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Bugging Out SOPs –

May 5, 2014

Bugging Out SOPs –

Bug OUt SOPs

Bug out – This is the foundation of your plans and you will certainly want to have some SOPs for this. Seriously, this is the make or break point for a Prepper. Leave too late and you may never get to your retreat. Leave when the situation doesn’t call for it and it could cost jobs, the faith of family or group members, or other potentially negative results. Leave without realizing the nature of the threat and you could be following a plan that won’t address the specifics of that threat.

My purpose with these is not to create your SOPs but to get each of you thinking of a wide range of questions and possible issues. It’s up to you to decide which apply to your specific situation and what you will do about them. That should enable you to craft a set of SOPs tailored for your needs and agreeable to your group.

When would you decide to bug-out? What event or situation
would need to happen before you would initiate your plan?

This is probably the trickiest question you will attempt to answer, and the SOP that will inflict the most stress on you. I know it was for me, and I frequently revisit this one to see if modifications are called for. Why? Because this is the moment of Go or No-Go. For me, this could easily be a one-shot deal. If I tell my group to go and it turns out there was never any valid reason for doing so then many of the spouses (the majority of whom don’t share the Prepper mindset) will never agree to a bug-out again.

So I dare not call for a bug-out lightly. You may be in a similar position, so give this question a lot of careful consideration. The flip side of my dilemma, of course, is if I wait too long to call a bug out then some of my people might not be able to get away from a deteriorating situation. So any bug out decision is going to require serious thought and data from many sources.

Would your group head straight for your retreat
or would you meet at a rally-point first?

For many this will seem to be a minor decision, but there are implications worthy of your attention. How far must you travel to reach your retreat? How difficult is the journey, or how many potential obstacles (rivers, major population centers, local law enforcement, etc.) must you cross to reach your goal? If the travel is easy and the distance minor then head for the retreat, but if the potential for issues is large then improve your odds by first meeting in a Rally Point (RP). A Rally Point gives you options for rearranging your vehicle loads, drivers, order of march, etc.

For longer distances the use of multiple Rally Points prevents your various elements (smaller groups of vehicles if you have too many vehicles and would attract attention as a large group) from getting too spread out or badly misdirected. Another consideration for the RP decision, is there someone already at your survival retreat? If you have someone living there full time who can secure it till you arrive than a RP isn’t as critical. If you don’t then you might want to consider having a RP near the retreat so you can hold the group there while a recon team checks the retreat for any surprises. With all of these things to consider you might actually make use of multiple RPs under certain conditions.

Would you institute a defensive stance during your bug-out?

Would you assume it automatically or only in certain situations? How active or passive would your defensive stance be?  This is a tricky concern to say the least. What rules govern firearms in your state? Can you carry concealed? Can you open carry? Must weapons be cased and not accessible by the driver? Will there still be enough ROL (Rule Of Law) that you don’t need to have a defensive stance, or will things have degraded enough that you do? Will you have more than just a driver in each (or any) of your vehicles?

How would you respond to things that
block your planned travel route?

Take a minute and think about all the possible ways you might be blocked. Some examples; roadblock, detour, collapsed bridge, gridlock, fire, riot or similar public disturbance, flooding, mudslide, or similar. How would you avoid these? How would you find a way around them? Are there any single points between you and your retreat that if blocked would cripple your bug out?

How many travel routes would you have
scouted and set for your vehicles to use?

The more travel route options you have the more likely you’ll make it to your retreat in a timely manner. Beware of single points that could block you from your retreat such as a major river with limited bridges. Develop ways to overcome such obstacles by thinking outside the box, possibly making use of a railroad bridge to cross that major river for example.

How might you get to your retreat
if vehicles are not an option?

This might be the case in an EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) event, where virtually all vehicles would be rendered inoperative like in the book One Second After (Affiliate Link). Or you might find yourself in a gridlock situation that blocks all avenues of egress toward your retreat. Hopefully you won’t find yourself in such a situation, but you need a plan of what to do just in case. Your non-vehicle options could range from horseback, hiking, bicycle, watercraft, to some homebuilt vehicle powered by an alternative fuel source. And, no surprise, you will need to have routes selected in advance for these as well.

How would you handle a vehicle breakdown during a bug-out?

Will you have a mechanic with you? What about tools or parts? Will you have the means to tow a disabled vehicle? Will you have adequate storage space in other vehicles to redistribute the disabled vehicle’s load? Can you afford to leave a vehicle behind if it breaks down, possibly with supplies still onboard? Would you leave a guard behind to secure the vehicle until you could find the needed parts and head back to repair it?

How would you handle casualties during a bug-out?

A bug out will be a very stressful time for you and your group. With that in mind you will need to think about how you will handle injuries (from accidents and such) or casualties (from combat situations) during your movement from the home area to the retreat. Will you have a designated ambulance with an EMT or similar on board? Will you have spare drivers in case a driver is the injured person? Will you have adequate medical skills and medical kit supplies on-hand to give your casualty a good chance of surviving to reach the retreat?

How would you maintain isolation against
biological agents during a bug-out?

My primary concern as a Prepper is biological. Whether a man-made horror or a natural Pandemic Flu, I am more concerned with these threats than any other. So my bug out plans include SOPs for family isolation, strict rules against transferring items without decontamination procedures being followed, mask and glove use, and similar concepts.

With each of these SOP articles I hope you will broaden your understanding of just how complicated being a Prepper can be and how many things you should consider planning for. As the old joke goes “if it was easy everybody would be doing it…” But even though it isn’t easy more and more people are doing it as the realization becomes obvious that during a crisis we will have no one to depend on but ourselves.


From → bob

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