What is your Get Home Plan?

The issue of bugging out is a much discussed topic. We focus on what gear to put in our BOBs and then load into our BOV. 

Has anyone made a Get Home Plan, or even considered it?

What if you or your family are separated? Do you each know how to work a Get Home Plan? Do your children know?

I’m not planning BO, but am prepping for that option just in case. What I haven’t done is make a Get Home Plan and that is now on my get ‘er done list.


  • Comments (20)

    • 8

      Yup its more a protocol than a plan. Everyone knows where they can head to to wait safely if they cannot get directly home, We all have trigger words we can text or message or even just the two first letters of the two words that makes up the ” trigger” words. Everyone has assorted types of get home kit.  we still need to hammer home avoiding main roads to get home in the kids but we will get there.

      • 3

        What if you are evacuated before you can get home? This also applies to being split up during an evacuation  or other process?

      • 3

        Previously agreed rendezvous locations, and if they have to move on before I get there a spray painted message on the wall telling me (cryptically) where they are headed  EG  “Back to work”  or Grandpas etc

      • 8

        Thanks, Bill. My husband and I talked about this issue last night. Even in a rural town, we realized that a sudden event could be an issue. So, here’s what we came up with:

        If for any reason we are every separated in a crisis, we revert to a security alert code we use. If a stranger approaches and wants to take us somewhere – they must provide that word as verification that they actually do know where he or I are situated.

        If one of us is in town on errand or walking dog, we should be able to reunite easily. Because of a stalking/creepy neighbour problem and some other undesirables in town, we always let each other know itinerary whenever out of house in town. This includes our routes walked on a walk or with dog. We can communicate this info very rapidly as we have the route down to a quick shorthand.

        If for any reason that is a sudden problem, the one at home with our vehicle grabs our BOB and dog if she is at home and finds the other person on their route.

        It sounds a bit much, but unfortunately, it has proven to be necessary. 

        My husband would never drive to Winnipeg alone which is over 3 hours away, so now worry on that one.

        However, he has driven to Brandon alone as have I during this last year. With Covid and our interesting assortment of people moved into town, we have kept one of us back at home for security reasons.

        There are two routes we can take to Brandon, which is about 75 minutes away. We normally use a quieter route that runs beside a military base.

        If it is a major event affecting all of Canada or our regional (more than our province), the person driving home must get to the fastest accessible route out of town to get home.

        Again, because we use and strictly adhere to an itinerary system, if I were at home, I would know which route my husband would most likely take, as he would with me.

        This would also help locate he or I in the event of a local disaster in either city.

        Also worth noting is that if either one of us ever met with foul play while away from home, either in town or in the city, our last know whereabouts would be easy to reconstruct.

        As a note, every time we drive to either city, gas tank is refueled at entry to city limit and replenished on drive home.

        Bill, or anyone, do you see any flaws or anything missed here? 

      • 4

        Think that it’s smart to have a well discussed and thought out plan before a situation were to happen. It’ll solve so many worries and concerns that come with separation and not knowin where your loved one is. 

      • 7

        Thanks Roland, we can’t prep for everything, but good plans costs us nothing and can make such a difference to the outcome in a crisis.

        Also, the plan we use is like “store what you eat, eat what you store”. Much of it is already part of how we conduct ourselves day to day in and around our rural town or if travelling to outlying cities.

    • 5

      It is just the wife & myself nowadays.  I am prepared to walk home from work, which is really the only place I go, should it be necessary.  Probably not a real good chance of having to do so as I work in a suburb and live further out in the country.  But just to be safe, I have a stocked get home bag in my truck, designed to take care of me for a few days.  Inside my truck, I have additional gear, food, weapons & water.  All this could also be used if stranded for some reason.  Here in north Mississippi, there just wouldn’t be a lot of possibilities for that.

      I have driven home every possible way and make notes of ponds & lakes.  I have studied Google Maps to find shortcuts when I need to go cross country to save time.

      • 6

        Same question as for Bill above for you, Redneck, what if you for some reason are evacuated and can’t make it home with your original plan to do so.

        There could be unexpected barriers to making it home. I think the plan has to include that scenario or maybe not?

      • 6

        You know, one simply can’t prepare for everything.  Some extreme possibilities are just not worth my time.  In my area, the odds of say an area wide evacuation are just too remote to worry about.  It just doesn’t happen in north Mississippi.  Heck, the odds of me even needing a get home bag are remote enough. 

        But one reason for the GHB, is to get home in case roads are closed or there is some barrier.  What that could be around here is actually beyond me.  The barrier would have to be huge because I can get home all sorts of ways.

      • 4

        Right, I understand. I suppose this would apply more to urban and town people. Thanks, Redneck.

      • 4

        There really is too much to prep for. Even communities that spend millions of dollars on gettin prepared for disasters are still woefully unprepared. Think about what is most likely to happen to you and what is needed for those few scenarios.

      • 6

        So true, Roland, that is why we sat down and figured out a get home plan that would offer the most likely scenario we might face.

        Using an itinerary system works well no matter what happens.

    • 9

      This something I have thought a lot about and is a top concern for me. 

      I work in downtown Seattle and live about 20 miles east… but that trip takes me across a lake and through multiple tunnels.  It is also one of only two routes across lake Washington, both of which are major highways.  All this to say in the event of a major incident… like a major earthquake… no way I am getting  back to my family anytime soon. 

      If there is a following tsunami, my underground parking garage will surely be flooded so I don’t feel comfortable depending on any items stored in my car.

      So my plan – I have a dedicated bag with standard items (food/water filter/first aid/etc.) and a few situation specific items (crow bar, P100 mask and goggle, etc) always staged at work with a good pair of boots to change into, and a route laid out with 3 alternative paths (depending on if I am on foot or in car).   Estimate it to be a 2 day hike, particularly if it is “the big one” and the bridge/tunnels collapse, gridlock, fires, etc. so have gear to “urban camp”.

      The wife is in a better location and her job is to get the kids (still to young to be part of any plan).  We also got copies of the emergency plans for each of the kids schools/day cares so we know where and how to find them.

      Two particular things I just dont feel truley prepared for are comms and meet-up location if home is not an option.  We have no family in the area and virtually all our friends are not located in viable  areas.  I have a cell phone (grid dependant) and added a hand held Ham (repeater dependent given the distance)…  not bulletproof but don’t know of other good alternatives.  Welcome any thoughts.

      Sorry for the long post (my first) but your post reminded me I need to get back on it!  Big fan of TP and just getting into the forums.

      I like the trigger words and making sure the wife knows the routes I plan on taking.  Will need to integrate that into the plan.

      • 5

        Seattle , wow, just wow, I dont envy your position for one second, Quakes, Fire storms, tsunamis, anarchy and civil unrest all in one place.  I  would NOT like to try and calculate risks for that situation.

      • 6

        PNW, Welcome; You’ve presented a well thought out quality plan with realistic preparedness efforts.

        Commo and meet-ups not critical – important but not critical. Commo and assemblies are subordinated to the emergency responder requirements which initially absorb just about all resources.

        If your kids are in programs to learn emergency preparedness, I’d say you’re at max level of private citizen preparedness.

      • 7

        PNW, Welcome!

        My husband and I used to live in BC. In the Nisqually quake, he was driving in the Deas Island BC tunnel in a work truck with some co-workers. It is a floating tunnel. He said it was like being inside a rope that was being whipped back and forth and then snapped.

        Meanwhile in another city, Kelowna BC, I noted how the quake was registered by people in our office. Some people never felt a thing and others had physical reactions. One person staggered out of his office and thought he was having a heart attack. I thought I was having an anxiety attack.

        Once we knew what had happened, we discovered the inconsistency of how the quake was registered physically by people in the same building. I filed that bit of info away as it was not something I expected. I thought everyone would feel the effects of  quake.

        Back to your plan, which very well thought out by the way. It is difficult to prepare for all aspects of a disaster because of the variables. I second what Bob said about comm and meet-ups not critical.

        Sometimes, meet up points aren’t possible. The itinerary system is one way that you will know roughly the vicinity that each was in when the event occurred. That is a much better scenario then people who have no plan and no clue where family members are located.

        What is important is for you and your wife and children to survive the event and be able to function until you meet up again. 

      • 6

        I second what Ubique said. Have each person able to survive on their own and get to your bug out location until you are able to meet up again. While comms are helpful, they aren’t absolutely necessary if everyone knows where to go and how to get there. Sure you may be apart for a while, but if everyone can trek their way to that location, then it will all end up well. 

        This all will require decent training however of being on the same page and knowing alternate routes that you will take if one is inaccessible. 

        Welcome to the forum! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

      • 5

        Seattle keeps you on your prepper toes, for sure! Absolutley love the PNW though (originally an east coast guy).

        Appricate the fresh perspective.  That is what’s so great about this site.  Thank you all for the warm welcome!

      • 6

        Hey fellow PNW-er! Welcome to the forums! Always happy to chat Cascadia Subduction Zone preps. We live in a dangerous place, but it’s beautiful—and one of the most climate-change-resilient parts of the country, so we’ve got that going for us! 🙂

      • 8

        Hello pnwsara!  So true on all fronts:)  Thanks for the welcome!