As a nation we are again engulfed in civil unrest. For those that live in urban or suburban areas such unrest is, along with natural disasters, an obvious reason that may force you to leave your home. No matter how well-provisioned your home is, and no matter how well-positioned it is within a stable environment, you should always maintain a bug out plan so that you can quickly flee, should you be forced to.
There are three parameters that you need to consistently maintain for a bug out plan: First, know where you will go. Second, know how to get there. Third, keep your essential gear ready to go. While an initial “bug out bag” is important, more realistically, having a series of packed bags or crates ready to be quickly loaded into your vehicle is in order. It is this third point I wish to address a bit further for your consideration:
Most likely your bug out plan will be to evacuate with your household by vehicle. If this is the case, I suggest starting with a bug out bag that is something you can carry on foot so that, should you need to leave on foot, or abandon the vehicle at some point, you have the most essential supplies in that single bag. If traveling with a partner or older children consider having such a bag for each adult to maximize what can be carried strictly on foot. Beyond this, however, you will most likely have a vehicle to transport more gear.
As my own bug out preparations have evolved over time I have come to use a three-piece system as the core of this bug out plan. These three pieces of gear can be carried in one trip to my vehicle to be loaded, and everything that would follow would be bonus. The first of these three bags is my actually go-bag/bug out bag/get-home bag, essentially a bag with all the essentials for immediate emergency that can be carried for prolonged distances on foot. A solid backpack is the best option for this.
The second pack is a full-size, heavy duty duffle bag that contains clothing, medicines, a spare handgun and ammo, and other survival supplies. This particular bag is more geared towards going somewhere via vehicle and being able to sustain.
The third item is a cased long gun with accompanying ammunition and/or magazines. I highly suggest a discreet case for this use, something that does not look like a gun case. A small case that takes a collapsible long gun, or a disassembled rifle, might be best here. While the long gun will not be quickly accessible in this configuration, the discretion may take higher priority. It simply depends on the situation.
These three items can be quickly loaded into a vehicle, literally in one trip to the car. Following this would be further clothing, water, and food for the family, and an additional long gun and ammunition, all of which I keep in a quickly transportable format.
Being able to load your vehicle within several minutes and hit the road with everything you need to live, sustain, and defend your family with is an essential life plan in this day and age.