So yesterday I talked about building a Bug-Out Bag with the Zombie Apocalypse in mind. Grabbing the bag gets you out the door and safely away from your soon to be overrun residence. Now you are out in the world, working your way to a temporary safe location. The problem is, where do you go, what do you do, who do you find (and where)? Just like any emergency (earthquake, fire, tornado), you should have a plan of action in advance. Any plan you make should include a level of flexibility. You can simply say “Everyone rendezvous at X location”, but what if that location is infested, overrun or otherwise inaccessible? Sure, you can’t plan for every contingency in advance, but you can make up a basic plan of action. Hopefully you’ll share this plan with your compatriots so even if your plan falls through, they’ll have an idea of where you should be going.
So let’s start asking the important questions…
Where (and when) are you going to rendezvous?
This is a short term question. Presuming you want/need to collect people from geographic diverse locations (IE, people that don’t live with you), you’ll all need a common set of rendezvous locations. You need to think about what will provide reasonably easy access for everyone, along with not being too zombie friendly (parks are right out). You’ll also want to think about locations that have plentiful sight lines, so you can see friends and foes coming from a distance). Along with locations that could possible provide a nearby (within sight range) fallback option (IE, maybe the primary location is dangerous for one reason or another, but you can sit safely nearby and watch the primary location in case your friends show). Do go now and scout your location. Once you’ve got one location, pick a completely separate Site B, just in case.
Lastly, you’ll want to think when to set meeting times. For any number of reasons, you might not necessarily be able to sit on the rendezvous point 24/7. If you pick specific times (Example: Noon, every day) you and your friends will be able to all show up, meet, and move on – without sitting in one location for an extended period of time (making yourself less of a target).
Where are you going to go?
This is a long term question. Once you’ve collected your friends, where are you going that will be safe-ish for you to hopefully survive the zombies in the long run. For everyone this is going to be different. It might be a well stocked cabin in the woods, or it might be the local national guard armory. The key is to identify where you want to go and know how to get there in advance. Don’t assume that someone else will know (they might be dead, zombified, or missing) or that you’ll be able to find a map. As with the previous question, scout out the route you’d use to get to your long term hideout.
Who are you going to get? Who is worth trying to save? Who has useful skills?
Some people will go at it alone, but that is dumb. One person cannot see 360 degrees, and be awake 24/7. You need a group if for nothing more, so you can have someone you trust watching your back. Plus you’ll need an assortment of skills, so you need to think about who can do what. You will want to figure out what friends you know (that you may or may not like that much) that have critical skills. Sure you might know a guy that is something of a douche bag, but if he is a crack shot with a rifle, he might be worth keeping around.
This will seem rather callous, but you need to figure out who is worth trying to save. You can say that you want to get all your friends and family, but how realistic will it be to get a large group mobile and fighting. It is a delicate balance, if you have too few people, you won’t have the protection you need. If you have too many, it might be difficult to get them all moving. Now it is also possible that you live right next to a bus depot and moving a large number of people won’t be an issue. Think about what your transportation will be.
What do you do if the transport breaks down?
Your exfil plan might be the greatest ever, but if it isn’t walking – you must think about what you’d do if the transportation breaks down or is otherwise inaccessible. If you’ve got a mechanic (or someone otherwise mechanically savvy), you’re not going to need to worry as much about a car breaking down. There are other concerns to, like if you are using a car/truck – what do you do at some point when you may not be able to get gas.
Weapons Cache? Food/Water/Supplies Cache
Your final location may not contain all the supplies you need, so think about where you can get/keep those in advance. Maybe someone has a stockpile of supplies at home. Maybe a friend is a weapon nut and has lots of guns (and ammo – also very critical) at their house. It is also possible that your plan may simply be visiting the local Wal-Mart/Target/Grocery store. Of course, you probably wont be the only one thinking to loot Wal-Mart, so have more than one location picked out.
Fortification of your final location?
You and your group have survived all the way to your final holdout location. It might be a “good” place to be, but it is very unlikely to be fortified, unless your going to a military base. This isn’t a “big deal”, because you can fortify once you arrive, but you do need some sort of plan in advance. What sight lines can you create? Will you be able to place traps? How big of an area can you safely secure? If for no other reason, you will know what supplies to get when you’re looting Wal-Mart, or that you need to go loot Home Depot too.