Escape Route Planning and Methods

Whether it’s a route out of a building or out of a city, you should have escape routes planned in case something happens. We recommend you follow the P.A.C.E method. Meaning a Primary, Alternative, Contingency, and Emergency. You should know the fastest ways out of the building your in a probable safe location outside where you can regroup, and route out of the neighborhood or city depending on the situation. You want alternatives as well should the problem at hand be between you and your primary exit.

 

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Get Out of The Building

Your primary could be a typical exit such as main doors, your secondary could be a door out a different side of the building. Exits that you can use for a low profile exit as well. While you Contingency and Emergency route could also be windows or loading docks etc. Something that under non emergency circumstances might raise eyebrows.

Make sure you remain flex-able, No plan survives contact with the enemy. You might make it al the way to your exit right as a second threat appears there and you need to move for a different one.

Out of the area

This could be the neighborhood or the city it is basically the same process. You should know the area you’re in or at least be somewhat familiar. Know the main paths out as well as some alternates that are less used. Figure out the routes that are going to get congested and avoid those routes in escape route planning. Apply this same process to roads and highways for the city itself.

Have at least one route going in a different direction than the rest incase the direction of your routes is compromised from a wildfire, earthquake, civil unrest or alien landing.

Also consider alternative modes of transportation when you are considering routes. For example at just about any major city all the roads or going to grid lock but maybe you have a major water way that you have access to with a boat or you have access to small recreational vehicles like dirt bikes or ATVs that can take routes cars cannot.

When to leave

Should also be considered. Some events you can see coming and you can get out before the rush such as wildfire. Maybe the neighborhood down the road is evacuating but you have not been notified yet. You have no absolute need to stay there at the moment and you can leave and stay at a family members property. You might consider leaving as there is no down side to getting out early.

Non Typical Routes and Transportation

You don’t need to stick to roads, sidewalks, or “designated paths” You can cut through buildings, parking lots, parks, or maybe a hiking trail starts near you and crosses a road farther down that you can then use or hitch a ride. Can you swim? Jump in the river and use the current to float away from the threat, the skies the limit. Transportation can be more than just your feet or your car, if you have an office maybe put a bike in there as a back up, maybe you work on the coast and a marina is close by where you can dock a small boat or store a canoe, kayak or paddle board. If it moves and can carry you it could be a form of transportation in an emergency.

Conclusion

Make sure that you have Primary, Secondary, and at least a Contingency if not also an Emergency, route out of your buildings, and cities. Apply the same PACE plan to modes of transportation if you can. If you can take your car great if not maybe you have a bike in your office, a boat at the marina and as a last resort….RUN

 

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Scavenge a Vehicle

You should always have an emergency kit of some kind in your vehicle. This could be a dedicated kit for your vehicle, you Get home bag, or a combination there of, but there are some scenarios where this is either not enough. Maybe you’re in a long term survival scenario and your kit is depleted and you come across a vehicle that has been abandoned. Maybe your kit was stolen as the incident kicked off, or maybe your vehicle is broken down in a remote location and you need to take what you can before you try to make it out your self.

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Whether it’s your own vehicle, or one someone has abandoned, there is a host of items that can and should be scavenged from a vehicle in a survival situation.

Now you wont have to worry about legal issues when it is your own vehicle but before you go and tear apart a vehicle you think is abandoned be sure that either the entire system is collapsing and you wont have to worry about legal repercussions anymore anyway or the situation is bad enough that your actions will be justified. In the event that they are not you may face criminal charges or have to deal with it in civil court for destruction and theft.

First things first, check the floors, under the seats, the trunk and the glove compartments. Glove compartments can be found in the dash between or under seats and some times built into the rear seat of cars. Depending on time span and how fast and the bad the emergency came on there might still be good things left out in the open or in the glove compartments.

Start picking it a part.

Start with the battery if you can, this can help prevent in accidental sparks or depleting it by crossing wires as you take other parts out. You will need either a wrench, players or wire cutters in order to disconnect the battery. The battery can be used to start fires, charge devices,
jump another car, or even weld if you have multiple batteries. Make sure to look for and take the jumper cables if there are some.

Next is the jack and tools. You probably found these when you were doing your first pass through but look for them now if you havn’t. The lug wrench can make a decent pry-bar or a blunt weapon. You will need it and the jack to remove the tires. The jack can also be used to lift or spread apart objects in an improvised rescue or to gain entry or exit form a building. You may also find an assortment of other tools that could come in handy depending on what the vehicle came with or what the previous owner had in the vehicle.

Once you have some tools you can start pulling out the rest of the good stuff

Fuel can be worth its weight in gold in a survival situation. From a great barter item in long term catastrophes or less developed countries to an aid in fire starting in a more short term incident. Obviously if your vehicle shares the same fuel type you can use it there. Gasoline can also be used as a solvent. In order to get the fuel out of the vehicle you will need to either siphon it out with a hose/tube or a purpose made shaker siphon or pierce the tank and let the fuel pour out. Either way you will need a container of some kind to capture and carry the fuel.

Tires beyond the obvious possible use as another spare tire, tires make great smoke signals when burnt. You will need the Jack and lug wrench from earlier to remove the tire, the fuel you scavenge earlier can be added to aid them along as well. Make sure to puncture or let the air out of the tire before lighting them to avoid an explosion that can lead to injury or extinguishment of your fire.

Carpet from the floor boards, trunk liners, and floor mats as well as padded fabric from seats can be used for sleeping mats, blankets, or shelter insulation in cold environments. A knife will be necessary in order to remove most of it in a timely fashion.

Mirrors whether the rear view or side mirrors can make great rescue signals due to their typically high quality. Some survivors have also used them as a fire starter. If you are by your self they can also be used to aid in a self medical examination such as looking for ticks, leaches etc. They could also be used to check corners, or over walls in an urban survival scenario.

Lights and Wire may take longer to remove in some cases but if you have the extra time could be a good get. Pliers, wire cutters or a screwdrivers could be necessary. If you can harvest both the bulbs and the wire you can provide lighting either for signaling or just to make life easier at night. if you can remove the head light assembly intact it can use as an improvised spot light.

Seat belts can easily be cut free with a knife but are still extremely strong. They make great straps or cordage with a limitless list of uses. Make sure that you pull them as far out as possible and cut them as close to the end as possible in order to get them as long as possible.

Oil like fuel will need a container to carry it in and can be added to fire for smoke for signaling or to lubricate equipment if its relatively clean.

Spark plugs can be removed if you have sockets or wrenches depending on the engine. You can break the ceramic off the ends and use them as throwable for window breakers to prevent injury to your self if you need to break a window.

Miscellaneous

Given enough time ad the proper tools you could potentially take an entire vehicle a part. But some extra odds and ends you should consider is bolts, screws, and other pieces of hardware. That are easily removed or that could serve an immediate need. body panels for shelter or possibly making a sled. The only limitations to what you can do are your needs, tools, ingenuity and available time.

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Emergency Travel Safe Havens

Rarely does catastrophe strikes or a threat emerge at an opportune time. This means you may be away from your home, or bug out location when it becomes necessary for you to take shelter or hold up somewhere till it blows over, the threat dissipates or you find a way to deal with it. These locations would be a safe haven or safe house.

Safe houses are pre established clandestine facilities usually setup in relatively public or easily accessible areas. The public owner records are usually done in a way to not give away the true owner of the property to allow for more privacy and security. There is usually a high financial bar to clear to set this up and will not be an option for most people but are an example of the best possible option. These are designed for both emergency and planned stop off scenarios usually with a cache of emergency supplies.

Now some options for the average person are…

Embassies(when traveling over seas): in most cases embassies are a haven for the embassy’s citizens from the reach of the host territory in extreme instances. The grounds of the embassies are considered the soil of the embassy’s country where the host nation has no jurisdiction. They are also usually afforded a decent security detail with reinforcements not too far away if needed in case of unrest or host country collapse. Now as we have seen in an ever growing list of incidents however your home country coming to the rescue is not a guarantee and you should always expect to have to self rescue and have a plan to get out on your own.

Places of business or civil service buildings that are open to the general public as self service spaces, are minimally staffed or require little interaction with them to be present. This can range from libraries, internet cafes and churches to homeless shelters, or train/bus stations, airports, and in some short term cases hotel lobbies.

Vehicles are most effective for active evasion. They serve as transportation and temporary shelters. This can be your car or a rental car or bug out vehicle but can also be

airplanes, buses, boats, trains and so on. Each of which may have different privacy and security considerations you will need to consider.

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How to Secure Your Valuables at the Beach

At very crowded beaches it is not unusual to see a beautiful women walking along the beach, distracting the beach goers(usually men just saying)

What most people do not see is the the small crew following slightly behind her and off to the side snatching what they can from anyone who is side tracked by the beautiful view. This is a petty theft version of the honey pot which is a tactic that is used in almost every aspect of society. Ranging from business sales to criminal activities to espionage, it boils down to the age old adage, “Sex Sells”

Now whether orchestrated as a honey pot or not the majority of thefts when traveling are going to happen at the beach even if the beach is in your home town. Average beach goers are often distracted by one thing or another or leaving their valuables unattended to take a dip in the ocean.

Swim wear is not usually good for carrying an EDC or any other items more than maybe a set of keys and there is little to no way to truly secure belongings, however there is things you can do to better your odds.

Personally I have never been big on the whole go to the beach to sit around thing so I recommend getting off the beach and exploring more whether thats the urban areas or the wild areas is up to your. No for the people that “Have” to go to the beach, Most consultants advise only taking to the beach that which you are willing to loose, I agree to a point, but as I have covered before I am not a fan of leaving your stuff unattended in your room either especially if that is your passport or other important documents.

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Urban GHB

Being crisis “proof” is a misnomer, crisis resistant is a more accurate description. Regardless becoming that way is more about your mind set, your skills, and your ability to handle stress.

Generally I recommend splitting the gear into what you carry on you and what you carry in your GHB (get home bag) In my case in the colder seasons I pull some stuff out of my GHB and put in my jacket as well. We covered EDC in a past post to this one will revovle around your GHB

GHB/GO BAG

I use a Mystery Ranch 3day assault pack right now for my GHB. It is not too out side the base line for areas in my usual life while getting the size, organization and durability that I Look for in a pack.

Water: A titanium/steel non-vacume bottle is best because you can use it to boil water if needed.

24hrs of calories: Power bars, Freeze dried food, MRE etc. For the average person would range between 2200-2500 calories. In an emergency situation or if your stuck in the elements you’ll want 3000-3500.

All black shemagh: Shemaghs offer a number of uses beyond being a scarf. In urban environments they typically stand out however and the all black pattern finds a balance to my satisfaction. I still keep it in by pack and out of site unless being used.

Backup lighter and fuel: A zippo lighter in a pyrovault with an additional capsule of fuel.

Roll of quarters: when grasped in a fist this can offer some more umph to your punches as well as can be used for pay phones or vending machines if needed

2 locking carabiners with a length of either 8mm cord or climb spec tubular webbing: This can be used for a host of reasons including creating a harness and using for escape from multi story buildings in case of fire or other incidents.

Headlamp: Allows for hands free light if needed

GPS + paper map: 2 is one one is none, this GPS should use standard batteries that you can scavenge if need be and you wont rely on having to recharge like your watch. Always have a low tech way of navigation as well and know how to use it.

Full size lensatic compass

Back up communications: This can be a beartooth, gotenna, Ham radio, a DIY Lora device like meshtastic or a combination. I currently use beartooth with Iphone but am looking into a DIY device. I also recommend having an un activated burner phone on an alternate network than your primary phone with what ever minute cards etc required to activate them in a time of need.

Change of cloths +/- a hat: Make these clothes match the base line but be different colors or shades than what you are currently wearing. This gives you quick change capability. If you don’t wear a hat bring one to throw on if needed. Bonus points if you choose clothes that can also just be added as an additional layer if you get caught in bad weather. I also carry a small compressible rain layer.

Additional assorted small escape/bypass tools:

Fixed blade knife if not on your person (check local laws)

Battery pack/spare batteries and charging cords for all devices you carry. You can also find small solar panels for recharging if you are in a blackout or more rural scenario

Faraday bag(s) for any of the electronic device in your bag as well as for stashing your phone if needed.

Headphones: Hands free comms or in minor scenarios for podcasts or music when delayed. They can also be used to appear less threatening if you appear to be paying attention to them and not the world around you.

Deck of cards or some form of analog entertainment: If stranded or delayed when traveling and don’t want to or cant run down your batteries or maybe you want to play a friendly game of cards with the stranger at the cafe.

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Disaster Ready

There is no cut and dry method for preparing yourself for any and all emergencies or life-threatening situations

there is not enough time to allow you master all of the skills needed to successfully defeat these situations either. You can However determine what skills are most likely to be useful to you in your daily life, as well as the emergencies you are most likely to encounter. As well as getting in a good mindset of never giving up and always learning ( this will come in later)

What type of person you are will partially dictate what you determine to be an emergency but for most people the true genuine emergency that most people will encounter is a medical emergency of some kind, whether trauma from a shooting, car wreck, a larger scale incident such as a natural disaster, a heart condition or someone having an allergic reaction at work.
One of the most useful skills you can acquire is medical training.

Another basic skill if you can call it that is your physical fitness. If you cant move your body around how will you get your self out of a situation if need be. Don’t forget in a real emergency no one is coming to help you it’s up to you. Get used to moving your body around. Even if this is all you do, you will be better off than most. Even in a fight, an untrained fit person stands better odds than untrained unfit person.

Next is a martial art of some kind. Now if you are really looking to fight I don’t believe you should stick to any one system as I have not found a system that is truly complete. Not all systems train weapons, not all train ground work and so on as well you might not be able to find the system you want at a convenient to you location.

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Threat assessment and Area Study Part 2

Once you have the area(s) figured out you need to identify What type of threats exist, It is up to you to understand your enemy (the threats) so that you can know how to best counter them Is it organized crime? Violent crime? Narcotics? corrupt government, terrorism etc. As well as which ones have the most impact on your time in the area.

There are many tools available to you that can be used to gauge and understand the threats in the area. Mainly being information. You can find much of this information online without leaving your desk. While you cannot find everything this way in many cases it will be a good place to start at the least.

Other good sources depending on if your in the area already is coworkers, neighbors, local workers or business owners, local law enforcement agencies, community networks, and of course Personal observation and situational awareness.

Once you’ve gathered as much research as you see fit, outline the various threats in your area, their tactics and techniques who the shot callers are if applicable etc.

Finally, you must determine the plausibility of becoming a victim or attempted victim of any of the threats in your area.

In short, analyze the information to predict what your enemy will do next. For instance if a serial killer only targets short blonde females, a large black haired male is not likely going to be targeted by them.

You can use historical trends, law enforcement reports, or personal research online to try and identify how your enemy (for instance violent crime) will act. Have they targeted innocent bystanders, targets of opportunity, or do they surveil the big fish targets?

Based on what you come up with from the analysis, determine possible actions they might take and how you could counter it.

be sure to identify the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How factors in order to produce the most specific profile of the threat you face. This will provide you with the info necessary to come up with a way to counter the threat (ideally).

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Threat assessment and Area Study Part 1

Don’t underestimate the power of information.

You need to understand the environment and threats in the area you are or will be in. Whether thats your home, hometown, work or when your traveling.

The first step is to identify the environment. In short you need to know your immediate situation and the various areas that your activities and needs will take you into. Where will you spend the majority of your time? What areas do you visit frequently, or work in most often? What information about these areas is available?

Take into account any factors in your area that could affect the way you go about your day to day, this could include. Geography, Terrain, Weather, Ethnic, religious, income, & age groups in the area, Political and socio-economic factors, Transportation systems and other infrastructure.

Next you must figure out how these factors could affect you. Identify any limitations or opportunities in the area. Where is the local police station? Are the police there straight or crooked? What’s the neighborhood like? Is it a safe area for criminals to operate? What is the weather typically like?

Is there more crime in certain times of the year (the summer months when everyone’s outside)? Is this crime generally located in a certain area? Is the public transportation safe and reliable? Do you need certain clothing, shoes, or gear for the terrain or weather of the area?

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Faraday bags

We are starting a series of posts covering surveillance/counter surveillance or offense and defense and the equipment used and thought of no better place to start than faraday bags.

Faraday bags are a very simple but important piece of defensive equipment that serves basically two purposes. Blocking signals from entering or escaping and device protection from outside EMFs.

They come in sizes ranging from small for your key fob for newer high end luxury cars to prevent cloning and car theft on up to full on back packs and suit cases for those needing to carry around lots of sensitive equipment. The most popular sizes though are for Phones, tablets, and laptops.

Faraday bags consist of a special fabric that blocks out 100% of wireless signals being either sent or received by what ever device you put in them. (or at least they should) you should always test your bags before you are needing to rely on them.

Some can also offer protection from EMP and other sources of EMFs that can damage your electronic devices if they are strong enough. This is where the protection category falls as well as they prevent anyone in the immediate area from connecting to your device, usually this is done over bluetooth.

They come in sizes ranging from small for your key fob for newer high end luxury cars to prevent cloning and car theft on up to full on back packs and suit cases for those needing to carry around lots of sensitive equipment. The most popular sizes though are for Phones, tablets, and laptops.

There are many reasons you will want to use a faraday bag/pouch. Ones of those cases would be….

Privacy. Placing your devices in a faraday bag cuts off and keeps anyone or thing from connecting to your device with out your knowledge. This applies if you want to avoid being GPS tracked by apps or having your phone or device wifi/blutooth hacked. Another privacy related reason is that cities are starting to place blu tooth tracking nodes through out the city to track “traffic patterns” or so they say. These nodes connect to any device that enters their range and logs the information. Even if this is for traffic patterns it would not surprise me if this is used to look up who was in an area at a certain time when law enforcement needs too. Or in relation to our previous post when a rouge employee wants to track their girlfriend

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When you go some where keep it to your self

The biggest home safety precaution you can take is to keep it to your self when your home will be unattended.

This means if your going on a trip don’t post it on social media until after your back. Especially don’t post specific dates or times prior to leaving and do not post pictures or anything about your trip until after you get back.

Making it known that you are gone is asking for something to happen to your house while you are.

Other precautions to take is not getting your Mail held or stopped but have some one you trust pick it up every day, especially if your mail box is at your house to keep up appearances and have them check on your house daily or better yet have them stay there and house sit but ONLY if you really trust them.

A house with mail or news paper piling up is a dead give away. Now if for what ever reason you don’t have any one you can trust it’s better to hold your mail than have it pile up. The only con is mail and newspaper staff have been caught giving their hold list to a criminal colleague to rob the house but it is a lesser occurring issue than a thief coming across a house with mail piling up.