Contingency Planning – Sink or Float
It’s dark out at around 8PM. You and your family are inside watching a program on the TV when an alert marquees across the screen:
“Presidential Alert – Russian cyber attack underway across American utility infrastructure”
Your bug out plan is a go! Grab the kids, grab the gear, and get the hell out of dodge. In the middle of your bug out plan, the electrical infrastructure goes down – your entire house is in darkness. Not so easy finding your gear now is it?
When reading through the prepper forums, the above scenario is a twist on a post that I read. A family was demonstrating to a prepper friend their 3 hour bug out plan. In the middle of the exercise, the friend was idly watching and thought that it was going too smooth. To throw some realism into the event, he went downstairs and shut off the electrical breaker to their home. Complete panic ensued and they eventually never made it out of the house. Why? The darkness was a huge snag which prevented them from finding critical gear. The most important piece of gear that they could not find was their car keys.
As preppers, we always need backups to our backups. However, there is indeed a fine medium to how many backups are practical because it is impossible to prepare for every situation that might arise. In the end, while we all should prepare to the best of our ability, some people have more of a knack for on the spot critical thinking than others.
Below are some principles that require planning. Try brainstorming your bug out plan and see if you can find gaps:
– Organization: In the above scenario, organization would have prevented the breakdown of the bug out plan. Your items should be organized and compartmentalized so that you can find things on the fly. You also have to be a little bit anal and keep things clean and orderly by enforcing good habits on a daily basis. In the above scenario, this would include having a key rack and always hanging your keys in that place when you get home.
– Alternative Transportation Routes: Besides local roads, have you thought about and mapped out other transportation routes? Heavy electrical lines and gas lines are cleared of trees and brush and make them very attractive travel paths. Railroads, bike paths, and drainage runs are other good options. Read more about alternate travel paths in my article Path of Least Resistance.
– Multi-Tier Transportation Plan: If you are unfortunate enough to have to ditch your vehicle, do you have another plan besides heading out on foot? Read my Alternative Transportation article where I talk about developing a 4 tier transportation plan.
– Do you have tools in case of travel blockages? My bug out gear has a chain saw in case of trees down on the road. I also have bolt cutters in case there is gated access that I need to get through.
– Do you have communications? You need to be aware of travel conditions and how the situation is progressing. Having a CB and HAM radio devices and a communication plan would be wise.
What other contingency plans do you have set up?