Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Be Ready To Bug Out

Many of us have the mindset to shelter in place for most any emergency or disaster. But there will be times when this is not possible or not practical. Wildfires, floods, severe weather are all some of the situations that could force us from our homes. While many disasters happen without warning, there are many that will give us plenty of notice to get out while the getting is good. Take for instance Hurricane Katrina. As a category 3 storm when it hit, untold damage and loss of life was the result. Did this have to happen, well yes. Unfortunately there were a great number of people without the resources to bug out ahead of the storm, regardless of how much warning they had. This is an unfortunate reality of life. Not everyone prepares and not everyone has the mindset needed to be prepared. But, if you are reading this, then you have the mindset and desire to be responsible for yourself and your family.

First off, we must be ready to bug out by having 2 of the most important ingredients in the recipe...transportation and destination.

Don't rely on any form of public transportation. Likely, there will be limited local options only, if any at all. This means you need a driver's permit and a vehicle. No, you don't need a fully stocked RV complete with bulletproof lining. A simple used, yet reliable station wagon would do the trick. Old vehicles can be found that can be put into shape rather cheaply. In any case, have a vehicle inspected by a mechanic you can trust before purchasing. As for the purchase itself, make it cash. The last ting you need as a prepper is another monthly payment to eat into your food stock budget. Older vehicles usually only require liability insurance, therefor reducing costs. Keep the vehicle fully tanked with gas at all times and use it regularly to ensure it's proper working condition.

As for destination, there are many options available to you. You may have a relative or friend out of town, out of Province, better yet, plan for both. Another option is to drive far enough away to be out of the path of destruction and stay in motels. This will require a substantial amount of cash to be kept on hand as credit & debit cards may not be accepted due to banking computer failures or lack of electricity to run the verification machines used by the vendors.

Another option, and in my opinion a better one, is to have your own bug out location. A quick check on will reveal locations all across the country that can be had for under $25,000. Run down shacks are obviously plentiful, but with some attention and a little elbow grease, they can be made to provide adequate enough to offer shelter, heat and security for you and you loved ones.

Have a plan to get to where you are going. Paper maps as well as a GPS are advisable and preplan several routes, using backroads and secondary highways as major arteries can easily be blocked from congestion.

Have supplies at the ready. A few storage totes stocked with supplies makes this quick and easy. Make 1 or 2 totes with basic supplies such as 3 days worth of food, some water, water purification, cook stove etc. Then add more totes with extra supplies such as more food, camping equipment etc. Number these tote in their order to pack into the car. Take what you absolutely need first, then add what you can. Keep in mind that a can of extra gas or 2 for th car is not a bad idea.

The decision to bug out or not really shouldn't be that difficult. If your chances of survival or personal safety are greater if you leave than if you stay, then get out. It's that simple. Keep a watchful eye on weather forecasts, specially during dangerous seasons and make rational decisions. When an unexpected disaster occurs, realize that society may degrade rapidly and help may be several days away. Local resources such as law enforcement, hospitals, etc. will not likely abandon you altogether but they will, at best be overwhelmed and less effective than you could hope. Don't be a hero and stand your ground against impossible odds, and don't simply decide that you don't have the resources to bug out. Prepping involves being ready to get out of harm's way so take action. Skills and abilities are more important than simple stockpiles of rice, beans, ant toilet paper.


  1. This is certainly something that should be top priority if you are living in an urban location. Having a place-of-last-resort to escape to is only useful for short term emergencies - having a great plan, prepositioned supplies and a place where you are expected in an emergency (or your own location) is the only viable bugout plan for longer term. I think everyone should be thinking about both scenarios. Great post.

  2. I would be interested to know what precipitated your decision to prepare for SHTF situations? For myself, the ice storm in Quebec back in the 90's and Y2K. All preparations were truly appreciated when the power went off in 2003. Preppers seem to be expecting something. What is it that has us all on edge?

  3. I'm a food preservationist and journalist who is very interesting in prepping and survivalism, so I'm writing a story about it. Can you email me at I'd love to set up an interview with you and chat. Thanks!