Mutual Assistance Groups: What is Activation Planning?
When a mutual assistance group (MAG) or other group of people “activate,” it’s usually when a disaster or specific event has been identified. Activation takes people out of their routine and into a predetermined disaster plan.
There are two common ways to approach activation planning.
Activation Planning Method #1: We’ll See You When You Get Here
In this method, the mutual assistance group announces an activation, and the members follow their self-devised bug-out plans with little help from the group. Keep in mind that some people will not immediately respond to an activation for a variety of reasons.
Activation Planning Method #2: We are Coming for You
A second method would have the overall group more involved in the activation process. In this scenario, mutual assistance group members are more closely located to each other and the retreat or the primary meeting location.
When a group-wide activation is announced, a pre-planned course of action would occur. If needed, teams could be mobilized to gather other members and/or other families who need help getting out.
I encourage all families to use similar planning and processes as the group at large to create an air of familiarity and understanding among all members, big and small.
Most importantly, keep it simple and easy to remember. Use words everyone understands. Make every effort to standardize terms and definitions in all plans to reduce confusion.
Levels of Activation (Samples)
• Normal Operations
• Enhanced Readiness
• Mobilize to Primary
• Mobilize to Alternate 1
• Self Deployment
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series from Charley Hogwood of P.R.E.P. on mutual assistance groups (MAG).