On to bigger and better things. I will make this post for The G.O.O.D. Plan (Get Out Of Dodge), and that may be it for the summer. I will, maybe, post more clips in the Autumn. I am still awaiting contact by possible publishers who may be interested in providing this book to the world. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you enjoy this next segment.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's):
SOP's are just that, standard procedure for any given task. This is the way you and your family will always contact each other during an emergency, how you will pack up your vehicle and this is your procedure when you stop to refuel.
The military uses standardized procedures. This allows for a systematic conformity. In this case, conformity is a good thing. Because when the shit hits the fan and the bullets start flying, you don't want to waste a lot of time looking for someones first aid kit or spare ammo.
I would suggest your family establish SOP's for the following:
- Contact/No Contact/LOST – Family Members
- Family Codes – Password / Safeword
- Start the G.O.O.D. Plan – codeword / codephrase
- RV Location
- Packing / Loading your G.O.O.D. Vehicle
- Time – Always work backwards with the available time until you must Get Out Of Dodge!
Once you have your rough draft completed of your own G.O.O.D. Plan you may decide to add other SOP's.
For SOP's to work you must write them down ( in your G.O.O.D Plan .) You must practice them until they are second nature. And you must drill them from time-to-time to ensure you will remember them when the chips are down. If ,after all that, you notice you have SOP's for things that do not seem that important, you may want to edit and thin your SOP's to just the most critical procedures. The ones that get you out of your home and in your vehicle, so you can Get Out Of Dodge!
Now let's have a look at what your SOP's could look like. I will try to write up some SOP's that you can modify to fit your family's needs. Your list may include SOP's that I have not written samples for, do your best.
Contact / No Contact / Lost Contact SOP:
- It is an emergency. You need to contact your family.
- If together, proceed to step 6.
- if apart. Call each person's cell phone first. Tell them where and when to meet up. Give your family codeword for starting the G.O.O.D. Plan.
- If unable to contact. Leave a message, use your codeword for starting the G.O.O.D. Plan. And instruct to call the contact person.
- Call your contact person. Leave the meeting location and time for other family members. Give today's password and the family safeword to your contact.
- Begin Packing the G.O.O.D. Vehicle, as per the G.O.O.D. Plan.
- Once packed or out of time, head for the meeting place. Try to be a couple minutes early if possible.
- Pickup all members of family, proceed to Safe Zone.
- IF, a family member does not make it to meeting place. Call your family contact. Get update. IF, they have not heard from overdue member, give alternate meeting place and time.
- Proceed to next meeting pace, enroute to Safe Zone. Call contact again. If, still no contact. Overdue member will have to use their own S.E.R.E. Plan to get to the Safe Zone on their own.
- If you are the overdue member and you receive the message with the codeword to start G.O.O.D. You will:
- Immediately, call your family contact person
- Listen for the Family safeword and give the password of the day.
- You will ask for the meeting place and time. If you can not make it in time. Tell contact you are enroute. If possible to make it to the alternate meeting point in time say you link up there. If not possible, state I will be starting my S.E.R.E. Plan. See everyone at the Safe Zone. ETA – Unknown.
- If You loose contact with a family member after they know that the G.O.O.D. Plan is active, you will:
- Call your contact person. Update them. See if they have had any contact. If possible, arrange an alternate pickup point and time.
- Wait at the scheduled meeting point, for 10 minutes. If, still not contact – you MUST proceed without them. The members in your vehicle must get to the Safe Zone. You can decide to conduct a rescue mission after you arrive at the Safe Zone.
- Continue to check in with your contact person enroute to get updates.
- IF, your overdue member is close behind, you may make the decision to wait for link up.
- If you loose contact with your family, after the G.O.O.D. Plan is active, you will:
- Establish communications with your family contact ASAP.
- You will update them on your situation.
- If link up is not possible in the time available, notify the contact you will be starting your S.E.R.E. Plan immediately.
- Meet at the Safe Zone when you can get there.
- If you do not make contact with a family member. They may or may not know that the family G.O.O.D. Plan is in effect.
- You have already made it to the Safe Zone.
- You have not heard from you family member.
- Defence construction at the Safe Zone is under way.
- If the nature of the situation allows, you could try to drive a rescue mission to try to find your overdue family member. Or leave a message at a meeting location.
- Your Triage SOP should kick in. You should wait for your missing member to arrive following their S.E.R.E. Plan.
Passwords are a two part system. Part one the challenge word. Part two the password. Do's and Don't's:
- Don't use colours
- Don't use common pairs – romeo / juliette
- Do use words your family will know
- Do change your password often
- Do change your password after it has been used
- Do use your password before an emergency
- Don't give the password if someone repeats the challenge word
- Don't be afraid to keep a visitor separate until their identity can be verified
- 05 may 2011 Password of the Day = Tree/Leaf
- Challenge is “TREE”
- Response is “LEAF”
- Any other response = open fire.
A safeword is a code word only someone who has been in contact with the family will know. This code is used to verify that the person is allowed to interact with the family. Such as:
- Pick up child at school/camp/practice
- Prove to the child that the person has had recent contact with the parent
- give the child a ride
Although, child focused, this technique is equally applicable to adults or teenagers. This is a safety mechanism to verify authority when there is a time shortage.
Safeword Do's & Don't's:
- Do not give the safeword to non-family members just because.
- Do ensure each member of the family knows the current safeword
- Do remember a few old safewords – at least one
- Do give the safeword to another when you need them to pickup your child
- Do train your child to ask for the safeword before leaving an activity
- do keep the family safeword safe
- don't tell friends – At school, sports practice, or church ( not to anyone outside your family)
- Each Family member knows current safeword
- You can not make it in time to pickup a family member
- You ask a friend to pickup family member. You give them the current safeword
- When the friend arrives at school/practice, the family member asks them for the safeword
- If correct, the family member knows it is okay to leave with them
- if, not correct or an old safeword, the family member will tell their teacher to call 9-1-1 and get the police. The family member will not leave with them.
- Better safe than sorry
- change safeword after it has been used
- Remember giving an old safeword is a message of distress.
Keep safewords posted in your home on a chaulkboard or whiteboard, that is out of sight of casual visitors. Update the board each time the safeword changes. Use safewords your family will know, understand and remember.
Keep Safe Out There!
S.O.P.'s Parting Points
You will need to develop S.O.P.'s for all activities:
- Activate G.O.O.D. Plan
- Time – Evac Checklist
- Packing/Loading G.O.O.D. Vehicle
- Driving G.O.O.D. Route / Convoying
- Refuel Point
- Road Blocks / Check points
- Occupying Safe Zone
- Defence Construction at Safe Zone
- Contact Drills at Safe Zone
- Recce Patrols
- Going Home
This is a starting point. Your S.O.P's may be larger or smaller as you see fit. The more that is worked out before hand, the less stress when the bullets are flying and tasks need to be completed. Everyone needs a job. Everyone needs to know what their jobs is, and just do it.
Working with time:
Time is your greatest challenge during an emergency. So, it is important to have your evacuation checklist written in reverse order. That is, have the MOST important items listed first. IF, time permits then ....
If, you have 3 or more hours to evacuate, you can do quite a lot before you have to hit the road.
On the other hand
If, you only have 20 minutes to pack and get, a whole lot of your valuable gear and supplies will be left behind. This is a worthy point to ponder now as you build your G.O.O.D. Plan.