First thing’s first – download Google Maps
This will allow you to get satellite images of any area on Earth. In my opinion, it’s essential in planning. You can also download different layers (topographical, etc.) to install and enhance your view.
Rule of 3
There are lots of clever rules and sayings out there to prepare or remind you about anything. This rule just reminds me about having plans and it’s not survivalism centered. It could work well with a football team – having 3 offensive game plans to be ready for a game, etc. Follow along with me:
1 plan is really 0 plans – If your plan has just 1 flaw, then it could be broken and get you in trouble. That’s not a ‘plan’ at all.
2 plans are really 1 plan – If you have 2 plans, great – but that’s really just 1 backup plan, and you’re still putting eggs in 1 basket when you go to a backup plan.
3 option plans mean you have a good backup – I’m not talking about just 3 plans here. I’m talking about having 3 options at every decision point. You’ll see what I mean later – but basically there are significantly more than 3 plans at work here and this gives you about as much chance as you can get when dealing with unknown variables on the fly.
Work to Home
You probably work 8 or more hours a week. Let’s say you sleep 6 hours a day, so you have 18 hours of waking time every day. This means you’ll spend 44% of your time at work – and probably more if you have a 1/2 hour to an hour commute. A significant portion of your evacuation route planning needs to be spent on getting from your place of work to your home, safely.
In town to Home/Church or school to Home
Exactly like the process you just went over, identify other area’s you’re frequently at when not at home and make sure you plan the same way to get home safely.
Home to bugout location
You’ve got a critical part of your evacuation plan done – you’ve reached home. Now you can pack what you need and head to a bugout location if that’s your plan. (Bugging-in is a good idea) When coming home – make sure you identify routes and get a good feel for what traffic patterns look like. You can plan for every single route in the world but it won’t do you any good if you drive up to an escape route that is now turned into a parking lot of angry motorists. You’re going to have to make educated guesses on what planned evacuation routes to take if you were unable to eyeball parts of your plan on the way home. If the way home wasn’t all that eventful, then go ahead and look at optimistic/quick routes and be ready to adjust. If the way home was a nightmare, eliminate routes that include trouble spots.
Speaking of trouble spots…
Things to avoid along your routes
-Bridges (of any kind)
Things to look for
-Family home locations
-Friend’s home locations
*not because they are bad places, just because they will be the first place everyone rushes to. We want options! We don’t want to get into any situations where our options are limited because of others.
Evacuation route planning
We want to successfully navigate from point A (work, church, school, etc.) to point B (home, place where your family is, supplies, etc.) as safely as possible. Notice I didn’t necessarily say as fast as possible? I’m going to assume that you travel that route right now. Travelling out of your way to avoid trouble is necessary at times. There will be many other locations and spots to look for as you begin planning and looking at your area. Take a look at your surrounding area, find things you want to avoid and start plotting out multiple evacuation routes!
Make a path!
In Google Earth, start a new path overlay where you think you might start (work, school, church, etc.) and assign a color to it. Try using green for the safest route, yellow for a medium risk route, and red for the highest risk. Now you can display parts of your evacuation route and see the overall plan!