I believe that for many of us sheltering in place, or bugging, in will be the best choice if everything hits the fan, such as a major pandemic as depicted in this book. The only way I will leave my property is when it becomes more dangerous to stay than to leave. Becoming a refugee isn’t an attractive option.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I won’t have a plan B for leaving, but if possible, I plan on bugging in. I know this area well, I have family and friends close by that will help, and it would be hard to duplicate what I have here in a second location. I suspect the same thing applies to most of you.
I have spent some time thinking about what you have to plan for when bugging in, and there are 14 major categories to consider as you prep. These are not listed in any order of importance; you’ll have to determine which are the most important to you, depending on your situation.
14 Things to Consider When Bugging In
- Fire – Both wild land and structural fires need to be taken into consideration. Take into consideration whether or not you will have open flame devices for cooking and lighting, and if so, having several fire extinguishers is a necessity. Learn good fire safe practices and have fire extinguishers on hand.
- Security – This is a hard one to advise you on since it will depend on the type of home you are securing and the area in which you live. However, one simple step is to think in terms of securing a perimeter in some way and making your home unattractive to looters or others. The less people can see, the better. Keep your preps and other supplies hidden. Watch for prying eyes.
- Sanitation – This includes the ability to keep yourself and your clothes clean. Have the supplies on hand to wash your clothes, dishes, pots and pans. You need to have a plan to dispose of bodily wastes, and bags like these can help with that. This can include burying them or using them for fertilizer, or a combination of both. I recommend buying the book, The Humanure Handbook, and learning how to use human waste as compost.
- Trash – A large pile of trash can be like putting up a billboard advertising you have supplies. Think about how to reuse your trash. For instance, tin cans can be flattened and the metal saved for future projects.
- Water – You need a substantial water storage and a way to replenish it. Don’t forget the supplies to filter and purify contaminated water. The Berkey water filter is one of the best and can filter just about every contaminant to make water safe.
- Medical – Have on hand a well-supplied medical kit and the necessary prescription drugs that you require. Here’s a list of medical supplies that most people overlook.
- Food production – Develop some means of producing addition food to supplement your food storage. This can be in the form of a garden, raising small animals or both. You can do this on a much smaller piece of land than you might think. You should also know what plants are growing wild in your neighborhood and how to utilize them.
- Communications – I recommend that you have at least short range radio communication with close family and friends. Read, Strategic vs Tactical Radios for Defensive Use.
- Food storage – In my opinion, you need at least a one year supply of food and the means to preserve any additional foods that you can grow or gather. Learn how to safely forage and where to find free food to supplement your food supply.
- Electricity – This can be as simple as a generator or solar panels to recharge batteries. Remember generators take fuel and make noise and you should have a repair manual to make sure your generator remains operational. Solar panels, depending on their size, can be highly visible.
- Build trust with your neighbors – Having friends and family close by that you can count on is very important. I will help a good neighbor to the best of my ability, even if he is not a prepper, if I can count on him for support and help with work.
- Shelter – This includes protection from heat and cold. Have the means to keep your family warm in the winter and cool in the summer. One of the easiest methods for staying cool is to have a number of battery-operated fans in different sizes. If you live in a cold climate, have plenty of fuel on hand to stay warm.
- Food preparation – Have the means to cook and prepare your food. This can consist of things like Wonder boxes, Sun Oven or a Solavore, Coleman stoves, kerosene stoves or wood stoves. You should have at least 3 different methods for cooking food and they should all use different fuel types.
- Plan B – Always have a plan in case it becomes too dangerous to stay. This should include a bug out location and the necessary supplies to get there.
This type of planning is always a work in progress. Don’t say, “I am ready”, and rest on your laurels. Always keep improving your position.
UPDATE: This article was updated on July 25, 2016.