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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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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Phone locations can be tracked without GPS

The location of your phone can be tracked even If your GPS is turned off, and used to track your location. This is done by a method triangulating the phone using cell towers and the signal from them in called Radio Direction Finding.

Quick defense tactic to counter this tracking is a faraday bag, get yours here and support our site in the process

When your phone connects to a cell tower the cell tower generally can tell what general direction your phone is from that tower based on the strength of the connection in different directions. This is the same concept of how wildlife tracking collars have used for decades and how the FCC tracks down pirate radio stations, this is because “cell service” is really just a radio signal sent out from the tower, same as any radio station, or hand held radio just on a different frequency.

The result of this is a general direction/heading from that tower that your phone could be found. With typical cell phones now the signal sent out by the cell tower is a wide beam
that spreads out and gets weaker over distance, imagine a cone with the wide end extending out from the tower.

Now if your phone can connect to multiple towers this gives multiple directions/headings that if laid over a map would create a cross point, al be it a wide one where theoretically your phone would be located. Now the more towers your phone can connect to the more accurate the location will be because the
the area within that cross point where your phone can connect to all the towers theoretically gets smaller the more towers there are. Now in most areas your phone will connect to 1 or maybe 2 towers with the exception of larger major cities where you may connect to more.

This method can also be used to track location via Bluetooth connection. It was announced a few years ago that the UK was using Bluetooth hotspots in trashcans and other city fixtures to track “traffic patterns” by connecting to peoples phones that walk near them.

Any device that uses cell service or any radio frequency, can be tracked in this fashion, Tablet, Car, laptops, smart watches, ham radio, etc. If it has cell service or uses radio frequencies, it can be tracked by radio direction finding.

S2_Underground has a great video on Radio direction finding on their #lbry channel.

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Stop Getting Deliveries at Your Home

For the security conscious, or if you are a targeted Individual(LEO,Govt., SOF, Celebrity, etc. a habit that you should break is having things delivered directly to your home(especially in your own name). For one this links your physical address to your name.  This information is then easily accessible in people search databases who get this data from the shipping companies.

Now if you have ever had anything delivered to your home address its already out there but you can stem the damage by not taking further deliveries until you can remedy the situation later. Your name and address are still out there to find but if stuff is not coming to your house any more the possibility that someone legit would be just dropping by is much less allowing you to respond more quickly with out having to figure out if they should actually be there.

The biggest step you can take to further your home and personal security is to separate your name from your physical address, with that said this is much easier said than done and can take much more work than be covered here but the information is out there for those that want to pursue this. We will also cover this in more length in our telegram and Matrix rooms.

Back to the topic at hand, when you have things delivered to your home directly you open the door for people to have a justified reason to be on your property. This can be anything from Take out to UPS to appliance deliveries We mean everything, This means that when someone drops by unannounced, you have to then figure out if they belong there or not and if the situation is suspicious or the person poses a threat. Keep in mind that just because they are wearing a uniform of some kind does not mean they are legit.

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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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Secure Your Trash

A lot of information can be gleaned from your trash and most people don’t give too much thought to what they throw away up to and including their bank statements. Most will think who would go through my trash and in most cases its true they are not actively being targeted to this level.

However this another one of those tactics that if you don’t apply it before you are targeted you’re already too late. Think about stalkers. The victims usually don’t know for at least a little while that they are being stalked (unless they had a prior relationship). The stalker could (and they do) steal the trash and use the info the glean to further their activity. Or if you are a wealthier individual or a C level employee or even just a head of a department at a larger company. You have access to info that is desired by a lot of individuals in the realm of corporate espionage. The info they could glean from your trash could lead to anything from black mail to robbery to in extreme cases murder if its just easier to make you go away to set your project back a bit.

To counter this, a good rule of thumb to follow is that only organic (food or food containers) get thrown in the trash (or recycling). If the packaging from other items is clear they can be thrown away to.

If its paper/card board it either gets shredded and then mixed up with other shreds and thrown out in batches or its burned. (especially important with anything financial or with personal info on it), or you it can be shredded then burned if you are particularly paranoid or you have a high level security concern.

Now when traveling or on the go never throw out anything with personal information and avoid using any trash cans that are in your room/office or location that can be tied to you. Take your trash with you when you leave and if it doesn’t need to be shredded or burned throw it out in a common area trash preferably the dumpster or a trash can at another location. This makes it harder to link any info you may be throwing out specifically to you.

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Avoiding attention in urban environments

You can draw unwanted attention to your self in an urban environment in a lot of different ways for a lot of different reasons. Most of which stem from some form of stereotype.

There are many reasons that you don’t want to be associated with one or more of these groups as well drawing unwanted attention to your self can lead to other not so pleasant scenarios.

To name a few…

CCW/LEO/Military/First Responder/Firearms

Camo
Military surplus items
Visible paracord
Tactical gear, packs and clothing(branded specifically)
Visible pocket clips
portable radios (any tech beyond a cell phone)
morale patches
Hand checking your EDC or weapons
Military or most short hair cuts.

In times of violence these people have a higher likely hood of being targeted first as they would pose the greatest threat(theoretically) to the perpetrator.

Criminal/Thug/Gang Member

hoodies
loitering individual or grouped
Small groups specifically of younger men
tattoos
aggressive behavior
hands in your pockets when temps don’t dictate it

Being associated with this group could get you increased attention from law enforcement, security guards, or you may be denied access to certain areas, or drive away average people that start to feel uneasy.

Wealthy

Jewelry
Fancy clothing
High end cars or devices

Flaunting your wealth or appearance of wealth is likely going to get you attention from thieves and criminals as you look like a prime target, especially if you are not taking any other security precautions.

Anxious Behavior

Rapid glances
Constant adjusting clothing
constantly checking your watch
staring

This can draw attention to your self in a couple different ways depending on whose attention you draw. These behaviors can mean anything from some low lever social anxiety on up to someone who is preparing to commit an act of violence.

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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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