Regardless if it is a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or any reason you may think it may be time to evacuate your office or family home the below can shed some light on what you want to be thinking about.
The decision to evacuate or stay will be governed by the sum total of all information you have at that time. This information may include alerts from the authorities, the threat level and the exact threat you may be facing.
Other factors you will need to consider are how prepared you are to actually leave or how equipped you are to stay, and this really boils down to how much preparation you had made prior to any such threat. Another thing to consider is the reliability of the information received. Always consider sources and validity of same. If the source is not reliable, the information may not be either.
Evacuation is a possibility not a certainty, only you and your family can make the final decision whether to stay or go. There are many parameters that will affect the decision to evacuate. Some of the things you will want to consider are intelligence—how much information do you have and how good is that information. Next, do you or any of your family members have a physical disability that may preclude you from moving them or keeping them mobile for any length of time? Remember you may have to travel quite a ways to escape the potential danger of the blast and/or radioactive fallout.
You must also consider geographic location. Where you live is a real factor as it relates to information and potential danger.
Should I evacuate my employees or family?
- Leave now if you have reliable sources that an attack is imminent. Go with your gut instincts because if you are able to get out fast and in time and an attack does occur, you have saved your family. If you leave and an attack does not occur, you have lost nothing but some time and some gas.
- Information and reliability of same
- Does information tell you that you may be near ground zero if an attack is imminent?
- You will have very limited time to make the decision to stay or go, the more time that goes by, the more possibility that the situation will deteriorate.
- Any disabled family members?
- Travel time
- Possible traffic and heavy congestion on roadways
- Chaos possibly leading to abnormal and violent behavior amongst the populace
- Are you prepared to personally defend yourself and your family in the event the chaos gets out of hand or an opportunist happens along and decides he wants all your supplies?
- What if you have to leave your vehicle and move out on foot
- Do you have enough supplies in your go-bags?
- Do you have an evacuation plan with contingencies—if roadways are blocked, and you suddenly change your mind and want to head home to stick it out there, can you get there?
- Is your vehicle gassed up and in good working condition?
- Vehicle: do you have spare parts and know how to fix them if you have to while on the road?
Staying is another option you have and the decision to stay will be based on how much information you have, the quality of same and how you are geographically tied to what potentially may be ground zero should a terrorist attack be imminent. If you do decide to stay then you will want to begin your survival efforts with the following three essential elements to augment the speed at which you can minimize potential dangers.
- BUILD YOUR TEAM- As with any military operation or business venture, you must build and cultivate a team to accomplish the many tasks that need to be undertaken. Here your team will most likely consist of family members. Do not assume that kids cannot play an important role here; even children can and should take part in performing and executing whatever tasks they are capable of.
- ASSIGN TASKS to both adults and children. Because you will be very pressed to accomplish both numerous tasks and a great variety of them to deliver the most effective personal protection in a very limited time frame, you must assign tasks in a manner that imparts confidence and pride in those family members. For example, if there are four children, each one of them can be a “manager” or assistant manager or “director” of a specific task. In this manner, they tend to execute their tasks with more pride, determination and thus more efficiently.
- ASSIGN PRIORITIES to each element of your survival plan. Whatever is most important to your survival should be placed at the top of the prioritized list. So the first few survival essentials would be:
- Get potable or drinkable water
- Construct a shelter or get inside and build layers of barriers within your shelter with the thickest, densest materials you can find.
- Food-gather food items and put them away securely
Note: All drinking water and food items should be secured and positioned someplace that offers easy access.