Bugging out to a remote location in the wilderness seems great on paper, but when the SHTF most of us are going to hunker down in our homes. It's where we've got the majority of our supplies, we know the neighborhoods inside and out, and we've got people living around us we can count on to ‘watch our backs’ should anything nasty ever escalate. The trick to surviving a disaster though is to manage each of these five things, and while it may be a little troublesome now, your long-run safety is what is most important.
Stay aware of the basicsGetting blind-sighted during a crisis is a recipe for disaster, and if you're reading this article you're probably already looking for ways to improve your chances once the SHTF. That's a good thing. Where many get unstuck is being able to step back and take a look at the big picture, because they're too busy building faraday cages or digging an underground bunker. These are all well and good, but if you don't have your basics down you're going to struggle to survive. Consider each of these now, so you're not scrambling when a disaster strikes.
- Is your home defendable and suitable as a base-of operations?
- Do you have access to the resources you need to sustain your family long-term?
- What do you expect local government and law enforcement to do to maintain order?
- What steps can you (legally) do now to prepare your home for such a crisis?
Realize you may need to leaveIn many situations, staying home can present a much larger risk than bugging out. In a post-crisis world, there are far too many factors for us to be able to tell you which is best, but if any of these apply you may want to consider grabbing your things and heading for safer pastures.
- The structural integrity of your home has been compromised
- Finances mean your home is already in a bad neighborhood (before the SHTF)
- Authorities are advising people in your area to evacuate
Get the right trainingStaying home during a crisis does not always keep you safe, and many of the luxuries of your home that you take for granted now can be fatal in a disaster. That morning shower you take? Overflow at the water treatment plant means the water is now contaminated with raw sewage and disease, so you're probably going to want to skip it. Bathing and hygiene are two major changes you'll need to manage after the crisis, in addition to being able to prepare food on a camp stove, understanding basic first aid, and knowing how to defend yourself. Get firearms training, but also take classes that teach you the basics of defending your home, such as using fields of fire and funneling attackers into locations where you can easily disarm them.
Failing to have an exit planForget the nobility of staying safe in your home because you were too silly to face the challenges of bugging out. Often, you don't have a choice. The authorities might forcibly send you on your way, or if you do stay, you're also risking your life. What happens if you don't survive the disaster that's coming? But let's just say you got out in time, now what? Look around. Everyone who is either injured or has loved ones missing would kill to be in your shoes, but do you know what to do next? Putting a basic plan together isn't difficult, here's how to get started:
- List the friends you can go stay with, using the destination as a goal to keep moving
- Put together a basic go-bag to help you survive at least 72 hours on the road
- Have enough capital to pay your way to your next location
- Learn basic survival skills like hunting, building a shelter, and starting a fire