One of the essential parts of emergency preparations is the secondary location. Sometimes this is referred to as a bug out location or BOL. It can also be referred to as a rendezvous point.
Not all disasters affect large areas. The prime example of this is a house fire. Here you may have to trust everyone to evacuate on their own as rescue may be impossible without the proper equipment. How will you know everyone is safe?
A simple way is to have a meeting place near by. I like to have a rendezvous point near the house and one outside the neighborhood. One at the end of the street may also be a good idea depending on your neighborhood. If you have small children it is a good idea to practice with them, how to get to each of these places on their own. Not just on sunny days, practice at night, in the rain, get them used to the walk when the conditions are less than ideal. Ont thing to consider is that you or your children may be barefoot, if they can’t walk on the terrain barefoot on a sunny day, then choosing a different meeting place may be in order.
Now what about the bigger disasters? The ones that cause mass migrations of entire regions? This is where the bug out location comes into play. In my opinion the term bug out location refers to a secondary home, one that could support you and your family for a very long time. This could just be a cottage, or an underground fortified bunker and anything in between. Ideally this is land you own, even more ideally, this is land you own outright. It should be able to grow food and definitely have an independent source of drinking water.
If land ownership just isn’t an option right now, then your options become less ideal. Your best option is to get in contact with relatives. If the disaster is regional, even a relative in a dense urban area is better than nowhere. If the problem is national, or international or even global, this relative had better live in a rural area. I am not suggesting that you show up unannounced. Call these relatives an say, if we get hit with a hurricane is it OK for me to evacuate to your home? It helps to offer your home as a reciprocation. Knowing that they can evacuate to your house if they need to will open more doors to you. It doesn’t have to be a relative, if you would feel better staying with a fellow prepared individual in another region, go ahead, it is your plan. Just choose someone you trust and who trusts you. Survival communities and lifelong friendships can grow from arrangements like this. This isn’t as good as owning your own place, but it is significantly more affordable.
Be cautious with public or commercial buildings. Other people may have the same idea as you. You may have a fight when you get there, or you may have to fight to stay. The same is true for squatting in an abandoned building. I wouldn’t want to be displaced from my home and then displaced from a place of shelter. The one advantage of commercial/industrial buildings is that they are farther away from where people live. They may be almost deserted.
Another thing to consider is the direction. Many people ignore the wind when choosing a bug out location. The predominant wind direction will affect where will be safer in a nuclear fallout situation and some airborne pathogens/toxic chemicals are spread by the wind. Where I live the wind predominately comes from the west. If the city I live in is compromised heading west is ideal. If there is a nuclear explosion the wind is also immediately important. The direction that should be taken is perpendicular (90 degrees) to the current wind direction. Don’t forget the dominant wind direction as that will eventually push the contamination too.
Obstacles, on your journey also need to be considered. Waterways will pose a hazard, bridges will be a natural choke point and in a best case scenario will be jammed with people. Avoiding bridges in urban areas will certainly make traveling easier. Highways are another concern, they will also be slow with people fleeing. Even crossing a highway may be impossible. There is no point of a secondary location if you can’t get there.
One thing I don’t hear many people talk about is having multiple secondary locations. Being able to move in different directions could be useful. It all depends on how much money and time you have to put into maintaining them. It also might not make sense to split your preparations, maybe it might be better to have one really well stocked bug out location. What do you think?
Besides the need to support you, your location needs to be away from where people will accidentally find it. The only advice I have here is distance. As much distance from towns, roads and highways goes without saying. But also railways, creeks and rivers, these will be followed by people also trying to escape danger.
Those are the things I consider when selecting my bug out locations, do you have anything to add? Did I miss something? What things do you consider when choosing? I really would like your thoughts, it might save my life one day.