xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' July 2014 ~ The Prepared Guy

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

When in doubt, BUG-OUT.*

This is a very serious topic that each of you should be thinking about and planning for.  When the SHTF are you going to bug-in or bug-out?  It is the quintessential part of being prepared; of being a prepper.  It is potentially the life or death decision that you'll have to make at some point.  Have you already made your decision as to what you'll do and where you'll go?  I don't have all the answers myself yet and I can't tell you exactly what is best for you and your situation.  You'll need to seriously consider what I've outlined below and with some inspiration make the right decision for your family.  This all depends specifically and personally on your situation, location, level of preparedness as well as other conditions.

Here are some of my thoughts on when you should as well as should not bug-in/out.

BUG-IN if you already live in a rural community and have your garden and other resources all around you.  In my opinion, this is the ideal situation in an SHTF scenario.  This acceptable rural area must be far enough away from a major metropolitan area so as to eliminate or minimize the possibility of refugees spilling over into your community and ravaging its resources.  This means 200 or more miles away and should include some kind of natural barrier such as a mountain range, major river or deep canyon between you and most of the closest population.  A small rural community will be a valuable resource when you are trying to be self sufficient but make sure that you have something to contribute and/or barter with that will benefit the community.

BUG-IN if you live in a suburb and you live at the edge of it, near a rural area or wilderness boundary and if you are prepared.  If you are going to bug-in you should already have your food and water storage and a practical plan on how to obtain more resources once yours run out.  Hopefully you have a larger lot where you have planted a garden and have years of experience growing it, have a rainwater collection system as well as some solar panels on your roof with at least a basic battery system or other provisions for your most basic power needs.  You'll need to keep a low profile and have some luck with staying unnoticed.  Your home must be secure and you must be able to adequately defend it.  You should have a plan to cooperate with your neighbors on how to help support each other and combine your talents, efforts and resources to ensure everyone's needs are taken care of.  This, I believe, is the most critical part of your preparedness.  Your supplies will eventually run out and it is virtually impossible to prepare for every scenario unless you have limitless funds.  Having good relationships, and a preparedness plan with your neighborhood, can make the difference between comfortable survival and chaos.

On the other edge of the sword your neighbors can also be a detriment to your survival if they have not previously prepared adequately.  This will be entirely up to you to determine.  If you find that it will not be possible or feasible to work with your neighbors in a crisis you may determine that bugging-out is your best option.  If you have amazing neighbors that are currently a great support system to your family you may want to think very hard about leaving them.

When in doubt, BUG-OUT. *  The asterisks indicates the caveat.  *If you are not prepared to bug-out then don't.  If you don't have anywhere to go you shouldn't just bug-out without a plan.  Because you are reading this you are way ahead of most people who we all know are oblivious to the immediate dangers that currently face us.  If you haven't already you need to lay plans and determine your course of action now.  It is a fact that if you can live in a remote rural area with resources including water and crops as well as a supportive community you WILL be more successful at surviving difficult times.  This is why I say: When in doubt, prepare to bug-out.

BUG-OUT if you are not fully prepared to bug-in, BUT you must be prepared to bug-out.  It's a conundrum, I know.  It can be a confusing and tough decision to make!  If you don't already live in a rural area and you run out of resources you'll be forced to bug-out anyway.  Unless you get lucky you're gonna end up dead.  Don't count on luck.  Get prepared and have a plan.

Do NOT bug-in if you live in a densely populated city.  In an SHTF situation you could eventually lose both power and water.  (Let me clarify; SHTF could mean any number of various situations including: grid failure, financial system collapse, natural disasters, social chaos, pandemic, etc.)  Your access to water is likely dependent upon electric water pumps.  River or streams are possibly nowhere nearby.  Collecting rainwater may not be consistent enough to supply your needs.  A reliable source of water will be your most important resource for both drinking and sanitation.  As the storage space in an apartment is typically very small your ability to store enough supplies to outlast an extended emergency event will be limited.  When grocery store shelves are empty don't expect that they'll be replenished any time soon.  In large cities your biggest danger will be the population.  Unlike you and me most people only have 3 days worth of food in their cupboards.  This means only 9 meals until anarchy if the food supply is cutoff even if it's only for a relatively short period.  When people need food to feed their children they get desperate.  Desperate people can be dangerous.  Keep yourself out of this situation and bug-the-heck-out.      

Do NOT bug-in if you are not prepared to bug-in.  That's kind of a stupid obvious statement.  What i'm trying to communicate is if you only have enough supplies for two weeks you need to get out early.  In all cases, if you plan on bugging out, you need to get out early.  Don't wait until you are down to your last can of chili and then realize that you are unable to get more.  Make a plan to go to a friends or families place as far away from a major population center as possible.  Take all of your supplies with you so that you won't be as much of a burden on your hosts.  This will hopefully give you some time to prove yourself an asset and not a liability as a guest in someone else's home.  Have some tools and skills that will contribute to everyone's self-sufficiency and you will be appreciated and not unwelcome.  Always keep your gas tanks full and leave early.  If the emergency gets resolved you can always go back home.  You've got to watch what is happening in the world and anticipate.  If you are trying to get out of a densely populated area during an emergency you are likely to get permanently stuck in traffic which would be a really bad scenario for anyone! Plan your route as well as alternate routes but know exactly where you are going first.  Have a way to carry as many supplies as possible with you such as an enclosed trailer.  

Plan to BUG-OUT if you live in a densely populated area.
Plan to BUG-OUT if you have friends or family who live away from dense population centers who are willing to take you in.

One thing that I see often are videos on YouTube from preppers that plan on bugging out with only what they can carry and plan to live off the land.  This may be possible for them but it is not for me and my family in our situation.  As a family of 5 children we would never make it that way.  That is a hard way of life and would be our last option as it would not be a very successful option.  In this situation do NOT bug out unless you already have a bug-out location ready for you that is already prepared and stocked with supplies.  Leaving your home where you have resourceful and prepared neighbors to a place where you are all by yourselves may not be your best option.

Make an arrangement with a farmer in a rural community to work their land in exchange for a place to pitch your tent or park your trailer.  If you have friends or family nearby you could plan on consolidating resources and moving in together.  There is safety in numbers.

When is it time to bug-out?  Your answer is as good as mine.  If you are prepared to bug-in that makes the answer much easier.  If your bug-out location is 250 miles away that's a different story.  When the banks say they will be closed on a Friday but will be back open on Monday that may be a good indication of when to head to the hills.

You must also consider your method of transportation to get to your bug-out location.  Do you need an EMP resistant vehicle in order to get you, your family and additional supplies to your bug-out location? Personally I feel that this is a low percentage possibility.  But, if this did happen, for me to move my family hundreds of miles to a bug-out location would be impossible to do if we did not have a vehicle that could get us there.  Having a vehicle that is appropriate should be an essential part of your bug-out plans.

When in doubt, bug-out.  Again, this is a very personal decision which should not be taken lightly.  If you can get prepared to bug-out your chance of comfortable survival in an SHTF scenario will be much more likely in a remote rural area.  Decide what is best for you and get to it.

The purpose of this site is to provide you with information about what I have learned, my experience, and what my motivations are as a Prepared Guy. I have always felt driven to be ready for any situation by something powerful deep inside me. Being prepared has always served me well. I feel compelled to help others do the same.
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