How Do I Know When to Bug out?

In my contacts with other preppers, I am often asked the question, how do I know when to bug out. Many seem to want a list of signs that they can look for, that will give them a clear signal to leave.  I am always surprised at the numbers that make bugging out their first choice.

The fact is that each of us will have to make this decision for ourselves.  Because of the different locations in which we live, each of us faces a different situation.  Personally, I intend to bug in as long as possible.  Do I have plans on how to bug out and where to go?  Yes, I have plans for several different scenarios.

But, what should be the trigger point at which I bug out?  In my case, it will be based on the answer to one question.  At what point is it more dangerous to stay than to leave?

When to Bug Out vs Bug In

There are many things that could force you to make an immediate decision to bug out, for instance fire, chemical spills on a highway or railroad near you, or rioting are just some examples.  There are other events that could suddenly occur, in which you could be forced to bug in, for example a nuclear explosion and fallout.

You should plan for both potential situations.  For most of us, our plan A should be to bug in and our Plans B & C should be to bug out.  The following are some things to think about when making your plan A to bug in.

  • Choose wisely, when you pick a place to live.
  • Get to know your neighbors.
  • Maintain operational secrecy and need to know.
  • Plant a garden, become self-reliant.
  • Know where you can get access to fresh water.
  • Plan what you will do with your waste products.
  • Plan how you will blend in and become a gray man.
  • Build a good secure food storage area.
  • Have a plan B and C, but try not to have to use them

Here are a few advantages of Plan A, bugging in.

  • You live there and know the neighborhood including all the ways in and out.
  • You can make plans to secure your home and belongs.
  • You have the opportunity to get to know your neighbors now and learn whom you can count on.
  • Your supplies are close by, it is easy to rotate them and know exactly what you have.
  • No worries about will I find my bug out location looted or occupied by someone else.
  • You can put in a garden and plan for long-term self-sufficiency.
  • No travel under disaster conditions.
  • Your family and prepper friends know where to find you

Bugging out should always be an option that you should consider and plan for.  Situations can occur that force you to take this option regardless of your plans.  Here are a couple of post that I wrote a while back on bugging out, How Far can You Walk in a Day When Bugging Out?, Bugging Out vs Sheltering in Place is Always a Controversy.

Now I know that for a few people bugging out may be your best option.  Tomorrow, I will post an article on bugging out and some things you need to consider.

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