Bug In or Bug Out? The Wrong Decision May Cost You Your Life.

| December 10, 2013 |

Bug out or Bug In

Before you can have the option to go somewhere in advance of a crisis, you must have a place to go that will welcome you. Don’t allow circumstances to make the choice for you. Prepare to be able to do both.

If you live in Urban, Suburban, Earthquake, Hurricane or Flood Zones you MUST have a relocation plan.  You need to stay aware of circumstances so you can make your decision to relocate well in advance of the need.

Hunker Down
The decision to stay put is primarily based on the extent of your preparations, the stability of your home and your personal safety in a given situation. Considerations include:

  1. Safety and security of your residence and surrounding area
  2. Practical extent of your food and water supplies
  3. Effect of high heat or extreme cold if electricity is lost
  4. Effect of loss of pure water supply
  5. Alternate sanitation capacity

Get-Out-of-Dodge Option
If relocating is the best option for a specific event, consider these basic criteria:

  1. A pre-established and prepared place to go
  2. A reliable means of travel, including alternate means
  3. Enough time get there safely before a mass migration from your area
  4. What to take
  5. What to leave behind

Pros & Cons
Hunkering down at your urban or suburban residence, if adequately stocked, may be the best option for you if you have no prearranged and stocked place to go.

Even if you do have a retreat option such as a pre-arranged plan to stay with a relative, ensure your plan includes the ability to stay put for a short time while the wave of any social unrest passes.

In times of crisis, large population centers can become dangerous.  If you fail to see the signs of impending natural disaster or civil collapse soon enough, it may not be safe to travel right away.

Even if you plan for long term survival in-place, your plans should include a relocation element. Events such as wild fires, flooding, mass migration through your area, and extreme social unrest can turn even the best urban/suburban retreat into an unsafe place.

Bugging Out
Think about where you spend your day.  In the event of a fast developing event you may get cut off from your residence and supplies. Keep a small bug out bag (BOB) ready at home, at work, and in every vehicle.

Check your bag every month and refresh your water and food stocks. Be prepared to carry your bag over moderately long distances.  Proper forethought and smart packing will keep it as light and comfortable.

Wilderness Survival Skills
Don’t plan on heading for the hills and living in the forest with your supplies.  This is the worst option you can choose.  However, there are some wilderness skills that can see you through even in urban areas.

You don’t need to become a proficient back-woodsman, but you do need to know how to tell direction, start a fire, locate and purify water, select secure temporary sites and a few skills that will help you on your trek to a safe, well stocked place.

No matter how far away from your safe place, don’t depend on personal or public (hardly reliable on a good day) transportation to get you there.


What about the end of the world as we know it scenario where we have no choice but to bug out in order to escape a natural or man made apocalypse. These end type events could be anything from an earthquake flattening your house or a nuclear strike from a hostile country.

In the event of a nuclear strike and you live in a sizable city then it is probable that your city is a primary or secondary target, hunkering down in your home is not going to save you no matter how well you are prepped.

You will perhaps at best get an hours notice of a nuclear strike and jumping in your BOV with your family and heading for the highway will only compound your danger as half of every body else in the city will be doing the same thing.

Bugging out may be the only option you have in the event of an earthquake levelling your house. In all probability you may not be able to get to your emergency kit stored in your house with a couple of tonnes of rubble and debris on top of it. Even if you do get to it, much of it may be destroyed and ideally you should be moving away from the earthquake zone with your family as soon as possible.

Earthquake scenarios amplify the need to have a basic bug out bag for each member of the family permanently stored inside your vehicle, it is more likely you will still have access to your vehicle after a severe earthquake than having safe access to the interior of your house.

Driving out of the earthquake zone will prove impossible as the streets will be strewn with fallen masonry and rubble. You should already have a planned route of evacuation that your family is aware of.

Depending on staying put and waiting for government emergency services reaching you quickly is wishful thinking at its best. You can realistically expect 3 days or more before ant type of help arrives.

Which is Best, Bug In or Bug Out?

So, do you bug in or bug out when the big one hits? It really depends on the end time situation you find yourself in. logic and common sense should prevail over your instinct to run.

There are some situations when bugging out is the only option that is viable and these situations call for a pre-planned escape route that the whole family knows by heart.

The option of hunkering down and riding out the storm in your home is always going to be the preferred and usually the safest scenario for survival when the literal end of the world is erupting all around you.


Category: How To Guides, Safety & Security

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