Stay informed: Things to consider before you bug in or bug out
05/15/2020 / By Zoey Sky / Comments
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Stay informed: Things to consider before you bug in or bug out

Bugging in on a homestead or bugging out in a survival shelter have one thing in common: preparation. Here are some things you should consider before deciding to either hunker down or get out of Dodge. (h/t to

When to bug in or bug out

To know when exactly is the right time to stay home or head out, you must first think of the possible survival scenarios that you might face.

The key here is to prepare for the most likely scenarios to happen in your area. Common SHTF events include:

  • Natural disasters, like earthquakes, flooding, forest fires or tornadoes.
  • Grid-down emergency, particularly a long-term power outage.
  • Economic or financial collapse.
  • Civil unrest.
  • A combination of some of these scenarios.

Once you’ve determined which scenario is most likely to happen, ask yourself these questions: Between bugging in and bugging out, which one is the safer option for the whole family? Which one will ensure your survival?

Consider your location. Say you have a high-rise apartment complex in the middle of an enormous city — bugging out may be difficult. On the other hand, you may encounter trouble if you bug in especially if there is any civil unrest.

Think of your family members. Do you have elderly loved ones who may have trouble bugging out on foot? Are there any young kids or babies that you need to watch over?

If you’re living in a large city and you decide to stay home, you must be prepared to deal with potential violence from desperate people who may loot your supplies. Do you know how to use self-defense weapons so you can protect yourself and your family?

If you want to avoid potential threats, consider bugging out to a bunker in a remote location.

If you’re certain that it’s safe in your homestead in a secure location, bugging in may be your best bet if SHTF.

While traveling, you should also have preps ready in your car. Get a bug-out bag ready and hide it in the vehicle you use to drive to work.

During a disaster scenario, you need a source of reliable information to help you make informed decisions. Make sure you have a working radio if you can’t go online using a smartphone or laptop.

With a crank-powered radio that can tune in to shortwave transmissions, you can gather information about whatever is happening in your area. Learn how to operate a ham radio so you can check in with other preppers to verify the news you heard on the local radio.

Before SHTF, you must consider these factors so you can decide when it’s safe to bug in or bug out. Always assess your situation, the information you have, and the survival scenario that you’re facing before you decide.

Always consider all your options in advance so you have enough time to get your preps ready.

Tips for bugging in

If you choose to bug in, you must make the necessary preparations to ensure that your family has enough food and supplies when dealing with a long-term survival scenario. You also need to fortify your home to keep everyone safe after disaster strikes. (Related: How to prep if you’re bugging in when SHTF.)

Before you bug in, follow the tips below to ensure that you can have access to enough supplies when SHTF.

  • Stock up on a two-week supply of the regular food that your family consumes on a daily basis.
  • Prep six month’s worth or a year’s worth of food supplies with a shelf life of 20 to 30 years.
  • Get seeds for vegetables that you can easily grow in your survival garden.
  • Prep the supplies you need to cook for your family if you lose power, like a camp stove or a solar oven.

Sheltering in place is ideal for several reasons:

  • You’re staying in a place that’s comfortable and familiar. This will help reduce stress in an already stressful situation.
  • You already have most of what you need at home.
  • If you need more gear and supplies, you can set up a survival stockpile ahead of time.
  • You also have enough space to store more food, water and supplies.
  • You’re familiar with the layout of your home and property. This is essential for security and defense.
  • You’re close to neighbors and fellow preppers that can help you out when things go south.

Prepare a bug-out bag for the whole family so you’re ready if you need to evacuate. You should also make the necessary preps and set up a stockpile for your gear and supplies if you decide to bug in.

Sources include:

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