So here’s the question. Have you planned for what might happen before, during, and after the inauguration? You might say “Well JC, there’s a lot of talk from the communists/socialists/leftists/anarchists/islamicists (you get the point, there’s a lot of “ists” that want to cause problems)…..but it’s just talk…right?” I don’t know, is it? Have you thought through what could happen if there’s an assassination, or even an attempted one, and the consideration that it would most likely be an obvious inside job? What “follow on” steps do you think would be implemented by the bad guys if they actually decided to be that brazen, and go that far? I don’t have a crystal ball, but I believe if they go that far, they will go for broke in every area they can.
The question here is not “Can you stop it?” but “How do I prepare my family and friends to get through it?”. Having a plan is the first order of business. Without a coherent plan that everyone understands, and can do there part to implement, you are dead in the water. Let’s look at some logical steps that you make part of this plan. Although this looks like an abbreviated OpOrd, there are a number of differences because you are dealing with civilians, and the format needs brevity and to be “Civvy friendly”.
Identify the “5 W’s”. Who, What, When, Where, Why. Yes, it’s part of the “Mission” paragraph in an OpOrd.
- “Who” is involved? Good guys are family and friends. Who the bad guys are, God only knows in this situation, but heightened situational awareness is a must. If something feels wrong, it probably is.
- “What” are you planning for? In this case we’ll call it an “Inaugural Coup”. “Who” is included in this plan? Wife, Kids, other family, close friends? Also you need to generally identify who the bad guys might be. Well leave that to your imagination.
- “When” will it be? For planning purposes, we’ll use one day prior (Jan 19) to one day after (Jan 21).
- “Where” will it be? Whatever area your loved ones will be that they could be in harms way. In my case it is an area that fits in two overlapping 30 mile circles.
- “Why” are we doing this, and why this way? First is because “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Second as to the “Why” this way (my way), because I’m the one going to the effort to make a realistic plan, and I’m the one in this group that has real world crisis planning experience.
Now for the “How” part of plan.
- If given the appropriate signal (via commo or “Dead Man Switch”), the group will converge via vehicle at a specific location until the situation is deemed to be “all clear”.
- If a group member is found to be without transport from their site, certain members assigned to the task of personnel retrieval will go get the individual.
- All members will have a minimum of supplies, to include food, water, shelter, first aid and defensive equipment in case they cannot be retrieved from their location. This will be for the “Shelter in Place” option.
- Another option is to have a “Shelter in Place” option (a networked asset) along one of the three (primary, secondary, tertiary) routes back to the retreat in case the route is no longer negotiable.
- The last (and worst) option is the group member will walk out of the area they are in, and have transportable supplies to sustain themselves to make it to the retreat.
Items needed for implementing the plan.
- Redundant (PACE) commo. P 1/2-Cell or Text (voice and text use different systems), A-Social media messaging, C-Two way (HAM) radio with assigned channels (with and without repeaters), E- Dead drop message at a known location.
- Emergency kit in your vehicle and on your person. Protection-This is tough since a number of areas will not allow transporting firearms in vehicles. If you can, have at least an effective, reliable handgun and semi auto rifle With gunbelt and a few mag pouches) that you are comfortable with. If you can’t carry firearms, look into your state laws regarding keeping one or more unloaded, blackpowder (not considered firearms in the eyes of the law) revolvers and a BP rifle or shotgun in your vehicle with the appropriate loading essentials. If something bad kicks off, load up. A flare gun is also a “firearms substitute” albeit a single shot one. At a minimum, having at least 3 or 4 days worth of compact food is a good idea, as well as water (stored a little less than full in 2 liter bottles), and a way to filter and purify more water. Shelter, whether it’s just a season appropriate sleeping bag, and also includes one form of tent or tarp. Basic first aid gear is prerequisite for any emergency evac kit, so stock it well. Good sturdy field quality clothing for the season is a necessity, along with a good pair of season appropriate, broken in, boots. Also, make sure your basic “On person” survival kit has multiple ways to start a fire. A decent pack to carry all the above listed gear in case you have to use “shanks mare” will be a necessity.
- A vehicle with at least three times the needed fuel (If you fill up every four days, that would be 3/4 of a tank) if possible, but at least have 2 times the daily amount (1/2 tank for the above illustration). Have an empty gas can in the trunk along with a bulb siphon. An emergency jumper box with air compressor, a tire plug kit, and a decent jack (not the manufacturer’s POS).
- Maps of the area between home/retreat and work (street and topo), with writing devices and note tablet. Know your alternate routes, but marking them on the map might not be prudent. A good compass that you know how to use along with a decent, handheld GPS. Good lighting for reading your maps at night (white normally and red lens if you don’t want to stand out).
When making your plan, having a “Dead Man Switch” built in might be a good idea. For instance, if you believe a crisis is imminent, why wouldn’t you keep an open line of commo with everyone as much as possible? Whether you plan on hourly texts, social media messages, or just clicking your radio 4 times at a given time, it just makes good sense if you can do it. If commo goes down, and you are out of options, having a plan that automatically kicks in is important, especially if the person that has to implement it is indecisive.
Let’s say the a crisis starts during the inauguration and there is a fear the bad guys might implement martial law due to the crisis. The commo lines might all be clogged (cell phones on 911) or purposefully disrupted, so you can’t get through to send the “get out” signal. The “Dead Man Switch” option basically dictates that from the moment you lose communication, there will be a given time hack that will automatically set the plan in motion.
Let’s say you are keeping in contact every 30 minutes, and one of your commo windows is missed. You have a 5 mins before and 5 mins after buffer, and that time span doesn’t produce any commo. If your “Dead Man Switch” plan dictates that upon missing two contacts, you put the plan into motion, that means you will kick off the plan after an hour and 5 minutes.
Planning this way is reassuring for the person that will be implementing the plan, as well as the person who will call for it’s implementation. The decision to “Get out” has already been made for the person that has to get out if they follow the plan, and the person on the other end is reassured that they have an idea of when it was put into motion.
Make sure both parties continue to monitor there commo at the allotted times, especially if it’s a two way radio. If repeaters are down, they don’t have the range, but they still work when the radios get closer. Make sure you do not use common language to describe your route over the radio. Have different landmarks on different routes assigned different names that only the recipient would know in case someone else is listening. This is to keep them from being tracked via the info that is given out.
If you are the type that will go off looking for them, don’t have them use the “Dead Man Switch” option. If you know you’re probably gonna go get them, you don’t want them automatically leaving at a given time, especially with different routes they could take, which will depend on the road conditions. You will use the “Dead Man Switch” in reverse. For example, they know you will be leaving to come get them at one hour an five minutes after two commo failures. This is not a time to have multiple moving parts.
Simple tips to extend your radio commo. Having a 12 volt plug in and a magnetic antenna for your handheld can go a long way in extending you range especially without a repeater. Have at least one change of batteries, and you might want to consider a throatmike/earbud option for remaining quiet if you’re on foot.
In my mind, this post is not comprehensive, just a basic overview of how you might plan and implement an evacuation of “near and dear” personnel from a bad area during a crisis. I haven’t talked about things like traps, Load bearing tactical gear (except for the pack) and all kinds of other tacticool equipment, because if they are on foot, they are beelining for home, not setting up a trapline on an extended BugOut. Weight will be at a premium, and the quicker they can move, the quicker they’ll be home.
Hope this is helpful,