Evaluating what to do
Riots are like a fire. A fire becomes a living breathing consuming entity. The mindless zombies that once were rioting for a purpose will be supplemented with the angry, rage filled, formerly powerless folks who are just looking to settle some old scores. They'll be joined by the mentally ill. People looking for kicks will join. People who are evil sociopaths, but pretend to fit into society will join since it allows their shadow-selves to emerge.
It all seems far away on the television screen. We eat ou slice of pizza, and take a swig of beer, and get bored, change the channel, and go back to being sheep. Our favorite program is coming on next, and we're rather be distracted then face reality.
Parents don't have this option. Young children would be the most vulnerable if the raging flames started licking at the edges of your towns.
How do you evaluate what to do?
Riots cannot easily occur. They are intentional ramped up by a combination of factors. A fire needs three things: a spark, fuel, and oxygen.
Usually a centering idea is put forth by the original impetus. Listen for it. It will be whispered, and then the hum will be heard. The media will amplify it.This idea is the spark.
Communication must occur for them to become organized into a mob. Communication is the oxygen. Flash-mobs can seem to suddenly appear, but they're a calculated phenomena based on intentional communication.
Is there internal rage already there in your town? Are there lots of unemployed people? Are racial tensions already at a critical mass? Are people hacked off and vocal about it? These are all red flags. The rage is the spark.
Fire spreads. What fuels it beyond it's localized area? The same factors in other towns. The idea takes hold in other areas. It's re-communicated to other people. Other people have similar rage.
A major factor is the location of goods worth stealing. While riots often happen locally in very poor areas, the mob is a dynamic mutating mass of entirely different kinds of people ultimately. It changes into something radically different that is base and dark and hungry. Usually these are folks that become entirely feral and want to steal and even the score.
If there are rich places in a concentrated area that offer a "fuel" to keep the fire going, then that's where the fire will migrate. Otherwise it will die or move and look for other "fuel".
That "fuel" may be your property.
Worse things can happen. Some people don't care about things. That doesn't motivate them. Hurting and humiliating other people...that motivates them. Do some research. Rape is seldom about sex, it's about hurting people on the most profound levels and humiliating the perceived cause of their lack of power.
This should not be ignored. If riots spread, the fire could mutate and be joined by these depraved wretches of society.
When should you leave?
A fire can be controlled or extinguished. Generally it's controlled by burning. If you remove the fuel, then you can keep it controlled into one area. It can be extinguished, but in this case it requires extreme political will. There will be consequences to extinguishing this kind of fire. How many politicians do you know will that kind of WILL?
When the firefighters are in danger, they will either feel a surge of adrenaline and act, or they will flee if it is too volatile or hopeless. If the firefighters are not allowed to respond, then they will be regulated to merely passively resisting the fire. When that becomes apparent, that the leadership is not allowing them to fight the fire, then you should wake up.
How to exit
Do you know the ways to leave your city? Most of us think we do, but in reality we know the main pathways we normally use to travel.
Some pathways are the biggest and easiest paths to travel on with the fewest interruptions. These will be the primary paths that EVERYONE will take. How will that pan out? Ever been on a major highway, and been stuck because of an accident? They generally are not constructed to remove stalled vehicles, and so special help must be called, dispatched, routed, and only then can the stalled vehicles removed. Sometimes that can snarl up traffic for miles.
If you chose these kinds of paths, there is a high probability that this could happen. Why?
In a SHTF scenario, many people will be extremely ill-prepared to bug out. They won't know what to take. They will get lost. They will lose their heads. They will run out of gas. They will not be paying attention. They could have accidents.
Can you imagine a worse scenario that a rioting city and being stuck in a stalled car on a highway that may or not be located in urban areas? That could get dramatically ugly.
How far can you travel?
Think about this logically. How many gallons of gas can a full tank take you? How many of you have a full tank? Where is the first place you will go? Like most people, who are departing on a journey, the last thing you do is fill up your tank. This is precisely why you must fill up you tank today. If a situation become untenable, and you foolish don't even have a full tank of gas, you could get stuck very easily either waiting in line at a gas station, or run out in a bad location.
If the SHTF, it may be very difficult to acquire gas. Most of us use debit cards or credit cards. If a SHTF situation happened, and prices are dramatically in flux, store owners will not know how much to charge. Worse, they may wake up, and realize they need to bug out, and that foolishly running their gas stations while everyone is fleeing is a doomed proposition.
Multiple the gallons of gas in your vehicle times normal mileage. If you're the kind of person prone to becoming lost, subtract at least a couple of gallons since you may certainly be re-routed.
This is the maximum you logically can bug out. See why bugging out is such an iffy idea? If you've got a 250 mile radius of transportation to bug out too, and you're in a zone of highly urban cities, and you're thinking about taking the highways to re-supply gasoline, then you're screwed.
Forewarned is forearmed
Knowing this, you cannot wait until the last minute to bug out. If you're married or have a partner, then bugging out is not a last minute decision. It's a logically calculated decision based upon evidence (not fear) and planning. It's every bit of an expedition. Nobody says, "Hey, let's climb Mount Everest today Honey, whadda ya say?"
Evaluate your situation
If you had to score your city on a scale of being flammable, how high would you rank it? Look at the London riots. The most urban areas had the initial fire, and then it spread throughout the city, in the most opportunistic ways, then it spread to other places. Rank your city.
Where will you go?
If you go where 1 million other panicky folks are going, even if you get there first, you've chosen the wrong destination. Can I get an amen? Go somewhere remote, where you know someone, and where the mob most likely won't go. It goes without saying that arriving at your friend's place without bringing them supplies is not only foolish, but pretty selfish. You should ask what THEY need, and what you can bring, and even if they say nothing, bring something of significant value to add to their supplies.
How to get there?
If you've decided to leave way in advance, you can take the fastest route that doesn't take you ANYWHERE close to another fire zone. This ultimately means considering those residents in other cities based upon their own 250 mile restrictions. Other smart people will also leave, and they too may have the same ideas about a place to go.
Try to take extremely well though out paths based upon research. Know alternative routes. You life may depend upon it.
What to take?
Water. If you're traveling 250 miles with an average speed of 30 miles an hour, then you're probably not thinking about too much water. What if you can't go that fast? What if you end up holing up somewhere? What is there are no places to re-supply. Count on this last one to be true.
Food. You don't want to stop for any reason whatsoever until you arrive.
Camping gear and backpacks. For everyone. If the worst happens and you're stuck, you might have to travel on foot. This means carrying things, and hand luggage is terrible for crossing over land. You might very well be traveling across country and want your hands free to help your children and or spouse. You very likely will be carrying some of their supplies. You must have backpacks.
You need an emergency shelter, and weight is crucial. Sure you can make a shelter as I have detailed, but it takes time to construct, especially the first time, and considering being exhausted by walking and being out of shape. A very light tent, and sleeping bags are essential.
I hate the idea of bugging out. I live in a rural area, but right next to city of some size. I'm in an area that is very safe, but my guess is that any fleeing folks will come right here, if only to keep moving. I'm counting on them to keep moving as it's not far enough down the road.
This may be very flawed thinking on my part. I'm not remote enough. I've got places to go, but not towards any civilization, but across wooded areas into low populated farmland. I could be just as stuck too if I don't keep an eye on any mass movements. A migrating mob can just as easily strip a town of supplies that they are deploying across.