Bugging Out vs. Staying Put - Assessing Threats for the correct course of action
The goal of this blog is to encourage Planning and Preparation for emergencies or changes in resources, the environment or economy. Of all the "emergencies" I've experienced, I never needed to leave my house? Staying put was the best place to be. Of all the other things that "could" happen, staying put will, most likely, be the best option than evacuating ("bugging out"). So, when I see some of the extreme evacuation preparations on TV or read the plans for putting so much time and money in preparing to leave "just in case", I think just how likely is that going to happen and could the efforts be better spent on surviving where they are.
In my formal Risk Assessment role, I make a list of my assets and think of the potential threats against my assets, then try to determine the likelihood (how often) those threats could occur, then identify the plans and resources I have to protect and respond to those threats. 99.99% of the time, I will be staying home. So, most of my planning is based on staying home. However, I do have plans for relocating on that rare occasion. Part of that plan is being able to quickly mobilize, what I have prepared for staying home, to a predetermined evacuation location. Do you live near a plant that manufactures or stores dangerous chemicals, a nuclear power plant, in an area susceptible to tornados, fires or flooding? You need to evaluate the potential threats where you live and work and plan accordingly.
I try not to think in the extreme; the simpler the better and easier to remember. For example, instead of an underground bunker, my plans include visiting a friend or family member several hundred miles away toting all my home-prep stuff with me in my pickup truck. Naturally, I must know that they are not be facing the same predicament that I'm running away from. Fortunately, my friends and family extend to many states far and wide.
The moral of this Posting is, think of what could happen and how often it could happen and plan and prepare logically and sensibly so that your planning efforts are focused properly. There are two basic intelligent choices. A third choice (don't plan and just wing it) boggles my mind, and I would rather believe that the readers of this blog are more intelligent than that, so let's stick with only choices 1 and 2:
1. Stay where you are at your home and be able to survive for a reasonable period of time without any outside assistance.
2. Quickly and efficiently evacuate your home and travel to a predetermined destination . . . know where you will go, what you will take and how you will get there. Usually, it is best to leave under the cover of darkness. Dark clothes (and dark vehicles) will be beneficial. If you must travel on foot, walk silently in a single file (if there are multiple people in your party) for the appearance of a single person from the front or rear of the column to help reduce attention to the exodus.
When something happens, you will need to decide to do one or the other OR one THEN to other. THE most important thing is to HAVE A PLAN, and the preparations, for the decision you make.
When is it time to evacuate? If you bug out too soon, you may discover the emergency was not really as bad as first thought, wasting time and resources. But if bugging out too late, you could find yourself in a worse position than you were in had you stayed.
Considerations for a Bug Out (R.E.D.O.U.T.)
Staying Tuned to the News is staying informed of the situation to make an educated decision. The acronym R.E.D.O.U.T. may give some idea of when it's time to implement your bug out plan. Any one or combination may send you packin'.
Resources are almost gone - life-sustaining supplies are dangerously low, and no way of replenishing or obtaining more in the area
Environment no longer safe - a flood, wild-fire, hurricane, chemical spill, mass rioting/looting, etc. making the area unsafe to stay in
Destination is safer than where you are
Overwhelming force against you - potentially dangerous and determined groups that are a real safety threat to you or your family
Unprepared for the situation - your preparations do not address this kind of event
Threat is increasing - the danger is growing in size or strength or getting, uncomfortably, closer
Some references to consider:
Surviving Where You Are
How to know when it is time to bug out
Things To Do Before An Extended Leave From Home