Creating Your Family Rendezvous Plan

Creating Your Family Rendezvous Plan

When a sudden crisis hits, such as an EMP attack or another catastrophic event, chaos and confusion can easily follow. In these scenarios, traditional electronic communication methods may fail entirely. Having a solid rendezvous plan for your family is essential. At the core of this plan is identifying a safe primary rendezvous point away from urban centers and other locations where large groups of people might panic. Once this point is established, the plan must consider all the factors that could impact each family member’s travel to this final destination. This article will guide you through creating a foolproof family rendezvous plan, covering key elements such as meeting locations, low-tech communication strategies, geographical challenges, timing strategies, and essential supplies.

Why a Rendezvous Plan is Necessary

A rendezvous plan is necessary for several reasons:

  1. Immediate Coordination: In the event of a sudden crisis, having a predetermined meeting place eliminates uncertainty and panic. Everyone knows where to head, reducing the risk of getting lost or separated.
  2. Safety Assurance: It allows family members to check in and ensure everyone’s safety. Knowing that loved ones are safe provides immense peace of mind.
  3. Resource Consolidation: Gathering at a specific location ensures that resources such as food, water, and medical supplies can be pooled together and utilized effectively.

Key Concepts Summary Tables

Identifying Potential Threats
Threat Type Description Response Plan
Natural Disasters Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, wildfires Establish multiple routes; choose high ground or sturdy shelters
Man-Made Disasters EMP attacks, chemical spills, terrorist attacks Identify safe zones; pre-establish low-tech communication methods
Societal Collapse Economic collapse, civil unrest Choose secure, defendable locations; plan for resource protection
Health Emergencies Pandemics, bioterrorism Stockpile medical supplies; choose decontaminable meeting spots
Considering Geographical Challenges
Geographical Feature Challenges Planning Strategies
Rivers and Water Bodies Difficult crossings, potential for flooding Identify safe crossing points, carry flotation devices, plan alternate routes
Mountainous Terrain Physical exertion, navigation difficulties Build stamina, carry maps/compasses, identify natural shelters
Forests/Dense Vegetation Slow movement, fire risk, wildlife Stick to paths, clear trails, carry fire deterrents and wildlife protection
Urban Environments Blocked roads, high-density panic Plan alleyway/footpath routes, avoid high-density areas, identify resources
Open Plains/Deserts Exposure to elements, difficult navigation, high visibility Plan for sun protection, use compasses, be aware of visibility risks
Timing Strategy for Rendezvous Points
Timing Element Description Guidelines
Initial Wait Time Time spent at the first rendezvous point Wait at least 24 hours
Subsequent Wait Times Time spent at secondary rendezvous points Wait 12-24 hours depending on distance and travel difficulty
Staggered Arrivals Managing arrivals at different times Leave clear markers/messages, use consistent symbols
Designate Scout Roles Assigning roles for safety checks Scouts move ahead, check safety, return to report back
Flexible Waiting Periods Adjusting wait times based on conditions Extend periods if necessary, conduct regular check-ins
Night and Day Strategy Safe travel practices Travel during daylight, rest and secure position at night
When and Why to Execute the Plan
Trigger Event Description Response
Immediate Threats Natural or man-made disasters imminent or occurring Leave immediately upon credible warning
Loss of Communication Failure of electronic communication Initiate rendezvous plan if unable to contact family members
Visible Societal Collapse Signs of widespread panic, looting, riots Move to secure location as soon as signs are observed
Health Emergencies Outbreaks or bioterrorism events Relocate before travel restrictions or quarantine measures are enforced
Pre-Arranged Signals Agreed-upon triggers or events signaling execution of the plan Act according to pre-established signals or triggers

Steps to Create a Family Rendezvous Plan

  1. Identify Potential Threats
    • Assess the most likely scenarios for your area. This could include natural disasters, EMP attacks, or other sudden crises.
    • Consider the unique needs and vulnerabilities of your family, such as medical conditions or mobility issues.
  2. Choose Primary and Secondary Meeting Locations
    • Primary Location: This should be a place that is easily accessible from your home, such as a nearby park, community center, or a familiar landmark.
    • Secondary Location: In case the primary location is compromised, choose a secondary location farther away, such as a relative’s house in another town or a designated shelter.
  3. Establish Clear Low-Tech Communication Protocols
    • Pre-Event Communication: Ensure all family members know the plan and have practiced it. Regular discussions and drills are essential.
    • During the Event: Use predetermined signals such as whistle codes or visual signals like flags or markers. Establish a routine check-in schedule if separated.
  4. Plan Routes and Modes of Transportation
    • Multiple Routes: Identify several routes to each meeting location to account for roadblocks or hazards.
    • Transportation: Decide on the modes of transportation available, whether by foot, bicycle, or car. Ensure everyone is aware of these options and capable of using them.
  5. Pack Essential Go-Bags
    • Each family member should have a go-bag ready with essentials like water, non-perishable food, medical supplies, flashlights, batteries, maps, and a change of clothes.
    • Include copies of important documents (IDs, insurance papers) and some cash.
  6. Conduct Regular Drills
    • Practice your rendezvous plan regularly. Conducting drills helps family members remember the plan and act swiftly during an actual crisis.
    • Adjust the plan as needed based on drill outcomes and any new threats that arise.

Communication Strategies Without Electronics

  1. Pre-Event Preparation
    • Make sure everyone knows the emergency contact list and understands the rendezvous plan.
    • Agree on specific low-tech communication methods, such as written messages, chalk markings, or pre-arranged signals.
  2. During the Crisis
    • Use whistle codes: One short blast for attention, two blasts for regrouping, and three blasts for an emergency.
    • Leave written messages at pre-determined spots if moving from the initial location.
  3. Post-Event Communication
    • Once at the rendezvous point, establish a routine for checking in with extended family or friends through pre-arranged methods like leaving notes or sending a trusted messenger.

Essential Supplies for Your Rendezvous Kit

Category Supplies
Water and Food One gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable food items
Medical Supplies First aid kit, bandages, antiseptics, medications
Tools and Equipment Multi-tool, flashlight, batteries, whistle, maps, fire-starting kit, portable shelter (tarp, space blankets)
Personal Items Change of clothes, sturdy shoes, hygiene items (toothbrush, soap, sanitary supplies)
Important Documents Copies of IDs, insurance policies, medical records, emergency contact information, some cash in small denominations


In the face of a sudden SHTF event where electronic communication is impossible, a well-crafted rendezvous plan can be the difference between chaos and coordinated action. By identifying threats, choosing meeting locations, establishing low-tech communication protocols, considering geographical challenges, developing a timing strategy, knowing when to execute the plan, and conducting regular drills, you can ensure that your family stays connected and safe. Preparation is the key to survival, and having a clear, practiced plan in place is your best bet for weathering any storm that comes your way.

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