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What About Mom And Dad?

It is safe to assume that most of us, myself and those that are regular readers, have at least some preps in place. It might just be a store of canned food and it might be stacks of freeze-dried foods and an arsenal. Likewise most of us presumably have some basic plans in place if the shit hits the fan. That plan might be to “bug out” to a safer, more defensible location or it might be to “bunker up” right where you are at.

There are lots of factors in play. If you have small children, that presents a special problem especially if you are planning on bugging out. If you or someone in your circle has medication needs, those have to be addressed as well. Your own health is something to consider, especially as you get older. My wife and I are both in much better physical condition now than we were just a couple of years ago but we are also older. That means we are simply less physically resilient than we used to be.

However, most of us have other family to worry about. Most of my kids are geographically very close to us but…we have one daughter that is a bit of a distance away. If the SHTF, we need to worry about extracting her from the more urban area where she lives. Then there are our parents. My father and my wife’s mom are still alive and I have an older sister who lives close to my dad and they are all in a suburban setting about an hour away and are in no way equipped or capable of dealing with an out of control situation.

There is a lot to consider. To get to where my dad lives now is easy as pie, there is a nice highway that we hop on to cover most of the route. We have done it so often we don’t even really think about it, the drive is second nature. It is convenient and fast, but that is also the problem in a WROL scenario. I often come back to this scene from The Walking Dead….

….but as I noted in a prior post You Aren’t Far Enough Out

For the city of Atlanta metro area, in the event of a disaster they are going to:

“…turn all inbound interstates outbound. And they’re gonna try to push people out of Atlanta, so evacuees and refugees”

There are over six million people in the Atlanta metro area. That is just a whole bunch of people and making matters worse, over 1.7 million of those are black and probably close to a million are mestizos.

In a disaster, the route we would normally take to get to my dad’s or our daughter is going to be choked with cars and if it is really bad, every lane going in and out of the city will be blocked. If an extra 10,000 people hit the road, we know a few things for certain.

  • Some of them are going to be fleeing with no planning and that means cars running out of gas, or now electric vehicles with dead batteries.
  • People drive like assholes and get into accidents under the best of circumstances so when the circumstances are panicked? Expect lots of aggressive driving leading to lots of collisions, disabled cars and road rage that turns into gunfire.
  • If the weather is bad, as it often is for several months of the year? That is going to make it that much worse.

I have a four wheel drive truck so if necessary I could go off-road to get around blocked areas but even in rural areas the roadside is usually a steep embankment and is fenced in on both sides of the road. Sure I could go through it but the more times you tangle through fencing and into ditches and fields, the more likely you are to get stuck, 4×4 or not, or puncture a tire or break something under the vehicle or….you get the point.

I have been looking at the maps to figure out alternate routes to get where we might need to go. From my place to my dad’s there are lots of tiny backroads that more or less go right there and a couple of decent rural highways. In particular there is one more or less direct shot that comes in without having to go through anything but a couple of small rural towns that I don’t think the gubmint would bother to blockade or set up checkpoints, nor are the inhabitants likely to chimp out at the first sign of trouble. The downside is that it runs pretty much parallel to a very major interstate so traffic that gets off the interstate will likely gravitate to this road. On the other hand there is another rural route that runs parallel to that road and is south of the interstate enough that it won’t draw as many travelers. The downside is it would be slower and if something happened, like a truck and trailer blocking both lanes, you could be in a bad spot.

It really is specific to the situation. If things are simmering and appear likely to go sideways but haven’t yet, there is no reason I couldn’t zip over on the normal route, round up the parents and then decide how to get back. If things really blow up in a hurry, I might elect to go the slower route, more “cross country” and avoid major roads and even smaller towns entirely. As with everything, better to pull the trigger too soon than too late.

With that in mind I wanted to recommend this Twitter thread from Spike’s GuidesExtracting families from hot zones

Beginning with what is considered a hot zone. A hot zone is an area that is undergoing some form of heavy turmoil that makes leaving the area particularly dangerous. This could be in the form of a natural disaster such as a massive wildfire or a coming hurricane. It also comes in the form of human conflict, which can be from massive civil unrest like we saw during the riots of 2020. Also covered under this term would be any military conflict or massive governmental operation into an area that requires force. Hot zone is just a general catch-all term that will be used in this piece.

There is some good practical information to consider. Here is a sample:

Once on the roads, there may be a number of dangerous situations one can encounter during their extraction from the hot zone. The three types of contacts covered here will be roadblocks, checkpoints, and crowds.

In some ways, official roadblocks and checkpoints are worse than crowds. If you are like most of us, if you have to roll into a “hot zone” and the S has HTF already, you are rolling armed for bear. Most of us are already carrying some firearm(s) wherever we go but if you are going into a hot zone? I would imagine at least a rifle along with a handgun and honestly I would probably go with more than one rifle and more than one handgun. I usually operate under the policy that it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. That doesn’t mean taking every gun you own and if you run into a government checkpoint, having obvious firearms is going to put them on the defensive. If a National Guard Fudd comes up to your vehicle and you have an AR on your lap, that guy might panic and likely will attempt to disarm you. In an official checkpoint there is likely to be some organization and you are more likely to be outgunned.

With random crowds it is a lot more varied. They might be, depending on how diverse the area, more likely to skip the formalities and go right into spiciness but then again they will be looking for easy prey. Someone that is armed and has a “fuck around and find out” stance might get passed over in favor of some unarmed, soft suburbanite. Then again, they aren’t known for being smart so it is possible they will decide to try to take your guns assuming you won’t shoot them.

One thing that concerns me is the idea of being in a car surrounded by people. Normally being in a car affords you a level of protection. If someone hits my giant Chevy van at 20 mph, it will ding it up but I will survive. Hit a pedestrian at 20 MPH and you probably cripple or kill them. I hit a deer, first time ever believe it or not, a few weeks ago with a full size Ford Transit van. I saw her so I was slowing down but still banged into her at maybe 10-12 MPH. I checked my van and it had zero damage, all you could see were some hairs right by the blue Ford oval. I hit her pretty squarely and since I wasn’t going very fast I assume she ran off but when I came back through later, there she was dead as a doornail about 6 feet from the edge of the road.

But if you are surrounded by hostile people and are in a car? It can be a lot more dangerous. Think about sitting in a standard vehicle with bucket seats, buckled in. Your position is ideal for driving on a road but surrounded by people your vision is far more limited. There is a lot probably inaccurate about this scene from Sicario…

…but one thing that is probably quite accurate is that being inside of a vehicle where your vision and movement is constricted is a dangerous spot to be in. It is a lot easier to shoot into a vehicle with a rifle from the outside than to shoot out of a vehicle from the inside. In most vehicles your critical areas (torso and head) are mostly visible and protected only by glass.

If it is a mob of people, what do you do? Let them Reginald Denny you and your loved ones? This is what Spike’s Guides wrote:

We’ve all seen videos of vehicles surrounded by angry mobs during riots and other events. If caught in this situation DO NOT EXIT THE VEHICLE AND DO NOT OPEN THE WINDOWS. An angry mob, especially if the situation is racially related and you are the wrong color, can get very violent very fast. Move slowly and carefully. Maybe even keep your vehicle at the idle move speed. Don’t purposely run anyone over as that will just enrage the crowd more. Keep the doors locked as well. If the group is banging on the window, keep weapons hidden but prepared to go in case windows are shattered.

When something goes wrong when you are driving, what is your first impulse? Get out of the car. Doing that in a hostile crowd will get you killed. If someone throws a brick through your windshield you aren’t going to calmly wait for the cops and exchange insurance information. It will be hard to not panic, but of course try not to panic. If you panic and floor it with a shattered windshield, you are likely to run into something, get your car stuck or damaged too badly to run. Then you are probably dead and if not you then certainly the people you are trying to extract.

These are all things to consider. What to take, how to get there, what should you do if things get ugly on the way there or back? I need to do a dry run of the backroads the next time we go see my dad so I can get a feel for the roads.

For most of us, there are others who rely on us that are not living with us and how to get them to safety has got to be part of the planning process. What is an easy drive under calm conditions can turn very perilous, very quickly and it is a lot better to figure out what you are going to do when the sun is shining and people are friendly than it will be when tens of thousands of people are panicking and the human predators are out looking for easy pickings.


  1. Charlie E Hargrave

    Maps, paper, laminated.
    Township, village on up.
    Drive the roads now.
    Then do your best to not have to drive them when it is spicy.
    Keep vehicles full, at least never less than half a tank at anytime.

    The Texas border shindig is making me nervous. I grew up there. We learned Texas history first, then US history, then world history. Most don’t take kindly to being told what to do. I never have.

  2. Bilbo

    Maybe harsh, but it its that bad then those people are not going to matter. Remeber rule #3 of the kill house. People that are not brinning anything to the table are just wasting time, food, water and space and will probably get you killed try to hero them out


    Great reminder to stay alert to local situations. I’ve had the (mis)fortune of three dress rehearsals on bad area zones (two hurricanes and one tropical storm that dumped 55” of rain on us in 3 days). The second two were massive floods, the first being Rita was a huge hurricane that knocked out power in our little rural area for almost 5 weeks. It was definitely a life-changing event.

    Fortunately my locale was almost exclusively YT. The only looting issues we had were the niggers from Nig Orleans who evacuated to our area during Katrina and brought the scholarly behavior with them. The entire impact on me was huge. Socially, and on the preparation side.

    Much appreciate the advice on the best method(s) of getting a vehicle out and away from crowds and back home. I’m staying put and bugging in. I have all my resources with me and have homesteaded my semi-rural spread for the last decade. Don’t let them make you drop your shit and be a dirty, hungry and scared refugee.

  4. Cynical Max.

    I have “gamed” this situation over years in a number of countries because of the nature of my (medical) profession, because I know that when things go bad my profession will not protect me. I’ll be anonymously a target.

    And what I always, always do, when I land somewhere to pick up a patient or staff a clinic or do a risk assessment is figure out how I will get out of there with my patients and any other people I am responsible for, if it has the proverbial fan.

    And it’s invariably an appropriate variation of Ol’ Remes’ 1st Rule – stay away from crowds. And almost always, although not 100% always, you can get to the nearest airport without getting involved with crowds even when things are going really bad.

    But one of these days, I think my logic is going to be outgunned by, guns.

  5. berglander

    It’s a tough question. I live in Montana. I’m working in Salt Lake at the moment. My siblings are now all in Texas.
    I cannot reasonably expect it to be possible to extract them from Texas. We do have a rat line of friends along the way, so they could potentially make it…
    The absolute best thing you can do, no matter where you are, is get to know EVERYONE who lives around you. Make as many friends as possible. Build an actual community, to the greatest extent you are able. It’s not complicated, you just have to put the work in.
    Even in a blue hive, you’d be surprised at the common ground you can find. Build a foundation there and start subverting.

    • Mike_C

      “Even in a blue hive, you’d be surprised at the common ground you can find. Build a foundation there and start subverting.”

      Very true. And well said (all of it above).

    • Greg

      Exactly correct Berglander. As a natural born recluse, it was a hard realization for me that prepping for the long term is not possible for an individual. It will depend on community. I have been making concerted efforts to network my local area. We are not as rural as I would like, but we have a reasonable compromise in an isolated small town with a quite dominant redneck culture. My best hopes are that a long term crisis will lead most of our lowlife to self-deport for more hospitable climates.

      • Steve

        “As a natural born recluse, it was a hard realization for me that prepping for the long term is not possible for an individual. It will depend on community. I have been making concerted efforts to network my local area.”

        IMO, if you have to work at it, you have too many neighbors you are not going to be able to trust anyway. Should probably be cultivating a bug-out location you can realistically get to. Either that accept that if things go screwy, the odds are not on your side.

  6. Don't mind me.

    If you are not already in your bug out location, your odds of making it there during an “event” are almost nil. Go there now.
    Consider also that most people that live at your BOL and even if they know you, will not be happy to have more people suddenly showing up to strain local resources. They might not even let you in.

  7. Gryphon

    A good article, about a subject that Everyone needs to think about. It is a given thing that even in a relatively ‘Suburbanized’ Area, that there are a lot of interconnected Roads that are normally only Traveled on by those that Live there. Having some of those older, PRINTED Road Atlas Map-Books for several Counties around your AO is essential, and even better are US Geosurvey Maps, the “7.5 Minute Sections” that also show the Land Contours, and Creeks and small waterways that can be Obstacles to even a serious Off-Road equipped 4×4.

    If you can plan out an alternate route for ’emergency evacuation’ trips, Drive it several Times, different Days/Times to see what traffic you may encounter. Also, WRITE DOWN this Route, i.e. “Take X.x Miles, Turn Left on Z.z Miles…” etc. It’s just like the List of what you throw into the Truck before you head Upwind of the Pretty Mushroom Cloud… Don’t stress out trying to Remember essential Details while in a Hurry.

  8. pyrrhus

    The best thing to do is get out BEFORE the mobs know something is wrong…a week early is way better than 5 minutes too late…And the National Guard or cops may well plan to confiscate your weapons, as they did in New Orleans…though some refused…Do not allow that….

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