There are many different opinions on both bugging in and out and most of them are conflicting on so many levels. However, I believe there is no one single answer on whether someone should do one or the other. There are different situations which require different approaches and I will try to cover an as wide range of possibilities as I can.
You can’t prepare yourself for every possible scenario but you should think about the most likely ones and try to prepare for those. The choice is simple… either you Bug In or you Bug Out. Sometimes the event itself will give you the answer and on other occasions, you’ll have to make an educated guess on whether is it safer to stay or leave. My views on the matter are that a person should be prepared for both and make a decision when the actual event takes place.
The thing is if your home is damaged in an earthquake or flood or simply isn’t livable anymore, the choice is made for you and all you can do is grab your BOB and leave the place. However, the situation becomes more complicated if the decision solely rests on you.
There are however those individuals who are not physically capable of leaving their homes, either due to some illness or whatever other reason. They should definitely do their best to prepare their Bug In as best as they can. That means supplies like food and water to last a long time as well as contingency plans like burying food outside the house or somewhere nearby in case somebody raids their place. Secondary and tertiary water availability is a must and of course defense. This includes, if possible, partnering with similar people who live close by because the numbers will always give you the edge over the looters.
My personal plan is as follows. I keep enough food in my house to last me for several weeks. I also have secondary cash of food nearby in case I need to stay at home longer than that. I also have a secondary location which is fully equipped with everything I might need to survive for a long period of time. And as I have said before, the decision about leaving my home will be made at the spot depending on what kind of SHTF.
One very important point regarding safety and defense is to connect with people in your neighborhood or building. If there are those who are on the same wavelength as you, you should definitely try to make preppers out of them. Because believe me, when things go south you’ll want to have as many friends as possible, preferably very well armed ones. However, when you start searching for those individuals around your community it is not advisable to just tell them that you are a prepper and invite them to join you because if it turns out they are not interested you will be exposed tomorrow because they will know that you have supplies. So, beat around the bush asking all kinds of questions until they open up to you and once that happens to create a plan and prepping community in your vicinity.
Bugging In or Bugging Out?!
Bugging In has its advantages over leaving simply because you are on a well-known terrain, you have supplies and hopefully, friends close by. Some preppers strongly advise against staying for various reasons, but the fact remains that if you don’t have a secondary location or you are not too well acquainted with survival techniques and have little to none experience surviving outdoors, your chances of staying alive long are realistically slim to none. And why do I say that? Ask yourself, have you ever spent the night outside when it’s cold and wet? Do you even know how to light a fire or catch a food for yourself? Do you know where to find water, build a shelter? Have you ever been hungry or cold for a longer period of time? If you have negative answers to these questions then you should probably think about staying home and preparing your Bug In as best you can. Or, starting today, you should begin developing those surviving skills necessary to realistically survive out there.
Bugging Out also has its up and downsides. First, you may not be the only one trying to leave, so you could be caught in a craziness of an immediate reaction to an event, where everybody is trying to escape. Blocked roads and scared people could be your downfall even before you have started your journey. And we have all seen how dangerous people could be when they are scared and don’t know what to do. Also, once you get out of the city, you probably won’t be the only one roaming out there, meaning there will be others, trying to take your supplies or equipment. Remember, most people won’t be prepared, meaning they’ll need what you have. So, once you are out of the city there are two options, either to go somewhere remote where people are scarce or again find fellow preppers or travelers and face the situation as a group.
As I have already said, both scenarios have its good and bad sides and I could write an entire book breaking down potential situations and troubles you could encounter doing either Bug In or Bug Out, but the fact remains that each and every individual should collect as much information on both possibilities, weigh in personal situation and make their own decision on how to act when SHTF. Because we are all responsible for ourselves and must take responsibility for what we do. Information and knowledge are power, so make sure you are well armed with both in case it ever becomes necessary.