Posts tagged: bug-out location

4 Things To Consider Before Bugging Out

4 Things To Consider Before Bugging Out

Get the family together and check out all this info about the important things you have to consider before bugging out. It should be a family project. All your loved ones need to know what the plan is for when SHTF. There’s a lot of stuff you need to think through properly. Here’s what my checklist looks like:

#1: Make a detailed plan (+ backup!)

Obviously, it’s impossible to plan for every potential scenario! But still, you must have some clearly defined rules, a pre-planned safe destination where to bug-out, basic instructions for action (where do you grab the bug-out bag from when the alarm is triggered, how do you get to the safe place, how will you communicate with family and authorities and so on).

Write everything down, in specific steps. My advice is: Write a simple, 5-6 points plan scheme that is very easy to follow even by children and pin it to a wall (or door). This way, everyone in the house will know exactly what they need to do when a disaster strikes. Write an all-detail plan as well and discuss it with your family. Keep it close, so you can go through and revise it whenever you need to.

This detailed plan MUST have a backup option, as well, in case plan A falls through. Make sure the backup plan is just as good, detailed and manageable as the main one!

These plans are not set in stone, you’ll have to adapt along the way, but you must sketch it now. You will not have the time and energy or piece of mind to plan things when you’ll need to save yourself and your family.

#2: Pack the perfect bug-out bag

I sure know I’ve been trying to put together the best BOB for a long time now and I think I’ve come to the results I wanted. You can pack it as I’ve advised you here and here and have it ready by the door (one for each member of the family, adjusted to everyone’s needs). Or you can find your own way if this is not suitable for your family’s needs. You might also want to decide for multiple bug-out bags – one for the home, one to place in the bug-out vehicle you’ll use, one to wait for you at your bug out location.

Just remember: no matter where you’ll bug out, the BOB could very well be the one thing that will keep you alive, so make it the very BEST you can.

#3: Think of a bug-out location

You’ve got your BOB and some first things to do when disaster strikes, but what happens after? Where will you go so that NO harm can touch you and your family? You need to know where you’ll rush in at the sign of trouble. Will you go to a friend’s property, at your grandparents’ old farmhouse, will you consider to buy your own property to use as a BOL? Here is what you should consider where you’ll go during an emergency:

– what suits you best: a bunker, a safe room, your aunt’s house upstate or your friend’s basement?
– how far away your safe place is and how you will get there.
– previously stock it with enough supplies.
– how many people will the location shelter?
– think of cell phone coverage and other communication possibilities (meaning don’t bug out into extremely wild areas).
– make sure your chosen location is close enough to a hospital or other medical facility.
– it should not share the dangers you are running from.
– don’t go on telling everyone where your bug out location is, keep it private, only for you and your family members
– think of a backup BOL

#4: When is really the time to act?

I find this the most important part of the process. Because this part is about seeing the big picture and being informed of the (real) risks we are facing, knowing how to identify the signs that tell you trouble’s coming and what to do then.

The truth is you can’t tell exactly WHEN it will happen and due to which event (maybe a new war will start or terrorist attack). So what is the precise moment when you grab your stuff and run?

The best thing you can do is just stay informed. Always keep an update on the events going on in the US and around the world. When you believe it’s time to flee, make sure your BOL is safe from danger. If it’s not, you should consider bugging-in, it might be safer.

All in all, you need the willingness to admit your limitations and to think of what is best for you in the given situation. You might come to the conclusion that you just can’t run out there in the unknown and you’ll stay in.

By My Family Survival Plan

Challenging Bug Out Myths

Challenging Bug Out Myths

Over the years I have read several blog posts, and statements in many different preparedness/survival forums about bugging out that I want to challenge today. I call them “myths” because, as I see it, they are just not true. The trouble with these myths is that the person saying they might not mean it as a hard and fast rule but the person new to preparedness who reads it, might not understand that.

Myth One: You Have to Bug Out

This is probably the biggest of the myths; that there are many reasons that you’ll have to bug out. The truth is that for the vast majority of scenarios, you will be safer, more secure, and more comfortable by battening down and staying home. Home is where your family feels the safest. It is where you have a routine and familiar surroundings. In dire times, those two things go a long way to uphold our mental well being.

Home is also where all of your preparations are and where you’re best suited to face the most “come, what may” scenarios.

Myth Two: You Don’t Need a Bug Out Plan

This is the other camp that says they won’t ever bug out and don’t need a bug out plan. As I mentioned above, in the vast majority of scenarios, staying home or “bugging in” is a better solution. To me, this means that the events you do need to bug out for are much more serious. Events that could push me from my home are things like imminent fire, flooding, a prolonged grid down or civil unrest in an urban and some suburban areas. When do you know you should bug out? When you would be safer leaving than staying. The events I described could be extremely dangerous, so not having a plan to put in action, having BOB’s and a plan for bugging out, is equally as dangerous.

Myth Three: You Need a Bug Out Location (BOL)

The majority of preppers don’t own a separate piece of property that they consider their BOL. The truth is, you don’t need one. Sure, it might be ideal, but it isn’t needed. Below is a way to develop multiple locations. That way you have four routes out of your area. First, if you have a relative or friend outside of your general area, consider asking them if you could head there.

If you don’t have another location to go, I recommend finding a town that’s big enough to have a hotel but small enough to be inconspicuous, which is thirty to sixty miles away. I say “large enough to have a hotel” because that is the landmark. If they have a room available, stay if you like. If you want to continue on, do so. Do this going north, south, east and west. Now develop a couple different routes to each location and label the routes “1” and “2”. We purchased plastic foldable maps and have one in our BOBs and one in the vehicle.

I think each car should have a map and the directions to each location. If you’re at work and your spouse is at home when you need to bug out, you can send a text or email that says “North, route 2”. Now you know where they are going and the route they’re taking to get there.

Myth Four: BOB’s Need to Last 72 Hours

Many times BOB’s are referred to as “72-hour kits”. The purpose of a BOB should be to get you from your home to your BOL and to last a minimum of three days, or 72 hours. As I have stated above, the events that would actually force me to bug out are pretty serious. If I have to leave, there is a good chance it won’t be safe for me to return to my home in 72 hours.

My point is that you might have to make do for longer than 72 hours. Keep that in mind when stocking your BOB. You don’t know if you’ll find a working ATM while you’re out so you might consider keeping cash or precious metals in your BOB so you can restock while you’re bugged out.

Myth Five: Your BOB Needs to be as Light as Possible

There have been more posts and comments about this than any of the other myths. Anytime someone makes a forum thread and shows their BOB, there are always people who make a comment like “Good luck carrying that”. I always wonder where these scoffers are planning on bugging out to. Me? I plan on driving. If there is some type of event that keeps me from driving, I can think of five ways to carry my BOB and other gear as well.

Maybe they plan on heading to the deep woods? For 95% of people, that is a bad idea. Even if you are a primitive skill master and can make do with a knife and a dirty look, what about your family?

Since the events that you actually need to bug out for are severe and you don’t know when you’ll be able to go home, what will you do in the woods when your supplies run out?

My thoughts are that if I do have to bug out there is a pretty serious reason. Since I don’t know how long I might need to be away, I want to make sure I have enough gear to take care of my family. I’m more concerned with making sure I have what we need than I am with the weight of the pack. On the very slim chance I can’t drive and have to carry it, I can find means to negate the weight.

My Bug Out Plan

If there is something that forces us to leave, we’ll grab the BOB’s and other gear and load the truck. We’ll then head to one of our locations and keep an eye on the situation. If something happens that would force us to walk, we have a wagon and would find a shopping cart nearby as well. In the winter we have a couple children’s sleds we could load up and tow behind us.

I hope this helps clear up some misconceptions about bugging out. I look forward to reading your comments.

By Chris Ray