By Bobby Akart of Freedom Preppers
Consider this. An elderly couple once sought my advice about funding their retirement lifestyle. They asked how much money they could take out of their savings to live on.
My response: “How long do you plan to live?” Retirees have to make sure they don’t outlive their savings.
The same principle applies to prepping. Many of us have common questions. How many months of food storage do I need? How many days should my bug out bag sustain me? How much medicine must I store? The answer to these and similar preparedness questions is similar to the advice to retirees. How long do you plan on living?
In my opinion, a committed prepper is prepared for all contingencies. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Simple, right? If you believe our country could face any number of potential TEOTWAKI events then you should identify your bug-out location now and move there! Are the conveniences of the city or the extra money a certain job may provide you worth risking your life and the lives of your loved ones?
That said, there are many preppers who will not follow this advice. For a starting point, lets address the prepper’s conundrum:
Bug In or Bug Out
The longer we delve into the subject of preparedness, the more apparent it becomes that making the choice to bug in or bug out is dependent on many factors. Because this topic is far too in depth to write about in one article so we will explore in detail one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your family – whether to bug-in or bug-out.
1. Factors to Consider
Making the decision to bug-in or bug-out are both unique to one another. Moreover, both are extremely stressful situations that involve a lot of forethought and planning in order for a smooth transition to take place. Obviously, we’d all like to hunker down with our supplies and ride out a storm, but there are factors to consider in the bug in or bug out decision making process:
- Age, Physical Condition
- Health Considerations
- Family Relationships
- Financial Constraints
- Household Security
- Community Stability
- Overall Conditions
The situations listed above will cause a momentary shift in our everyday lives. No longer can we run out to pick up necessary items at a store, go to the hospital for medical care, or rely on emergency responders to keep us safe. Further, supply trucks will be delayed in re-supplying necessary food, water and survival needs, or the government may have felt it necessary to intervene and have a military presence in the city or town that you live. In some cases, banks will shut down making it impossible for you to access your hard earned money.
Consider this. Hurricane displaced residents of New Orleans and New Jersey were never allowed to move home. Their 72 hour bug out bag did not do them in any good.
Inevitably, in times such as these, the survival of our family will rest upon our shoulders, and if we find ourselves in an environment that isn’t conducive to our way of life and we are unable to thrive, then we must make the choice to leave the environment or stand firm and defend it. But before that choice is made, weigh your options carefully (including your risks and odds at surviving). What it all comes down to is which scenario will you be safest in and thrive the most.
The above-listed events and factors can cause extreme upheavals in our lifestyles and communities; therefore, we must take these into consideration. To evaluate whether or not to bug-in or bug-out, you need to ask yourself the following important questions:
2. Do you have sufficient food and supplies for your family need to survive?
Ultimately, whether or not you decide to bug in or bug out you take the chance of being on your own for an extended period of time. It could be 2 weeks, a month or longer and it’s all on you. The place that you decide to survive in needs to have an adequate amount of supplies to carry your family through. As well, thought should be put into longer term survival needs in case the disaster becomes long term.
Keep in mind that with respect to major natural disasters, water sources are usually questionable following a disaster, fuel is scare, shelf stable food supplies are limited, supply trucks are delayed, flooding and damage to homes could be a problem, and home invasions are also at the forefront. If you don’t have the supplies, tools and skills needed to live on your own for at least a two week period or longer, then you should consider finding shelter elsewhere.
Note: To determine whether or not you are adequately supplied, consider simulating an “off grid” weekend and live off of your preps to see how well equipped you are. This will help you find any “holes” in your preparedness supplies and areas where you need to bulk up.
3. Will you be safe until a disaster recovery effort occurs?
Another important consideration when deciding to bug-in or bug-out is that history has shown that following a disaster social breakdowns typically occur. If the event is severe enough, the government may decide that martial law is the only recourse and legally has the right to confiscate guns, thus taking away your ability to protect yourself. If you live in a highly populated area, where crime waves and looting could pose a problem, then this could leave you and your family vulnerable to home invasions and a family member could be injured.
Further, you need to really examine whether your home is a safe place to bug in. Is the home far enough off the street to prevent flooding? Is your home built on a solid foundation? Can you defend it if attacked? Do you have a strong local community support (i.e., a well- organized neighborhood watch program, church outreach programs, or friends and relatives that live nearby)?
As you can see, there is a lot to think about when making the decision to bug-in or bug-out. Population density, community support, probability of natural disasters, etc. are all factors to strongly consider. Dangers occur in both situations if you aren’t properly prepared.
4. What should I carry with me?
At Freedom Preppers, we have a creed we suggest you live by:
As you prepare your Every Day Carry Bag (EDC), Get Out Of Dodge (GOOD) Bag or I’m never Coming Home (INCH) Bag, be sure to ask yourself if the contents would insure your survival for an extended length of time. You cannot assume that order will be restored within 72 hours.
Lists of essential items to carry in your bug out bags are available on the Freedom Preppers website. Here are the seven basic types of gear to be contained in your bug out bag:
Water: bottles, including catchment + purification tools
Food: primarily MRE’s, energy bars
Clothing: rotated seasonally
Shelter: tarp, tent, sleeping bag
First Aid: good, basic kit
Weapons: handgun in common caliber, ammo, knife
Basic Gear: think Camping, rain, fire, cooking, light
5. What if I bug in?
Once you have made that decision, prepare to live with it. As your neighbors realize that a collapse event has occurred, they will flee populated areas. Everyone will be heading for the hills! This could be disastrous.
We lived in Galveston,Texas in 2005 when Hurricane Rita devastated the island. Right on the heels of the havoc wreaked in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina, the state ordered mandatory evacuations. There were 113 deaths in Texas associated with the storm, but only three directly related to the winds, flooding and storm surges. The rest occurred on the highways as residents fled west and north of Houston. A two year old Houston girl was crushed between the wheels of a pickup. A family was killed when thrown from their vehicle during the exodus. A dozen died when a bus carrying the elderly exploded.
We made a decision to remain in Galveston and hunkered down in a 140 year old solid granite building with steel storm shutters. It was the safest course of action at the time. Depending on circumstances, bugging in makes sense, if your home is safe.
The takeaway from this article is simple. As you prepare, ask yourself: How long do I want to live? Then prepare for all collapse events accordingly.
Get to preppin’!
Bobby is the author of an epic series of novels entitled The Boston Brahmin Series. Political suspense collides with post-apocalyptic thriller fiction as nine Bostonians whose lineage dates back to the American Revolution navigate the societal and economic collapse of America. Can The Loyal Nine save the republic while protecting the interests of their mysterious benefactors — The Boston Brahmin? Learn more at www.TheBostonBrahmin.com.
Because you never know when the day before … is the day before.
Prepare for tomorrow.
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