Jul. 10, 2017

Hey where you goin?

Hey, where you goin!? (Part 1)

Before we talk about where you’re going, let’s talk about how you’re getting there. When I say “how you’re getting there” it is really two points of discussion. Part 1 will be mode of transportation and part 2 will be transportation routes.

Ok, in a perfect disaster, your whole group will already be together and your caravan of up-armored vehicles will be loaded and ready to go. I wish and hope this perfect scenario occurs for all of you, but…. more than likely that won’t be the case.

My philosophy is to always have a back-up plan and a back-up plan for that back-up plan. When disaster strikes you can’t assume that you will be able to just jump in your truck and get out of town.  There are several scenarios where your cars won’t do you any good. Let’s briefly discuss a few of those scenarios.


EMP stands for Electromagnetic Pulse. This is a surge of electromagnetic energy. EMP’s can be powerful enough to destroy all electrical circuitry devices. This is everything from the nation’s electrical grid to your flashlight and everything in between. Causes of such EMP’s are solar flares (X Class and higher) and nuclear detonations.


If your area is affected by flooding, there is a good chance your vehicle will not do you any good.  There are many obvious reasons why.  If you’re within 150 miles of the cost line or in a known flood plain, please consider alternative means of transportation.

No way out

For lack of a better way of putting it, in some of your cases, there just simply will be no way to drive a vehicle from your home to your bug-out location. Bridges may be collapsed; highway’s may be closed due to damage or broken down vehicles. Chaos, riots, civil unrest, martial law, etc, etc, etc…

The point of this is when you’re doing your planning you should consider alternative modes of transportation. Look at your unique locations and environments and determine what modes may work best for you.  Alternative modes could include boat, horseback, walking, or bicycle.

When I create a bug-out or evacuation plan for my friends and clients one of the things I include are routes, distances and times of travel based on their environment and their unique situations. Your plans should include routes, equipment and travel times that pertain to each of your different modes. If you have all your equipment and supplies designed for packing into your vehicle, then your vehicle doesn’t work, it’s going to cost you time to reconfigure your gear. There are several things you can do to better prepare yourself for these types of challenges.  I will discuss that more in another section.


That’s how we roll!


Back to modes of transportation. For most of us, vehicles will be the primary mode we plan with, prepare for, and count on. There are lots of different views on what kind of vehicle is best. This is my take on it.

Things you want to stay away from if you can help it. You don’t want your vehicle to resemble law enforcement/EMS or *military. *Now real quick, let me clarify military, If you have a 74 Ford Bronco that is painted camouflage you’re going to be just fine. If you have a HUMVEE painted in camouflage with a big ham radio antenna bent over the side, you may not fare as well.  If you’re in an urban environment and there is civil unrest, that awesome HUMVEE has just made you more of a target.

Here are some basic criteria for choosing your bug-out vehicle.

  • Four-wheel or all-wheel drive.
  • Big enough for your family, gear and pets.
  • Clearance will depend on your individual environments and situations; personally I recommend a higher clearance profile.
  • Mechanically sound.
  • Older model, carbureted vehicles with as few electronically controlled systems are best in EMP situations.
  • (Some extras: Steel bumpers, HAM or CB radio systems, ride-flat tires, up-armor (if in your budget)


This might be a mode you didn’t think about. For some of you, this may be a very practical means of getting to safety. They are cheap, easy to fix and best of all there are no electronics to worry about. A few things to consider;

  • The bicycle should be designed for off-road travel. A “mountain bike” isn’t necessary but highly recommended. I would not recommend using a street bike in the event you need to get on a gravel road or trail there would be very little stability.
  • You will need a trailer.  There are many different options for trailers, do some research and find the best fit for your needs. A trailer will allow you to carry much more gear and take the load off your back.

Horses and other pack animals

Horses, Mules, Lamas, Goats and even Camels might be a good option for some.  There are a lot of things to consider with these options. You should already be familiar with livestock before considering this option.

Boats and other watercraft

For those of you living in coastal areas or around the great lakes or even near a large river this is almost a must have. Whether it is from flooding or civil unrest this can be a very safe and efficient way to get out of harms way. Depending on your bug-out location this may be your ticket all the way there.

Obviously, there are many things to consider when utilizing this mode of transportation. I can cover that in more detail if anyone is interested.


Aircraft will be completely dependent of the type of disaster.  If there is any kind of EMP event I would not count on them nor would I want to be up in one.  Unless it’s a hot air balloon there are way to many electronics to count on.

The point of this discussion was to point out some of the modes of transportation you may have over looked. With any mode there are many considerations that need to be known and planned for. I’m happy to provide more specific details or provide expert resources on any of these. I am by no means an expert on all of them.