To Bug Out or Not to Bug Out; That is the Question!

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To Bug Out or Not To Bug Out;

That is the Question!


“The Coach”


That is a question many people these days are having a problem with. If there is forecasted to be a disaster in your area, do you leave your home and go evacuate to somewhere else hoping that you will be safer there? Do you stay where you are because you believe you are prepared enough to handle any disaster that comes your way?

You believe you have purchased enough water, food, medical supplies, medicine and firearms to survive many different disasters. You also realize that you are not as young as you use to be.

Another factor is, you have worked all of your life to build your home the way you want it. You have accumulated many personal possessions that both have monetary value and sentimental value.

Do you pack up a few necessities in your vehicle and leave all of your belongings and disaster preparation in your home? Do you leave your home praying that looters do not break into your home and take what you have worked all of your life for, including all of your survival equipment and food?

Another question is, can you leave? Are you sick or have a disability that will not let you leave your home? Would leaving your home cause you enough stress to worsen your medical problems?

If you decide to leave what do you take with you? How much do you take with you? How much room you have in your vehicle, could decide that for you! You have worked so hard to prepare for disasters and now you are leaving it all behind!

If you do decide to evacuate, the one thing that I highly recommend that you take is ALL of your family photographs. They are very hard to replace!

However, do you stay in your home praying that your home will withstand whatever disaster is coming your way? Is staying in your home with all of your disaster preparations worth your life?

What if you decide to stay in your home and a group of looters break into your home. How many looters can you defend against, from how many different entrances in your home, before you become overwhelmed? Remember, you can NOT expect quick reaction from the police, fire or ambulance personnel in your area. You are in the middle of a disaster and they have their hands full responding to all kind of request for assistance. You will be placed on a list and the authorities will respond to your request for emergency assistance when your turn comes up. This is assuming that you still have a way to contact the emergency authorities, A.K.A. 911. The phones may be out!

Do you know the laws relating to when you can and cannot use deadly force? Are you willing to use deadly force if you have to?

If you decide to stay and you start to run low on your medicine, food, water, needed medical supplies, gasoline, etc., will you be able to get them or are the businesses in your area closed because they listened to the authorities and evacuated?

If all of your utilities go out, you will not have air-conditioning/heating, running water, electricity, phone service or sewage. Think about it! You will not be able to cook anything. Everything in your refrigerator/freezer will go bad. You will not be able to go to the bathroom or take a shower. You will be either very hot or cold, depending on the time of the year. You will not be able to call for emergency assistance because the phones are out. Also, no one will be able to call and check on you to determine if you are okay.

If you decide to evacuate, where will you go? How long will you need to stay there? Will you be welcomed when you get there and for how long or will you be a burden? Do you have the financial resources to evacuate?

So, what do you do, evacuate or stay put? I cannot answer that question for you. You should have a family meeting NOW before a disaster strikes. Discuss all of the above options and situations, then decide when the time arrives if you Bug Out or Bug In!

© 2013, Seasoned Citizen Prepper. All rights reserved. On republishing this post you must provide link to original post.


17 Comments  to  To Bug Out or Not to Bug Out; That is the Question!

  1. servantheart says:

    As you point out, there is not a "one size fits all" answer to the question. The answer will, of course, be determined by a number of factors, not the least of which is the exact threat and most likely scenario for longevity to bring things under control, back to "normal", etc. But in a long term IHTF, I'm outta here! Too close to a large city full of entitlement people to stay, and I am blessed to have that option, though it has not always been so.

    Of course, I'm not the best example, because, I'll soon be "outta here" permanently. Woo-hoo! I'm ready! (I miss my mountain peeps!).

  2. Suni says:

    I think like Servantheart has stated if you have a place to go and depending on the situation you are facing will be a huge determining factor. Personally, we will be staying put until a time we can purchase a bug out location. We have everything put into place to stay put with all that entails. The one thing that has always puzzled me about people who bug out without a specific place to go is, how do they know where they are going will be better? Where I maybe able to defend myself and my family where I am I may not be able to do so in an unfamiliar place. Unless you are facing a hurricane or such type of event I would not bug out but instead fortify my current home. Just my thoughts on what we will do.

  3. servantheart says:

    You make a good point, Suni; if you are going to "bug out" and do not own a property to go to, you will need a good relationship with someone who owns property you CAN safely go to, where you will not be trespassing, and will not be viewed as an "outsider" or an "intruder". I've learned that mountain folk still don't trust outsiders (for a reason) and you MUST earn their respect, or you will never have it. That will translate to your acceptance and your overall safety when IHTF.

    Blessings, Suni!

  4. servantheart says:

    I'm sharing this because you may see it and think it is not true (that Native Americans did these things). I am descended from two tribes, one of which was a member of the Iroquois nation, and I can tell you that my Native American ancestors, while arguably not as heartless as Comanche, did, indeed, torture captives, including slaves; slavery was very common amongst Native American tribes. Iroquois were fearsome warriors, but were stupid when it came to long-term food planning. They would stuff themselves when food was abundant, and then be without food for days. Unlike the Cherokee, who were an agrarian society, they did not farm. When they ran out of food, they hunted, and when the hunt was unsuccessful, they raided more peaceful tribes, took their food, killed many, kept many for slaves, and tortured their captives; sometimes for "fun", sometimes because of their belief system.

    A great warrior was tortured most; it was believed that the longer a warrior survived, the greater his spirit; just before he died, his heart would be cut out, still beating, and eaten raw. This was believed to impart that warrior's spirit to the partakers.

    No, not everything about being Native American is "cool".

    The Truth Johnny Depp Wants to Hide About the Real-Life Tontos: How Comanche Indians Butchered Babies, Roasted Enemies Alive and Would Ride 1,000 Miles to Wipe Out One Family

    Read more:

  5. flutterby says:

    Feel violated yet? Don't will.

    SWAT Team Raids Texas Organic Farm, Holds Residents At Gunpoint

  6. WE2 says:

    Do ya suppose the "white eyes" taught them a lot of this barberic behaviors? Meanness has no color. They didn't come any meaner than Hitler, and I've been told he took his q's from the white man's strategy of eliminating the native americans. Interesting....

  7. WE2 says:

    We've pretty much planned to stay put in certain situations and leave for others. Like many of you, different situations will direct our decisions. Many have suggested that "how do you know when to leave, or when to return". If you leave too early and lose your job, leave your home & possessions unattended etc., what then? If you leave when everybody else does, do you enter the "swarms"? Having multiple choices is nice and we believe we're to prepare accordingly. Right now we have one option of staying put, but at least 4 locations to "hitch up" and go.

  8. servantheart says:

    No. These beliefs and methods were cultural to most Native Americans, but each tribe/nation did "interpret" them, of course.

  9. Wyzyrd says:

    You have to use your own discretion and wisdom based on the situation at hand. If a hurricane hits my particular area (far from the shore) I'll hunker down and put plywood over my windows and get ready for some time w/o power with my stored preps. If a train loaded with toxic chemicals wrecks 2 blocks away, I'm outta here fast with Bug-out supplies. You don't take a knife to a gunfight (well, you do, but you take a gun too) and you also don't take an A-10 Warthog to a schoolyard slap-fight. I hope the analogy makes sense. Appropriate response to the situation.

    When we think about our First Nations ancestors and cultural influences, remember, they are all just a bunch of humans. Humans come in a wide range of "coolness". My Mohawk Nation ancestors did grow food, but also ritually tortured captives to death. Their Mayan cousins built cities and civilizations that rivaled Rome and then, but they cut people's hearts out and rolled them down the pyramids, and died out because they de-forested their land. The Romans watched people die for fun. European folks killed 12 million people in the Spanish Inquisition. 100 people died for every mile building the Chinese Great wall. None of our forebears EVER got it 100% right.

    Learn all you can, but never follow blindly. To quote Levon Helm of "The Band", "Take what you need, and leave the rest". Nobody ever got it all right. It's your job to try your best. We won't get it perfect, either.

  10. MsKYprepper says:

    My two-cents worth:

    Bug In if: Your home is stockpiled and urban-fortified AND if electricity is probably going to be off for less than 30 days AND you have a neighbor support system AND so long as you feel strongly that there is opportunity to change your mind later.

    Bug Out if: You have a specific place to go AND you can get there AND you believe this could be a problem without electricity for more than 30 days. OR at any point that you sense the opportunity to do so may close. Better to bug out early than later.

    I'm using 30 days because I live in a somewhat rural area. Most people areound here have a good size family-pantry. If you live in an upscale highrise in downtown BigCity USA, reduce from 30 days to 3 days. Remember too that if you live in downtown BigCity USA, it may take you 3 days to escape. Try to be gone before the gangs begin to hunt.

    Electricity is the key. Our entire societal infra-structure runs on it. Determine the number of days in your area that all but the preppers are out of food and water. That's when the real fun stuff starts. You don't want to be around when that happens.

    If you have thought ahead then hopefully your basic preps will serve you through a variety of different situations.

  11. John From Iowa says:

    I think it would be interesting to look up how scalping came about. I know the answer, and it's pretty telling. There's no doubt that all civilizations can be cruel and barbaric, but it's the 'nature of the beast'! Man is the only creature that kills and tortures 'just for sport'! Countless people have been killed or tortured just because of religious beliefs that were different than others. The bottom line is "what's the point"?
    The topic is bugging in. There is no sure fire answer or solution, only speculation and what ifs!
    Let me propose this question. Do you think you could 'bug in' and survive against one well placed, well supplied sniper? If you think you can, please enlighten me, as I've yet to figure out how it's done........

  12. MsKYprepper says:

    John, you are right about the sniper. Most or our homes won't stand up to even a small calibre - right thru the brick, pressboard and drywall. Not to mention that you'd need a whole platoon of people for shifts to stand guard 24/7 - and you'd have to feed them.

  13. John From Iowa says:

    Words of wisdom, MsKYprepper! The only ways remotely possible, are either by sheer numbers or covert technology. Most folks are not in tune with the latter. There are many fantasies expressed about what it takes to Bug In or Bug Out, but reality needs to be explored completely, if it's going to work out for you!
    My advice is to not pay attention to the movie or TV idea of what it takes. The real answer is terrifying and cruel but needs to be faced to make it work. Imagined enemies and or solutions only give a false sense of a solution. Look at what could transpire in a real world vision of what is, or could be.
    If you prepare for the absolute worst case, then whatever that happens less is a blessing!

  14. Lee says:

    We used to have a bugout spot, when we had a campsite we rented yearly. We couldn't afford to keep the spot, so don't have a bugout spot now. So we prep in place. But it's worrisome, because we are <30 minutes outside of a major city, with some fairly large suburbs inbetween. So this is a major issue for us. Currently, kids who no longer live with us know we are the place to go, but we need to find our bugout place. We are hoping to move further out, but right now life is in the way.

  15. servantheart says:

    As I see it, Lee, you are blessed to have that major 'burb between you and the city; it probably will be the first strike for zombies and may buy you precious time. Where ya' gonna go?

    Do you know the owners of the place you could no longer afford? Is it gov property? If gov, stay off it - period, is my advice. If private, I'd nurture that relationship, if at all possible, and go back to it when IHTF. In the meantime, pick another spot that you have reason to believe would be as safe as any when the time comes - more than one, if possible. Familiarize yourself with the safest way to get there post-IHTF, and all other family members you want to have join you. Give each location a code name, known only by your "group members", and make it clear, "don't EVER share this name with anyone else". Take a strong position on the need to protect those code names, "to do so is tantamount to treason and will get you excommunicated", for example. And if there is a leak, change the code names, of course.

    Know EVERYTHING there is along the way, and within "strike" distance. Map it out, in advance. Make sure your group knows how to use a compass. Map out directions to each using a compass, and also the sun and stars, in case there is no compass to use. Don't rely on roads and highways; the zombies will be on them.

    Have an understanding about each location and the ORDER IN WHICH they should be sought out, from the first choice to the least, so that, if one is not a good option for some reason upon arrival, members know exactly where to meet up next. ALWAYS have a plan B, and, preferably, a Plan C and maybe even more. "Two is one, one is none, and three makes me happy!".

    Look for storage facilities along the way - preferably the small ones that can't afford cameras everywhere, and can't afford auto lock systems, which will lock you out when the power goes down. Frankly, the rougher these look today, the better I like them.

    I've worked in this industry, and electronic systems are notorious for failure; you can't get through gates until the one trained repairman within 100 miles shows up to fix the darned thing. But storage units in cheap, out of the way places - if you can afford them. Use it for supplies, and for sleepover stops, if need be. Live in it, if need be.

    If you can get away with it, don't use your real name to sign up, and pay cash when the rent comes due; you are more likely to pull this off with the small, out-of-the-way, "hungry" unit owners (who may be the "manager", as well) than the big, fancy, gated ones in suburbia.

    Do you have a "community", church, trusted friends, you could band together with to purchase, or even rent, a plot of land that would serve its purpose? An acre of land can easily sustain 5 adults indefinitely, if you have to grow food, in case it becomes permanent. A place where you could live, grow food, sustain yourselves for as long as necessary?

    Form an LLC; you can do so cheaply using the online legal forms from LegalZoom or - these are state specific, so, make sure you have the right state, but they are written by lawyers, state specific. They are as legal as having a lawyer draft it for you in an office, and bunches cheaper. Form an LLC and, when IHTF, those records, which are kept in computers, may be very difficult to get to, if not impossible. Get all of your group members to fund the LLC and the property purchase; you are more likely to get a loan like this if you can't pool sufficient cash. Share the risk and the financial burden.

    You DO NOT have to have money to have a plan. You just need to do your homework, lay the groundwork, and know what you're doing, to the best of your abilities - and be prepared for the changes that are inevitable between what things looked like and how they worked pre and post IHTF. Flexibility will be survival.

    Even if you have a BOL (and we do), there is no PERFECT solution. Though we are (somewhat) remote in the mountains, we do have "neighbors", while not close, they could still walk to our property, and we have several acres; so far, they are very nice, but I have no doubt that some will become the enemy when they are hungry, because some of them already are not willing to work to eat. These people we keep at a friendly distance; we want them to know nothing about us, except to be good neighbor friendly at this time. We will be like everyone else post IHTF: Do what you have to do, and don't look back.

    The point is that there is no such thing as a "perfect" solution in our world, no matter how much money you can throw at the situation. Just decide what is important, and get as close as you can. And when you've done all that you can do in the natural, If you love the Lord, if you walk in His precepts, He will cover you.

  16. Suni says:

    Servantheart, What an absolutely great answer. One can tell by reading this, that this is something you have thought out with great detail and made a contingency plan for. Well Done.
    G_D Bless.

  17. creedyrn says:

    Servantheart, thank you for the thoughtful reply and advice, it is TRULY appreciated! We have considered maintaining a friendly relationship w/our former campground as an option. We also have a portion of our family that is likeminded and has a fairly well fortified area, but IMO it is still too close to the city, which we would have to pass thru to get to. So we ARE considering our options. Your advice makes what options currently on the table more of a possibility. <3