By Rob Hanus
A rally point, also called a rendezvous point or fallback position, is a pre-designated location. Part of your preparedness plan needs to include a set of location(s) where your family will go in case you need to evacuate. You’ll need several locations. For example, for a house fire, your meeting place should be someplace close to home, but far enough away from so that people would be out of danger from the fire, and out of the way of the emergency responders. If there’s a chemical spill in your area, your rally point could be the nearby house of a family member or friend.
Each adult or responsible person needs to know where these locations are, so they can get to them on their own. This is especially important if you are all leaving from different locations.
Here’s a likely scenario: Let’s say you’re at work, and your spouse and kids are at home. Some catastrophic event occurs and the phone lines are either down or jammed up and you can’t get through via text or radio. You know that your family had to evacuate, given the circumstances of what has happened, but because you had a plan that identified where they would go in such an event, you know exactly where they’ll be and can meet up with them.
Contrast the above with having no plan and not knowing where or how you find your family.
Locations can be a hotel, a friend’s or family’s house, a vacation cabin or camping spot, and so on. Ideally, the location provides for basic comforts and conveniences – a hotel would be more preferable than a tent during a rain storm. If you choose a hotel, you should also have a backup plan on what to do in case there are no more rooms available.
If you don’t have rally points, you should do so as soon as possible. Many events that would cause a need to evacuate do not always give you the opportunity for last minute planning.
If you do have a set of rally points, chances are that it’s time to review them. This means going to each location and making sure that it is still a viable location.
When finished, you should have a rally point near your home, in your neighborhood. Determine another location that is just outside your neighborhood and several other safe locations you can go to in case of a major disaster.
Make sure that everyone knows where these are, and create strip maps for how to get there (even if the location is well known). Often, this will require that you take a drive and locate where these places are, including address and phone number (quite handy in making a reservation, if you can get through on the phone), GPS coordinates, and so on.
Rob Hanus is the author of the book “The Preparedness Capability Checklist” which is an easy to read book with the absolute best method for intelligent and deliberate prepping. Rob is also host of the Preparedness Podcast.
You can get the Rob’s book here http://www.thepreparednesspodcast.com/capability-checklist/
and tune into Rob’s podcast here: http://www.thepreparednesspodcast.com/preparedness-podcast/
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