Making plans for remote family members : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I can't recall a thread addressing plans to gather in remote relatives in the event things go bad.

It's on my mind because my daughter starts college next month in a city about four hours from our prepared home. She will have a car (if she gets her act together and stops going to the beach every day) and my plan is to buy a map and trace a back-roads route from there to here. She will be told to put it in the glove box and leave it there.

I will tell her that if I call and tell her to leave, she is to drop everything, go straight to the car, get in and drive here. She is to keep the car full of gas at all times, and she need not bring a single thing with her.

I'm wondering if any of you have similar circumstances and, if so, what plans you've made.

-- Vic (, July 21, 1999


See the "soloplan" at the Cassandra site. I wrote it specifically for college kids, but should apply to many people.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), July 21, 1999.


I am a new GI, but worst case scenarios have always had a way of creeping into my thoughts. Since getting your daughter to your prepared home is critical, you might want to consider additional contingencies in case there is a telecommunications failure, etc. So here are some things to consider and also some addl info might be helpful to the response.

First consideration-- will you / rest of family already be in residence at prep home? This will make things easier. I'm guessing that at 4 hours away, she will come home at least some weekends for visits. Suggest that she actually tries out your suggested back road routes. Suggest that she keeps that map in the glove box, but also a couple copies around-- purse, back pack, bug out bag. (Irony, I don't currently have a bug out bag as I really don't have anyplace to bug-out to. However, for anyone who is planning to travel, like your daughter, a bug out bag is probably a good thing. For good info on them see the cassandra site reference above.) I think the map idea's good, but actually having a chance to drive some of the routes will be important. You don't want to get lost or be bumbling around trying to read a map in the type of situation you're preparing for. It leads to added stress, potential errors and could lead to being a potential target.

I've seen numerous suggestions to make certain that your prep home residence address is made to be your official address. This is a contingency if travel would suddenly be restricted. Assumption that people will be allowed to travel to their official residences.

College kids and keeping the gas gauge on Full. Well, that's a new one on me... ;-) I don't know of what type of contingency you could have for that-- gift certificates for gas?

As far as not bringing a single thing with her-- see bug out bag ref. above. Some will depend on your climate, as well. If your in a warm climate, may not be a problem. But in a cold climate and she drives in the ditch because there's a bad snowstorm happening, etc. Or what if the car breaks down or runs out of gas (even though we know she's going to keep it on F...) Also, how should she plan to proceed if the unexpected should happen?

A big problem area as I see it is the notification plan. Maybe you have it planned in more detail than what you describe here. First, is this a dorm phone, traditional phone, phone with answ. machine or voice mail, cell phone? Unless cell phone, it will be hard to be able to get in touch with her at a moment's notice. Maybe a pager? However, with any of these you're still depending on communications technology. Perhaps you need to set of a check point system-- and only you can know how often to set the check ins or how long to allow elapsed /missed check ins to go before she heads out.

The check in idea roughly is that you call her once a day, at a pre- arranged time, just to touch base. As things that concern you arise, you can alert her to 'it's getting close'. Maybe increase check in times. If it's time you want her to head for prep home and you get through, great, tell her to head out. If on the other hand, telecomms are down, or out, you have pre-set that if you cannot talk to her at the pre-arranged daily time and more than 'x' # of hours go by that she does not hear from you, then she is to leave.

Some other contingency if telecomms are working but you can't contact her may need to be developed.

Contingency for what happens if she hasn't arrived after x # of hours (normal drive time, or # of hours past missed check-in plus normal drive time.) Perhaps a discussion of which routes she would try in which order.

Well, these are just some ideas for starters. You may even want to do a practice drill or two. And then, keep thinking about different possibilities and how to proceed if something unexpected would happen. Kind of like letting murhpy's law be in your conscious thought process, while planning how to overcome whatever did go wrong.

Again, not in similar circumstances, only recently GI, but lots of practice theorizing worst case scenarios. Hope this is of some help.

-- winter wondering (, July 21, 1999.

Thanks, WW. Those are some great suggestions, and I will incorporate some of them into the plan.

-- Vic (, July 21, 1999.

Make sure she is home for the "holidays". Then if it goes "down" on Jan 1, she will already be there. Also we will have 23 hours of watching the world cope with the date change before it gets to Pacific coast. Taz

-- Taz (, July 21, 1999.

For the map, get some paper waterproofing compound at an outdoor store. The map won't last long in the rain. Also a cell phone, as it is probable that some cell networks will stay up.

-- Retroman (, July 21, 1999.


Definitely a bug-out bag, kept in the car. Maybe it should include [don't tell her :)] a band-aid can with gas money, just in case.

I've already used my BOB a couple of time. LOL, just like winter wondering,I don't have a place to bug out to, but I do travel. Great thing to have.

My instructions to my youngest son were roughly the same: if I tell you to come home, do not pass GO, do not collect, $200......just get in the car and drive. He's also worked out back roads in case these are necessary.

You might want to reverse the calling procedure, and if things get tight have her check in by calling you. Probably easier for her to call home than for you to call a dorm.

-- de (, July 21, 1999.

Our situation is even somewhat more disjointed. Our seven adult children (six married) and 16 grandchildren are scattered accross the Western US. We probably provide the safest haven for the family in case of major problems; the problem will be in getting here. We've discussed secondary havens (especially for those in urban areas (e.g., Los Angeles)) and alternate routes (fly to Hawaii from Las Vegas instead of LAX or SFO). We are encouraging some of our kids to visit us over the new year (those most at risk). Travel here could require a lot of time...and a 72 hour bug out kit could mean not being hungry for most of the time...

In summary, both a bug-out kit and alternate routes are important.

-- Mad Monk (, July 21, 1999.

Vic - I have almost the exact same problem. Daughter in college 4 hours away, only mine is a Senior instead of a freshman. I made a bugout bag for her with map, emergency heat, cooking, water tabs, poncho, mylar sleeping bag and blanket, compass, etc.

Although she will be home for the holidays, I left it up to her judgement if and when to leave earlier. She does understand about y2k, but is so involved in school, work and romance that it does not take a prominent position in her daily life.

She is assembling back-up documentation of her records and I finaly got it into her head that she needs to be aware of what is going on around her, to keep the car gassed and to take the bag with her wherever she goes. I trust her instincts, but I will alert her if I see signs of potential disruption.

She also has fine local people she can stay with if it is unwise to travel. I trust her judgement on that too. Although it would ease my heart to have her here, she knows her limitations and can better assess the prudence of setting out from her end on the trek home. I have suggested she network with others from this area in a convoy.

I am trying to get her to take a serious self-defense class. This is a good idea, anyway, for all young girls. I took one, myself, several years back. I recommend it to you. Would also like to get some pepper spray.

Your daughter is just leaving the nest. Mine is an independent adult. As a parent of an adult, all one can do is try and improve their options and offer some guidance for situations with which they may have little experience. Your task is more difficult - letting go, showing trust in her judgement, but not placing her in a position where she is likely to be in over her head. It may be trite, but I have found posing possible scenarios and having them think through their response to be a useful tool.

To a certain extent, ready or not, she will have to make her own decisions and be responsible for herself. You may have to face the fact that she may not be able to make it home. Walk her through the scenarios, even the possibility she will have to remain where she is. Help her figure out where she would go, who she would trust, etc. if such is the case.

-- marsh (, July 22, 1999.

Hi,we have the same problem with a son at University but dependant on public transport to get home.(200 miles)

He will be home for Christmas & will not go back until the university tells him it is safe to return.If things take a while to deteriorate or there is trouble in his city later we shall have to organise a rescue.

-- Chris (, July 22, 1999.

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