How to Create a Link-Up Plan for Your Family or Group

How to Create a Link-Up Plan for Your Family or Group

We’ve all been there: a quick trip to the mall, where the spouse goes one way, you go another, and the kids are split between the two.  What happens if you find yourself in a public place during an active shooter event?  How would you find your family if you got separated?  ITS Tactical has a great article written by Jeff Gonzalez, former Navy SEAL and head of Trident Concepts, that lays out exactly how to set up a link-up plan. (By the way, you should be reading that site daily!)

First and foremost, keep it simple; “meet at this location, at this time.

A major mistake is what to do if you’re at the predetermined location, or rally point, but no one else has arrived. Now what? You need to have a condition, something like “wait five minutes, then move to this location.” There are actually a lot of reasons why someone might not have been able to make it to the rally point, such as having to cross a major danger area, like the attack site, that didn’t exist beforehand.

If members of your group, or even you yourself, don’t make it to the rally point by the given time, the next step is to fall back to a secondary rally point. The objective with each successive bounding action to the next rally point, is to ensure you’re moving closer to your escape with each movement. The predetermined time limits give you and the rest of your group the opportunity to link up during a fluid and chaotic situation. It doesn’t hurt to even rehearse this plan at a local mall or school event, just make sure everyone knows it’s a drill.

He’s also got some advice about how to return accurate fire.  I suggest you at least take a quick look.

Before you accuse us of being paranoid, think about it.  You have a plan for what to do if there’s a fire in your home, right?  You have a plan for what to do if an intruder breaks in, or if a disaster happens.  Why wouldn’t you have a plan for what to do if something happens while you’re out in public?  Take the time and make a plan.  You never know—your family’s lives may someday depend on it.


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  • Xavier says:

    My brother just called. Due to flooding and closed roads, he, his wife, and three teenage daughters are all separated and unable to use their regular routes to get home. Two of the girls, who are new drivers, had to call him for alternate directions. They’re all safe but the kids were *slightly* concerned. 😉 Good lesson, though.

    Something I’d like to add to Kit’s post is the idea of having a small emergency bag in the car – and not in the trunk. I just bought a sling bag on Amazon for $22, it’s a little comical because it’s the size of a second grader’s knapsack, and not a full blown bug out bag, but it’ll hold enough to help you get through a short emergency. A little food, a little water, a little flashlight, some medical supplies, a foil blanket, a knife, a cheap raincoat, fire starting tools, basic camping type things in case you have to bivouac somewhere unexpectedly. Btw old cell phones that are no longer on a plan can still call 911 as long as they’re charged and are an excellent addition to the bag. I wish now I had made a kit for each of my nieces.

    Because one never knows, do one?

    • Jodi says:

      I didn’t know about the old cells. I happen to have one I was going to chuck. I’ll keep it and stick it on my bag. Thanks for the tip!

      • Xavier says:

        Women’s shelters ask for old cell phones for this reason. If you have one you don’t need, donate.

  • Pete says:

    For ANY emergency, even something as “mundane” as a natural disaster (if not a tornado, how about a volcano?). For my sister and me, we both live south of Seattle, and our mother lives north. My sister has kids, I don’t. It makes sense for my sister to get with her kids and me to go “get mom.” That way, from the very beginning of any emergency, no one should be alone.

  • OldSoldier54 says:

    No paranoia, IMO … just a pragmatic view of life as it is now. If one is unwilling to consider the unthinkable, one cannot prepare to cope with its possibility, thereby maybe resulting in all that one loves and cherishes being put in body bags.

    Boy Scout motto says it all: Be Prepared.

    To which I would add, try to retain Situational Awareness at all times. Eg: dump the ear buds, for Pete’s sake, and pay attention to who is around, and what they are saying!

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