The Risks in Staying put During a Crisis

The Risks in Staying put During a Crisis
If the SHTF today, what would you do? Die hard survivalists may be ready with their bug-out bag to zoom off into the wilderness, but for many reasons this isn't always the best idea.
  • Perhaps the streets are full of looters intent on taking what's yours.
  • Perhaps the weather conditions outside aren't safe to travel through.
  • Perhaps your new destination doesn't have the same amount of supplies.
Generally, staying put in a crisis is your best option. Bugging out into the wilderness should only ever be a last resort. It seems great as you fantasize and imagine yourself as a modern-day Rambo, but living off the land is a harsh reality that will very quickly test your ability to stay alive. Think of all the refugees in history who were forced from their homes - none of them fared well. Of course, the need to escape your home may change depending on the crisis you face and the area you live, and the biggest risks are as follows.
  • Secluded rural area. Space and ability to farm, but lacks in an ability seek help when needed.
  • Small town. Can band together with other survivors, but may be targeted by groups of looters.
  • Big city. You've really only got access to your stored resources, high concentration of bad people.
Each different area has its own risks, which is why staying put should always be your first choice. This comes with its own set of challenges, read on to discover the most important factors for hunkering down and making it through a crisis.

Food and water

The biggest risk is not having an ample supply of food and water. Wherever your home is based, ensure you have enough stocked to see you through a crisis. This may be easier if you own a 200 hectare farm than if you have a tiny apartment in the city, but without these two you're going to suffer. The few vegetables growing in your garden are a nice addition, but you need real sources of protein, fats, carbs and nutrients to stay healthy, especially once everyone else starts competing for these same resources.

Basic needs

The pressure on public utilities following a crisis will ultimately cause things we take for granted today - to fail. You cannot expect water to flow from your taps, sewage to be taken from your bathroom, and the trash will rapidly begin piling up in the streets. Especially in a city this can quickly lead to a rampant spread of disease and infections. Now consider your home. If you turned off the gas, water, heat and electricity, would you be able to cope for 24 hours? How about a week? How about a month? Catering for these contingencies needs to be catered for in order to safely remain in your home during a crisis.


The concentration of people in a city is a major concern in a crisis, and is why so many survivalists recommend the wilderness so you're off the radar of any bad people intent on doing you harm. Regardless of where you are, there will always be bad people, even in isolated areas, who want to take what you have. Prepare for this risk, and invest in ways to make your home more secure. If it's too difficult or dangerous for an intruder to get into your home, whether you're in a city center or the middle of nowhere, your attackers will move on to an easier target.

You evacuate too late

The final risk is missing your window to escape. It would be silly if you ran at the first sign of trouble, but hunkering down for too long can make it impossible for you to reach your bug out location at all. Roads can become impassable and blocked, and conditions may not even be suitable for you to hike to safety. This risk is best mitigated by staying up to date on the latest news from a local crisis, using tools like Twitter to get an idea of what is happening in real time, so you're ready to leave when you deem it necessary. Formal notices to evacuate can come from the authorities too late for you to escape effectively, just use your best judgment here.
  • If a category 5 hurricane is bearing down on your beachfront shack, leaving is a no-brainer.
  • If a snowstorm is coming and you've got 3 months food, water and fuel, sit tight in your home and ride it out.
There are plenty of proponents who believe hunkering down in a crisis is your best option, and our team in APE Survival tend to agree, so long as you've got plans in place to manage your food, water, basic needs, and your security. Plus, you need to be staying up to date on the latest news, so you can rapidly adjust your strategy should it become evident you need to evacuate. The key is to have planned for every contingency, and know the inherent risks of the choices you make. Panicking when the SHTF is a sure-fire way to get you in even more trouble.

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