So now you have your Bug Out Bag or 72 hour bag packed and ready to roll. You have specific gear stored nearby the bag for those last minute decision-making moments and you have designated which types of emergencies or disasters will trigger your plans for bugging out.
Sit down and take a five minute break.
After that break, think about “bugging in” at your home or apartment, and how you would handle surviving inside for approximately one to two weeks. Here are some of the things to think about:
1) Water – What is your main source of water and is it going to be available in an emergency or disaster? If you are on “city water” then several things could happen to make that source of water unavailable, it cannot be counted on. Per the Department of Homeland Security, each person should have 1 gallon / day of clean and purified water for drinking and food preparation for a duration of 10 days minimum, 30 days recommended. Following this recommendation, a family of four would require 120 gallons of stored water, or a minimum of 40 gallons. Recommendations for how to store water can be found here: http://www.nationalterroralert.com/safewater/
2) Food – Although opinions vary on exactly how many calories are needed per day for an adult to survive, the US Army Survival Handbook places the count between 600 and 1000 per day. As this is the handbook for people likely to need this kind of information, I feel it is a good benchmark. However, this is also for people that are already in fine physical shape and condition. For normal people, I would suggest a minimum closer to 1600 per day. Many people new to prepping will start saving up boxes of mac and cheese and canned goods. But those will only last so long, and their containers are not always the best for long term storage. Instead, I prefer to go the route of purchasing supplies that have been designed with this in mind. I suggest taking a trip over to: www.myfoodstorage.com
3) Health and Hygiene – One thing new preppers fail to concern themselves with is health and hygiene. It is extremely important that proper health and hygiene are maintained as well as possible during emergency and disaster events. Failing to do this, places your body in a potentially weakened condition against common ailments that can impair you severely. Small problems caused by not brushing your teeth or bathing, or even more importantly improper sanitation, can quickly lead to serious issues. Ensure that this does not happen to you by stockpiling the necessary health and hygiene products and finding proper emergency sanitation solutions. A fantastic article regarding emergency sanitation can be found here on American Preppers Network!
4) Power – Although not completely necessary in an emergency situation, it is extremely nice to have power available. Depending on your living arrangements, you may be able to purchase a decent generator or you may not. Options are wide and varying for this subject. Anyone with a privately owned home should look into solar power where available and financially capable, at least in my opinion.
5) Security – If things get bad, can you protect your family and your resources? There is a lot of discussion about various levels of force people would be willing to exert in order to protect their family and their resources in an emergency. Although these discussions are very important, there are other ways to limit the need for some of these concerns before the emergency ever happens:
a) Get your community/neighbors involved in emergency planning and preparation. The more people that you can get to actively prepare, the fewer people in the area will be wandering around looking for help when something bad happens.
b) Speak to members of your neighborhood/community about security concerns for your area and work out plans for creating a safe and secure environment that is not limited to your doors, walls and windows. The further away from your house that you can push your security perimeter, the less likely you are to have to fight someone away from your home. Although you don’t want to form a “Brute Squad” or anything, roving patrols in plain sight will often send potential trouble makers off to look for easier targets.
c) In a worst case scenario, you may have to defend your home without the help of your neighbors or community. If that is the case then, I would suggest speaking to a professional security specialist and allow them to make recommendations based on your specific situation. Considerations include: family makeup, location, local laws and ordinances, rental or lease agreements, financial ability and many other things. This area requires some research if you don’t already have the requisite knowledge.
6) The Fail safe – The last thing I would suggest considering is your fail safe plan. This is the point at which you decide you can no longer safely provide for yourself or your family at your bug in location. Some emergencies or disasters may start off as something that you feel you can wait out by bugging in only to change over time into something much different. If the situation changes enough or becomes too dangerous to wait out, bugging out may be your only option. Your original bug out plan may need to have some modifications in order to be viable in an aftermath situation as opposed to an event that is approaching or currently happening. Remember the basics of bugging out and you should be okay.
Well, that should get your brain moving in several different directions. Good luck, and I would like to thank Peggy Layton for her great American Preppers Network article “Going Poop in A Disaster” for making that particular section of this article easy on me!
“Failing to Plan is Planning to FAIL!”