I probably should have started this series last month since September is technically National Preparedness Month, but I’m almost always fashionably late. As you probably know if you’ve been following Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, my family is very big on preparedness. Now we’re not crazy anti-establishment, underground bunker in the backyard type preppers, but I think we’ll do okay if and when SHTF. One of the big topics of discussion lately has been the pros and cons of bugging in versus bugging out. Regardless of your choice you will need to plan and prepare to ensure that you have the four things that everyone needs to survive: air, shelter, water, and food. The way you provide theses essentials though will differ based on if you are staying put, or heading for a destination away from your regular day to day homestead.
It’s just what it sounds like – holding your ground and staying at your residence when chaos ensues. Personally I believe this is always the best choice if the circumstances permit; especially if you have a large family, small children, elderly family members, or possibly even animals that you care for and need to protect. Bugging in does not mean that you need less preparation though because that presents its own unique set of challenges. You will still need to ensure that you have the four essentials to survival covered and possibly for an extended period of time. The good news about bugging in is that shelter, which is a big one, is taken care of – you are at your home. However, in addition you will need to make sure that you have an adequate supply of clean air, potable water, and a food supply. Air is a bit tougher, you obviously can’t pack it up in a tote somewhere, but you can have supplies on hand to make it breathable. This may mean that you will need to have respirators on hand in case the air becomes contaminated. Water, you have it now, all you want to use, but if something happens that truly sends your family into survival mode, that luxury may be gone. You may want to consider learning how to set up a system for water collection & storage in case the public water supply becomes inaccessible or becomes contaminated. Obviously food storage is very important as well. Everyone should have some non-perishable food storage that they could turn to if they needed to – several days’ worth at a minimum. This doesn’t have to be expensive at all, some canned goods and other non-perishables or some freeze dried items would work if you truly had access to nothing else, as long as you keep your body nourished.
In addition to the four essentials, if you chose to bug in at a time when mass panic has ensued, then others will assume that you have supplies, which of course you do because you’ve taken the time to plan and prepare. Others, whom may be less prepared to cope with the situation will want those supplies, so it will also be very important that you and your family are prepared to defend your homestead if necessary. This can be weapons training, martial arts, or a combination thereof, but this is a very important element of being prepared because the most extensive food supply and the best water filtration system or a state of the art underground bunker won’t do you bit of good if someone harms you or your family and takes it away.
Now, while we’d all prefer to bug in and stay somewhat within our comfort zone we should always be ready to leave if necessary. Next time we’ll cover how one decides when they will leave their homestead. At what point is bugging out the better decision?
Have you ever really thought about what you and your family would do in the event of a true emergency? Are you prepared to make high stress, high impact decision for your family? What types of planning and preparing have you done or do you think preparedness is overrated? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!