Thursday, February 2, 2012

Emergency Evacuation

Driving through my neighborhood yesterday made me realize how terrible the roads would be if there was a disaster that created the need for an emergency evacuation. I have two major highways within 2 miles of my home. You would think having two highways so close would be a good thing for a quick escape. Yesterday was an eye opener. Because of an accident, the traffic from one highway was diverted through the main roads by my house creating a traffic jam almost 2 miles long. In all of my years living here I have never seen traffic like this and I quickly wondered if there was a disaster that I did not know about. I am thankful that I witnessed this because yesterday made me realize that escaping this area might not be as easy as I thought.

When it comes to emergency evacuation, you either need to be the first ones leaving or the last ones. The highways will quickly become clogged with all of the vehicles. You have to understand that the highways were not built for every vehicle in your city to be on them at once. Not to mention the accidents and cars running out of gas blocking the lanes.The farther you can get with your car, the better chance you will have. Below are my suggestions to improve your chances during an emergency evacuation.

My first suggestion is to have somewhere to go. You want it to be as close as possible, ideally less than 3 driving hours. I say less than 3 driving hours because you can drive this distance without stopping for gas and if you have to leave your vehicle, it is a feasible hike. If you live in Indiana, the refuge you purchased in Utah will be pointless. I can promise you that in an emergency situation, you will not make it that far. If the blocked roads don't stop you, the hungry and thirsty masses will. Don't have somewhere close? Get out and meet people. Ask your friends. You will be surprised who owns hunting land that they never use and would be willing to sell it to you(cheap).

Next, you want detailed road maps of each county from your home to your emergency evacuation location. Highlight the main route with a red highlighter. Why red? Because WTSHTF, everyone else will be using this obvious route. Red = Stop. STAY AWAY! Now, find alternate routes and highlight these in green or yellow. Give yourself as many options as possible. As you get farther from the main cities in your area, the highways may become safe to drive on, but never rely on them.

Ok, we have our location and we have our route. Next, you want to be able to gather your gear and have the vehicle loaded within 5 - 10 minutes. That means putting everything in a central spot. Any type of large military or hiking bag is ideal for this. If you really want to be prepared, have your bags loaded and ready to go. I find plastic crates can be helpful for quickly loading canned food and containers of water. The only problem is if you have to leave your vehicle, you will have to leave most of the goods that don't fit in your bag. (There are ways around this that I will mention in a later post).

My final suggestion is to be ready. Always maintain at least half of a tank of gas in your vehicle. Keep your gear ready to go. Watch the news. While the news can't predict natural disasters, it is wise to stay up to date on the economy during such a troubling time.

1 comment:

  1. Evacuation at the time of emergency or during natural disasters can be a matter of life or death for many of the people.

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