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Prior to departure on a bug-out practice test run, group members go over the route to the destination. Waypoints and alternate routes are planned as well.

Ibegan writing this article on September 11, 2018. This day stirs strong emotions in all red-blooded Americans. As the nation paused to remember the victims and honor the heroes of the horrific events of 17 years ago, mandatory evacuation orders had been issued for a large portion of the Mid-Atlantic coastline ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Already a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, with winds of 135 miles per hour or more, the major hurricane was still three days away from making landfall and would likely grow in size, if not intensity.

Storm surge watches and warnings extend from Virginia Beach, Virginia, south beyond Charleston, South Carolina. Seawater pushed ahead by the storm was expected to flood coastal communities with up to 18 feet of debris-filled water, and officials warned that the surging swells would reach many miles inland, posing an extreme threat to life well beyond the shoreline.

Mandatory evacuation order or not, impending life-threatening conditions from floods, wildfires or civil unrest is reason enough to bug out. Family and group members should have a place to go and a well-rehearsed plan to get there. Routes and waypoints should be mapped, with secondary and tertiary routes and backup locations predetermined in the event that the primary rendezvous point is inaccessible or compromised.

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