You run errands and you may work outside the home, so there will be times that you aren’t near your family. What will you do if disaster strikes and your family has to vacate their location before you can get back to them? You need to have an Emergency Family Plan!
Have an Emergency Family Plan
Let’s say you’re at work, the grocery store, or on travel away from your family, when a disaster strikes. If your family has to evacuate without you, do you know where they’ll be? What if that primary meeting location is compromised or in the path of disaster and isn’t safe? Where will they go next?
You need a plan.
A good plan will consist of the following:
- Predefined meeting locations or rally points. You’ll want multiple rally points. You may want to have them at certain intervals along a route to a desired “safe” destination (bug out location, family member’s home, cabin, etc). You will also want to have code names for each of these locations. Keep a Rand McNally Road Atlas in each of your vehicles and bug out bags – because GPS may fail and you could be lost, rerouted over unfamiliar roads or forced to take an alternate route to get home or to your rally points.These rally points are also great places to bury caches of supplies, no matter how small (even if it’s just a canteen or nalgene water bottlestuffed with a bandana, and some water purification tables - These should already be in your EDC Automobile kit too)
- Communications – To coordinate with your family to let them know you are close or for them to let you know that they may be hiding near the rally point, but not at the actual rally point. Cell phones may work, but I’ve got a couple of budget handheld (HT) Ham Radios. I know how to set up those handheld radios to bounce off of Satellites if needed, but local broadcast is much more realistic. Try to get up as high as you can to extend your transmit distance (tree, hillside, tower, building roof, etc)If you have 2 GMRS/FRS radios that’s also a good setup. Make sure to program or discuss the channels (or frequencies) ahead of time.
- Signs/Markings – You also need to discuss a plan to leave signs or signals at your rally points to indicate that you’ve been there, moved on, or have gone totally off the plan and went someplace that was not discussed. There needs to be a highly visible attention grabbing sign (spray painted or created), then you can leave a coded message in a zip-lock bag, or painted / carved into the wall, to let your loved ones know that the plans have changed and you are now at another place. Heck, even scrawling a note in permanent marker would work. Make sure it’s in code or an insider knowledge type of thing, since you don’t want strangers showing up to make a bad situation worse or unexpected.
This is by no means a full plan, but if you only follow these 3 steps you’ll have a much better chance of reuniting with your family during a crisis. You need to have an Emergency Family Plan!