigid, but flexibility will only come when all the options have been well explored.

STARTING POINT: The starting point of your bug out route should be carefully examined and inspected. More than one means of exiting the site should be available, and every possible avenue of entry or exit should be considered. It is important that this information be well known and up to date: an emergency situation is not the time for reviewing notes. Some possible starting points may be your workplace, your own home, or a relative’s home. Speed is the concern, at this point, and only by knowing as much about your route as possible can this be achieved.

ENDING POINT: Any bug out destination should be carefully chosen to provide safety and protection. As with any location, all avenues of entry or exit should be inspected. If possible, frequent inspections of this site are best, as the highest level of familiarity is desired. If this is not possible, detailed notes are acceptable, for security and caution. While you may have to hurry from your starting point, be slow and deliberate as you near your destination. Some likely destinations may include your home, a retreat, or a prearranged team meeting place. Security is the main concern at this stage; hurry to leave, but be slow to arrive.

DIFFERENT ROUTES (AT LEAST 3): The rule of three should be considered, in this case. The primary route should be the most direct route between start and end. Of course the direct route is the most straightforward and quickest route. The secondary route is a backup route, another passage should the primary route become obstructed. The secondary route should be most direct route still available. The alternative route is nothing more than another option, a route for use when the primary and secondary routes are not usable. Decisive action is necessary. To make the proper decision, you must know your options. It is essential that the routes are well known, in advance, so that modifications to the route can be made. Once committed to a route, complete change of course is not an easy undertaken. Given the specific situation, a detour along the route may be required.

TRAVEL CONDITIONS: Road conditions, or any conditions that might affect vehicle travel. Narrow roadways or bridges, damaged or easily damaged roadways, any potential obstruction should be considered. Attention should be paid to any passageway (driveway, path, etc.) capable of handling vehicle travel so that a vehicle can be removed from the road quickly, avoiding undo attention. Traffic patterns are important for the potential obstacle they represent. There is no substitute for firsthand knowledge of your route. Maps should be used for reference, but not as the sole source of information, unless no other means exists. The focus of this condition is speed, making your travel from and to as quick and as easy as possible. Knowing the route can provide you with alternatives; should one way be blocked, another way may be decided upon quickly.

ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS: Closely connected to travel conditions, the weather can drastically alter your surroundings. Heavy rain could possibly flood low areas, while strong winds might bring down trees or structures. Earthquakes could affect roadways or bridges, making them unsafe, just as rioting or massed crowds can affect whole cities. Awareness will provide opportunities; by knowing how your options may be affected, you can better prepare for the alternatives.

SECURITY CONDITIONS: Conditions along the road can and will affect security. Look for places that provide cover or concealment, such as wooded areas, hedgerows and structures. Any of these places could possibly provide a hiding spot for yourself or a cache. Keep in mind that others may have already noticed the value such places represent, and may have already taken advantage of them. The same features that provide cover and concealment for you may provide the same to those seeking to harm you or others. Terrain features could aid in map orientation, or could serve as obscure references among a team. Bodies of water could represent alternative routes or a primitive resupply point. Personal safety is important, at all times during your movement. Knowledge of your surroundings can allow you to spot a problem before the situation is out of hand. Should the situation dictate moving from a path of travel, for security reasons, precious time is gained by knowing what options are open to you.

RECORDING THE BUG OUT ROUTE: Unless your escape routes are intimately familiar; a record should be made of each route. Be sure to keep accurate notes with your maps, including all of the above points. The maps and notes should be kept close to hand, so that they are both easily accessible, and secure.

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