As has been seen again and again with hurricane evacuations, the difference between being stuck in an endless traffic jam and easily evacuating can be a fairly small window of time. Sled’s point about exiting following a SHTF event in the narrow window before govt. can mobilize is correct. If in doubt as to the implications of the SHTF event, or perhaps if the event is developing but hasn’t quite happened yet, 74 is on to something in his comment about sending the wife & kid’s to grandma’s. If the kids, elderly, or those with health or mobility issues can be gotten to a safer place early on, then it will be all the easier to do your own bug out when it is apparent that the time has come. One of my brothers saw this at the time of Tiananman Square when he was working for a major multinational in the Inner Mongolia region of China. As events were unfolding and no one knew where it was leading, his employer evacuated out of the country all of the spouses & children of the expats. Another aspect of acting early is if you think something is developing that might bring us to SHTF status, but it hasn’t reached the point where you need to make to go/no go decision, you can still do some preliminaries. You can fill the gas tanks on your vehicles and you can gather what you will take with you if you do decide to go. You can prepare a note for a neighbor telling them where you are going and asking them to look after your home if possible, and put it and a house key in an envelope so that it is all ready to drop off. You can pull out a checklist of final things to do before leaving such as turning off the gas and to avoid frozen pipes bursting turning off the water, draining lines, and putting some antifreeze in the toilets. If the “time to go” point isn’t reached you are none the worse for wear. Go pick up the kids and visit with grandma for a bit when you do.