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American fearmaker
14,245 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
All too often I read where people "plan to take off" when disaster hits. I've been reading this over and over which tells me that maybe I should try to point out something: You can expect, that when a disaster strikes, roads will be closed or shut down. I would expect that road shutdowns will occur for a number of reasons.

#1. Local police agencies may try to stop movement along a road because it is damaged and too dangerous to travel over.
#2. There may be some form of armed danger ahead on or along the roadway. This could be a group of thugs, rapists or robbers preying on the innocent.
#3. The authorities may be trying to keep people from moving into or out of a contaminated area. The contaminated area may be dangerous as a result of disease, poison or radiation.
#4. People fleeing from one area may be overpopulating another area and eliminating or draining supplies of food, water and shelter. As a result of overburdened food or water resources riots may have broken out which could put you in danger from other refugees.
#5. There could easily be some communications problems or lack of communications from further down the road causing officials concern or confusion about the status of the next area.

Now your options get tricky once you reach the roadblock. Do you try to go around or bypass the roadblock? Do try to talk to the people manning the roadblock? Do you change your direction of travel based off of the uncertain information at the roadblock? Do you abandon your vehicle and start off on foot? Do you abandon your supplies? Can you even live without your stash of supplies long enough to get to your objective?

One of the things that I suggest that people do is make plans to have three different directions to get from Point A to Point B. One direction should be along as many paved roads as possible for speed. Now you need not use interstates for the paved road but can use like a state highway that parallels an interstate. Paved county or township roads will also work for high speed travel.

Another direction of travel should be along roads that bypass any and all cities, towns and/or villages. It will be near or in built-up areas that you will face the most danger so if you bypass them you will be safer.

The third route I suggest people consider for a travel option is a round-about or longer distance travel plan. You would use this third route of movement to throw off anybody you think might be following you. Sure, this route might take longer to get to where you want to be but it could keep you and your hideaway safer.

One other thing you probably need to consider is the fact that in some disaster scenarios, right from the start you may not have a vehicle to use at all. Can you walk or ride a bicycle to your hideaway's location? Now think about this: if your hideaway is more than 60 miles from your starting point how long will it take you to get there? What normally would take you about an hour in driving time will take days and days to get to on foot. Army and Marine personnel do road marches in Basic Training learn that a 25 mile march takes the better part of a day of hard walking to get it done. So, if everything is perfect, you can expect a 60 mile walk to take at least 3 or more days. Do you have enough supplies for everybody for those days? What about water?

Another thing to consider is a movement formation. Most groups of Americans just tend to head up and walk to a place in a line formation. That's pretty much how you will probably be getting from one place to another but what about using front and rear scouts and flank security people? The idea for having people slightly ahead of the main body, behind it or off to the sides is for them to alert you to approaching danger. I can guarantee you that in times of trouble there will be gangs of armed thugs hoping to come across a band of refugees that they can ambush and get the drop on. People who are moving with caution are people that will not be easily ambushed. Also look for ambushes to done at choke points like road intersections, bridges, stream crossings and in narrow valleys or between building walls in a narrow area like an alley. Choke points limit the ability of people being ambushed to counter attack the ambushers which is why such areas are chosen in the first place.

So, there you have it. Something to think about regardings travel routes, movement formations and ambushes. I hope that this data helps some of you out in your planning efforts.

355 Posts
Great points. I think another important factor to consider is what if you have a casualty as well. Not dead, but otherwise incapacitated with broken foot/leg, etc.? Not to mention his/her gear? Not so big a deal with vehicles, but even then as you suggested those vehicles may have to be abandoned along the route...

"A plan is just a list of things that don't happen." ~Ryan Phillipe, "The Way Of The Gun"

Mr. Murphy sucks.
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