When I say, “don’t even think about bugging out” I don’t mean totally forget about it. What I mean is, make sure you have your home in order before you start thinking about leaving it. The last thing any of us want to do is leave everything we have behind, and try to survive without it.
Home is where the heart is. Home is where our supplies are, where we feel comfortable and where we feel the safest. As we move along in this preparedness journey, it’s important to everything is taken care of at home, because this is where we will most likely be when and if something bad happens.
While there are some scenarios that would require bugging out, most scenarios wouldn’t. An earthquake or a hurricane could make it impossible to stay where you are, but an economic collapse or grid down event may mean the safest place for you to be is at home.
Your Home Base
In most cases bugging in, or hunkering down at home is not only the best option, it’s the safest. Bugging out is a very popular topic in preparedness circles, but the truth is, no matter what you do, it won’t be easy. Bugging out basically means you are homeless, and living like a refugee.
If you listed the pros and cons of bugging in vs bugging out, the list of pros for bugging out will be short. In fact, there is only 1 reason for bugging out, and its survival. This may be a little obvious, but here are a couple of reasons why bugging in will be your best choice in most scenarios.
Supplies: The last thing we want to do is spend all this time and money on supplies and storage, only to leave it all behind. We can set up caches, and have the greatest bug out bag in the world, but it will never hold a candle to what we can store at home.
Comfort: At the end of a long day it’s nice to be able to sit in your favorite comfy old chair, or sleep in your own bed. We sometimes think of comfort as a luxury, but getting rest and a good night’s sleep is important to our productivity and effectiveness.
Normalcy: Our home is our sanctuary. It’s the place we come after work, or after school, and a place we can forget about the rigors of daily life. It’s where we spend time with the family, and feel the most at peace. There would be nothing normal about bugging out. Our safety, security and comfort would be a constant struggle.
Family: If you are the lone prepper in the family, you need to think about how your family will react as well. In a situation where their heads will already be spinning, the last thing you want to do is tell them they have to leave everything behind.
Because most scenarios will not lead to a bug out scenario, it’s important to make our home as safe as possible. If we are going to bug in, we need to think about everything around us that could become a threat, and plan accordingly.
Neighbors and Population: The more you read about preparedness, the more you’ll read about how you should avoid people if possible. While this is true because you never know what a desperate person will do, sometimes it’s unavoidable.
Your neighbors are going to be around whether you like it or not, so make sure you know where you stand with them. Learn as much as you can about your neighbors, and try to befriend them. This doesn’t mean you need to host a neighborhood BBQ, but when you have a chance to meet or talk to them, take advantage of that.
Security (Now and SHTF): I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about security right now because there is so much that goes into it, but if you plan on bugging in, you should make sure your home (and your family) is ready.
Home security doesn’t just mean keeping the doors locked, it should also include operational security and situational awareness. While security cameras, alarms and perimeter security are great if we become a target, not becoming a target in the first place is the better bet.
Grid Down Options: If you plan to stay put, you better have the supplies needed to make everything as smooth as possible. This includes everything from manual appliances, cooking (fuel) options, light and other electric device options.
While food is a necessity, if you can’t cook it (or open it) your in for a rough ride. There are many alternative power options like crank radios, solar chargers and battery powered devices so have these on hand. When you can’t “flip a switch”, once the sun goes down, you’re on your own.
Planning for the Future
For a lot of us, our living situation isn’t ideal, and our budget doesn’t allow for packing up and moving. This is where planning for the future and possibly moving further away from population comes into play. There is no denying that the more populated the neighborhood, the more dangerous it could become.
If you live in an urban area, you might (should) want to move to a more suburban neighborhood. The further you can get away from large population centers the better. A suburban setting may not be ideal for preparedness, it is far better than living downtown.
Moving to an urban environment takes a completely different mindset, and something some people just can’t do. The good part is that you are far away from everything, the bad part is that you are far away from everything. This means longer drives, and less resources (stores) around you.
Rent & Mortgage: Another aspect of our home we need to consider is whether we own it outright. Most of us either pay rent or owe a mortgage. While there isn’t much we can do about this, it’s important to note that someone else owns your home, and can make you “bug out” if you can’t pay the bills.
A financial collapse is what comes to mind when I think of this type of scenario. I have heard plenty of stories about banks repossessing farms because the occupants couldn’t pay the mortgage. This is why we are working as hard as we can to pay off our mortgage as soon as possible.
This article isn’t a detailed list about bugging in, but rather a list of subjects you can do more research on. Over time here at the Preparedness Experience we are going to go into detail about these bullet point, and everything about preparedness for that matter.
Also, don’t completely forget about bugging out, just know that the more extreme the disaster scenario, the less likely it is to happen. In some situations, bugging out may become necessary, and we need to be prepared for that.