To Bug-In or To Bug-Out

March 23, 2011, by Ken Jorgustin

to-bug-in-or-bug-out

During a serious threat situation or disaster, and while enacting your emergency / preparedness plan of action, you may decide to either ‘bug-in‘ or ‘bug-out‘.

Bug-In:
To ‘dig in’ and remain where you are (or at your normal place of residence)

Bug-Out:
To ‘get the heck out’ and leave your location (or your normal place of residence)



Most people don’t think about, or plan, for what they would do if presented with a serious threat situation or disaster. For many people in that group, a hasty decision will be made, and some will get it wrong.

We live in a world filled with risks, more than ever before, and many of them quite serious. Some of the more serious risks are entirely unseen and unknown to most because of a subconscious trust that exists… a trust in the current system the way it is, and complete faith that this system will continue to function the way we expect it to.

Having had modern conveniences and technologies for so long now, we have been raising generations of young and middle-aged people who mostly would not be able to adequately take care of themselves should some of the key conveniences and technologies disappear for a time. The fundamentals of survival are becoming lost with our grandparents.

This very fact alone has tremendously increased the level of risk – because should events unfold in a bad enough way, the result could be millions and millions of desperate people within a very short period of time. Desperate people do desperate things, and life as we know it could quickly become very dangerous indeed.



Getting back to the question, to ‘bug-in’ or to ‘bug-out’… It is ‘automatic’ for most people to head for home during a disaster. After all, home is our refuge, our stronghold, the place we come together with our family.

In many, if not most typical disaster scenarios, heading for home (bug-in) is probably the best first choice. Home is where your supplies are, a place where you may find support from your immediate neighbors or community. A familiar base of operations.

There are disaster scenarios though, where I believe that to ‘bug-in’ at home could be the absolute worst thing to do. Here is an example. You live in ‘the city’ and the city has lost power. If you are sure that the power loss will be temporary due to the circumstances that led up to it, then OK, you’re probably fine at home there. But, if the electricity remains out of service in a city region for too long, say, 3 days, then the city will very likely erupt into chaos. You will then be in a very dangerous predicament, even if you yourself had enough supplies to make it through. In this example, a ‘bug-out’ would probably have been the wiser choice.

A ‘bug-out’ does not necessarily require that you have a ready-stocked Retreat located 150 miles outside of the city tucked away in the countryside. Sure, if the disaster situation is serious enough, that is, very wide reaching geographically along with a very long time-line to recovery, then a temporary ‘bug-out’ to a hotel some miles away may not be the best solution. Maybe a friends house or other family member that lives in a safer location, assuming they will have you.

Discussing the many different disaster scenarios, ‘what-if’s’ and ‘what-to-do’, is not the point here. Instead we simply encourage you to put some thought around the subject. Start thinking about what you would do if this… or what would do if that…, you get the idea.

Think about where you live, the population density, the natural risks, the man-made risks, your current preparedness supplies at your residence, your plans ‘if’ you had to ‘bug-out’ or evacuate.

Stay ahead of the pack. Be prepared.



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